• Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
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  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
  • Can You Lead On a Static Rope?
  • Can I Use Climbing Bolts For Anchors in a Gym?
  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
  • Does Poop Harm a Climbing Rope?
  • Are Homemade Draws Reliable?
  • Shopping for Economy Carabiners
  • When You Fly, Can You Carry On Climbing Gear?
  • Can I Trust Fixed Draws?
  • Which Helmet WIll Fit My Big Head?
  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
  • Are Adjustable Leg Loops Useful?
  • Should I clip ice screws with Screamers?
  • How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?
  • Can I Modify my Crampon Without Compromising the Integrity?
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
  • Caring For Your FIngertips
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?
  • When to Replace Climbing Webbing
  • Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear
  • The Benefits of Cotton
  • How to Pull a Rappel Rope
  • How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate
  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
  • Are 1/2-inch bolts really better than 3/8-inch?
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • Hand Drill Advice
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
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  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
  • Dealing With an Argumentative Partner
  • Will Antifreeze Ruin Rope?
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  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
  • Do Cam Teeth Do Anything?
  • Can I Fix Delaminated Rock Shoes?
  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
  • Should You Lower Or Rap Through Anchors?
  • Should You Clip the Belay As Your First Lead Pro?
  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
  • How Do I Get a Good Climbing Man?
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusiing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Antifreeze
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
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  •  
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    How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?

    04-Feb-2011
    By Gear Guy

    I work at a camp center in the Alps in France and we teach beginner climbers on one of the building's concrete walls. Until now we've used the iron beams as anchors (using a redundant sling set-up) for toproping, which is safe and works well, but it takes 40 minutes to rig. We are looking at drilling anchors in the bomber reinforced concrete and were wondering which set-up to go for? Do we use rap-chain with rings, gym double clips, pitons with cable hangers?

    Most climbing bolts, with the exception of Fixe and Petzl, were actually designed for use in concrete rather than rock. Options are nearly unlimited, but since the loss of a student or two would be counterproductive, let's go with the really bomber anchors.

    Hilti, in my experience, makes the best bolts for concrete. Now, don't fret, I know you are in France and the French and the Germans have been going at it for close to a hundred years, but while Hilti sounds Teutonic, they are in Liechtenstein, a German-speaking principality that like Switzerland has preferred to keep their noses to the grindstone and let the other folks murder each other while they reap the rewards. In short, they make great bolts.

    The bolt you want is the HSL-3-GM 10/20. This bolt is much like the Rawl (Powers) 5-piece, but better made and has a nut on one end so you can replace the bolt hanger and other gear as needed. Get the 15 mm (roughly .59-inch) by 115 mm (4.5 inches). I've used a ton of these bolts, and will personally vouch for them.

    A couple of pointers. Use a new, sharp bit so you get a nice hole that is within the tolerance of the bolt. As you drill (with a power drill), note whether you suddenly encounter formidable resistance -- concrete is almost always reinforced with rebar or other bits of steel and you won't be able to drill through it with a carbide-tipped bit. If you think you have hit steel, give up and move to a different anchor location. As always, use a piece of aquarium tubing to blow out the drill dust, then tap in the bolt and tighten. Use two bolts per anchor and set the bolts about eight inches apart. For the hardware, I recommend the Fixe V-Anchor with Draco carabiners. This all-steel rig costs about $90, but will last just about forever, and has reversed carabiners to prevent the rope from unclipping itself. If you are on a budget, you can make a lesser-quality though still plenty strong anchor by using steel quick links and chain, available here in the U.S. at any hardware store, though in France they might require a permit. Next!

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