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Ask the Master: How Do You Anchor Yourself to a Multipitch Anchor?

Quick and simple Q&A with the Master.

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This article originally appeared in Rock and Ice issue 239.


How do you anchor yourself to a multipitch anchor? I’ve seen folks toss a clove hitch onto the powerpoint carabiner and call it good, where other methods involve girth-hitched slings, purcells or commercial Personal Anchor Systems. What do you teach?

—Nick Belcaster

Martin Volken, owner of Pro Guiding Service and Pro Ski and Mountain Service in North Bend, WA, is a certified IFMGA Swiss Mountain Guide and guides in North America and Europe. He has been a member of the AMGA examiner team since 2000.
Martin Volken, owner of Pro Guiding Service and Pro Ski and Mountain Service in North Bend, WA, is a certified IFMGA Swiss Mountain Guide and guides in North America and Europe. He has been a member of the AMGA examiner team since 2000.

Hi there,

You could get several answers depending on who you ask, but here is mine.

I look to get myself safe very quickly without much effort, create a bit of redundancy, and I also want to make sure that I didn’t bury my system so I
can quickly and easily get free of it when it is time to move again.

I often anchor with a clove hitch tied in my climbing rope on a locking carabiner, which gets clipped to the first anchor piece I place. The clove hitch is a great knot at the anchor, because it is quickly built and adjustable with the carabiner closed and locked. Once the entire anchor is built I clip
my PAS into a point above the master point, although sometimes I do it the other way around.

Keep it safe, simple and clean.

—Martin Volken


Got a question about climbing? Submit your question to Gear Guy at rockandicegearguy@gmail.com


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