16. Creating V-Thread Anchors

In this video we review how to create, and rappel from, a v-thread anchor. A v-thread anchor is drilled into the ice in a V shape, using only a small length of cord which is left behind.

Below are the steps for creating a v-thread anchor:

Step 1: Using a longer ice screw (22 cm), drill a hole at a slight angle in the ice.

Step 2: Remove the screw and place another screw or your v-thread tool in the hole so you can approximate the angle at which to drill the next screw in order to intersect the first hole at the bottom.

Step 3: Drill the second hole at an angle, looking down the shaft of the first hole to identify when and where the new hole intersects the first one.

Step 4: Blow out any debris from the hotel to make it easier to thread your cord through it.

Step 5: Push one end of your cordelette into the hole, and with the sharpened hook of a v-thread tool, pull it out the second hole. Cut the cord to length so you leave behind only minimal equipment. Tie a Flemish Bend or Double Fisherman’s to join the two ends together.

Step 6: Thread your rope through the loop of cord in the v-thread anchor and you’re ready to rappel!

Note once again that the ice quality will need to be factored in when deciding whether to rappel off a v-thread anchor system.

Good = Cold, Clear, Dry, Consistent color and texture

Bad = Soft, Warm, Wet, and Aerated or pocketed

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.