14. Alternative Trad Anchor – Consideration #1

What happens if you run out of slings while leading a pitch and arrive at the anchor with only a few cams—then realize you also forgot to grab your partner’s cordelette when you swung leads at the last transition. Don’t worry, use your rope!

Step 1: Place 3 pieces of gear.

Step 2: Give yourself some slack and then tie a clove hitch to the bottom anchor piece.

Step 3: Clove hitch the rope to each piece above, adjusting the length of rope between each piece such that the load is shared evenly among all three pieces.

Step 4: To belay from this anchor setup, the climber can either perform an indirect belay (for more on this see our video on “How To Belay From Above) or direct belay (for more on this see our video on “Direct Belay using an Auto-Block Device) by creating a master point in the rope between the climber’s harness and the first protection piece.

Although this alternative trad anchor setup may not appear to pass the Redundant test, keep in mind that the rope is the strongest piece of gear the climber has, and that you trust it “singly” when climbing (or falling!).

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.