17. Combining Optimal Anchor Placements with Marginal Gear

What happens when you are not convinced that three anchor pieces is enough to make a solid anchor? Maybe rock quality is marginal, the cracks are flared, or that stopper just doesn’t have good surface area contact with the rock.

In the video above, we highlight an example where two protection pieces are solid, but the other two are marginal. The best way to combine these protection piece is to:

Step 1: Combine the marginal pieces using a sling to create a sliding x anchor point. For more on this see our video on “Top Rope Anchor – The -Sliding X-”.

Step 2: Using a cordelette, clip into the two solid pieces of gear and the carabiner at the bottom of the sliding x, which joins the two marginal pieces. Equalize like a standard, 3-point cordelette anchor system.

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.