16. Trad Anchors with Slings vs. Cordalettes

In this video we review considerations for building a traditional anchor with slings, in the case where a cordelette is not available. To do this you may need a mix of shoulder length slings and double length slings.

Step 1: Place three solid pieces of gear.

Step 2: Using a shoulder length sling, connect two adjacent pieces using the sliding X. For more on this see our video on “Top Rope Anchor – The -Sliding X-”.

Step 3: Depending on the distance of the third protection point from the first two, a single or double length sling can be used to join the third and final piece to the sliding X with the first two pieces.

Step 4: Tie an overhand or figure 8 knot to create an equalized, redundant anchor. Notice that you have essentially stacked two, two-piece anchors using three pieces, making the whole system meet our ideal requirements of having 3 anchor pieces and being redundant.

Also note that if the length of one of the legs of your anchor is too short, you can extend one side using a sling or quick draw to extend the cam or stopper’s clip-in point.

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.