Equalising Anchor points and building abseils


Equalising anchor points

There are a million (well maybe not a million) ways to build trad anchors for every occasion, whether it’s to set up a belay or for abseiling. The aim of this article is to introduce a few different methods.

Firstly equalising two pieces of gear. The video below shows a nice tidy way of doing so with two anchor points, however this can also be extended to 3 anchor points whereby you do an overhand across both “v-shapes” you’ve constructed.


Video on equalising anchors: https://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=2964

However equalising two anchor points with a sling is not always the appropriate solution. For example if the angle between the two independent sling ends is larger or equal to 90 degrees, it is advisable that you construct your anchor in the traditional way of using the rope as demonstrated below.

Video on when equalised anchors are inappropriate: https://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=3074


Abseil Anchors

There are many ways to set up an anchor for abseiling so having an idea of two or three different ways is good depending on the scenario. The most common way is to tie a figure eight on a bite to one of your anchor points then thread the rope through another point and tie an overhand between them (I was told that a figure 9 is also acceptable as this allows you to undo the knot easier later on when stripping the abseil). Below is a good webpage for abseils provided by Plas Y Brenin.


If however you have already got an anchor equalised by a sling, simply tie a figure eight on a bite and attach it to the carabiner attached to your sling.