How to Anchor to a Tree While Top Rope Rock Climbing

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Learn about different knots you can tie in order to climb to a tree you found at the top of a cliff in this free video series.

Part of the Video Series: Rock Climbing Tips for Anchors & Knots
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Video Transcript

Hi! I’m Bill with Zoar Outdoor here on behalf of expertvillage.com. We are here today at Chapel Ledges in Ashfield, Massachusetts, the trustees of the reservations property. In this series, we are going to be talking about anchors for top rope rock climbers. So here we are at the top of the cliff and we’ve found a tree that we want to climb off to. How do we want to anchor to it? Here are a few options. If we are tying off a rope end, a bowline is a nice way to go; usually a removable knot, really strong. If we are tying off webbing, there are a couple of other options. Here’s the tensionless hitch idea. So you can see I’ve got a few wraps around a big tree. There’s no knot. I can pull really hard on this and it still doesn’t move. Now I wouldn’t want to climb that way but what that tells us we can tie some half inches here and hold onto that end and by virtue the friction around the tree, that’s going to be a really solid tie off; easy to remove and works really well. Another method that is used in rescue a lot is called the wrap 3, pull 2. So there are 3 wraps around the tree; the knot that connects this into a loop is around the back, and I’ve pulled the 2 others out front. So a benefit to this and not only is it really strong, there is virtually no tension on that knot back there because of the friction of the tree. It is also multi directional with this carabiner we can pull in a number of directions and it’s just as strong. So there are 3 options for you and there are others but these all work. Wrap 3 pull 2, tensionless hitch with the number of wraps and a bowline tie off.

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