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Courtesy Anchors

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What is a Courtesy Anchor?

    A "courtesy anchor" (more properly a courtesy rigging):

    For rope retrieval, in most cases the ring at the end of the rigging should be past the edge of the cliff, providing a line of sight from the bottom to the ring. This not only makes retrieval easier, it also prevents making rope grooves. But the forward position of the ring makes starting the rappel difficult - thus the courtesy rigging aka courtesy anchor.

    Only the last person rappelling needs to do the difficult start. For everyone else, the rope can be rigged higher up where getting on the rope and starting the rappel is easier. Often, this can be done by rigging for retrieval, then clipping the ring up higher on the anchor. Other times this is easiest done by tying a big knot in the webbing to shorten it - helpful to include a carabiner in the knot so it will be easy to undo.

    In other cases, it is easier just to provide a meat anchor for all but the last, and the last person rigs the rope for retrieval.

    A key point here is to separate, in your mind, the task of retrieving the rope from the task of setting up the rappel for the people in your party.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    TimK, John Diener, Tirrus and 6 others like this.
  2. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    I'm so glad you've brought this topic up. I think courtesy anchors are one of the most important techniques to introduce to beginners and veterans alike. For protection of the resources, ease of transition to rappel for all but the last, and easier retrieval. I would love to see recommendations in beta to incorporate courtesy anchor use, or photos and tutorials on You, Ryan, and Luke's websites.
    Ram likes this.
  3. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Great tip!

    Another point might be to use a courtesy anchor for back up, but, still let folks do the difficult start. Practice!
    Ram likes this.
  4. townsend

    townsend

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    A couple of pictures showing some variations in how to set up courtesy anchors would really be helpful.
  5. pyle762

    pyle762

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    There is a really good video on it on YouTube on Canyons and Crags if you want to look it up.
    TimK and townsend like this.
  6. townsend

    townsend

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    Pyle762, thank you very much. I have watched that video many years ago but had forgotten some of it.
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