Big wall anchors - PHOTOS

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Brendan Gill

Trad climber
Guernsey
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 15, 2011 - 11:12pm PT
hey all

I have not climbed a big wall yet and so far i have had no problem in building anchors.

BUT

i just want to see some examples of what other people have built so i can compare designs.

the idea is to see things like.
were and how the haul bags are clipped.
what point is the porta-ledge clipped too.
hauling point where that fits in.

i have googled lots. the best picture i have see is the one provided by climbing tech tips.

http://www.climbing.com/print/techtips/AID.224.gif

thanks
Brendan
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 15, 2011 - 11:20pm PT
Give yourself enough rope to duck away from falling sh#t and never have the bag hauled on only one high anchor.

Tie up some logical crap that makes sense in your back yard before finding out the limits of a genuine Charlie Porter bolt from the seventies. Equalize.
locker

Social climber
CO
Dec 15, 2011 - 11:25pm PT


Dumb, dee, dumb, dumb, do, dah, day...

Troll, troll, away...

Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:16am PT
There's the Sane Way, and the Canadian Assassin's "Better Way".

That pic is the Canadian Assassin's handy work, using about 20 biners for a single anchor. What could be Better than that?

Pretty much everyone I've done a wall with puts up a 3 bolt cordalette right on the anchor, and a 2 bolt hauling anchor with slings to one side, sharing hangers if the bolts allow (most trade routes have decent hangers that accept 2 bolts nicely. Stuff gets layered in using reasonable common sense after that, and it mostly works out. After a few clusters your first time out you get things dialed enough to do Better than 1 pitch a day...

Ideally you run with a tag line and tag up the haul line, anchor kit (cordalette, slings, pile of biners), hauler, spare rack, and go at it.

FYI, most pics you'll find of big wall anchors look like a giant cluster. Stacked ropes, docked pigs, bosun seats, spare rack, etc all make things look awful, but if things are handled a little sanely theings layer on, then back off just fine.
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:29am PT
Anchor cluster
Anchor cluster
Credit: Moof

Typical anchor cluster. With all your crap clipped in, it is hard to see that this anchor is just fine, and did not create cluster. Layer things so nothing is trapped, and you'll be fine.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:32am PT
You will learn a routine only by overcoming the bullying nature of the first few day's pitches. Repetition of a system will become more logical and refined as you ascend.

Doug Scott's best line in his book, "Big Wall Climbing" was to take it one pitch at a time. The goal taken as it's sum would be overwhelming.

The bags become lighter every day you go up. As long as the weather's good, just keep the idea of going up first regardless of what your brain thinks. Decide to have a good time and things will be easier...
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:44am PT
Keep a sense of humor?

On South Seas, at an anchor somewhere around the seventh pitch (the dolphin was our mascot - someone else had left the coconut taped to the wall):

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Dec 16, 2011 - 07:49am PT
Credit: Norwegian
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Dec 16, 2011 - 10:01am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#169475

Yard sale.

BTW...the black bag is full of beer.

Safety first and all.
jfailing

Trad climber
Lone Pine
Dec 16, 2011 - 10:41am PT
3rd pitch leaning tower
3rd pitch leaning tower
Credit: jfailing
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 16, 2011 - 11:08am PT
Simple, clean, efficient.

notice how each bolt is backing up the bolt below it.
notice how each bolt is backing up the bolt below it.
Credit: Mark Hudon

Totally fircken bomber, clean and efficient.

notice how extending the clip in point on the right helps make that ni...
notice how extending the clip in point on the right helps make that nice "Y" that puts the force on two bolts. Notice how the butterfly knot continues to help share the load with the bolt to it's left.
Credit: Mark Hudon

as bomber as you'll ever need but still clean and efficient.

I always haul of off one bolt. I never equalize that although I do safety it over to another bolt.

Notice the long loop on the butterfly knot is making that nice "Y" the...
Notice the long loop on the butterfly knot is making that nice "Y" thereby sharing the load with the middle bolt.
Credit: Mark Hudon

A hanging bivy anchor on the top of the PO.

Notice that it is still pretty clean and organized.

Notice that although this is a bivy anchor, the anchor is not a total ...
Notice that although this is a bivy anchor, the anchor is not a total cluster. Keeping the clusters to a minimum gets you off the anchor faster and up the route.
Credit: Mark Hudon
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Dec 16, 2011 - 11:18am PT
Hudon is my hero.
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Dec 16, 2011 - 11:21am PT
Contrary to all the drilled wall anchors illustrated above, don't forget that you can actually use natural anchors too...

Bomber pebble anchor
Bomber pebble anchor
Credit: Anxious Melancholy

chockstone anchor....
chockstone anchor....
Credit: Anxious Melancholy


course, then again, ya got to remeber that.

















yur gonna die!
thekidcormier

Trad climber
squamish, b.c.
Dec 16, 2011 - 11:53am PT
Hudon is my hero.

Same here!
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 16, 2011 - 11:57am PT
I was hopin' Hudon would post some of his pics. Yay!

...making lots of mental notes...gotta figure out that Sheep Knot thing...
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
Thanks.

Figure out the Butterfly knot and how to make the loop larger or smaller and how to move the whole knot up and down the rope all without untying it and you'll have easy, fast and cluster free anchors always available to you.
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:04pm PT
Thanks, Mark. I was gettin' my sheep & butterflies confused.
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:04pm PT
Piton Pete, where are you? Shot these wankers the real shite!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:10pm PT
I was wondering about that Dos XX ;-)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:13pm PT
I wish I had taken a photo of that totally climber built anchor on top of the second to last pitch of the South Seas-PO.

I had six cams all equalized with Butterfly knots down to two points, one for hauling and one for jugging. Even though it wasn't bolts, it was simple, clean, effective and totally bomber.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:40pm PT
illustration then?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 16, 2011 - 12:52pm PT
What do I look like, a frickken radio?
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Dec 16, 2011 - 01:34pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#141889


Quit being such a show off Mark!

;-)
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Dec 16, 2011 - 01:40pm PT
Tough guy anchor
Tough guy anchor
Credit: matty
Abend

Social climber
Dec 18, 2011 - 12:28am PT
Credit: Abend
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Dec 18, 2011 - 11:04am PT
Not a great example, as I just arrived solo, the black rope is the haul line. Pig and ledge yet to arrive. Dock the pig off to one side, and ledge to the other just below the pig. I'll upload another pic or two if I can find em on this machine.



Dock the pigs to a bolt, backed up to the main anchor. The ledge can hang off anything, but stay tied into the master point yourself, at all times.

And although yer gonna die, don't skimp on the anchor and set the date.

Burly Bob
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Dec 18, 2011 - 11:32am PT




Don't overlook a few bomber cams equalized is an awesome anchor, and even on a large ledge, it can be clustered in a big hurry. Sorry, none of the good stuff on this computer, maybe over x-mas.

Burly Bob
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 18, 2011 - 11:39am PT
I think abends photo is the best!
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Dec 18, 2011 - 11:43am PT
In the Verdon a long time ago.
In the Verdon a long time ago.
Credit: jaaan
Maybe not as spectacular as abend's, but the potential is there...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 18, 2011 - 11:52am PT
Started out with a simple 'slay it' technique


Like my Tom Clancey shades?

Then I graduated to the big stone where Big Slayit Technique is necessary.


Anything worth f*#king is worth cluster f*#king dontchya think?

DMT
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Dec 18, 2011 - 12:55pm PT
Spaced out on Space.
Spaced out on Space.
Credit: The Larry

I've got to power points. One for hauling and one for cleaning.
A5scott

Trad climber
Chicago
Dec 19, 2011 - 04:27pm PT
bump for more anchor pics...

scott
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Dec 19, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
Credit: The Larry
yosguns

climber
Paris, France
Dec 19, 2011 - 06:25pm PT
Credit: yosguns

Edit: It made sense at the time.
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 15, 2012 - 04:01pm PT
Bump for hump day. Excellent thread!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 15, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
Iron Hawk, P17
Iron Hawk, P17
Credit: Mark Hudon

Keep it simple.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 15, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
Shortest Straw P5
Shortest Straw P5
Credit: Mark Hudon

Are you starting to see a pattern here?
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 17, 2012 - 02:28pm PT
Just curious, Hudon, but what is the thin blue cordalette being used for? I would assume it is the equalized hauling anchor, but it seems pretty low compared to the anchor?

Wonderful photo documentation, btw! Very helpful.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 17, 2012 - 02:33pm PT
Those are 5 mil slings I have tied onto the top loops of my Yates Gear Bra. I clip them to the anchors before I take the gear sling off so that I can never drop it.

Clipping them to individual bolts allows the gear sling to hang nice and flat against the wall, making it easy to grab gear from it or to load it up with more gear.

Here is a photo of that on the Shield

Credit: Mark Hudon
WBraun

climber
Aug 17, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
Imax wall anchor from "To the Limit" Nose El Cap <br/>
Mike Hoover collect...
Imax wall anchor from "To the Limit" Nose El Cap
Mike Hoover collection
Credit: WBraun
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Aug 17, 2012 - 04:44pm PT
Learn that butterfly knot. It's adjustable. I haven't used it yet but will do so next time. The other thing to learn from Mark Hudon is his pulley system. 2:1 or 3:1, whatever it is. For most people, hauling is the hardest part of a wall. It's so exhausting! Divide the weight by 2 and it would be easy.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 18, 2012 - 01:45am PT
Awesome thread, keep em coming!
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
Aug 18, 2012 - 01:53am PT
Anchor w/2x1 on a bolt.
Anchor w/2x1 on a bolt.
Credit: westhegimp
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 18, 2012 - 10:34am PT
love your anchor system Mark Hudon

great pic Werner!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 18, 2012 - 10:42am PT
Part of my anchor system is my "Anchor Kit" of three large locking biners.

I use them more because they are large rather than locker. With large biners you can clip a lot of stuff to them and not pin anything else in. The ones I use have sort of a flat bottom so you can slide things towards the gate pretty easily, making it even easier to not pin anything.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Aug 18, 2012 - 11:03am PT
With large biners you can clip a lot of stuff to them and not pin anything else in. The ones I use have sort of a flat bottom so you can slide things towards the gate pretty easily, making it even easier to not pin anything.

Brilliant! ...just updated my gear list.
micronut

Trad climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:47am PT
My first Big Wall anchor this past summer on The Column. Top of Pitch 2.

I really wanted to make Hudon proud with this one after much practice and disipleship.

Credit: micronut
fat-n-sassy

Social climber
San Francity, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:04am PT
Sickle ledge, anchor only notable for the wildlife...
Sickle ledge, anchor only notable for the wildlife...
Credit: fat-n-sassy
WBraun

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:50am PT
Bolt anchors are not "Big wall anchors" just way homo n00b spray ;-)

You hafta put in a bunch mank all equalized together in sh!ty placements to make your claim ......
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Like this Werner?


photo not found
Missing photo ID#181703
WBraun

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:57am PT
Yes ....

Much better .......
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
Well, regardless of what Werner says, big wall anchors, at least in Yosemite these days, on quite a few wall routes, are three or more 3/8 bolts.

Lost in America anchor.

The green rope on the left is where the second is coming up, the white rope is the haul line that I'm rapping on and jugging back up the next day.

Credit: Mark Hudon
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:38pm PT
"Hudon" style big wall anchor. Simple, bomber, clean
"Hudon" style big wall anchor. Simple, bomber, clean
Credit: briham89

Hudon inspired anchor. Make a butterfly with a big loop, equalize with a clove hitch or whatever other knot you want to use. Boom! Fast, easy, bomber, clean
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
Briham, you got it!
Jacemullen

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 19, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Sorry for bringing up a dead thread but Google lead me here.

Mark,

On the first picture you posted on the first page, I see that you docked your haulbags on the left and middle bolts. Were did you put your pullys/hauling system? I really like the simplicity of your anchors but where to setup a haul from is the one thing that has been killing me since I first read about it on your website.

briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Feb 19, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
With big beefy new bolts, I just attach it to one of them and haul. It is of course backed up to the other one or two bolts. If the bolts aren't so bomber make an equalized anchor out of slings, cordlette,etc... and haul off that

Micronut's picture a few post up shows this
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 19, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
Jace, on that particular anchor I hauled from the middle bolt. I don't worry about modern 3/8" bolts failing under a hauling load but the fact that the left-most bolt sort of backed it up made me happy.
Nilepoc

Big Wall climber
Tx
Feb 19, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Anchor above black cave pitch NA Wall, Hudon inspired. Haul on the lef...
Anchor above black cave pitch NA Wall, Hudon inspired. Haul on the left second coming in from the right.
Credit: Nilepoc
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 19, 2013 - 10:04pm PT

Mark,

Beautifully simple anchors, but why a butterfly and not an overhand or figure-eight? Adjustability or security, or ... . I know there must be something I'm missing.

Thanks
Darwin

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 19, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
The butterfly can easily be moved along the rope and you can make the loop bigger or smaller without untying the knot, a great feature for equalizing onto other parts of the anchor. Additionally, the knot can get pulled in three directions and not get distorted.
Gene

climber
Feb 19, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
the knot can get pulled in three directions and not get distorted.


I trust that not too much strength is lost with this knot?

I simply don't know.

Thanks,
g
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 19, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
Gene, it's strong in all those directions, that's another beauty of it.
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