Anchor points on my mind

With a further anchor-point related incident doing the rounds, I come to the end of this weekend with anchor points very much on my mind.

The last case described a fall after a climber set a line on a fairly brittle species on a four inch (10cm) limb, four feet (1.2m) out from the main stem. The climber weighs 250 pounds (115kg). The access was installed with a base anchor. This resulted in a failure of the limb and a fall. Luckily the climber was not hurt too badly, yet will still be off work for a good couple of months.

Again, I have no intent or interest whatsoever in pointing fingers here, but the fact remains, we have an uncomfortable cluster of incidents revolving around anchor point failures – and that is not even considering sketchy points that just did not fail. We urgently need to get a handle on this, we must start talking anchor point selection and configuration!

All this reminded me of an article Chris and I wrote a good couple of years back, yet it still holds true today. Maybe even more so than when we wrote it… what with single line ascent becoming increasingly ubiquitous and stationary line work positioning carving out a niche for itself in the industry.

Strong anchors and fair lines… all for one and none for a fall… whatever floats your boat, but let’s take this thought with us into next week – in the hope that we can get through it without having to read or hear about further incidents.