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Anchoring Techniques

Top-rope Rock Climbing Anchoring

This training program is designed to provide technical proficiency in the set up of a top-rope rock climbing anchoring site. The desired outcome is to gain a useful understanding, through exposure and practice, of the skills and systems needed to be independent at a top-roping rock site. The systems that will be taught are applicable if the cliff is accessible from the top.

Clients with no prior climbing experience will find two or three days necessary to take in, process and retain the information outlined below.


  • Exposure: The client will observe as the guide demonstrates different anchoring techniques using natural anchors. A natural anchor is defined as a tree or boulder. An artificial anchor may include chocks or spring-loaded devices that fit into cracks in the rock. The focus will be toward natural anchors, creating a base of information from which the client can proceed to utilizing artificial anchors.
  • Practice: The client will then practice setting anchors on the cliff top while the guide observes.
  • Rappel instruction and practice using the client’s anchor.
  • Top-rope climbing instruction and practice using the client’s anchor.


  • Knots
    • Figure 8 family (basic 8, follow-through 8, figure-8- on- a- bight)
    • Bowline
    • Water Knot
    • Double Fisherman’s
    • Prussik
    • Clove Hitch
  • Climbing Equipment and Basic Skills
    • Discussion and demonstration (Caribiners, Camming units, Chocks, etc.)
    • Harnesses, helmets, knots, coiling a rope, rope care
    • Belaying: equipment, techniques, backing up belays, communication
    • Discussion on what type of personal equipment is appropriate for the client to own
  • Anchoring Details
    • Bolts, natural features, artificial placements and vectors.
    • Creating a common point (Master Point)
  • Rappelling
    • Rappelling devices (Figure 8, Plate device, improvised techniques)
    • Back ups: top and bottom belays
    • Self-belay: friction hitches (Prussic/Autoblock/ Kleimheist


  • 1:1 – $275.00 each
  • 1:2 – $175.00 each
  • 1:3 – $140.00 each

It is customary to tip guides if you enjoy your experience.

Printable Climbing Gear List