How to Build a Fixed and Focused Anchor

Hey gang, Rick here from Climbmax Climbing. Today I’d like to talk about how to build an anchor. This particular anchor is known as a fixed and focused anchor. We’ll be building it with a double-length sling on 2 bolts. This anchor is called a fixed and focused anchor because the master point is fixed in a location and focused to a specific force vector.

When building a fixed and focused anchor with a double-length sling, start off by opening your sling and clipping either end to the permanent hardware. When using a double-length sling it can be nice to clip the bar tack up and out of the way so that it does not interfere with your masterpoint knot. Once you have attached either end of the open sling to the permanent hardware, pull down the center of the sling to create a V. Make sure you are pulling hard and in the direction that you perceive the load to be pulled. Once you have the sling tensioned in a V, pointing in the direction you feel the load will be pulling, take the entire sling, treated as if it’s one piece of material, and tie a knot in it. This will leave you with a nice fixed and focused anchor that you can use in a variety of ways.

If I were going to use this as a top-rope anchor, I would put 2 opposing carabiners into the master point and clip my rope into that. If I were going to use this as a top anchor for any purpose that I might want to belay from above, I would at this point take a pear-shaped carabiner attach that to the master point so that the basket is down and the gate is out and clove hitch myself into the master point.

Rick Wagner, AMGA Rock Instructor

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