Anchors

Anchors provide the foundation for rope rescue. They can be man-made (e.g., bolts, eyes, vehicles, etc), natural (e.g., rocks, trees, etc), or a combination of the two (e.g., climbing cams, pitons, ice screws, etc). Anchors can be tied around a single object ("single-point") or by joining multiple anchors (i.e., "multi-point").

This page explores key considerations when selecting anchors. The next page shows examples of several types of anchors.

Anchor Considerations

Three acronyms, ERNEST, SERENE and SAFE identify important considerations when selecting an anchor.

Equalized

Redundant

No...

Extension

Strong (Solid)

Timely

   

Strong (Solid)

Equalized

Redundant

Efficient

No...

Extension

   

Strength

Alignment

Focal Point

Equalized

The concepts in these acronyms are very similar. Anchors should be strong enough to have a sufficient safety factor. The forces should be equalized between the various ropes and anchors. Many protocols require that all rigging elements are redundant so they can pass the "scissors test." Anchors should be designed so they won't extend if a portion of the anchor fails (which would result in a dynamic shock load). And you should be able to build the anchor in a reasonable amount of time.

All illustrations on this website were created using the vRigger software.