A well equalise sling using the overhand on the sling method to ensure the angle is below 90 degrees.

Equalising Two Anchors

To get you ABC and IDEAS right when it comes to the fundamentals of rock climbing belays you will need to understand how to equalise two anchor point with either a sling, a rope or both. There are many ways to go about equalising two anchors this, we are going to concentrate of the most common ways here and explain the pros and cons of each.

Equalising Two Anchors with a sling Exercise

Try equalising two belay points in the three ways show in the photos below.

  1. Overhand on the Bight
  2. Two clove hitches and an overhand on the bight.
  3. An overhand in the sling
Equalising two anchor points with a sling and a overhand knot on the bight. This is the simplest way to equalise a sling, but it does use a lot of sling. There are other ways like the two feature below that use less sling, which may help bring the angle of a belay down to below 90 degrees.
Equalising two anchor points with a sling and a overhand knot on the bight. This is the simplest way to equalise a sling, but it does use a lot of sling. There are other ways like the two feature below that use less sling, which may help bring the angle of a belay down to below 90 degrees.
Equalising Two Anchor points with a sling. Left: with two clove hitches and a overhand knot. Right: With an overhand knot tied onto the sling. Both methods use less sling than the simple overhand method, but are slight harder to adjust.
Equalising Two Anchor points with a sling. Left: with two clove hitches and a overhand knot. Right: With an overhand knot tied onto the sling. Both methods use less sling than the simple overhand method, but are slight harder to adjust.

Try moving the anchor points further apart until you get into the situation show below. Try equalising them with a simple overhand on the bight and then with an overhand on the sling. Note how the obtuse angle has been reduce to below 90 degrees.

A sling that whilst obeying most of the IDEAS principles of a belay, is displaying an angle of over 90 degrees. To remedy this we can do what is in the image below.
A sling that whilst obeying most of the IDEAS principles of a belay, is displaying an angle of over 90 degrees. To remedy this we can do what is in the image below.
A well equalise sling using the overhand on the sling method to ensure the angle is below 90 degrees.
A well equalise sling using the overhand on the sling method to ensure the angle is below 90 degrees.

Equalising Two Anchor Points with a rope

Sometimes you may well have run out of slings or even better have a spare rope to rig a belay at the top of a crag. In this case equalising two anchors can be achieve in the way shown below.

Equalising two anchors with a rope is simple to doing it with a sling. Start by tying one end to an anchor with a fig of 8 on the bight. Next give yourself enough of a loop and then tie the rope back to the second anchor with a clove hitch. Final make the system independent and equalised by tying a fig of 8 or overhand knot in the rope/
Equalising two anchors with a rope is simple to doing it with a sling. Start by tying one end to an anchor with a fig of 8 on the bight. Next give yourself enough of a loop and then tie the rope back to the second anchor with a clove hitch. Final make the system independent and equalised by tying a fig of 8 or overhand knot in the rope/

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Rock Climbing Essential Skills and Techniques