Clinic: Top-Rope Anchors
OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS - EMPHASIS ON PEOPLE NEW TO TOP-ROPE ANCHORS
This is our annual spring clinic designed primarily for new climbers looking to venture outdoors
with little or no experience building top rope anchors, or for those needing a refresher as the
outdoor climbing season begins. While the emphasis will be on those new to building top-rope
anchors, we hope to provide additional tips and tricks to satisfy those looking to refresh and
expand their anchoring skill set.
This clinic will be held at Carderock, MD. We will begin at 9:00 AM and wrap-up around 1:00
PM. Please expect to arrive at the parking lot 15 minutes early so that we can group up and
The goal of this clinic is to provide knowledge and experience that will help you to successfully
build and evaluate top rope anchor systems using natural protection (trees, boulders, etc).
Building anchors using traditional pro (cams, nuts, hexes, etc) is beyond the scope of this clinic.
In this clinic we'll cover:
- The basic principles and physics of anchor construction and top rope systems
- How to properly select and evaluate natural protection
- New knots and hitches - when to use them and why
- How to properly build, evaluate, and setup a top rope anchor
Most importantly, we'll be there to answer questions, provide guidance, and give you the
opportunity to gain hands-on experience building and evaluating top rope anchors yourself. If
time permits, you might even be able to squeeze a climb in on an anchor you've built yourself!
Ability to competently top-rope belay in a gym (or outdoor) setting
- Harness, shoes, chalk-bag & helmet (personal choice)
- Two (2) Locking carabiners and belay device.
- Lunch/snacks and water.
- Optional: Additional locking carabiner and prusik loop / accessory cord
Directions to Event:
Note: When searching for directions on the internet, you will commonly find the community of
Carderock, MD. Be sure to specify “Carderock Recreation Area”, or try this link:
1. From 495, take exit 41 towards Carderock. This will put you on Clara Barton Pkwy
heading west (outside of the beltway).
2. Once on the Pkwy, take the first exit on the right (not marked with a number) which will
lead you up to a stop sign on an overpass.
3. Take a left at the stop sign to proceed over the overpass toward Carderock.
4. Continue straight after going across the overpass. You will soon bear right.
5. Continue through a tunnel to arrive at a stop sign affectionately called the "T".
6. Make a right at the "T" and drive to the last parking lot at the very end.
This clinic is primarily for new climbers venturing outdoors with little or no experience building top rope anchors. Hopefully, there will be sufficient esoteric tips/tricks thrown out to satisfy those experienced climbers looking to expand their anchoring efficiency/skills.
PATC-MS Member Only policy:
This event is for members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - Mountaineering Section only,
in good standing with liability waivers on file. This will be strictly enforced by event leaders. Any
person who shows up to an event that is not a member, will not be able to participate in the
To join the club and enjoy events and trainings such as this one, click here:
If you can no longer make the event, please change your registration as soon as possible. This
allows people on the wait list to join. If you fail to show for an event and do not cancel within 48
hours, you will be considered a no show. Club members who have 3 or more no shows will not
be able to register for future events for a period of one year whether its due to failure to cancel,
or the person does not show up for the event at all.
Climbing is a dangerous sport and serious injury may occur.
View Carderock Recreation Area in a larger map