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Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 3, 2016 9:10 am
by GroundquestMSA
I have read a lot about homemade hangers, and saw a video of someone building his own glue-in anchors, but little else on topic. I'm interested as usual in the rudest possible means to an end. I'm climbing a small dome with a small waterfall and at a point 30' up have run into really miserable conditions (mud, junky rock, water). I overheard a caver, I think Yvonne Droms, mention her recent utilization of rebar pins in similar situations. I have used rebar aid in several caves already, but always on very small climbs as hand/footholds. In a situation where a climber needs to be attached to the anchor during an upward progression, is there any way to make rebar or any similar homemade anchor "safe"? I worry about attachment issues, and about impaling oneself during a potential slip or fall.

Otherwise, are there any suggestions for climbing quickly through a vertical slop-hole? Quickly because it's a wet, cold, windy spot and I'm a thermal sissy.


Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 4, 2016 12:49 am
by driggs
GroundquestMSA wrote:I'm climbing a small dome ...

Define exactly what you mean by "climbing" in this context.

I'm not being pedantic, but "climbing a dome" implies certain techniques (eg. bolting on lead with a drill, placing wedge anchors, belayed with dynamic rope by a second person) which influence various options.

If it were anyone else asking, I might simply make assumptions. I would expect nothing less of you than to have invented your own climbing technique rather than adopt an extant one. :wink:

Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 4, 2016 5:32 am
by GroundquestMSA
We climbed the first 20' with a pole to crappy rock, then returned with a 22' ladder (a big job) the bottom of which we wedged about 8' from the floor. There was seemingly good rock at the limits of our reach and one bolt was placed. I then progressed one more bolt upward by the traditional means before becoming soaked, frozen, and distressed by the thick mud and soft rock.

Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 4, 2016 1:14 pm
by Scott McCrea
Sounds like you need to find a better lead.

Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 4, 2016 1:55 pm
by caver.adam
Define "safe". Material strength is only one factor. Decay over time is another. Pinching of the rope is another. Chemical interactions between your biner and the anchor is another.

My general feeling is that when your life is on the line it is worth saving up to buy high quality equipment meant for the job.

Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 6, 2016 9:35 am
by GroundquestMSA
Seems like for an aid climb material strength is pretty much the only important factor. Obviously if something goes up there we will have a proper top anchor and fixed rope installed. Whatever I use to make it to the top is unimportant in anything other than an immediate sense.

It's lousy Scott, but I can't give it up. The dome is in the only active tributary to an otherwise singular cave, and there is air movement and a passage visible at the top.

Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 6, 2016 4:49 pm
by caverdan
I once made some mud anchors for someone else to use. I took rebar and tack welded a nut to the end to keep a sling from slipping off it. He drove them into the mud as deep as he could. The lead petered out at the top, but he used two to repel on, to get back down. Not something I would suggest or do....but then again.... I'm not you. :big grin:

Re: Homemade anchors

PostPosted: Nov 9, 2016 4:29 pm
by tncaver
Providing you have the right tools, you can make a very simple but strong temporary anchor out of rebar. Simply bend
the end of the rebar into a circle (loop) and hammer it into the mud. Be sure to use a long shaft as mud is not something
most people would want to use to hold an anchor. But a shorter rebar can also be hammered into a drilled 1/2 inch hole
and used in solid rock after the hole has been drilled. Have used this technique for anchoring gates in concrete too.