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Climbing Anchors
How to Rock Climb Series

Format Book Category Instructional
Title Climbing Anchors  Pages 112 
Author John Long  RRP $20.00 AUD 
Publisher Chockstone Press  Reviews
Edition (January 1993)  Ave Rating **** (4.00 of 5)


User Comments
This book is simply a must read. 

This book is aimed at any climber from novice to expert wishing to understand and utilise good safe practice when setting up belays of most any sort, from toprope to big wall, but is 'weighted' more towards the beginner to intermediate level based on its content. The anchor analysis section (last quarter of the book) makes for informative reading for all levels of ability, accompanied by well labled photographs.

It builds extensively on identical content (for basics of gear/placement) found in such books as Royal Robbins 'Basic Rockcraft', but contains more up to date treatment of same. About half the book is on gear and its placement, and this is preceeded by some short 'over-view' sections to put the whole shebang into context.

As with any undertaking of a significant topic, there is room for minor errors to creep in. I found some minor errors in the analysis of anchors section; eg (particularly) Pg 108 where a bloke is anchored off a tree using two slings joined by krabs then girth hitched and connected to his anchor knot with a third krab. Although the Pro/Con commentary picks up on doubling up the main anchor 'biner' with preferably gates opposed, it lacks comment on the 'non use of screwgates', or the potential tri-axial loading of remaining components should the load pivot to the side.
This light hearted treatise in this instance flys in the face somewhat of the SRENE principle (Solid, Redundant, Equalised, No extension), ... as set out earlier in the book.

Best summed up by the following quote from the book;
"The anchor is the single most important part of the technical system. It is your 1st and last line of defense. Remember the golden rule: The anchor must be able to sustain the greatest load conceivable in a given instance, or it is not good enough. Heed this simple rule, climb high and live long". 

the best part of this book for me was the analysis of real anchors.
theory is always great but it's often best to learn by example.
for me then the sequel, more climbing anchors, was even better. 

Second edition 2006

An absolute must read for anyone starting to climb (or have been climbing for a while - there's always something new to learn!). One nice thing the book does is cover the history of climbing anchors, and a lot of those old bolts and hangers out there ARE history. There is some very good analysis on the equalising of anchors, with some excellent examples for improving your technique. John Long and Bob Gaines impart knowledge and skills that have been hard won over many years of climbing. 
The second Edition of Climbing anchors is really a rewrite of both Climbing Anchors and More Climbing Anchors into one voume.

This 2nd Edition is 225pages long. I found it to be an easy and informative read with lots of pictures (examples) to go with the text.

I think this book is a must for anybody who wants to build their own anchors no matter style of climbing you do.

M9 will be happy to know there is no pictures of anybody hanging out of trees. 

Further Reading:
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