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Anchoring & Setting Up Top Ropes
(Doco) Instructions for top roping
||Anchoring & Setting Up Top Ropes
||Hugh Widdowson, Pat Ford
|| (3.50 of 5)
|This short video is an Australian production, shot on location at Arapiles. Locals might even recognise the rock. The big plus is itís content. Hugh and Pat teach the audience to how to safely configure top rope set ups in a patient and educational style that is easy to follow, and learn from. I canít stress that enough, the content really is worthwhile. On the negative side, however, the sound reproduction is quite bad in parts, the post production editing unimaginative, and camera work in general fairly ordinary. Iíve had to dock them a good star for this, but donít let these negative points put you off. If youíre looking to get into top roping this is the perfect video to choose.
I should be clear, the film is not about how to climb. Itís about how to set up top rope anchors, in terms of knots, gear configuration, and actual belay technique. The topics covered include:
- How to place nuts, hexs and cams. The still shots showing bad placements and a voice over explaination are good.
- Carabiners, (snap, screw and twist lock), how to avoid cross loading, etc.
- Slinging bollards, ropes, dynamic vs static, etc.
- Figure eight, in line figure eight, alpine butterfly, clove hitch, bunny ears.
- Shown in motion and with still shots.
Equalising Two Anchors
- When to use the clove hitch, inline figure eight, etc.
- Load multiplication and spreading anchors apart.
- Shock loading on single anchor failure.
- Equalising with a sling.
Anchoring The Belayer and Belaying
- Anchoring belayer for an upwards pull
- Tying in with a figure eight
- Lowering the climber.
- Approching the cliff edge on a prusik or long lead.
Top Rope set ups
- Bottom belay
- Top belay
We also get brief, but good footage of Bredan Abbernathy leading Spasm in the Chasm, grade 25, Mike Cross leading Orestes grade 24, and Hugh Widdowson leading Slopin Sleazin, grade 28.
In summary, this is film is well worth a look for any climber looking to break out of the gym and safely go about top roping. Iíd still recommend accompanying the video with a good beginners book. The video content is not exhaustive, but is certainly quality. I particularly liked the slow paced way key concepts were shown several times over, stressing and repeating important factors rather than skimming over too much material. Itís a pity the lads didnít invest in a wireless lapel microphone, and perhaps put a little more effort into their post production edit. Theyíre not professional filmmakers. Theyíre not actors either. But the important factor is there: content. Who cares if its not polished entertainment. Itís instructional, and a very effective learning tool.
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