Swanage Climbing, Equalising Anchors

By 18th September 2016 No Comments

When climbing at Swanage many of the traditional sea cliffs require an abseil approach to gain the bottom of the crag. If you’re looking for sport climbing however, most areas like Hedbury, Dancing Ledge and Windspit do not require an abseil approach.

So when approaching an abseil descent you need to ensure you’re at the correct section of cliff and not entering an area too difficult to climb out! To help with this all the modern Dorset climbing guides provide good descriptions of the approach which makes life that little more reassuring. Most of the popular Swanage climbs and abseil use stakes at the top of the crag which makes setting up your abseil quite simple. There are many was of equalising your abseil and this blog we discuss the simple method of using an overhand know.abseil-equalised

In the picture you can see two stakes are being used, which is common for Swanage.

  • The end of the rope is tied snug around the first anchor with a figure of ‘8’.
  • The rope then comes down to an overhand knot on the bite, which is then attached to the second stake.
  • Makes sure the rope is pushed down low on the stakes to prevent excessive leverage.

With this set up its important that the abseil approach doesn’t rise above the stakes, which could lift the rope up off the stakes. Fortunately the nature of abseils at Swanage always move down below the stakes, which prevents this from happening.

The Adventure Brand provides a variety of climbing opportunities and courses, whether you’re seeking personal guiding or coaching; learning the technical and safety skills of lead climbing; advanced sea cliff problem solving and rescues or wanting to become an instructor. Importantly both Portland and Swanage climbing provides an excellent teaching and learning environment for climbs of all abilities. For more information click here or contact Ellis Bird at and get psyched for Dorset climbing.