Elevated Anchors: Advanced Training

Elevated Anchors

Attaching an elevated anchor.

Elevated Anchors Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Safety

Establishing an elevated anchor can greatly improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of a high angle rope system. This three-day course focuses on the physical principles of all types of elevated anchors (monopods, bipods, tripods, and tetrapods). A series of field exercises ensures that students can set up and deploy these systems safely.

Prerequisites: Students who attend this class must have basic rope skills including knot-tying, constructing anchors, and operating mainlines and belay lines.


At the completion of this class, the students should be able to:

  • Describe the application of commonly used elevated anchors in rope systems.
  • List the NFPA and OSHA requirements for anchors.
  • Calculate the potential forces (both static and shock) to which the anchor may be exposed.
  • Describe how the design and construction of an elevated anchor effects its performance.
  • Calculate the direction and magnitude of forces placed on component of the anchor.
  • List the preferred applications and safety considerations for various common elevated anchors.
  • Design and rig a safe and secure:
  • Monopod, Bipod, Tripod, Tetrapod
  • Improvised, Natural Anchor
  • Cantilevered Anchor (T-frame)

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Introduction to Elevated Anchors

  • Basic Applications
  • Types of Anchors
  • NFPA and OSHA Requirements

Physics of Elevated Anchors

  • Vectors: Calculating Resultants
  • Friction Effects
  • Static Systems Safety Factors
  • Fall Factors
  • Impact Forces
  • Compression and Tension

Rigging Elevated Anchors

  • Scene size-up
  • Footing Considerations
  • Tensioning and Back Ties

Special Applications

  • Terradapter
  • Arizona Vortex
  • Improvised Anchors
  • Natural Anchors
Jim Johnson April 11, 2017
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