Use Quickdraws on Sport Anchors

Clip Quickdraws to Bolts for Rigging Top-Ropes

Close up of a man rock climbing

Always use quickdraws on sport climbing anchors to rig top-ropes. The lowering anchors you find on sports routes are almost always two bolts, usually with steel rings or quick links for threading your climbing rope through.

Clip the Anchor Bolts with Locking Carabiners

After climbing a bolted sports route, you may want to set up a top-rope climb to do another lap on it or for your friends to climb it. The best and safest way to rig a top-rope from sports anchors is to clip a couple quickdraws to the bolts and run your rope through the bottom carabiners, preferably locking carabiners so there is no chance that the rope can come unclipped from the anchor bolts while someone is climbing.

Easy to Set Up Anchor With Quickdraws

When you get to the anchors after leading the route, clip a quickdraw to each bolt and then clip your rope through the bottom carabiners. Make sure the carabiners have their gates opposed to each other so they don’t accidently open. It’s safest to use at least one quickdraw with a locking carabiner for the rope to run through. If both bottom carabiners are auto-locking, you’ll have lots of redundancy as well as plenty of safety. Also, check the carabiners to make sure they don’t have lots of wear from previous top-rope ascents. The rope sliding through carabiners quickly wears them out.

Lazy Climbers Wear Out Anchors

The lazy climber runs his rope directly through the bolt hangers or rings, which greatly increases wear on them and decreases the life of the hardware. Remember that someone is going to have to eventually replace that hardware, usually at a great cost. A pair of Fixe ring anchors costs about $30. Always use your own climbing gear like quickdraws or carabiners and slings to rig top-ropes on sports climbs and be a responsible climber.