I am going to do a climb that has a long lateral traverse I drew up three options, and Option #2 seems to me to be preferable to the other options. Climbing anchor at traverse Climbing anchor at traverse

What do you think the best option is for this situation? Also, if a roof was added above the anchor, does this change your opinion? I imagine getting pulled into the roof head-first if your second falls wouldn't be very nice.

3 Answers 3


One issue with a long traverse is that if the second falls, they may be unable to easily get back on the route. This means that there is an increased likelihood that you will need to escape the belay. It is infinitely easier to escape the belay when you are belaying directly off the anchor. This means I would go with something like anchor 1.

One issue with all the anchors is that they look designed for a downward force, yet on a traverse, the force is horizontal. If there is another pitch, especially if there is a roof/overhang, the anchor also needs to handle an upwards force.


What you want to do is use a directional piece, but I would not recommend including this piece in your belay anchor. In option #2 up there you're going to switch from a 4 piece anchor to a 2 piece anchor as soon as the rope is weighted.

Remove that piece, and place a bomber piece below your belay anchor, so that the redirected force is pulling down on your belay anchor when the rope is weighted.

Like so:

enter image description here

That extra quick draw is there to help keep the carabiner on your directional piece in place while you're belaying. Make sure you use a dynamic piece of pro for your directional piece, you don't want it to pop out. If you have enough gear, you may even consider using several pieces and make a second anchor for your directional piece, using at least one piece to counter your directional anchor and keep your master-point in place.

  • It kinda looks like that carabiner on the directional piece is clipped to the rope, but it is not.
    – ShemSeger
    Apr 11, 2017 at 2:25
  • 2
    +1 for just another quality answer, and for the graphic!
    – WedaPashi
    Apr 11, 2017 at 6:02

I've yet to see a situation where it'd be harmful belaying your second from a fixed point (Option #1). You won't lose you footing in case s/he falls and since her/his rope is coming from above, there's no huge fall factor.

Also Option #1 is far more simple than Option #2, so less possibilities to screw up.

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