# Is there a reasonable way to build a toprope anchor if the only available natural anchor points are greater than 90 degrees apart?

I generally use the Joshua Tree anchor system for toproping, as taught to me by a professional guide. Essentially, a static rope is tied to two anchor points to make a "V" shape of 90 degrees or less. If the angle is greater than that, less and less force is shared between strands.

I came across a climb I want to try where the only natural anchors are trees far to the left and right of the top of the climb. If I used a tree from each side, the angle of the rope would exceed 90 degrees. If I used two trees from one side, the direction of pull would be wrong. Bolting an anchor isn't an option in this area.

Is there a reasonable way to set up an anchor here so that I'm not putting a nearly full load on both strands? The only thing I can think of is to use two independent J-Tree systems (a "V" on each side). The two systems as a whole would have an angle greater than 90 degrees, but each side would be almost twice as strong. Is there a better way?

• John Long has arguably the definitive book on climbing anchors: amazon.com/Climbing-Anchors-Climb-John-Long/dp/0762782072/…
– noah
Jan 31 at 1:58
• Physics is physics. Far apart anchors just don't really work. Best I can think of is... well, find other anchors. Sounds like a potential use case for cam based anchors depending on the specific rock. If this is the direction you go, please learn trad anchors in-person from a qualified/experienced climber, not just from internet forums.
– noah
Jan 31 at 2:05
• I have that book. I couldn't find anything in there that answered my question. There are not any decent placements at the top of the climb for a gear anchor either. The tautology isn't really helpful. I figured someone might have thought of something for this particular scenario. Sometimes there are non-obvious solutions to these kinds of problems. Jan 31 at 4:23
• just how far apart are these trees? You can always bring a longer static rope.
– IMil
Jan 31 at 12:02
• Even with 140°, the force is 146% on each anchor. If top rope falls are <4 kN, that's 6 kN per rope/tree, which doesn't seem like a lot. Am I missing something? Jan 31 at 21:15