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I was looking at buying some cord to make a three point cordelette (I am American, after all). I see that REI sells a pre-cut length of 7mm cord that is 6.4 meters (21 feet), but one of the review comments says that it was only long enough to make a two-point cordelette.

How long of cord should I buy to make a three-point equalized cordelette like this one?

three point cordelette

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    I notice a lot whenever gear gets a bad review it's mostly by people who don't know how to use it right. 20ft is plenty, but you can save some length by not tying a double fishermans into the system. – ShemSeger Aug 25 '15 at 3:08
  • You can easily estimate that yourself, how long do you want the legs to be? Usually you do not need more than 1m, so as each leg is doubled you get 6m + some for the knots. You can still make it longer by only doubling the middle leg, and using each of the ends as one leg, this way you'd even get 1.5m legs. – flawr Jul 25 '17 at 20:59
  • @flawr how much goes into the knots? It's easy to underestimate how much rope goes into a knot – Chris Mendez Jul 25 '17 at 23:13
  • That depends on the knots you're using, and it also depends on the rope and its diameter, but I don't think there is a way of tellling without trying it. You probably lose the most rope for the knot with all 6 strans for creating the master point. There I'd say you lose about 1-1.5m with a 6mm rope using an overhand. – flawr Jul 26 '17 at 10:20
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I use a loop of 6 mm cord 5.5 m (18 ft) in circumference. Buy some larger amount of 6 mm cord, because the price for the pre-cut cord is a rip-off, and you'll end up going through this stuff for Prusiks and various other uses. You will of course need a little extra length in order to tie the bend.

There is no way to say what is the amount of cord needed for a 3-point anchor, because it depends on how your gear placements are situated. Mine is long enough maybe half the time. The other half of the time, I use slings to add extra length at one or more of the pieces of gear.

If you're extremely confident that your gear placements are bomber, then you can get away with a somewhat wider angle between the different strands, which lets you get by with slightly less cord. If some of them are not that great, you can pamper them by lessening the angle to decrease the mechanical advantage, but that requires more cord. If the pro really sucks, then you might want to consider an equalette setup, which will give you perfect equalization. Perfect equalization is never possible with the sort of anchor shown in the photo (but it's what I normally use because it's simple to set up).

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To set an equalized 3 point anchor, at a minimum you need 3 single length sling (2 ft) lops (6 feet total), a 1-foot, 3-strand, clip in loop (3 feet total), and a couple feet for the knot. With such a minimum length cordelette, the anchor in the photo, would need an extra quick draw (or possibly even a single length sling) for the piece on the left and maybe a quick draw on the middle piece. You would have to be careful with the length of the sling for the piece on the left so that the extra carabiner is not right on the edge.

In the case of the photo, a 15 ft cordelette would probably be perfect. I like to be able to monitor the pieces in my anchor and it looks like a 20 ft cordelette would put you so far away that it would be difficult to see the pieces.

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In my experience, 18 feet (6m) is plenty long enough for even a 4 (or 3) piece anchor.

The key is to tie two figure-8s at the ends of your cordalette. Chris McNamara has a video on this that shows the technique. https://youtu.be/2q2PdnAAy6w

  • Any additions (stills maybe?) would be helpful in case the link is ever unavailable :) – Aravona Jul 24 '17 at 8:39
  • Also please explain how making the eights into the ends is relevant for how long a cord you need for a 3-point cordelette. – imsodin Jul 24 '17 at 8:48

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