I recently made a toprope anchor extending from a tree about 15' over the edge of the cliff using 1" webbing. The webbing was looped around the tree using a figure 8 follow-through, with sufficient tail and a simple stopper knot as well. A figure-8 on a bight was tied at the master point (opp opposed lockers), where the anchor joined a sling from the single good bolt (the other was loose), the rest of the webbing simply coiled up at the top of the cliff. See the fantastic attached image.Sketch of anchor

My question is: People seem to think poorly of figure-eights with flat webbing, but in this setup they seemed perfectly fine and I don't see why one wouldn't use them (other than, perhaps, simplicity in using other knots). Is this anchor safe with the figure-8s? Should they be tied differently?

  • Just to clarify-- it was anchored to a tree and a bolt? And it had a single figure 8 at the master point? And two lockers off the master point? And your question is about the figure 8 in the webbing, the overall setup, or both? Nov 3, 2015 at 3:49
  • Sorry for the confusion -- yes it was anchored to the tree and bolt, so the whole anchor system was definitely redundant. Actually, I only later realized I should have tied both the webbing and sling from the bolt into a single master point fig8 for better equalization, as the anchor was setup there was a fig8 on the webbing and just a sling from the bolt, with the lockers running through both loops. Mainly though I was concerned with the knots I had tied in the webbing part.
    – user8081
    Nov 3, 2015 at 4:53
  • You had a caribiner on the end of the Bight right? Please say you didn't have the rope running though the webbing?
    – user2766
    Nov 4, 2015 at 8:41
  • PS, I love your drawing
    – user2766
    Nov 4, 2015 at 8:42
  • Yes! There were two locking opposite opposed biners through the webbing/sling, the rope then running through the biners.
    – user8081
    Nov 4, 2015 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


A Knot is a knot and its usually not something to get tied up in knots about.

An simple overhand is a better knot in tape, purely because a Fig8 is impossible to lie neatly. As far as the question goes, Fig 8 is good. With any knot if its the only one you know, its far safer than any other knot you could use. Fig 8 might be a bit hard to undo at the end of the climb, especially if you loaded it, but the overhand can be a b!tch anyway.

Often others are are showing you other knots, or telling you you are using the wrong one, to prove how smarty-pants they are, not because they care for your safety.

The one piece of webbing giving single point failure - that is a far more serious concern.

  • 2
    The webbing was backed up by a bolt with a sling Nov 3, 2015 at 12:13

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