Do you want to know how to anchor in limestone rock? Limestone is a type of rock that can be found in every continent, forming climbing walls of varied difficulty. Even though limestone is not the best or safest type of rock, knowing how to anchor in this type of rock will make any climber able to try a hole new world of routes.
To anchor in limestone, you will need:
- Synthetic runners. A variety of runners of different lengths is needed to be able to anchor in different places and holds and also equalize multi point anchors.
- Wallnuts. It may not always be the best choice because of the chance of a rock crack, but a solid wallnut can provide good support.
- Tricams. Again, can be hazardous, but also helpful in the uneven limestone.
- Slings. As the runners, a good climbing sack will not be complete without a variety of slings of different lengths and widths.
- Quickdraws. A set of quickdraws, usually four to six, will help you equalize and build a good multi point anchor.
- Pitons or expansion screws. To place them, you will also need complementary tools as hammers and drills.
To anchor in limestone, you have to:
- Find a good solid rock, with enough features to anchor in one of the following ways:
- Using a runner through a hole. The walls of the hole must be thick enough to bring support, and the load on the hole must be downwards, parallel to the wall. Prevent runner friction and abrasion by placing a quickdraw as a link with the rope. When possible, use holds in the rock combined with other types of anchors forming a multi point system.
- Placing a wallnut or tricam in a crack. Usually, cracks in limestone are not strong enough to anchor from, but as limestone is so uneven, pockets and small cracks can provide good anchors. Again, try to combine this type of anchor with others, forming systems of more than one point anchors.
- Putting a piton or screw on a flat surface. If no other type of anchor is safe enough, a piton can be hammered in the rock, or a hole drilled and an expansion screw mounted in the wall. Keep in mind that it's quite invasive and may break the rock. In some areas, using screws is strictly prohibited, so respect the climbing area rules.
Remember that limestone is uneven by nature. It's main material is organic and may break without notice, so be careful and take your time to build safe and reliable anchors. Carrying a little more gear and using more time is a good investment for safety.
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