This article showcases a technique for building climbing anchors with two slings and three pieces. Although anchoring is an essential component of the technical climbing system, a well-built anchor alone cannot fully protect you and your partners from all falling hazards. As a result, we highly recommend taking an anchor-building course from an AMGA-certified guiding service before implementing these techniques.

When building an anchor while trad climbing, you may find yourself in a position where you must place your pieces far apart from one another. In these instances, you would ideally have a large enough sling or cordelette handy to connect all three piece as you create your master point. This, however, is not always the case.

If you’re new to anchor building altogether, you can find more information about basic anchor building principles here.


Related: Climbing Gear Guide: The Best Accessory Cord and Webbing


When you find yourself needing to use more than one piece of material, such as two slings, to create a three-piece anchor, there are a few ways to ensure you build an anchor that follows the SERENE principles (i.e., solid, equalized, redundant, efficient, no extension). The AMGA video below, shares how you can do so:

Steps to remember:

  1. Make sure your highest two pieces are equalized using the sliding X technique (as shown in the video above)
  2. Tie a limiting knot in the sling’s longer leg, to ensure that it does not shock load the master point in the event that the piece pulls.
  3. Using a second sling, equalize your third placed piece with the sliding X and create a masterpoint.


Further reading