Combination Cordalette/Webolette - its two tools in one.

Source: John Long's Climbing Anchors/ personal experience

Contributed by: Marty Comiskey (

Best useful for:   Top rope    Trad   x      Mountaineering x

                            Sport          Ice             Other (list)

Description: In John Long's Climbing Anchor's book he suggests that when setting up your belay anchor using a cordalette to connect your pro pieces you find the pro too far apart for the cordalette to effectively reach/work, that you can untie the cordalette and re-tie it as webolette to get more "reach."

Sounds great, but the unmentioned/implied steps include:
- untie cordalette
- tie figure 8's on both ends of line
- construct anchor using newly formed webolette
- after belaying, break down anchor
- untie figure 8's
- retie as cordalette

That is a lot of tieing and untieing of knots (even assuming they haven't been heavily weighted and a pain to untie) and is a time consuming number of steps.

On it was suggested to leave your length of cord permanently tied as a webolette and when needed as a cordalette, just attach the two figure 8 knots to one of the carabiners of your pro and tie cordalette and master point as usual.

A curmudgeon might point out that there are now 2 knots in the system (i.e. one more point of possible failure), but an optimist would point out that that arm of the cordalette now has a level of redundancy that wouldn't exist in a "normal" cordalette (i.e. knot failure would not result in loss of that arm). Another drawback is that with some arms using a single strand and other arm using a double strand, there would be unequal strength and possibly unequal stretch in the arms in the event of a fall and loading the anchor.

On a positive note, having a readily available longer piece of anchoring material offers up other anchoring possibilities like girth hitching the webolette around a tree and running this longer length cord to your anchor set up.

Like it or not; use it or not - just another trick to store in your bag. A crude diagram is attached.

©2020 PATC-MS | The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club | All Rights Reserved.