Extending the Belay Masterpoint

Tip/Trick/Gimmick: Extending the Belay Masterpoint

Source (give credit where credit is due): Various sources

                                   Personal experience

                                   Climbing magazine                                                                

Contributed by: Marty Comiskey (martycomiskey@yahoo.com)

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Travis Senor suggested I write up this tip/trick.

On occasion, the belay anchor site and the optimal place to belay are not the same. Perhaps the anchors are located back from the cliff edge, but you want to belay at the cliff edge so that you can see your second and be able to give them both vocal and visual encouragement/help for the pitch.

There are several ways to extend the belay masterpoint away from the pro/gear anchor site. Depending on the terrain (benign slab or steep wall) and the skill and experience of the second there are different techniques to use when setting up this technique.

Things to consider:

-    Once the second arrives at the masterpoint, can you casually walk to the anchors?

-    Or after arriving at the masterpoint, does the climbing to the anchors require additional belaying for the second?

-    Can you (the belayer)return easily/safely back to the anchors?

Different scenarios would possibly require different set-ups. One suggested approach was detailed in Climbing magazine. The link to Climbing magazine’s article: “Extending an Anchor on a multi-pitch route” is:


Just another tip to store away for when it becomes handy.

Climb safe.

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