Elements of Rigging – Bombproof Anchors – Anchor Considerations in Rope Rigging Systems

Written By: Lance Piatt

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So what is a bombproof anchor much less an one using an artificial high directional such as the Arizona Vortex Multipod?  This question appears to stump, confuse and even frustrate many a rescuer and rigger.  When it comes to high directionals, the complexity is even more concerning.  It really shouldn’t though.

Bombproof anchors have really two points of concern.

  1. The structural component of a given system is so melded or “at one” with the rest of the structure, that failure would collapse everything (i.e. … the entire mountain would need to come apart for the anchor to blow)
  2. The anchor points are so large that movement would be impossible

So what does this really mean?  Is what I just said to subjective?  No, it shouldn’t be.  A rigger understands that the anchor point will hold everything and all potential forces generated by anything that happens… regardless off reason.  The reality here is that this only comes through time.  If you spend very little time working with anchors, you will likely be conservative.  This is fine.  Better to have a bit of redundancy than not.

Within the urban and industrial sectors, I-beams, columns are considered bomber or in rural areas, massive boulders, well rooted trees and rock outcroppings prized. Note… if a massive boulder was sitting on a shelf on a layer of sand would this be considered bomber?  If you are like most, you’d say no, but what if it was a directional going up… then what?  So it depends.

Regardless of knowledge though, if something isn’t deemed bomber, then it is questionable anchor points and thus precautions must be taken, but they are still considered very reliable.

Marginal anchor points are independently determined to be lacking and need to be backed up.  Avoid them if possible, but very often they are present and must be accounted for. Know what to do with them as they may be all you have.

When it comes to using the Arizona Vortex as a bombproof high directional anchor it is all about the back-ties are guying lines.  Why?  Because the Vortex or TerrAdaptor both are NFPA G rated, thus… they are defined as bombproof.  The AHD is stronger than the system you are building.  However, the back-ties are the question and what is the ultimate job of back-ties with an AHD?  Correct!!!! Resultants.  We are aren’t going to get into the difference between SLCDs (cams) and other types of placements or systems, but assuming they are done correctly, you have a bomber anchor when the resultant is solid and properly assigned.

I am assuming we’ll get a few emails on this one.  That is ok!  That means you are thinking and passionate enough to pursue this.  That is our goal!

Peace on your days

 

Lance

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