AMGA VIDEO: Tips For Cleaning Top Rope Anchors

In partnership with the American Mountain Guides Association, we're releasing a series of 12 short climbing instruction videos, covering necessary climbing techniques including belaying, rappelling, and building anchors. In Part 2, AMGA instructor Margaret Wheeler explains how to safely clean a top rope anchor.

The issues of when to lower or when to rappel is complex one and has no perfect answer. The most common way to get off a crag pitch is to lower and many crags have been set up with lowering in mind by installing easy to replace rings or twist links. That being said many crags have a local ethos of rappelling whenever possible and this is certainly a best practice when anchor wear is a concern. Frequently the most experienced climber is the one leading an then the less experienced climber follows and “cleans” the route. The primary concern here is that the one cleaning the anchor needs to be properly trained on how to switch over to a rappel. The AMGA looks forward to producing a video that covers several safe ways to do so.