Unbelayvable: Don't Get Hurt or Mom will be Mad

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Kevin Corrigan
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Every Monday we publish the most unbelievable stories of climbing stupidity submitted by our readers. See something unbelayvable? Tell us in the comments and your story could be featured in a future edition, online or in print. For more Unbelayvable, check out the Unbelayvable Archives.

>>I saw a man and his two sons toproping a cliff. The guy was standing on top with a rope pulled around a tree, and one of his sons tied in below climbing. There was no harness, no belay device, and no anchor. The tree was just providing friction. He yelled to his kids, “Don’t get hurt or your mom will never let us do this again!”—Jordan, via Climbing.com

LESSON: Mom shouldn’t have let them do this in the first place. We’ve covered anchor- and device-less climbing in this column recently (hint: it’s really bad), so, this time we’ll focus on the tree. This tree is adding nothing to the system, but trees can make great anchors if they’re at least six inches in diameter, firmly rooted, and alive. It doesn’t hurt to give it a shove and make sure it’s solid. Use static rope, webbing, or cordelette for your anchor material, and build it low to the ground to reduce leverage. Never run your climbing rope directly around the tree like Dad did here. Rope will tear up tree bark and vice versa, and sap is just about impossible to clean off a line.

Dumb Anchor of the Week

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What’s wrong with this anchor? Would you climb on it? Tell us in the comments, then see more awful anchors at the Dumb Anchors blog. Photo: John Gregory/Dumb Anchors. (Click for full size.)

See something unbelayvable? Tell us in the comments and your story could be featured in a future edition online or in print. Got an unbelayvable photo? Send it to unbelayvable@climbing.com.