How to Make a Contingency Anchor with a Munter and Two Half Hitches

For rigging releaseable single line rappel anchors.

Useful when descending in waterfalls or for beginners who may require lowering should a mishap occur, or for setting rope length when descending into water hazards.


Figure 1

Thread the rope through the quick link as shown. Clip a carabiner to the quick link and tie the munter hitch.

contingency2Figure 2

Locking off the Munter:
The half-hitches lock off the munter hitch so that the rope is fixed for single line rappels. Gather the slack from the rope bag (if you are using one) between the quick link and the munter hitch. Grasp a bight of rope from this slack and tie the first half hitch as shown.

contingency3Figure 3

Secure the knot:
Tie the second half-hitch by cinching it firmly against the munter hitch. Clip the safety bight  to the anchor with a locking carabiner or canyon quickdraw. The descent strand is now ready for rappel.
IMPORTANT: Always tie two half-hitches. A single half-hitch is not considered secure.

contingency4Figure 4

Releasing the fixed line:
In the event of an emergency or at the request of the descender, the munter can be easily engaged by unclipping the safety and untying the half-hitches while maintaining a firm grip on the belay side of the rope (i.e. from where the rope leaves the munter to where it passes through the quick link).

Caution: Do not untie the half-hitches without having a firm grasp on the belay side of the rope. The weight of the descender will load the rope quickly and you’ll need to be prepared for it.

Use the munter to lower the rappeller.


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