Shelf of an anchor
The “shelf” is located above the masterpoint loop and is made up by
each leg of the anchor (example here: 3-piece anchor = 3 anchor legs). It is extremely important to clip into the loop of each leg (not around the entire leg). Shelf’s are equal to masterpoints in terms of weight loading capacity – so feel free to anchor yourself and partner to either or. Top rope set-ups NEVER go through the shelf (risk of getting masterpoint loop caught in the rope – nylon-nylon friction!).
– Multi-pitch rock climbing
– Belaying directly off the shelf from top
– Clipping climbing partners, backpacks, extra gear on a multi-pitch.
When belaying from the top it is often very helpful to clip your belay device (gri gri or ATC guide) into the shelf so that it’s position is higher than the masterpoint. That will create a more comfortable position for the belayer to pull in rope.