Anchor Chains vs Daisy Chains
Anchor chains were developed to address the growing misuse of daisy chains. The daisy chain is a closed loop of webbing with small loops made by bartacking either side of the webbing together at intervals along the length, one side of the webbing being offset to form the loops.
Daisy chains have an ultimate strength rating of 22kN, which depends on the stitching joining the ends of the webbing, but the catch is that when attaching to loops midway along the length, the intermediate bartacks will start pulling at about 3kN, because the strength of the loop depends on individual bartacks.
The other two bartacks in the group of three holding the loop don’t add to the strength of the loop because they are pulled out one at a time. However, there is still an ultimate strength of 22kN.
A serious risk associated with daisy chains is clipping the carabiner into two loops either side by side or an end loop and loop further up. Failure of the loop stitching then causes the carabiner to become free.
Anchor chains are independent loops each rated to full strength, so attaching anywhere along the chain or through multiple loops results in a secure connection.
The AnchorChain is a personal anchor attachment that replaces conventional webbing anchor connections such as cowstails and daisychains, and provides a flexible and reliable connection from climber to anchors.
The AnchorChain comprises sewn loops of high-strength 13mm Dyneema webbing. Any loop has a strength of over 16kN (approx 1600kg), so a connection anywhere along the length gives a full strength attachment.
At one end is a twisted attachment loop, which is designed to thread onto a harness attachment point, which saves using a carabiner. Alternate loops are different colours to assist in organising the AnchorChain, and the end loop is in a third colour.
Using the AnchorChain as a cowstail
The AnchorChain is best carried by connecting the end loop and the last two loops of the same colour together with a locking carabiner, and clipping this to a gear loop on the harness.
Attach to an anchor as you would with a daisychain or cowstail, removing the carabiner with the loops from the harness, and choosing a loop to give the best length to connect to the anchor.
A single attachment to the anchor is sufficient when setting up ab abseil; however if belaying another climber, a secondary attachment should be used. And the easiest method is to attach the rope with a clove hitch to the anchor. If the anchor is duplicated, such as two anchor rings, the rope is attached to the other anchor.