The Best Top Rope Setup Video I’ve Ever Found (And Why I Think It Makes an Superb Example of an Instructional Video in General)

For any climbers out there, this is far and away the best video I’ve come across (and I’ve watched a ton of them) that shows how to safely set up an extended top rope anchor over an edge using an instructor tether. Bonus tips include how to cleanly deploy your rope without tangles or dropping it, and how to swiftly transition to a rappel to get back to the ground.

I appreciate that the instructor is cool, calm, collected, and very clear about what he’s doing and why. He neither rushes nor cuts any corners, showing the entire process from start to finish. That’s a quality which is rare in many instructional videos. Personally, I like to see how people do their thing from step zero. If I don’t need to review a section, I’ll skip through it myself. By leaving out (or speeding up) bits that seem trivial, it robs viewers of the chance to learn additional skills that might not be the main point the instructor is trying to showcase.

For example, the whole reason I revisited this video tonight is because I wanted to review how he managed the climbing rope while hanging over the edge in vertical space. Too often, I find myself fumbling or tangling the rope as I try to clip its middle to the anchor and lower the ends to the ground. That wasn’t the focus of this video — which instead was to show how to get the master point extended over an edge — but because he showed and explained the whole thing, I picked up so much more.

(I wish I could find this instructor’s name — I so like his style. But it’s not listed anywhere I could find on the Videoracles website, which, by the way, has an excellent domain name:

P.S. Happy birthday,!

Update (2024-01-14): Thanks to reader Luke Lechel, apparently the guide’s name is Roddy McCalley. Thanks Luke!


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