How to Use a Personal Anchor System?

One of the main tools for outdoor mountaineering is the personal anchor system. Many people simply call it PAS.

A customized anchor system anchors you as you belay. These anchor systems use the belay formed by the power loop and the equalization. 

Mountain climbers use personal anchor systems or tethers to attach directly to the anchor above the climbing route.

Advanced mountain climbers often use climbing ropes, quickdraws, nylon sling, or Dyneema sling to attach themselves to the anchor.

Still, for new climbers or sports mountaineers, we recommend using a personal anchor system or PAS.


Personal anchors are manufactured of various materials, including nylon, spectra, and Dyneema. Tests have shown that they are powerful, but nylon absorbs more energy generated by climbing falls than others.

Dyneema and spectra are two robust components used to make various climbing accessories

If you want to use a personal anchor, pay attention to what material it is made of, do not let your anchor system be loaded with shock due to its looseness.

A typical anchor system and a personal anchors system create shock loading and high power in your equipment, so the tether will likely fail.

Using a grip barrier on the climbing ropes as your primary anchor attachment is best. 

Daisy Chain

The personal anchor originates from the daisy chain, along webbing with a bar–a tacked loop used for climbing.

Two mountaineer’s harnesses usually enclose the daisy chain; each chain is then clipped to a helper or tried to help the climber climb a specific rope.

Mountain climbers start clipping their daisy anchors as a starting point for attachment instead of string because it is easier and faster. 

However, the daisy chain is not designed to be cut at anchors because each loop is sewn for body weight and can be torn under the weight of the fall.

The Daisy chain gets full power only when clipped at each opposite end. Many climbers have been injured and killed due to the failure to anchor, so caution is needed. 

Strength Loop

In response to the danger of the daisy chain, manufacturers of climbing equipment, including blue water ropes, sterling ropes, and Metolius, have begun building personal anchor systems.

The Metolius unit, also called PAS, is designed as a chain of ultra-strong webbing sewn to the links of private anchors and is as powerful as each carabiner.

Mountain climbers can clip one of the links firmly to a belay anchor to protect themselves from climbing a hill. When the loops are clipped to any anchors, the chains are rated at their maximum power.

Ease of Use

The personal anchor system is a convenient, fast, and effortless way to lead a pitch after reaching a rappel anchor or threading a clip on an anchor above a sports pitch.

The personal anchor clips a chain loop that is easy to adjust to an anchor so that the climber is firm against the anchor.

The chain will never loosen after clipping because the shock load increases after a loose chain and the personal anchor can break and fail.

How to Use a Personal Anchor System Full Guide:

Final Verdict

All these personal anchors are powerful to anchor you. The more nylon there is in a private anchor system, the more energy it will absorb and reduce the load.

If one uses a 60 cm nylon sling and slips, it will significantly reduce the loads. Before choosing a personal anchor system, you must know its functions and materials well, and this article has discussed the issues well.

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