You often find metal belay stakes at crags that have poor belays at the top. These can be used for building a belay when topping out from a climb, or as top rope anchors.
When using them:
– Check the condition. Are they rusty? Are they moving?… Give them a kick! Treat them with caution and avoid them if you don’t trust them. The ones in these photos have been replaced recently.
– Check the ground around it. Is it in boggy ground, that it’s likely to pull out of?
– Use 2, or find another natural placement.
– Don’t just loop a sling around the stake like this:
Instead, clove hitch it around the stake,with the “X” crossing at the back:
– Make sure that clove hitch sits at the bottom of the stake, to minimise the leverage force on. Not like this: