Belay Stakes

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:

Movement can cause the sling to rub against the stake, causing damage.

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:


The same principles apply when using a rope to attach to stakes.

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