A bottom anchor is a technique of anchoring and controlling the rope from the bottom of the rappel, which allows for several advanced techniques, including creeping the rope even for the last rappeller.
The rope can be anchored at the bottom by securing to an anchor or by a meat anchor. In general, a meat anchor works well if the load is straight up (if the anchor is directly below the rappel).
A bottom anchor allows for creeping the rope for the last rappeller.
A bottom anchor is useful for swift-water rappels, as it can provide a contingency anchor for the last rappeller.
A bottom anchor can be used for terrain-type anchors, providing a counterweight for the rappeller to rap against.
A bottom anchor can be used when a block cannot be used at the top, such as when a large carabiner is used to allow passage of a knot on the pull.
A bottom anchor is not possible for the first person down.
A bottom anchor doubles the force on the top anchor (two people on one anchor), so you have to make absolutely certain the top anchor is suitable for a two-person load.
A bottom anchor has to be solid and it should NOT be provided by a single person standing or a group floating in a pool. It should be provided by a large tree, large boulder or two or more people sitting down.
Creeping the rope may accumulate rope at the end of the rappel, which can be dangerous in swift water pools. In this circumstances rope should be pulled back up after each rappeller disconnects and start the creeping process all over again.
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