Now before I say anything, yes I checked this discussion:

Are there official mechanics for how a climbing kit gets used in play, or is it DM discretion?

It didn't have the answer I was looking for, because it's a different question. That question is about having proficiency. Since the PHB mentions nothing about proficiency, I'm going to assume it has no associated proficiency, like using any other mundane equipment. Additionally, the only answer in that question is a simple repeat of the PHB text that I've included here.

I know the PHB says

Climber's Kit. A climber's kit includes special pitons, boot tips, gloves, and a harness. You can use the climber's kit as an action to anchor yourself; when you do, you can't fall more than 25 feet from the point where you anchored yourself, and you can't climb more than 25 feet away from that point without undoing the anchor.

Here's my question:

Now, I assume that's saying you can anchor yourself anywhere you can reach, i.e. 5ft around you for medium or small creatures. What's not clear is how to undo the anchor. Do you have to be within that 5ft again, or 25ft? Do you have to also spend an action?

For example, if you wanted to use this kit on initiative, would you be spending an action to anchor, then move up that distance, then next turn undo the anchor as an action to move up more? If so, you can't really use it safely during combat to climb.

This is different than the other question because while the title suggests it's about mechanics, the question itself is a different one than this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While you did link to the previous question and acknowledge it, this does still sound like a duplicate. In essence, both questions are asking about the mechanics of the kits- which they do not have. I don't see how this isn't a duplicate \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 22 '18 at 6:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Are there official mechanics for how a climbing kit gets used in play, or is it DM discretion? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 22 '18 at 6:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ If I can't ask more specific questions about another question that is still unanswered, do I just downvote the only answer? How do I communicate that did not solve my question? \$\endgroup\$ – Kakuna Rattata May 22 '18 at 6:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ See this meta What should you do if a question already asked doesn't provide a satisfactory answer? and What if someone asked my question and it has been answered, but I don't understand the answer?... The appropriate thing to do would be to bounty the first question and specify in the bounty text what exactly you're looking for. Heck, I'd have put up the bounty myself, but there doesn't seem to be an answer that's better than that one, with only the information we have right now. \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 22 '18 at 8:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @daze413 I think this question is clearly not a duplicate. The other question is "the climbing kit seems boring, is it secretly not boring?" and the answer is "no, it's boring". This question is "after using the climbing kit the way it's stated to be used... am I just stuck to a cliff for the rest of my life?" I mean, I guess being stuck to a cliff is probably boring, but this question is clearly about a relatively narrow gap in the rules that the other didn't mention. \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari May 22 '18 at 17:26

Unanchoring at 25ft should be fine.

The item description doesn't specify anything, so it's implied safely climbing a sheer cliffside in DnD is meant to function "realistically".

As such the harness (and it's rope connection to the original anchor) are what keep you from falling / moving away further than 25ft in any direction. Climbing higher and subsequently placing and attaching to a new anchor would be the way to go. Then climb down and unhook the previous piton. Unhooking and rehooking would be two separate actions in this case. Safety takes time

Climbing during combat is never safe if you're an active target. Constantly anchoring and unanchoring would indeed make you an easy target.

However, there are at least three ways I can think of to go around this:

  1. Leave the anchor, just use the gloves and boots. Simple as that, if using the kit for an easier climb without the safety of the anchor is fine by you (or your GM). That way you can still spend your action dodging or attacking.
  2. Don't speed-climb. Stick to your safety anchor and use it as it was intended. If you're not in a full rush you can take your time, spend some turns dodging or attacking, maybe even blinding your foes before climbing further past the reach of your anchor.
  3. Taking the time to climb the proper way. Attach an anchor, climb up, attach another, then climb back down to disconnect it. Then you are free to climb above the second to anchor a third


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    \$\begingroup\$ A wise climer 'rehooks' before they 'unhook' \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M May 22 '18 at 6:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm really not getting how to unhook yourself from a piton that's 25 feet away from you without losing that 25ft of rope. \$\endgroup\$ – Kakuna Rattata May 22 '18 at 6:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KakunaRattata you anchor yourself, move 25 feet away, place anchor #2, go back to anchor #1, remove it and continue. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 22 '18 at 7:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KakunaRattata as Scrawnoisis mentioned, Safety takes time. You want a solution that allows you to fight while climbing, but without requiring a natural climb speed. But the truth is, that just doesn't work - if you're stuck to a mountain, you either secure yourself and have a difficult time fighting, or you don't secure yourself and might drop to your death. This isn't Skyrim where you can bug yourself up any mountain without climbing gear. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 22 '18 at 7:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KakunaRattata The game is generous with their safety practices. In real mountaineering, climbing 25ft without setting a new anchor is dangerous. Consider this; you anchor, climb 25ft get attacked and fall. No biggy you anchored 25ft down. At most you take 2d6 damage falling 20ft. Except you fall 50ft, 25 you climbed and 25ft past the anchor before the rope catches. A fall like that and you would be lucky if your rope held. There is a reason most people climb with partners, it is much safer. Also the piton is not your vulnerability, your vulnerability is the rope being cut or breaking. \$\endgroup\$ – Duck May 22 '18 at 8:43

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