The snatchblock is attached to an anchor tree that has an unobstructed path to both the tree and the winch. It is attached with a nylon strap, which prevents damage to the tree. The automatic cable release (a spring-loaded finger) works only when the pulley is turned upside down, which is when the release mechanism is facing the ground. When the keyhole slider on the cable hits the spring-loaded retaining finger on the snatchblock, the pin is pushed out of the way, allowing the cable to fall away from the pulley. The load then changes direction toward the winch. The self-releasing snatchblock can be used with 1/2" and smaller cable.