/ NEW ARTICLE: Rock Climbing Basics 10: Stick Clipping

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UKC Articles - on 25 Sep 2013
clipstick thumbnail, 4 kbThis is the tenth in a 12-part series from Climbing Magazine, Wild Country and Red Chili, demonstrating and explaining the basic skills needed to be safe on the crags. In this episode, Julie Ellison, Climbing Magazine's Gear Editor, talks us through the art of 'stick clipping', where the use of a quickdraw attached to a stick allows the rope and quickdraw to be placed into the first bolt of a sport route. This can be useful to prevent dangerous falls from below high first bolts as can be found at places such as LPT or Malham, or it can allow you to 'stick clip' past hard sections of a route, allowing the route to be worked on a toprope...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5730
jonny991 - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles: because this is a "Rock Climbing Basic"
AlexBush - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles: Or just buy a beta stick. Worth their weight in gold!
jkarran - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to jonny991:

> because this is a "Rock Climbing Basic"

It is if you're sport climbing above a bad landing or at a venue with high bolts.

jk
RockSteady on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:

Some people have funny attitudes to stick clipping, but it's just a good way of protecting yourself from a ground fall in a situation where you can't put gear in yourself. Need to be careful though - friend of mine saw a nasty accident where a krab placed by stick clipping hadn't closed properly on a fairly distant bolt - when it was loaded and the climber fell on toprope it snapped.

My brother has a story where he stick clipped the first two bolts of a sport line at a mixed trad and sport venue. A passing climber made a sneery comment about 'cheat sticks'. My brother made a clean redpoint of the climb. Later the aforementioned climber was seen using slings in quick draws to aid his way up the route 'onsight'. Who has better ethics?
Dave Garnett - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to RockSteady:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)

> My brother has a story where he stick clipped the first two bolts of a sport line at a mixed trad and sport venue. A passing climber made a sneery comment about 'cheat sticks'. My brother made a clean redpoint of the climb.

With the first two bolts pre-clipped, or was that just while he was working it?
AlexBush - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> With the first two bolts pre-clipped, or was that just while he was working it?

I would call it a clean redpoint with the first bolt clipped (maybe not the second). I thought that was the way it worked, I have seen many a video of Sharma and Ondra getting their redpoints with the rope through the first draw and draws hung all the way to the top. I'm not for a second saying that I climb anywhere close to their level, but surely if that is on a 'hard climb' then that is how it is for all climbs?
Dave Garnett - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to AlexBush:

Sure, I'm not judging. Except that I've backed off routes (Scarlet Runner, for instance) because I couldn't clip the first gear (but what I would have done if I'd had a clip stick I can't say!)
hms - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett: Scarlet Runner is given a trad grade. Usual ethic is that in trad there is no pre-clipping. In sport I would say it is completely acceptable to pre-clip the first bolt but only the first bolt, unless there are specific extenuating circumstances.

But why the hell does anyone want to clipstick with a stick? A clip-stick is one of the most essential tools for sports climbing - it opens up a whole world of possibilities for redpointing, knowing you can get post that stopper move and then work it. Unless one has the good fortune to always climb with those who can climb harder than you can and who are happy to be rope monkeys then this is how you get to try routes that are a bit beyond your current capability.
Chris H - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles: My record so far is the third bolt
caddy on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to AlexBush:

I would call it a clean redpoint with the first bolt clipped (maybe not the second). I thought that was the way it worked, I have seen many a video of Sharma and Ondra getting their redpoints with the rope through the first draw and draws hung all the way to the top. I'm not for a second saying that I climb anywhere close to their level, but surely if that is on a 'hard climb' then that is how it is for all climbs?

If you want bolts pre-clipped for your redpoint, the long-standing, time-honoured convention is that you climb up, clip and climb down, which is probably how the bolts in the videos you mentioned were clipped.

AlanLittle - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
>
> Sure, I'm not judging. Except that I've backed off routes (Scarlet Runner, for instance) because I couldn't clip the first gear

But surely Scarlet Runner isn't a sport route and the scariness of getting to the first bolt - and the subsequent bolts, to a lesser degree - is the whole point?

(Disclaimer: I have only top roped Scarlet Runner)
Dave Garnett - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
> [...]
>
> But surely Scarlet Runner isn't a sport route and the scariness of getting to the first bolt - and the subsequent bolts, to a lesser degree - is the whole point?


I agree. I guess I also don't quite see why that shouldn't be the same for sport routes. It's not as if there's trad gear low down on Scarlet Runner (or Virgin on the Ridiculous, as I recall).

Clipping the gear is obviously part of the business of getting up a sport route or else you could just toprope it. Or is it just that if the bolts are close together you can preclip them but if they are far apart you can't?

Or maybe I notice because I can't reach!
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Mick Ward - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I agree. I guess I also don't quite see why that shouldn't be the same for sport routes.


The whole point of sport is sport - not danger. If you're on a sport route (as I've been) and you're worried about decking it, there's something wrong.

Mick


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