Written by: Dawn Glanc
Bolts. They are the protection that make face climbing possible. However, the first bolt is often placed higher than you may feel comfortable climbing to unprotected. A high first bolt can result in a ground fall if you fail to clip it. The consequences can be so high, that a climber may decide to retreat from the route. There is no need to be reckless at the crag – use a stick clip to help you mitigate the risk of a ground fall! Here is a quick stick clip recipe to help you send those beautiful routes that have high first bolt placement.
How to make a stick clip:
1 extendable painter’s pole
1 spring clamp
2 hose clamps
Various stickers are optional
Flat head screwdriver
Slide hose clamps onto the painter’s pole (do not tighten yet).
Slide spring clamp onto pole, trapping an “arm” of the spring clamp into the hose clamps.
Tighten hose clamps with the screwdriver to secure the spring clamp. Alternate tightening each hose clamp to be sure you make the hose clamps as tight as possible. Decorate handle of pole with stickers if you so choose.
How to Use the Stick Clip:
Insert top carabiner of the quickdraw into the spring clamp. Use spring clamp to hold the top carabiner of the quickdraw open. Clip the rope with a big loop of slack into the bottom carabiner on the quickdraw.
Extend the pole. With patience and grace, hook the bolt with the carabiner.
When the quickdraw is secure to the bolt, pull down on the stick clip with force to free the spring clamp of the quickdraw.
Once the carabiner is hooked, pull down on the stick clip to pull the quickdraw from the spring clamp. The first bolt is now clipped and you are ready to climb!
Dawn Glanc is a co-owner and a guide for Chicks Climbing and Skiing. Dawn has been climbing rock and ice for nearly 20 years. When she is not working you can find Dawn out climbing with friends. She loves sport climbing and considers herself a cragger at heart. “I have been using a stick clip for years,” says Dawn. “Sport climbing is meant to be fun, there is no need to risk a ground fall. You can use this ‘stick clip’ trick to help keep yourself safe whether you are rock climbing or mixed climbing.”
Dawn and the other guides will be hosting a variety of rock clinics this fall in some of the premier climbing areas in the U.S. Look for Chicks in the Red River Gorge, Keene Valley, Red Rocks and Rifle. Beginner to advanced climbers are welcome. Don’t miss your chance to learn new skills and techniques from some of the best female guides in the industry.