Top Tips #4 Trad Quickdraws


Trad climbing requires a flexible approach.  Sometimes you need to ensure your protection piece sits in a certain way to avoid rope drag, usually you want to have your rope take as direct a line up the route as possible and occasionally you want to have a short sling readily available to thread a feature or hook a spike.

On trad routes this flexibility isn't best delivered by a sport clip-up style dog bone quick draw.  Something a bit more versatile will make your life much easier.  For most situations 'the ultimate trad quickdraw' is the way to go.

Use a 60cm sling (something like 8-10mm diameter dyneema slings work really well) and the rest is all in the threading.  Clip 2 carabiners into the sling then thread one through the other.  The sling will follow it through and then clip the sling back into itself (follow the photos to get the sequence right).  Now you have a QuickDraw that's a third of the length of the original sling and can be used like that to extend many protection pieces.  

When you need a longer extender it can easily be turned into it's original 60cm length.  To do this simply unclip one of the carabiners and clip it back into a single strand of the sling.  Pull it out and you have magically got your 60cm clip ready to use.  The extension can be done with one hand and, with a bit of practice, is very quick.  It is, after all, the ultimate trad quickdraw!