Goto Chockstone Home

  Tech Tips

      Sponsored By


Stick Clip (Click To Enlarge)
Stick Clipping

Standing amidst the loose rubble at the base of sport climb your eye is drawn upwards, scanning for the first bolt. A long, long way's up you finally spot it just shy of a cruxy sequence. "Errr... Your lead dude". Stick Clip (Click To Enlarge)

Of course stick clipping is not only in the domain of sport climbing shenanigans. It's been known to find it's way up big walls, to help aid climbers avoid top stepping madness. These days the concept is so well entrenched you can buy prefabricated stick clips complete with telescopic poles. However, to improvise one, follow these steps:

Step 1: Find an appropriate length stick and tape a quickdraw to it's top as shown. (Sports tape is often found in a climber's arsenal, for taping finger injuries or creating a crack climbers glove. You can use band-aids in a pinch). Don't get carried away with the taping job, it needs to only just hold the draw.

Step 2: Using a small twig, with a Y shape at one end, force the gate open.

Step 3: Clip the rope through the lower crab as per normal, then reach up with the stick to clip to fixed protection. When you've tagged it, a quick yank should dislodge or snap the twig and tear away the tape. And there you have it, an instant top rope.

La Xriba from Sonoran Mountain ProductsEpic Sport Stick ClipOf course not everyone may approve of the method. A certain ethical perspective overshadows these kinds of goings on, however, as long as you recognise it as a point of aid, and don't brag about a clean lead, you're unlikely to be bailed up by hex wielding grey beards. If you want to get a little more advanced (oh the shame), try using tent poles, wind-sock poles, window washing poles, or go buy something like the "Pika Reacher Stick".

Right: The "Epic Sport" Stick clip, available from most climbing shops. Far Right: The La Xriba from Sonoran Mountain Products.

Alternatively, there are devices on the market for the more serious stick clipper, such as the Epic Sport (pictured right), and the La Xriba (pictured far right), which, according to it's creator is "a stick clip device that not only puts the draws on, but is built to take them off and also has a mechanism for getting the rope into a hanging carabiner".

Stick Clipping An Existing Quickdraw   Push For The Summit
[ From Kyle, Will & Rich, See: Forum Topic ]

It is less complicated than people expect:

  • Do the knot far enough from the end of the rope so that both ends will be within reach after the clip!
  • From a generous loop of rope, grab two bights about 20cm long and adjacent to each other - one in each hand.
  • Tie these loops together around the end of your chosen stick with a simple overhand knot (which is the first bit of a shoelace knot).
  • Adjust/tension the knot, since it will be quite insecure.
  • Arrange the bite of rope (the one you are going to put round the biner) so that it is an open loop just big enough to go round the biner and is lying in a horizontal plane and will go easily over the biner - easy with a stiff rope like mine.
  • Decide which end you are going to loop around the biner and hence which end of the knot to pull.
  • Gingerly raise the knot and stick to biner.
  • Put the loop around the biner so that it wraps around the spine of the biner and the gate.
  • Slowly pull in the rope till it is snug on the gate.
  • Keep pulling rope so that it forces the gate open and falls into the biner. pull the stick away and the 'knot' will fall away leaving your rope pre-clipped through the first draw.

Further Reading:
The Stick Clip - A Simon Mentz drawing of a stick clip.
La Xriba - Device for carabiner placement and retrieval from Sonoran Mountain Products.
The Stick Clip - How to build one using a purchased holder such as the "Epic Sport" stick clip.


Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.
All text, images and video on this site are copyright. Unauthorised use is strictly prohibited.

No claim is made about the suitability of the information on this site, for any purpose, either stated or implied. By reading the information on this site, you accept full responsibility for it's use, and any consequences of that use.