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How To Stick Clip Without A Stick Clip

Author: Bryan Gilmore

May 20, 2014

So you show up at a new crag and pick the proudest line on the wall. You gaze up at the beautiful swath of rock, speckled with white chalk accents, and start counting how many draws are hanging. As you search in vain for a lower first draw, you notice that you’re going to have to (wo)man up for the initial 15’ feet above jumbled blocks before you can make the first clip. Next starts the frantic search for a long “natural” stick clip and then figuring out how to tape the rope in place to create a loop for clipping the draw hanging just out of your comfort zone.

Following these easy steps you’ll never again waste tape or be forced to sketch your way up through low cruxes with high first bolts.

Step 1: Find a stick. if you have a neurotic border collie or chocolate lab, this step is probably already taken care of.

Step 2: Stack your rope in the appropriate location.

Step 3: Sit down with the end of your dog’s stick in your lap. Pick up the top end of your rope (the end the leader will tie in with) and give yourself a generous amount of slack (enough rope to reach the draw and back to the ground, plus a little more). From the center of that portion of rope, grab a bite of rope with each hand and tie a simple over hand knot around the tip of the stick. Voila. Simple isn’t it?

Step 4: Stand up and ease the tip of the stick with your beautiful knot toward the draw. Gently “lasso” the clipping end of the draw with either loop of your knot and gently pull the corresponding end of the rope. Now watch the magic happen. The bite of rope “lassoing” the clipping ‘biner should squeeze the gate open and happily fall into place.

Step 5: Give it your all, knowing that if you blow it you’re safely clipped into the first bolt.

Be safe and have fun.

Bryan Gilmore

​Bryan grew up in New Hampshire and started climbing at age 16 in his high school outdoor program (yes they did exist in the 80’s). Previously eschewing everything except ground-up traditional climbing, he luckily stumbled upon some friends who had heard of this great thing called sport climbing, and has since seen great personal growth in all the varied disciplines climbing has to offer. While he enjoys long, remote alpine routes most, having recently relocated to Boston, he’s found solace in the short, fierce test-pieces of Rumney and Pawtuckaway and has recently sent his hardest boulder problems and sport routes. Bryan just returned from a month in the Tasermiut Fjord, Greenland, where he summited Nalumasortoq and Ulamertorsuaq. He is currently running laps at Rumney and spending time on the finger-board in preparation for Chulilla, Spain.