TrailTime Tips: How to Make a Stick Clip

Rock climbing can be a little nerve-wracking, especially when you're leading a sport climbing route. Getting to that first bolt as a lead climber and clipping yourself into the wall is often followed by a sense of relief. You can have this same sense of security before you start your climb by using a stick clip to connect your quickdraw and rope to the wall without even leaving the ground.

A stick clip is a useful tool for any sport climber to have. This tool is especially handy when the first bolt on the route is high on the wall or when the ground below the route looks unsafe for a fall. Stick clips come in a variety of forms. Today we're going to show you how to make one in a pinch using materials you can usually find near your climbing route.

To make your own stick clip at the wall, all you need is a stick long enough to reach the bolt you want to clip and a small rock or twig.

Step 1:


Take your quickdraw and secure it to the stick by threading the stick through the dogbone, or the part of the quickdraw made from webbing that connects both carabiners.

Stick clip set-up

Step 2:


Prop the gate of your quickdraw open with a small rock or twig. It's best if the twig or small rock is not wedged in the grooves of your quickdraw. Avoiding that groove will make it easier for the rock or twig to pop out of the carabiner when it is clipped to the bolt.

Rock in the carabiner

Step 3:


Pre-clip the rope. Clip the rope into the carabiner of your quickdraw that is not attached to the stick. Make sure the rope is not back-clipped; it's dangerous for rope to be back-clipped into a quickdraw because it makes it likely for the rope to become unclipped during a fall. (Questioning what it means to be back-clipped? This video will show you how to clip safely.) When the climber is facing the wall, the rope in the quickdraw should be coming away from the wall.

Stick clip pre-clip rope

Step 4:


Use the stick to reach the carabiner to the bolt. It's helpful to pull the rope so it's tight and hold it with the stick as you reach up. Hook the nose of the carabiner through the bolt and pull down. The small rock or twig will release from the carabiner, and your quickdraw will be hung.

Stick clip clipping2

Watch this tip in action by hitting play on the YouTube video below.

posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
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