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Do you stick clip? Why or why not?
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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Sep 16, 2013
Day Lily.

Until this past weekend I had never stick clipped a single bolt. I was eyeing up a route and the first bolt was a bit high (relative). Not terrible but I was definitly aware of the distance between me and the first bolt.

A dude had a telescoping stick clipper and offered it. I turned him down at first but ended up using his stick clip.

I am totally "on the fence" about using a stick clip. The "just have fun" and be safe part of me sees the appeal of using a stick clip. But another part (or two) of me sees using a stick clip as a "robber" of the full experience.

Do you use a stick clip? Why or why not?


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By David Barbour
From Longmont, CO
Sep 16, 2013

I don't climb sport routes for the scare factor. A lot of routes in the SE are equipped with the intention that you will use a stick clip.


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By Lanky
From Portland, ME
Sep 16, 2013

Of course. I'm not looking to break an ankle or prove how tough I am.


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Sep 16, 2013
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

I like my ankles intact and hope to use them well for many more years and, thus, have no objection at all to using a stick clip. I don't use one all the time or in every "high first bolt" circumstance but if the first bolt is high enough, the landing bad enough and the climbing potentially tricky or hard, by all means use one. At least on the first attempt. Then, on subsequent attempts, you can get that "I just risked serious injury" experience by not using the stick clip.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 16, 2013

We have long since passed the time when stick clipping was frowned upon. Ever watched any hard sport climber do a full route? They ALL start with the first one or two bolts clipped. (go ahead and tell Ondra AND Sharma they 'aided' La Dura Dura by having the first one or two bolts pre-clipped)

Plenty of routes are equipped to be stick clipped because stopping to clip below a certain point is dangerous- so the first bolt goes high and you're meant to pre-clip. The sad thing is, given the number of people either amazed or confused by a stick-clip, most don't even know what they are or why they are used.

I'm continually amazed to often be the only person at the crag with a stick clip- especially in Red Rock, home of often fragile sandstone. I've watched people crater off of routes meant to be stick clipped and been annoyed because I had just spent 5 minutes trying to convince them to use the damn thing, only to be told that they dont believe in stick clipping. And now I have to possibly rescue their dumb ass.

At the end of the day, i'm not sacrificing a single moment of climbing because I was too dumb not to have the first bolt clipped. That's just silly, and frankly, climbing is silly enough as it is.


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By Mike McKinnon
From Golden, CO
Sep 16, 2013
Bunny pancake

I stick clip when the need is there. Like everyone else has said , I am not risking my ankles/legs just to "man up". Ego is a terrible thing.

There are several routes on the Anarchy wall in Clear Creek. The 12b in particular has the first bolt beyond the 12b move. The 12b move is a low % dyno to a crimp. Easy to blow. AFTER you make the dyno, you can clip the bolt. Of course, I stick clip this thing.

Now stick clipping your way up a whole route. That is kind of cheesy:)


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By hrdeyo
From Longmont, CO
Sep 16, 2013

Come to boulder canyon, you can reach the first and sometimes 2nd bolt from the ground


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By Jeffrey Lash
From Baltimore, MD
Sep 16, 2013
First time back at Seneca in 15 years.

Stoned, you're referring to Safe Harbor, yes? What route did you stick? I've climbed there a bunch in the last year and there are plenty of routes with high first bolts but usually easy terrain below. Super Slab and Tenuous Odyssey come to mind.


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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Sep 16, 2013
Day Lily.

I appreciate your opinions and am now more open to stick clipping (matt wilder and jason halladays summed it up for me).

I totally get the average response here and i dont think getting injured (injured = no climbing) JUST to not get judged by someone else (or your own self?) is not worth it.

thanks everyone.


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By Peter Jackson
From Rumney, NH
Sep 16, 2013
Just in case the two big belay anchors aren't obvious enough for you, here is where to find the belay station.

Here in Rumney, a stick clip on the first bolt is common, expected in certain places, and in most cases would not negate a redpoint. Stick clipping the second bolt would negate a redpoint.

Please do stick clip if it keeps you safe. And if you get a clean send, then on your next attempt, forgo the stick.


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By David Barbour
From Longmont, CO
Sep 16, 2013

Peter Jackson wrote:
And if you get a clean send, then on your next attempt, forgo the stick.


Why? I had a friend break his ankle because a hold broke before the first clip. I don't think this is an isolated incident, either.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Sep 16, 2013

When sport climbing, sure. And more and more frequently the last couple years.

Probably do it more to get a TR on hard-to-decipher sequences when working a route that's new to me, than for clipping the first bolt or two. But I also do that (clip the first one) if the climbing off the ground is not straightforward.

Getting hurt climbing is stupid, but there is alot of calculated risk in trad and alpine climbing or free soloing. Those risks are part of what makes it appealing. But getting hurt sport climbing is REALLY stupid, because risk isn't really supposed to be part of the equation.


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By Peter Jackson
From Rumney, NH
Sep 16, 2013
Just in case the two big belay anchors aren't obvious enough for you, here is where to find the belay station.

dmb wrote:
Why? I had a friend break his ankle because a hold broke before the first clip. I don't think this is an isolated incident, either.


It's certainly not a requirement. I'm saying that if you feel like it's important to do it without the stick, do it without the second time, after you know the moves.


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By BrianWS
Sep 16, 2013

It's pretty clear why would one use a stick to protect high, occasionally cruxy moves to the first bolt. As another poster mentioned, climb enough lines harder than 5.11 in the SE (or any sport-heavy crag for that matter), and you will come across many many climbs with first bolt well off the deck and with movement at or near the overall grade going to it.

For all the anti-stick clip crowd: if using a stick 'detracts' from the experience, or is somehow considered 'cheating', what about the use of ropes, bolts, pro, pads, etc. in general? Why bother with those in the first place? By that logic, doesn't *anything* short of soloing cheapen the experience?

The Stoned Master wrote:
Until this past weekend I had never stick clipped a single bolt. I was eyeing up a route and the first bolt was a bit high (relative). Not terrible but I was definitly aware of the distance between me and the first bolt. A dude had a telescoping stick clipper and offered it. I turned him down at first but ended up using his stick clip. I am totally "on the fence" about using a stick clip. The "just have fun" and be safe part of me sees the appeal of using a stick clip. But another part (or two) of me sees using a stick clip as a "robber" of the full experience. Do you use a stick clip? Why or why not?


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Sep 16, 2013

If I wanted to risk injury for the purity of the line, I wouldn't be sport climbing. Indeed, the concept of risk for "purity" is a anathema to sport climbing. I stick clip most of the time, and I don't have any sponsors or fans to offend, so I feel no guilt.


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Sep 16, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

Peter Jackson wrote:
Here in Rumney, a stick clip on the first bolt is common, expected in certain places, and in most cases would not negate a redpoint. Stick clipping the second bolt would negate a redpoint. Please do stick clip if it keeps you safe. And if you get a clean send, then on your next attempt, forgo the stick.


Or in some case the second bolt is pretty common as well, such as on Whip Tide. But it's aid anyway because of the ladder. Sigh...

Seriously though, up until I climbed 11's or so at Rumney stick clipping to me meant climbing up to the bolt, clipping and downclimbing before a redpoint. Now I actually stick clip where necessary :) Many a climb at Rumney has no need for a stickclip, but there are just as many (mostly harder routes) that are certainly designed with a stickclip in mind.


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Sep 16, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

BrianWS wrote:
It's pretty clear why would one use a stick to protect high, occasionally cruxy moves to the first bolt. As another poster mentioned, climb enough lines harder than 5.11 in the SE (or any sport-heavy crag for that matter), and you will come across many many climbs with first bolt well off the deck and with movement at or near the overall grade going to it. For all the anti-stick clip crowd: if using a stick 'detracts' from the experience, or is somehow considered 'cheating', what about the use of ropes, bolts, pro, pads, etc. in general? Why bother with those in the first place? By that logic, doesn't *anything* short of soloing cheapen the experience?


I forget who said it, but: "Naked, barefoot, chalkless, and solo is climbing; everything else is a compromise."

Take that!


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By Stagg54
Sep 16, 2013

Will S wrote:
But getting hurt sport climbing is REALLY stupid, because risk isn't really supposed to be part of the equation.


No offense, but that attitude gets people killed. Yes the level of risk in sport climbing is not as high as say aid, alpine, or ice climbing. But quite frankly gravity doesn't care what convenient little category we put our activities in. There is risk every time you leave the ground.

If you're looking for a sport where risk is not part of the equation, I suggest you pick a different sport (no pun intended).

If you don't believe me, read the latest copy of ANAM. There are plenty of people injured or killed sport climbing every year.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Sep 16, 2013

Stagg54 wrote:
No offense, but that attitude gets people killed. Yes the level of risk in sport climbing is not as high as say aid, alpine, or ice climbing. But quite frankly gravity doesn't care what convenient little category we put our activities in. There is risk every time you leave the ground. If you're looking for a sport where risk is not part of the equation, I suggest you pick a different sport (no pun intended). If you don't believe me, read the latest copy of ANAM. There are plenty of people injured or killed sport climbing every year.


I think that you are misinterpreting what Will S is saying about sport climbing. When he says that risk is not supposed to be part of the equation, he is saying that sport climbing is engineered to take out as much of the risk as possible. In trad climbing, alpine climbing, highball bouldering, etc, there is plenty of risk left in intentionally to keep things exciting and adventurous. Sport climbing is different. While some risk is inevitable (walking down the stairs has some risk inherent to it), it is not what you are seeking out in sport climbing. Instead, you seek to set up a system such that all of the risk/safety factors are dealt with ahead of time, or are int he hands of the belayer, such that the climber can focus entirely on trying really really hard. As such, stick clipping is perfectly in line with the spirit of sport climbing, and I do it regularly.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Sep 16, 2013

^^^
Yep.


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Sep 16, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

no shame in stick clipping. I sport climb for fun not for danger.


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By Brent Larsen
From Spearfish, SD
Sep 16, 2013
EBM, 5.11a <br />Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. <br />South Dakota.

Stick clips are a good idea. They can also work well as walking sticks on steep trails. They are also fun to give to people who have never used them before. Most people fumble around with the Trango Squid that I loan them and come back 10 minutes later asking "How do you use this damned thing?"


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By slim
Administrator
Sep 16, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i started using one a few years ago for a couple reasons. first, a friend of mine got pretty jacked up when a hold broke on hard climbing getting up to a high first bolt. second, i did a route at eldo with a roof, and a hold came off when i was above the roof. my wife had a hanging belay below the roof, and i completely kicked her head in. broken helmet and everything.

sooo, now if a sport route has a dicey start i usually stick clip the first and sometimes 2nd bolt so that i can avoid this mess. i don't really care what folks think of it. i'm not sponsored, i don't climb hard, i am old, i don't really have anything to prove.


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By John Farrell
From Phoenix, AZ
Sep 16, 2013
Chilling on Moby Dick, Cochise Stronghold.

The Stoned Master wrote:
Until this past weekend I had never stick clipped a single bolt. I was eyeing up a route and the first bolt was a bit high (relative). Not terrible but I was definitly aware of the distance between me and the first bolt. A dude had a telescoping stick clipper and offered it. I turned him down at first but ended up using his stick clip. I am totally "on the fence" about using a stick clip. The "just have fun" and be safe part of me sees the appeal of using a stick clip. But another part (or two) of me sees using a stick clip as a "robber" of the full experience. Do you use a stick clip? Why or why not?


I am not risking another broken ankle, therefore I am a habitual stick clipper now.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Sep 16, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

I had a broken ankle at age 58 and am not good at jumping or dropping down anymore on my ankle or knees. I don't boulder for same reason. I don't like 15 ft ground falls. So I stick clip the first bolt on most routes. So what?


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Sep 16, 2013
tanuki

I stick clip when I want to stick clip. It depends. My decision (and hopefully every climber's decision on how to protect themselves from injury) is 100% my decision and I could care less about others opinion of how I climb.


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