Mountain Project Logo

Questions abouy using dyneema as a PAS

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 580
Ancent wrote:Related to above ^^ Do you backup the extended rappel set up? I understand the pros of what you just mentioned, but a huge con to me seems to be the fact that the extended nylon bit is not redundant. Using Thereropes are never redundant but our gear loops are (in a sense). Is this just an accepted risk? I.e. Body weight shouldn't break a nylon runner so I'm good? Serious question that has kept me away from the extended rappel situation.
I'm not concerned about the strength of a 22kn girth hitched NYLON sling. However, I often unclip from an anchor and clip the end of the 4' runner back to my belay loop and clip my atc to both sides of the overhand; this creates a redundancy but is a little bumbly.

Extended rappels have other benefits, too. They're smoother. WAY smoother. And your belay loop is left free for other things, such as a rappel back-up (which is also smoother and more comfortable when it isn't attached to a leg loop).

Clean. Simple. Bomber. Stuff you already have on you. As a guide, I preach the clove hitch (many of us do, at least in this area). And the extended rappel is a tool that helps us to move faster and better manage ourselves and our clients (example: as a leader pre-hang a locker on the anchor, you can have your second cloved-in and off belay immediately when they arrive at your anchor). A PAS, commercially produced or hand made is just clutter.

One note on belay loops:

Belay loops are constructed of one strand of tubular webbing doubled over itself, stitched along the edges, and bar tacked. This creates two independent strands- I've witnessed 20 yo belay loops test (break) at 6,000 lbs!
McHull · · Fairfield, PA · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 250

Thanks for the advice fellas!

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065
r m wrote: I'm not sure they are all that single purpose. You've illustrated one purpose they're unsuitable, but all the other uses of slings still apply with a pas. Need to extend a piece or thread or join two pieces in your anchor, a pas is about as fine as a sling. I carry a short and long prussik in case I end up needing to ascend so that particular use case of a pas is moot to me. Now that I think about it - that long prussik also does double duty in place of a sling much more often than its used as a prussik. I own one of the earlier metolius pas, I'm neutral towards it. If money is a factor I'd advise against buying one.
well a nylon SLING is a sling too ... at 1/6 the cost of a PAS ... and does everything a PAS does just as well, and more

nothing is as "multipurpose" as a nylon sling (other than rope or cord), well except maybe a purcell if you take it apart but no one is going to do that

friction knots, releasable hitches, foot loops, shoulder harnesses, runners, bail tat, etc ... and cheap enough to use and replace anytime

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
McHull wrote:Thanks for the advice fellas!
Yes, thanks! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the information all of you put out on here.

Forgot to mention, the Purcell's I have are tied from cord, and sized specifically for me (intended to be ascenders). It's good to know they should serve me well as I get sucked deeper into this odd love affair with ropes and rocks.

Truly, thank you so, so much! Best, H.
Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 273

I happily use my chain reactor and have one on order for my future wife. She's been using a knotted 120cm sling for a while now. Its not as convenient, 80% of the adjust-ability maybe, but many times it doesn't provide the most comfortable stance. She's asked for her own chain reactor after seeing mine in use.

Also, I've retied her knots a few times to try and shift the wear around on that sling.

I see a knotted sling wearing out much faster due to abrasion on the knots and needing replacement 1-2 times vs the lifetime of a chain reactor. (her sling with much, much less use seems to be wearing faster than my older and more often used CR) That cuts the cost benefit down to $10 or less. We can afford that for the convenience it provides.

Happy New Gear everyone.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

I like using a PAS, but not as a tether. I use it to form a multipoint powerpoint:…

I find it really useful when soloing a wall with bolted belays: lots of clip in points; no difficult to untie knot.

Justin Meyer · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2012 · Points: 51

According to an email exchange I had with from Metolius the PAS is made out of "Monster Sling" webbing which is a blend of nylon and dyneema, not just dyneema. It is also described as nylon/dyneema in their documentation:…

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235
Justin Meyer wrote:According to an email exchange I had with from Metolius the PAS is made out of "Monster Sling" webbing which is a blend of nylon and dyneema, not just dyneema. It is also described as nylon/dyneema in their documentation:…
It is but it will still not hold a factor 2 fall. So if you plan on climbing past your belay I would either make your own or get a chain reactor (bulkier but will hold a factor 2 fall).
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525
Old lady H wrote: the Purcell's I have are tied from cord, and sized specifically for me (intended to be ascenders). It's good to know they should serve me well as I get sucked deeper into this odd love affair with ropes and rocks.
Have a look at my post above. They aren't the best or most versatile option, and are actually bad at one application.
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
rgold wrote: Have a look at my post above. They aren't the best or most versatile option, and are actually bad at one application.
Yes, I did read it. I get the #1, but admit I don't know enough about multi to get #2. Wouldn't a second normally be cleaning while climbing, and on belay? Understand, my guys aren't doing much trad-yet-so I've almost no direct experience. It's coming, though, as is multi, if we ever have climbing weather again. Can't really complain, we all need the snow, but dang, it's been a long, long stretch without any real climbing!
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525
Old lady H wrote: Yes, I did read it. I get the #1, but admit I don't know enough about multi to get #2. Wouldn't a second normally be cleaning while climbing, and on belay? !
Yes, but if you have to hang in order to have both hands free to remove gear, being on belay isn't always especially helpful, for the following reasons:

  • Rope stretch. How much depends on how far away the upper belay is, but can be very significant. The follower has to climb above the piece to be removed, call for tension, and hope they've estimated the rope stretch correctly. Obivously, this is going to take some time and will require excellent communication, which is exactly what you may not have if the belay is far away.
  • Diagonal rope path or rope running over a ceiling. In the first case, the second would swing to the side of the piece they want to remove, and the second case the second would swing out from the wall.

The solution, if the second happens to have already cleaned some appropriate gear, is to place a piece near the one that has to be cleaned, hang directly from it via a tether, and work on the stuck piece. This typically involves working one-handed until you get the extra piece in. Having an installed tether with a lot of adjustability makes this process far less tiring and much quicker; believe me, I've done it both ways plenty of times.

The Purcell comes up short in this application for two reasons. The first is that it is much less adjustable than a chain-daisy; it only goes from full-length to half-length. The second is that it is very hard to adjust once you are hanging from it, because (naturally) the knot locks up. This complicates getting into position to clean the gear. Yeah, you can manage to adjust it, but it much more strenuous and less precise than just pulling on a daisy and clipping a higher loop.
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Got it, thanks!

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,390

I think rgold's post summarizes my feelings on the benefits of a PAS of some sort. For those harping that it's a "single use" item or too specialized I'd argue there are MANY things in climbing where we opt for specialization over versatility. We make these choices because the gains from specialization far outweigh the negatives of having yet another item with us. While a Swiss Army knife does do many things, it often doesn't do them as well as the actual tool. At times this trade off is fine (My bike multi tool in my seat bag for example) but at other times, particularly if we're using said item frequently, specialization wins. I don't see many people approaching and climbing in one pair of shoes...

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

well "better" climbing shoes might actually help you climb harder ... commercial PASes dont

lets address a few things

- slings are "less adjustable" ... in reality they arent ... chances are youre clipped into TWO points for raps, not to mention that if its chains its "infinitely adjustable" anyways, but lets assume its rings ...

this is off a SINGLE loop ... there are 3 loops in a sling with 2 overhands giving you 9 clip in lengths ...

sling normal

sling short

sling long

now lets assume that its a single clip in point (vertical chain with single ring) ... doing this effectively gives you "half loop" lengths

"half loop" sling

"half loop" sling to 2 points

also note that you can make a sling a bit more "redundant" by a simple knot at the biner ... this can also lock the biner in place for ease of use ...

"redundant" except for right at the locker and the girth hitch obviously is a rock hit a knot all bets are off

- slings wear out faster .... yes to a point, but you should be replacing your single life saving tether point fairly frequently after decent use anyways ...

the trick is to tie the overhands NEATLY, nice and flat, no protruding edges .. this minimizes the abrasion

now vs the mixed/dyneema PASes, nylon slings and PASes have a bit of a "durability" advantage .. as you can see from the DAV tests, dyneema suffers the worst of all from abasion and exposure, followed by mixed ....

DAV panorama

simply put use nylon if you want "durable"

- other uses ... again nothing compares with a sling for multi use (other than the rope and cord) ... there tons of stuff you can use the sling for if you dont use it as a "PAS" on the way up, my personal favorite is as a GEAR SLING

heres a few obvious examples ... with a SINGLE sling and locker (if you use it as a PAS its what you always have on you)

sliding X ... no need to take out knots as they act as limiters

hedden friction knot and foot loop if your hair gets stuck .... note that there is no need for additional prussiks or cord ... with a long sling you can ALWAYS escape

belay escape with a single long sling and locker .... And non locker how many folks practice belay escapes with MINIMAL gear?

now sure there are other ways to do this an everyone carries up spare prussiks ... yada yada yada ... until they forget it because of a brain fart, or they cant remember how to tie pemberthys or blakes hitches ...


How many folks here have actually take a > factor 1 fall on their tether .... If yr stooopid enuff to do so let me tell you it aint phun even on a knotted nylon sling

no year would be compete without a PAS MP rant !!!

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,390

- I always have slings on me regardless so adding a PAS does not reduce the versatility of the other items. It's not like having a PAS is an either / or decision.
- while cost might be a factor it's probably not a huge one. $20ish difference spread over say a 4 year span is extremely minor in the grand scheme of climbing. Keeping your tires at the proper pressure can cover than cost and then some.
- the idea of knotting a sling one handed or adjusting it one handed sounds overly cumbersome. While that scenario may not occur often it's not "easier" than clipping the next loop
- A sling being KISS is highly debatable vs. PAS in my opinion. Knots and limiters and adjustments requiring two hands are not always simple

- not yet mentioned to my knowledge is the possibility that a PAS can add to ones safety at belays by being a single use piece. At crowded and cluttered belays where you may have ropes, slings etc all anchored (two parties and the cluster increases even more) a bright PAS adds clarity and safety by indicating what you DO NOT unclip. Multi use slings that might serve other purposes obfuscate crucial anchor points and reduce efficiency.

Being resourceful and having the knowledge on how to use your equipment in multiple ways is an important skill for a climber to posses. However, in certain scenarios, sacrificing efficiency, speed, clarity etc the name of "versatility and cost savings " may not be the best choice. I leave the pas behind when not needed but, entering my 3rd decade of climbing, I find it more useful than not. Many others with more mileage than me have indicated the same and I'm quite confident they are aware of the other options.

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

You dont adjust the knots with a "sling PAS" .... You simply clip in, as shown above you can easily take another draw or biner to vary yr length for "comfort" after yr secure ... And you should be secured to BOTH bolts on rappel somehow

As to "clutter" at belays .... Simply clove in with the rope ... No one with any brains will unclip someone elses clove under tension ... In fact no one should be unclipping ANYTHING under tension

With so many PASes on beginner multis these days i actually expect more confusion as to whose PAS is whose than with slings ...

What i personally find hilarious is beginners getting bamboozeled into thinking they NEED PASes ... When they are better off with a cheap nylon sling ....

I really have no idea why beginners with PASes cant simply clove in at belays ... Its the most adjustable and secure method

Theres a reason why everyone and their dawg is coming out with more expensive versions


oh and because no year end MP thread would be complete without sum honnn-ruuuving

honnluuuv with da deadly dyneema slings !!!
Rich zz · · california · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 180

I love MP because I knew lots of people would contribute. I hope some people learned something useful.

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 273

It sounds like the #1 dig against the PAS is cost (at least that's what seems to come over strongest in BB's musings). I doubt the debate would be so animated if they were $10 vs a $6 sling or something. Some people (and I'm a cheap ass, with only one pair of climbing shoes that have cost over $50 so far) can afford the extra $15 and find them convenient. Sometimes I will "just use the rope" when that makes more sense, too.

As with most things in climbing, its not black or white, and we'll talk about it for days.

How about retrobolting highline rigging? Do you have to rig your line in the same way that the "FW" (first walker) did it?

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

oh dear lord thank you for another chance to rant against PASes !!!

the biggest "dig" against ANY tethers, not just PASes, is folks using them rather than cloving in at belays ... they used to do this with daisies, the PAS are the new daisies ...

if youved climbed moderate popular routes quite a bit, youve seen this happen ... over and over again folks just clip in and belay the leader without a dynamic attachment ... theyre too lazy or dont know how to clove

the second "dig" against commercial PASes, is that it doesnt do anything a "homemade" one cant do just as well ... and in many cases the homemade one can be "safer" and have MORE uses, several of which ive demonstrated above ... not to mention it may teach folks more basic skills

more and more climbing is becoming more about "convenience" and "gear" than basic skills ... assisted locking devices (which at least have a purpose), fancy crag/rope bags, PASes, pretied prussiks, premade anchor chains and equalizing devices ...

now this obviously doesnt apply to MPers who practice all their ropework diligently and can make rope stretchers to carry out the bones of gumbayz who got stripped bare by my hungray beahs =P

now tethers do have uses ...

- for cleaning on rap, especially on multiple raps .... but then a simple sling with knots can be used as a PAS just as easily

- for clipping into belays when NOT belaying the leader and yr too new to know how to clove ... again a nylon sling works just as well, or better yet ask that "mentor" to show you how to clove in

- for emergency ascent and escape, friction knots, etc .... a long sling works best as i showed above ... commercial PASes may not work at all

- for edge protection ... most commercial PASes fail to meet basic fall protection requirements, the exception is the beal dynaconnect ... in fact a purcell or length of dynamic rope with knots works best as it may limit the impact force to < 8KN ... at the very least if yr going to use it for such use a NYLON PAS/sling, not a dyneema one ...

two issues to watch out for with PASes and tethers

- dont get it caught on anything ... ive had the PAS "self clip" into pieces as ive moved above em, its rare but its happened, on a lead its not the best thing

- if yr going to use it to clip into pieces while taking apart the anchor, make sure there is absolutely no slack ... alot of us lean in and pull ourselves up to take out the higher pieces when deconstructing an anchor ... with a static connection, this may not be the best idea, especially if all thats holding you is a single piece and a PAS before yr on belay .... better yet do a full or partial rope anchor or use a dynamic tether

the biggest question before using ANY tether is are you using it simply to hold body weight (which is the ONLY thing you should use most of these commercial PASes for), or are you using it as fall protection even if you dont really "intend to", and are you using it as a "belay substitute"

if were honest a simple look around with folks setting up ropes and on multi will show that many of em use it for more than simply body weight under tension


Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 170

I dont use a PAS. I use the rope + a double length runner. But that doesn't mean that "cloving with the rope" or "just use a sling when you need it" doesnt come with its own set of weaknesses.

Without a dedicated sling, you do run the risk of being caught without it, ie, using up all your runners. I've run into this situation a couple of times and it is a weakness of not having something constantly girth hitched to your belay loop.

It's even more of a weakness if you use that sling as your emergency prussik.

Nothing is without it's weaknesses.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Questions abouy using dyneema as a PAS"
in the General Climbing

Log In to Reply