Let's get into part two of the top tools every climber needs. In part one, we covered saddles, climbing lines, climbing systems, and loop runners. If you haven't had a chance to take a look, check out part one here.
Carabiners are the links to most of our components. For life-rated applications (like lanyards, climbing systems, redirects) double auto locking and triple action carabiners are required by ANSI. Also, oval carabiners are best for use with prusik-minding-pulleys like the Hitch Climber Pulley.
For a new climbing kit, 6 carabiners is a good number.
- 2 for climbing system (MRS)
- 2 for lanyard (1 connecting the system to harness, one as snap if necessary)
- 2 for redirect slings
Don’t forget to look at accessory carabiners and gear storage carabiners for additional saddle configurations.
One of the greatest luxuries to be introduced to tree climbing, the foot ascender adds efficiency to any climbing system, whether used in conjunction with a tautline or with an Akimbo. Here are a couple options available:
For the next-level luxury ascent, add a knee ascender to the mix!
“One of the greatest luxuries to be introduced to tree climbing, the foot ascender adds efficiency to any climbing system.”
The work-positioning lanyard is known by many names—flipline, buck strap, safety, etc., and comes in many forms. As with climbing systems, stick to a lanyard system that reflects your training and experience. Here are some lanyard types and adjusters-
- Wirecore - wirecore lanyards offer some cut resistance, but are extremely conductive, electrically. Their stiffness makes them easier to advance while spur climbing.
- Rope - rope lanyards are not as stiff, but their suppleness gives them versatility, enabling them to be used in a variety of configurations that wirecore lanyards cannot achieve. Rope lanyards require a different technique for advancement since they lack the rigidity of a wirecore.
- Hitch and Pulley systems - configured just like a hitch-based MRS climbing system, lanyards like the hipSTAR FLEX and the Rook Positioning Lanyard are easy to adjust while weighted, and offer multiple configurations for positioning aid.
- Grabs - Rope grabs, like the Rock Exotica RockGrab or the Petzl Micrograb, are simple mechanical adjusters. They do not adjust easily when weighted, but tend to handle sappy lanyards better than hitches.
- Other mechanicals - The Positioner 2, Grillon, Zillon, and others each offer unique qualities and have different maintenance and inspection criteria. As stated before, only choose a system that matches your training!
Daryl Stanley is a freelance writer, contract climber, arborist, and trainer with over 10 years in