Quickdraws are devices used in rock climbing that consist of two carabiners (one locking and one non-locking) connected by a webbing sling. The carabiners are typically attached to the climber’s harness and protection points along the climbing route. Quickdraws are commonly referred to as “draws” for short.
Types of quickdraws:
There are two main types of quickdraws:
1- Straight-gate quickdraws:
These have two straight gates that are opened and closed in the same manner. The most common type of quickdraw, they are easy to use and versatile.
2- Bent-gate quickdraws:
These have one bent and one straight gate. The bent gate is typically used to clip the rope into the quickdraw, while the straight gate is used to clip the quickdraw into protection. Bent-gate quickdraws can be slightly more difficult to use than straight-gate quickdraws, but they offer a more secure connection.
Quickdraws are generally used in sports climbing and trad climbing. In sport climbing, pre-placed bolts provide the protection points. In trad climbing, mobile protection such as cams and nuts are placed by the climber as they ascend the route.
How to use quickdraws:
1- Locate the pre-placed protection points along the route.
2- Attach one end of the quickdraw to your harness.
3- Clip the other end of the quickdraw into the protection point.
4- Repeat this process until you reach the top of the route.
5- To remove the quickdraws, simply unclip them from the protection points and reattach them to your harness.
Different quickdraws available in the market:
1- Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw:
The Positron is a lightweight quickdraw that is ideal for sports climbing and trad climbing. It features two straight gates and is made from aluminum.
2- Petzl Djinn Axiom Quickdraw:
The Djinn Axiom is a versatile quickdraw that can be used for sports climbing, trad climbing, and ice climbing. It features one bent gate and one straight gate.
3- Wild Country Helium Quickdraw:
The Helium is a lightweight quickdraw that is ideal for sports climbing. It features two straight gates and is made from aluminum.
4- Mammut Ophir 3 Slide Quickdraw:
The Ophir 3 Slide is a versatile quickdraw that can be used for sports climbing, trad climbing, and alpine climbing. It features one bent gate and one straight gate. The sling is also adjustable, so you can customize the length to suit your needs.
5- Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw:
The Oz is a lightweight quickdraw that is ideal for sports climbing and trad climbing. It features two straight gates and is made from aluminum.
Using quickdraws can offer several benefits to climbers:
- First, quickdraws can save time. When protection points are already in place, the climber can simply clip in and start climbing. This is opposed to trad climbing, where the climber must stop to place protection before continuing upward.
- Second, quickdraws can provide a more direct connection between the climber and the protection. This can reduce the amount of rope drag, which can make climbing more efficient and reduce the chance of getting tangled in the ropes.
- Third, quickdraws can offer a modicum of safety in the event of a fall. If a climber falls while clipped into a quickdraw, the webbing sling will help to absorb some of the force of the fall. This can help to prevent the climber from being pulled off the wall or from hitting the ground too hard.
Consideration for using:
There are a few things to keep in mind when using quickdraws:
- First, it is important to choose the right size and strength for the job. Quickdraws come in a variety of sizes and strengths, and it is important to choose ones that are appropriate for the type of climbing being done.
- Second, quickdraws should be placed in a way that minimizes the risk of cross-loading. Cross-loading occurs when the weight of the climber is applied to the quickdraw in a way that puts undue stress on the carabiners or webbing. This can cause the quickdraw to fail, so it is important to avoid cross-loading whenever possible.
- Third, it is important to inspect quickdraws before use. Quickdraws are strong pieces of gear, but they are not indestructible. Inspecting them before use can help to ensure that they are in good condition and will not fail when needed most.
Quickdraws are an essential piece of gear for many climbers, and understanding how to use them properly can help to keep you safe while climbing.
Quickdraws offer several benefits to climbers, including saving time, providing a more direct connection between the climber and protection, and offering some safety in the event of a fall. When using quickdraws, it is important to choose the right size and strength for the job, place them in a way that minimizes the risk of cross-loading, and inspect them before use.