Sport climbing is becoming increasingly popular, with routes being put up all over the world. Unlike traditional climbing, sport routes are protected with quickdraws attached to permanent bolts that have been drilled in to the rock. This means that very little gear needs to be carried, making it ideal for those looking to travel overseas for their climbing.
It’s worth checking over your quickdraws, as bolts can be pretty tough on them. Resting on routes and taking falls can leave sharp nicks in your karabiners from where the bolt’s edge digs in to them.
Putting nicks in your quickdraws really isn’t a major issue (unless the wear is excessive of course), but the issue comes when the karabiner that is used to clip the bolt is accidentally used to clip the rope. This can cause damage to the rope sheath and so is best avoided. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that one karabiner is always used to clip the rope and the other is always used to clip the bolt:
Three easy ways to avoid clipping the wrong way:
1: Colour co-ordinate the karabiners – like here, orange for bolt, red for rope.
2: Use a bent gate karabiner for the rope (for ease of clipping) and a straight gate for the bolt.
3: Keep the “rope” karabiner held captive in the sling so that it can’t flop around. This makes it easier to clip as well as easy to identify which end is which. Most quickdraws will already come like this.