Alpine Quickdraws: A Comprehensive Guide for Climbers

Updated Sep 5, 2023
Alpine Quickdraws A Comprehensive Guide for Climbers

Alpine climbing? Check! Specialized gear? Check! Alpine quickdraws are the versatile tools that make it all possible. Solid gate carabiners and lightweight dyneema slings minimize friction and increase safety while navigating belay anchors.

Length matters when it comes to choosing an alpine quickdraw. Longer slings reduce rope drag. Multiple slings allow for different angles and distances.

Most alpine draws consist of two non-locking carabiners connected with webbing or dyneema material. Quick and easy clipping, yet secure.

Black Diamond offers reliable alpine quickdraws for all sorts of climbing scenarios. Strength, durability, and ease-of-use? You bet! Always check your gear before each climb.

What are Alpine Quickdraws?

Alpine quickdraws are indispensable tools for climbers. They feature two solid gate carabiners connected by a sling, enabling rapid and efficient clipping. The slings are usually made from lightweight materials such as dyneema, helping keep the gear weight low.

These versatile pieces of gear help reduce rope drag and ensure a smooth ascent. By extending the anchor point, climbers can maintain a direct line of pull when traversing difficult sections. Plus, alpine quickdraws contribute to safer climbing practices by minimizing the risk of accidental dislodging or damaging fragile rock formations.

Popular brands offer various options, allowing climbers to select the most suitable quickdraws for their routes and preferences. Alpine quickdraws: the only drag you’ll actually want to experience while climbing mountains.

Understanding Rope Drag in Alpine Climbing

Rope drag? No way! Alpine quickdraws are here to save the day. They consist of two carabiners connected by a sling or webbing, usually made of dyneema for lightweight durability. Positioning the alpine draws on the route correctly can reduce rope drag significantly. Extending them with multiple slings and arranging the strands carefully can make the rope run smoother. Non-locking carabiners with wide gate openings and smooth gate action make it easier and quicker to clip and unclip from protection points. Minimize rope drag – climb smarter!

How to Use Alpine Quickdraws

Alpine quickdraws are essential for climbers! Here’s a guide on how to use them:

  1. Pick the right one: Use alpine quickdraws that are designed to reduce rope drag. These have solid gate carabiners and dyneema slings. This keeps friction low, making climbing and descending easier.
  2. Attach: To reduce rope drag, use two carabiners and several strands of the sling. Connect one carabiner to the belay anchor or protection point, and the other to your rope.
  3. Clipping: When you find bolts or other protection points, pull up some slack from your rope and clip it onto the bolt with the quickdraw. Make sure both carabiners are engaged before you move on.

Remember: Solid gate carabiners are stronger than regular ones. Dyneema slings are lightweight yet durable.

Pro Tip: Bring quickdraws of different lengths and webbing types. This will give you flexibility and make your alpine route experience better.

Safety Tips: Follow these guidelines or you may take a vacation you didn’t plan on!

Tips and Safety Considerations for Alpine Climbers

Alpine climbing presents unique challenges and risks. Therefore, safety must be prioritized. Here are tips and considerations to keep in mind when on alpine routes:

  • Use alpine quickdraws to minimize rope drag. Solid gate carabiners and dyneema slings reduce friction and makes climbing easier.
  • Carry multiple slings for longer draws. This allows you to go around corners or over bulges while minimizing rope drag.
  • Use two carabiners to attach the alpine draw to the protection points. This makes it stable and prevents accidental disengagement.
  • Put the strands of the sling evenly between both carabiners when clipping the rope into the alpine draw. This prevents twisting.
  • Non-locking carabiners are better on less technical sections of the climb. This makes clipping quicker and easier.
  • Always pull the slack rope through each quickdraw before clipping. This makes for a smoother clip and reduces rope drag.

In addition, here are other details that add to safety:

  • Inspect gear before each climb, including carabiners, ropes, and slings. Replace anything showing signs of wear and tear.
  • Securely anchor yourself at belay points. Check the anchors thoroughly before continuing with the climb.

A pro tip: Consider using lightweight webbing or cordage instead of traditional slings. This reduces weight without compromising safety.

Remember, proper planning, technique, and equipment selection are key to a safe and successful alpine climbing experience.


We’ve wrapped up this guide on alpine quickdraws. It’s clear these tools are essential for alpine climbing. They reduce rope drag, and provide swift and secure protection points.

Solid gate carabiners are key for constructing alpine draws. They ensure durability and strength for harsh conditions. Dyneema slings or multiple slings can reduce rope drag further.

Using two carabiners on each quickdraw increases versatility. The length of quickdraws can be changed as needed. This is invaluable on alpine routes.

Let’s look at a real-life example. A group of experienced climbers were on a challenging alpine climb with bolted sections of varying lengths. Rope drag hindered their progress.

But they had alpine quickdraws with extended-length webbing. This allowed them to manage their gear and reduce rope drag. They navigated safely and quickly through the challenging sections.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an alpine quickdraw and why is it important for alpine climbing?

An alpine quickdraw is a type of climbing gear specifically designed for alpine routes. It consists of two carabiners connected by a sling or webbing. The main purpose of an alpine quickdraw is to minimize rope drag and provide efficient protection points while climbing in alpine terrain.

2. How does an alpine quickdraw reduce rope drag?

An alpine quickdraw helps reduce rope drag by allowing the rope to run smoothly along the wall. The long length of the sling or webbing creates a wide loop, minimizing the angle at which the rope enters the carabiner. This reduces friction and drag, making it easier to pull the rope and clip into protection points.

3. Can I use non-locking carabiners for alpine quickdraws?

Yes, you can use non-locking carabiners for alpine quickdraws. However, it is recommended to use solid gate carabiners instead of wire gate carabiners to ensure maximum security. Solid gate carabiners are less prone to snagging and can provide a reliable connection between the rope and the quickdraw.

4. How many strands of the sling should I use for an alpine quickdraw?

Most alpine quickdraws use one strand of sling or webbing. However, in situations where there is a need for extra reach or to reduce rope drag further, climbers can use multiple slings by girth hitching them to the main sling. This provides flexibility and adjustability in various climbing scenarios.

5. Can I use alpine quickdraws for belay anchors?

Yes, alpine quickdraws can be used for belay anchors. They offer a quick and efficient way to connect the climbing rope to the anchor points. However, it is important to assess the strength and stability of the anchor points and choose appropriate gear accordingly.

6. Are alpine quickdraws suitable for all types of climbing?

Alpine quickdraws are specifically designed for alpine climbing, but they can also be used for other types of climbing such as traditional climbing or sport climbing. However, keep in mind that different types of quickdraws may be more suitable for specific climbing styles and situations. It is recommended to consult with experienced climbers or professionals to determine the most appropriate gear for your specific climbing needs.

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About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley


Know Nothing Nomads

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