Essential Skills: The Alpine Quickdraw
Six more clever ways to use slings
1. Carry a sling while working a sport route. If you can’t do a move, clip the sling to the bolt and stand in it for some improvised aid.
2. If you rack your pro on a gear sling, buy a sling rated to full strength. That way, you can clip it to your pro if you run out of normal slings.
3. On seldom-traveled climbs or alpine routes, always carry at least a couple of slings tied from nylon webbing, versus sewn slings. An untied sling is longer than a sewn sling and is easier to tie around a tree or boulder, or to replace sun-bleached or frayed slings at an anchor.
4. When sport climbing, use slings to extend hard-to-clip bolts or to keep a carabiner from bending over an edge.
5. A sling can substitute for thin perlon cord for a rappel back-up (such as a Bachmann knot) or ascending a rope with a prusik or kleimheist knot. Beware: the heat from friction can easily damage thin Spectra or Dyneema slings. Use them this way only in emergencies.
6. A long sling can be used to improvise a "diaper harness." Loop the sling across your butt, then pull one strand up through your crotch. Clip the three loops— both hips and crotch—with a locking carabiner. This is only for emergencies!