It’s fun to say “Pongoose.” So kudos for their marketing savvy to the husband-and-wife team who developed this all-metal, telescoping stick-clip (or, in UK-speak, the product’s country of origin, “clip-stick”). As friends and I tested, we couldn’t help but keep saying “Pongoose.” Soon, any route on which we’d pre-clipped a high bolt was sent via a “Pongoosepoint” or had been “Pongoosed”—you get the gist.
The Pongoose has a uniquely shaped, anodized head that handles rope clipping, draw clipping, and draw removal all in one. The pole extends to nine-plus feet and collapses down to two-plus feet, and weighs 21 ounces, making for a solid length for high first bolts as well as an easy lash-off to your pack or handheld carry. It’s all metal—including the pole—which has been amazing for durability, not to mention much-needed rigidity for distant clips. However, the main selling point has been the versatility of the head and neck (bracket): The neck, with a clip-off eye for hauling, quickly adjusts from quickdraw mode to rope mode with one twist of a handle. Meanwhile, you can rotate the head itself through 360 degrees to help further refine the angle of approach for oddly shaped or obstructed hangers—major bonus. The head also comes off, letting you screw on a proprietary boar’s hair bouldering brush (not included) or a camera.
The Pongoose consistently let me use any draw to clip any hanger, and packed mad style in the bargain. The one caveat is that you’ll need to learn some new techniques, so first read the manual and watch the videos. It’s held up over months of abuse, and you can replace any component à la carte. This is engineering genius at work, and the idea to use all-metal components on a stick-clip is a welcome refinement to the genre.