www.climbtech.com | 1/2-inch RB: $55 | Perma Draw: $8 | 4.5 stars
This year, Climb Tech is offering a redesigned removable bolt (RB) that works better and is far easier to clean than the original model. The RB, basically a ball nut engineered to fit a drilled hole, has been around for 11 years and has been employed extensively by climbers all over the world, mainly as a way to aid steep walls and roofs that lack features to hook. Once in position, you can hang on a RB and drill a permanent bolt. It's not hyperbole to say that RBs revolutionized the process of bolting steep sport climbs, but these devices - which have the breaking strength of a carabiner and the holding power of a perfectly placed cam - have other applications yet to be explored. For example, in remote locations RBs could be employed to link crack features, or even to ascend difficult face climbs. Rather than hauling 100 bolts for a 10-pitch line, you'd only need a rack of 12 RBs. Money conscious new-routers can use RBs as provisional anchors, toprope directionals, and for other temporary placements. These reusable bolts quickly pay for themselves and I always have a couple on my rack when exploring new faces for routes. The new design makes an already essential tool even more excellent.
In addition to its newly designed RB, Climb Tech has introduced the Perma Draw to address another issue. Popular routes at sport climbing areas are often equipped with fixed quickdraws, either throughout a route or on difficult-to-clip bolts. These slings hang and weather, sometimes until the nylon is bleached out and the strength is seriously compromised. The Perma Draw, a stainless-steel aircraft cable swaged with zinc/copper and rated a hefty 5,000 pounds, is a deluxe alternative to the trashy and unsafe slings. These bomber draws are also fitted with polyurethane tubing for comfort and grip for those of us who sometimes grab draws.
- Rated to 2,650 pounds.
- Patented cleaning bushing and double spoon makes cleaning easier.
RECOMMENDED USES: New routing, backcountry expeditions, temporary placements.
CONS: Expensive. Sometimes difficult to clean one-handed.
Rated to 5,000 pounds.
RECOMMENDED USES: Any instance where fixed slings are employed. Gyms, anchors, heavily traveled sport climbs.
CONS: More conspicuous than bolt hangers. Gear should not be fixed in access-sensitive areas.