Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Gear Guy

Should I Clip Protection Before Placing It?

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

“I read a Rock and Ice article about an injury caused by not clipping the first piece of pro while building an anchor. Would it be better to clip a piece of pro before placing it? Would this reduce the potential for fall and serious injury?”

—Ngoh Seh Suan

Clipping gear before you place it is only slightly less accident prone than walking backwards. Fall before the piece is set—a real possibility—and you’ll drop about an extra six feet, or twice the distance of the extra rope you had to pull up to accompany the piece clipped to it. As you boing onto the rope, let the hollow-skull sound of that piece of gear klonking onto your head remind you of your folly.

The good news is this technique is self-limiting. Try it, and you’ll instantly learn that the weight of the rope, rope drag and friction of the rope running through the carabiner preclipped to the gear make lift- ing the gear and rope only slightly easier than hefting an anvil with one arm. Please just place and clip pro like normal and when you build an anchor, set your first piece and clip it so you have gear and a belay for the next round of anchor-building shenanigans. Gear Guy has spoken!


This article first appeared in Rock and Ice issue 247 (January 2018).


Also Read

Gear Guy: Are Micro Fractures Real?