Say what you want about stick clipping, but sometimes it’s just plain smart. For years, sport climbers have been carrying heavy around 10-foot extendable painter’s poles affixed with A-clamps.

Enter the Beta Stick, hands down the best commercially available stick clip I’ve seen. What makes the Beta Stick unique is its strong, light telescopic pole that reaches an impressive 12 feet over head, yet collapses down to just 2.75 feet, making it compact enough to travel with, or just keep inside a large pack.

The compact size is also convenient if you’re hauling a stick clip up your project that you’re too much of a wuss or a weakling to figure out the moves on lead (like me).

2015_beta_stick_compact_with_drawThe head of the Beta Stick can clip draws to bolts, and ropes to pre-hung draws as easily as any other device. Also, you can affix a brush to a Velcro strap, and brush those hard-to-reach holds, making the Beta Stick useful for boulderers as well.

Compared to my other favorite stick clip device, the Super Clip, the Beta Stick has one major shortcoming: it lacks the ability to remove draws from bolts. I’ve seen some clever workarounds to this problem, however. You can tape a half-inch wrench to the bottom end of the Beta Stick. It’s difficult to describe how to remove a draw using a wrench, but the essential idea is that you place the jaws of the wrench around the carabiner’s gate, then twist/torque the gate open, then try to quickly flip the draw off the bolt hanger before the gate snaps shut. With some practice this nifty trick becomes surprisingly reliable.

Trust me and upgrade to the Standard size.

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