The quickdraw is ideal for sport and indoor rock climbing. Quickdraws reduce rope drag when a rope is pulled through a series of carabiners which are not necessarily aligned.
What Does a Quickdraw Do
The quickdraw allows the rope to pull to the center and allow a less resistive path from the belay point to the climber. The quickdraw is made of two non-locking carabineers connected with a sewn webbing. One of the carabineers is a non-locking bent gate carabineer and the other is a non-locking straight-gate carabineer. The carabineers are attached with a sling. The sling can vary in length from about 5 cm to 25 cm or 4-1/2 to 10 inches. The webbing is made from a strong material and usually it is sewn on to the carabineer. It can also be tied using a runner or sling. Either of the carabineers may be snap gate or wire gate type.
Quickdraw Description and Components
The Quickdraw has one straight gate carabineer and one bent gate carabineer. The bent gate carabineer should always be the one clipped to the rope. For leading and top roping at an indoor climbing wall usually a quickdraw is already attached to each of the protection points on the route. The lower carabineer, (the one with the bent gate) should be clipped so the gate is pointing away from the rope and pointing away from the climbing wall or rock face. Doing this will help prevent the quickdraw from twisting the gate into the wall. The rope should run freely through the spine of each carabineer, not along the gate. The spine is the strongest part of the carabineer.
Z-Clipping A Quickdraw
Z-clipping happens when the climber grabs the rope under the last clipped quickdraw. In other words, on the rope going to the belayer. Then attempts to clip the next protection using that rope. This usually happens when protection is close together. See diagram.
Example of a Z-Clipped Quickdraw
Example of a Z Clipped Quickdraw. This occurs when the climber incorrectly grabs the rope going to the belayer instead of the rope going to his harness, then pulls it up to the next quickdraw. This type of clipping could cause the gate to twist against the rope and open, and increased rope drag.
Example of correct clipping. The climber should grab the rope going from the quickdraw to his harness, then pull it up to the next quickdraw. The rope stays free and has less rope drag. This type of clipping also reduces the possibility of twisting the carabiner gate against the rope.