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Ascending Tools
(Updated: December 12, 2007)
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Great tool, especially for new recreational climbe

The classic split tail! Typically made of 16 strand climbing lines like New England Ropes Hi-Vee (shown in the picture), Samson's ArborMaster, or Yale Cordages XTC. If you are looking for a way to make a drastic improvement to your traditional climbing system, but you don't want to make a bunch of changes or buy a ton of new gear, switching to a split tail climbing system is THE WAY to start.

Adding this split tail and only one more carabiner, you will no longer have to retie your hitch while switching pitches or going around branches in the canopy. Just lanyard in, unclip the split tail/climbing line, go around the obstacle, then clip back in. It takes about as long to read as it does to actually do it!

If you buy a split tail as shown here, you will have to use a girth hitch to connect to the carabiner. The large eye shown will allow the carabiner to flop around, potentially leading to a cross loading of the carabiner. If you girth hitch the split tail to the carabiner, the girth will "grab on" to the carabiner preventing the cross loading.

However, why switch to a spliced sling, then incorporate a knot (the girth hitch) into the system anyway. Have your sling made with small eye just big enough to get the carabiner into (I call that a "carabiner eye"). The eye itself will grab onto the carabiner. You will have a cleaner system than with the girth hitch method described above.

In my beginning splicing classes, I teach how to make these slings because they are really simple (with proper guidance) to make.

When inspecting, look for wear on the part where the climbing hitch is tied. Verify that the lock stitching is in tact. Make sure there isn't wear in the eye from the carabiner.

After climbing on this, you'll never go back! It is EXTREMELY rare for someone to try the split tail system, then go BACK to traditional climbing.



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