Last updated
Two quickdraws. The upper has a solid bent gate for the rope and the lower a wire gate for it. 2quickdraws.saa.jpeg
Two quickdraws. The upper has a solid bent gate for the rope and the lower a wire gate for it.

A quickdraw (also known as an extender) is a piece of climbing equipment used by rock and ice climbers to allow the climbing rope to run freely through protection such as a bolt anchors or other traditional gear while leading.


A quickdraw consists of two carabiners connected by a semi-rigid material (sometimes called the "dogbone"). [1] One carabiner has a straight gate and connects to an anchoring device. The other carabiner is for the climbing rope, and uses a bent gate. [2] Quickdraws are manufactured with either a solid carabiner gate or a wire carabiner gate for its lighter weight.


A quickdraw is a specific type of runner. Runners are used by rock and ice climbers to extend the distance between an anchoring device and the rope.

A quickdraw is differentiated from a simple open loop of webbing with 2 carabiners on it by the following attributes:

  1. The material that connects the 2 carabiners is semi-rigid. It is not as flexible as an open loop of webbing. This rigidity facilitates quicker clipping to an anchoring device.
  2. The gate (on the carabiner that clips to a rope) is held in a specific orientation that facilitates quicker clipping to a rope.

These two attributes differentiate a quickdraw from other types of runners. These two attributes are literally what makes this special type of runner "quick" to "draw". If either of these two elements is missing the runner is not a "quickdraw".

The methods by which a quickdraw maintains gate orientation vary. The most popular method involves the use of an elastic polymer band around the outside of the point of connection between the carabiner and the semi-rigid material. The elastic band should only be installed on the rope-end, and not on the anchor end. [3] [4] The elastic band is not a load-bearing element, and the carabiner must pass through the dogbone to hold body weight. Incorrect assembly has led to at least one death. [1]

While historically the orientation of the gates varied, it is now generally recommended that both gates face the same direction, and that the quickdraw is clipped with both gates facing away from the climber's path. This lessens the chances of the carabiner getting "nose-hooked" and breaking, or of either carabiner unclipping, during a fall or due to rope drag. [5] [3] [6] [4] [7]

Related Research Articles

Climbing Activity to ascend a steep object

Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.

Carabiner Shackle with a spring-loaded gate

A carabiner or karabiner is a specialized type of shackle, a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly and reversibly connect components, most notably in safety-critical systems. The word is a shortened form of Karabinerhaken, a German phrase for a "spring hook" used by a carbine rifleman, or carabinier, to attach his carabin to a belt or bandolier.

Climbing protection is any of a variety of devices employed to reduce risk and protect others while climbing rock and ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.

Traditional climbing Style of rock climbing

Traditional climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which the climber places all the necessary protection gear required to arrest any falls as they are climbing, and then removes it when the pitch is complete. Traditional bolted aid climbing means the bolts were placed while on lead and/or with hand drills. Traditional climbing carries a higher level of risk than bolted sport climbing, as the climber may not have placed the safety equipment correctly while trying to ascend the route; for some of the world's hardest climbs, there may not be sufficient cracks or features in the rock that can accept protection gear, and the climb can only be safely attempted by bolting as a sport climb.

Climbing harness

A climbing harness is a device which allows a climber access to the safety of a rope. It is used in rock and ice climbing, abseiling, and lowering; this is in contrast to other activities requiring ropes for access or safety such as industrial rope work, construction, and rescue and recovery, which use safety harnesses instead.

Glossary of climbing terms List of definitions of terms and concepts related to rock climbing and mountaineering

This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Rock-climbing equipment

A wide range of equipment is used during rock or any other type of climbing that includes equipment commonly used to protect a climber against the consequences of a fall.

Abseiling Rope-controlled descent of a vertical surface

Abseiling, also known as rappelling, is a controlled descent off a vertical drop, such as a rock face, by descending a fixed rope.

Free climbing Form of climbing not using aid climbing

Free climbing is a form of rock climbing in which the climber may use climbing equipment such as ropes and other means of climbing protection, but only to protect against injury during falls and not to assist progress. The climber makes progress by using physical ability to move over the rock via handholds and footholds. Free climbing more specifically may include traditional climbing, sport climbing, bouldering and most forms of solo climbing. Free climbing a multi-pitch route means free-climbing each of its pitches in a single session. At the end of each pitch, climbers anchor themselves to belay stations where they can rest.

Lead climbing Competitive discipline of sport climbing

Lead climbing is a climbing style, predominantly used in rock climbing. In a roped party one climber has to take the lead while the other climbers follow. The lead climber wears a harness attached to a climbing rope, which in turn is connected to the other climbers below the lead climber. While ascending the route, the lead climber periodically connects the rope to protection equipment for safety in the event of a fall. This protection can consist of permanent bolts, to which the climber clips quickdraws, or removable protection such as nuts and cams. One of the climbers below the lead climber acts as a belayer. The belayer gives out rope while the lead climber ascends and also stops the rope when the lead climber falls or wants to rest.

Bolt (climbing)

In rock climbing, a bolt is a permanent anchor fixed into a hole drilled in the rock as a form of protection. Most bolts are either self-anchoring expansion bolts or fixed in place with liquid resin.

Rock climbing Sport in which participants climb natural rock formations

Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

Munter hitch Adjustable knot used control friction in a belay system

The Munter hitch, also known as the Italian hitch, Mezzo Barcaiolo or the Crossing Hitch, is a simple adjustable knot, commonly used by climbers, cavers, and rescuers to control friction in a life-lining or belay system. To climbers, this hitch is also known as HMS, the abbreviation for the German term Halbmastwurfsicherung, meaning half clove hitch belay. This technique can be used with a special "pear-shaped" HMS locking carabiner, or any locking carabiner wide enough to take two turns of the rope.

Sling (climbing equipment)

A sling or runner is an item of climbing equipment consisting of a tied or sewn loop of webbing. These can be wrapped around sections of rock, hitched to other pieces of equipment, or tied directly to a tensioned line using a Prusik style knot. They may be used as anchors, to extend an anchor to reduce rope drag, in anchor equalization, or to climb a rope.

In rock climbing, an anchor can be any device or method for attaching a climber, a rope, or a load above or onto a climbing surface—typically rock, ice, steep dirt, or a building—either permanently or temporarily. The intention of an anchor is case-specific but is usually for fall protection, primarily fall arrest and fall restraint. Climbing anchors are also used for hoisting, holding static loads, or redirecting a rope.

Climbing rope Rope used to secure climbers

A climbing rope is a rope that is used in climbing. It is a critical part of an extensive chain of protective equipment used by climbers to help prevent potentially fatal fall-related accidents.

Dynamic rope Rope designed to stretch under load

A dynamic rope is a specially constructed, somewhat elastic rope used primarily in rock climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering. This elasticity, or stretch, is the property that makes the rope dynamic—in contrast to a static rope that has only slight elongation under load. Greater elasticity allows a dynamic rope to more slowly absorb the energy of a sudden load, such from arresting a climber's fall, by reducing the peak force on the rope and thus the probability of the rope's catastrophic failure. A kernmantle rope is the most common type of dynamic rope now used. Since 1945, nylon has, because of its superior durability and strength, replaced all natural materials in climbing rope.

Belay device Mechanical piece of climbing equipment

A belay device is a mechanical piece of climbing equipment used to control a rope during belaying. It is designed to improve belay safety for the climber by allowing the belayer to manage their duties with minimal physical effort. With the right belay device, a small, weak climber can easily arrest the fall of a much heavier partner. Belay devices act as a friction brake, so that when a climber falls with any slack in the rope, the fall is brought to a stop.

The American Death Triangle, also known as the "American Triangle", "Triangle Anchor" or simply the "Death Triangle", is a dangerous type of rock and ice climbing anchor infamous for both magnifying load forces on fixed anchors and lack of redundancy in attachment to the anchor.


  1. 1 2 "Prevent Quickdraw Failure". Climbing Magazine. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  2. Hattingh, Garth (July 1998). The Climber's Handbook (1 ed.). Stackpole Books. ISBN   0-8117-2706-8.
  3. 1 2 "Positioning the quickdraw and clipping the rope". Petzl USA. Retrieved 2018-08-14. The carabiner gate must always face away from the climber's direction of travel. ... The anchor-end carabiner must be mobile (no STRING). The rope-end carabiner must be fixed (with STRING).
  4. 1 2 Van Leuven, Chris (2014-06-27). "Face Those Gates". Spadout. Archived from the original on 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2018-08-14. safer to keep the gates facing the same way ... it’s safest to keep the bottom carabiner fixed to the QD’s webbing with tape or a rubber O-ring, but not the top biner
  5. "Metolius carabiners manual" (PDF). In most situations ... the gates of both carabiners should face away from the direction of travel of the climber.
  6. Heise-Flecken, Detlef; Flecken, Gabi (28 March 2016). Rock climbing : technique, equipment, safety, with an introduction to indoor climbing. Aachen, Germany. p. 119. ISBN   9781782550358. OCLC   903189054. The principle is that the gates must always be pointing in the opposite direction to the climbing route
  7. Michaël Andries (2013-07-11), "Why both snappers should point to the same side, away from climbing direction.", YouTube, retrieved 2018-08-14[ dead YouTube link ]