Over the years I have used many different quickdraws and slings. In the past couple years I have been using Trango 60cm and 120cm Ultratape slings with Black Diamond Neutrino carabiners and Cypher quickdraws. This setup has proven to be light, durable, and affordable. But I was looking for something lighter with lower bulk. This lead me to search out a new sling and draw setup. Eventually I decided on the ultra lightweight and low bulk Black Diamond OZ quickdraws and carabiners paired with 60cm and 120cm Dynex runners.
The next benefit on the OZ-Dynex extendable runner set up is the weight, or lack thereof. The location of the route will determine how many runners I rack. But in areas with longer pitches such as Lumpy Ridge in Estes Park I may climb with six 60cm and two 120cm extendables. Where as if I’m climbing shorter and often wandering and traversing pitches of Eldorado Canyon in Boulder I’ll rack up to ten 60cm and two 120cm runners. In any case if I were to rack my ten single length and two double length Dynex runners with two OZ carabiners each I carry a total weight of 33.5 ounces or about 2 pounds.
In addition to this I could carry six OZ quickdraws. These are great for crack climbs where I’ll use more cam then nut placements and the route has a plumb line compared to a meandering one. These draws are easy to clip onto the cam sling while the rubber straight jacket on the rope end carabiner allow for controlled one hand, fingers on the outside or single finger on the inside rope clipping. All six of these draws weigh in at 13.2 ounces or about 0.8 pounds.
In comparison my old quickdraw and extendable sling kit weighed in at nearly 4 pounds but when I built this new kit it lost nearly 24 ounces or about a pound and a half. So why does a pound and a half matter? First of all on alpine routes with long approaches such as the Backbone on Dragontail in the Enchantments or Ellingwood Ledges on Crestone Needle in the Sangre de Cristo this pound and half will make a difference on single day car to car assaults. Additonally on these long days this weight savings can be transmitted to water or food weight, extra thermal layers, a bivy sack or that little bottle of celebratory libation. What’s more is the possibility to shave another ¾ of a pound by using Dynex runners with only one OZ carabiner! This would drop the total quickdraw extendable runner kit to a scant 1.7 pounds! Now imagine how hard you could climb with that weight savings.
Lastly and this came as quite a surprise is the reduction of clutter on my gear loops and gear slings. The Dynex at 10mm is 2mm narrower that the Ultratape at 12mm. In addition to this the dynex runners are great for equalizing anchor points.
So if weight and bulk are important considerations then this extendable runner set up is top notch. Easy rope clipping on bolts and most pitons is a benefit for both the leader and follower. Add in the fact that compared to nylon, Dynex absorbs less water and is less stiff when frozen, Dynex excels in alpine conditions when temps drop below freezing. In my opinion and from my experience the reduced melting point and smaller carabiner size are outweighed by more racking space on gear loops, reduced drag from weight and the ability to send harder for longer from the crag to the alpine.