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The Freedom of the Bolts: Rodeo Clipping

20 January 2009 88 views 12 Comments
posted by limit

Rodeo Clipping (AKA how to be a BALLER): The rodeo clip is an essential tool in every sport climbers arsenal. Or at least it is in the arsenal of every sport climber who fancies himself a baller. I mean, stick clipping is nice and it gets the job done but every dipshit with a Prana Beanie and an extra 29 bucks for a squib can do it.

How to do it: Rodeo Clipping appears to be deceptively easy. Grab a big bite of rope, swing that fucker like a lariat and lasso yourself a quickdraw. BAM! You are stick clipped and you looked awesome doing it. What you gumbies don’t realize is that in actual practice, rodeo clipping is fraught with complicated nuance. You’ve got to hit the gate in just the right spot, flick the rope with just the right speed, say a couple mantras and pray to the god of cool that your party trick works out.

Grades: Just like everything else associated with climbing, rodeo clipping has grades. Though far from consolodated, grades can range from an easy R0 to mind blowingly difficult R10. An R0 is typically a free hanging draw that tall folks can probably clip on their tippy toes. R10 is probably about 20 feet high with the draw laying on the rock nestled in the back of some hueco. Though rumors of the mythical R11 have been circulated since late 2007, the grade is so far uncomfirmed.

Cons: The route needs to have prehung draws. Also, rodeo clipping is damned hard and requires a lot of dedicatiion and practice to get good at. It’s kinda like break dancing. If you do it well, you look like badass. Do it wrong and you look like a fucking idiot. And heres the kicker: you want to good at it before you start busting it out at popular crags. Nothing makes you look cooler that effortlessly flicking a bite of rope through a draw 15 feet of the ground . Nothing screams I’M A FUCKING DOUCHE GUMBIE louder that standing below a bolt that’s two feet above your head, swinging a rope around like an appoplectic idiot and tangling yourself up like a retarded cat. In other words, before you bust out your new moves at Rifle or the Red or the VRG, practice like mother fucker.

Pros: The rewards of learning to rodeo well are legion. The simple advantage of rodeo clipping is that you don’t need to carry around a stick to do it. The REAL advantage is that you look damned cool doing it. If you can consistently clip harder that R5, it will probably get you laid. If that shit don’t get you a little tingle on your dingle, you at least bought yourself mega baller points. Trust me.


  • Andrew Tower
    wig said:

    Limit only clips at R2 he’s a wanker.

    • Cam
      Cam said:

      How about where some gumbie with a hilti bolted the first clip low enough to deck so you rodeo the second bolt up, take a bite of slack and then rodeo the first clip. R8/R9?

      • Andy C
        Andy C said:

        Limit, you sure do talk a hard game considering you rarely stick clip. Your memory should be plenty fresh enough to remember your 15-20 foot deck from the first bolt of Tied to the Whipping Post while trying to clip.
        I’ll never forget that day, your girlie scream, and Wig trying to catch you (first with the rope, then he found you hadn’t clipped, was free falling, and he opened up his arms to soften the fall).

        • cassidy hill
          cassidy hill said:

          Freedom of the bolts is supposed to be instructive, not only informational. I already know what rodeo clipping is. How about some more how-to bitches?!

          • Tomb
            Tomb said:

            first thing i thought of when i read the title was that thing about grabbing onto some hips and telling her she’s like her sister.

            • Lil
              Lil' Pete said:

              Hate to say it but the first time I saw it done, was definitely a, “Fuck yeh!” moment … impressive skill!

              • sock hands
                sock hands said:

                any of you fools tried rodeo clipping the first bolt itself; i.e. draw on the rope? sure it would smash the shit out of the draw, but as long as it’s your friend’s draw, all’s well.

                • grant
                  grant said:

                  Thats definetly the key is to use others gear. You dont want to f up your shit when you can practice on your bros snap links. I also apply this theory to any route that has a large runout on it. If you think theres a chance for the fall, casually mention to your partner that we should use your rope today because mines shot or you left it at your house.

                  • steph davis
                    steph davis said:

                    Fraught with Complicated Nuance. So true.

                    • Kyle
                      Kyle said:

                      Well waiting for a belayer, I casually warmed up with an R3 at the local gym; Only catching the attention of a 40+ year old woman who ask if I wanted her to climb up and clip it for me. I think next time I will go for a daunting R9 and make sure that the CCG notices and buys me a drink.

                      • tinkler
                        tinkler said:

                        don’t you think that rodeo clipping is for… pussys?

                        • Daniel
                          Daniel said:

                          I don’t think rodeo clipping is for vags, I think its fucking awesome. Its like throwing a figure 8 with your penis whilst juggling fifths of bushmills.

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