TRANGO BETA STICK EVO
After spending a month with the Beta Stick EVO, it’s become an invaluable addition to my sport-climbing kit for its length, versatility, and high quality. I tested the standard model, which weighs 21 oz and extends from 29 inches to 12 feet—more than enough length to reach the first and often second bolts on any of the Front Range climbs that don’t require gear. (The compact version weighs 15 oz and goes from 21.5 inches to 8 feet—still plenty long enough for bolt one.) On the performance side, two ridges add stability and prevent twisting, while snap-locks allow for easy adjustment. The stick does flex when fully extended, but it’s manageable. The gate spring can be adjusted to fit different carabiners, but performance did vary by biner. For example, for the 20-foot-high first bolt of Alpine Moe in Upper Dream Canyon, I had to come in at an angle to accommodate the biner and hanger angles, making the clip awkward. However, other carabiners allowed for easier orientations.
The Beta Stick EVO is loaded with smart features: A hole in the head lets you attach the stick to your harness so you can clip up your proj while on route (don’t fall like this). A hook on the bottom lets you pull a bight of rope down to keep a high bolt pre-clipped. And the spring gate holds a loop of rope, which you can use to lasso-clip an in-situ draw or, with some complexity, remove an errant quickdraw without climbing up to it.