What Makes a Pongoose So Good For Sport Climbing?

Pongoose Clipstick Review

My first sighting of a Pongoose was this year at The Diamond, arguably one of the most impressive UK sport crags, nestled right on our doorstep, here in North Wales. It had been a good many years since I’d been down to that secluded pebble beach, and many things seemed to have changed.

Climbing at the Diamond
Nathan Pike on Wall of the Evening Light. Photo: Tim Neill

Firstly, it was a lot busier than it used to be, with a proper healthy scene of aging alpinists through to young guns, hanging on ropes, taking lobs and ‘having it’ until their elbows met their ears.

A welcome change from the days where often you would see no one, except maybe a handful of locals trying the projects that are now established classics; Doylo and Dyer switching attempts on what was to become The Brute, was always a pleasure to witness.

Notably, everyone had a clip stick, and most of them didn’t look like the ones I was used to. They had brightly coloured and strangely shaped metal heads, whose functionality I couldn’t work out at first acquaintance; ‘very fancy’ I thought as I proceeded to try to get my first couple of quickdraws into Boat People, for a long-awaited rematch.

Pongoose Clipstick
Pongoose 700+

Upon borrowing my climbing partner’s clipstick, he informed me that it was a bit funked…or words to that effect. Which it was. Unfortunately, not even copious amounts of duct tape could render it useful, as we both quietly pondered why he had bothered to bring it in at all.

My clipstick, was of course residing at home, next to its predecessor, both a bit funked, and generally useless except for their occasional outing to pluck the birdfeeders out of a tree for refilling.

Then came the hand of God, as one of the young guns reached over and offered to lend me his clipstick, an unusual looking one, with brightly coloured head.

I marvelled at the design and robust construction of the stick, whilst at the same time being completely clueless of how to use it.
The keen youth read me well and kindly offered to show me how it worked by putting my first draw in for me, it took him less than 10 seconds flat.

No faffing with wire clips or hard to lock sections, or any need to carefully feed the rope out.

He then handed it to me. My turn, for the much higher second bolt to clip this time…’Clip’, done, easy, no bendy stick syndrome, no gate closing at the wrong time, draw in, game on.

I reluctantly handed it back, trying not to reveal my inner gear freak as again I marvelled at its simplicity and strong build. I asked him what the make was: : “It says on the side mate…Pongoose.” This meant absolutely nothing to me, “never ‘erd of them” I replied.

Pongoose Clipstick Review

At the end of the session, I had a couple of draws left in the neighbouring route, Never Get Out of the Boat. Now too late and too hard to get all the way up to the anchor bolt to bolt I needed to get those draws back. Again, the keen youth came to my rescue as the Pongoose was lent out and put into action for a function I never thought possible; to retrieve the quickdraws from the ground…

Mind blown I walked away ranting on about “how good are those fancy new clipsticks eh?!” as well as the usual, “yer, I reckon that’ll go that if I get a bit stronger and fitter..”

Two days later I was writing an email enquiry to its solo manufacturer, ‘Rob’, asking to stock the Pongoose clipstick our Indy Emporium, as much so I could get hold of one as to be able to stock a desirable high-quality product. Two months later and countless uses of my own Pongoose I’m writing this clipstick review to help spread the word.

Clipstick rope review
Pongoose 1000+ with the rope ready to go.

Pongoose clipsticks are the only 3 in 1 (clipstick/stick clip, camera boom/monopod and multi directional brushing stick) clipstick on the market. You can fully adjust the angle of the head depending on the steepness of the rock or angle of the bolt or hold via an easy-to-handle thumbscrew. One other feature I really appreciated, was that the stick can be attached to your harness via a clip hole in the metal bracket, no more flimsy cord attachments and worries of a flying clipstick.

They are manufactured and assembled in the U.K by Rob himself, the heads are handmade by him on his very own press and the plastic bit injection moulded by a company just 5 minutes down the road from his workshop. Each part has been meticulously chosen for its functionality, quality of materials and durability. Pongoose are a perfect example of a simple solution to a complex problem, born out of a pure passion for functional and durable design. To sum up, Pongoose clipsticks are the most effective, easy to use and robust clip sticks on the market, with fully replaceable components with a full years warranty should you need a replacement.

Pongoose clipsticks are available from Indy in two lengths:

Pongoose 700+ at 2.85m : £85.00

Pongoose 1000+ at 4.3m : £89.00

For most people the shorter length is adequate and better for travelling. However, for those who want to preclip or preequip a route as high as possible then the Pongoose 1000 is definitely going to be your go to stick and it’s only four quid more than the 700+.

As you’ve probably guessed, I simply cannot recommend these enough and as such they are the only clipstick you’ll now find in our shop. Come on in next time you’re in the wall to see them and try for yourself, it’s truly the only clipstick you’ll ever need to buy.

If you have read this review and want to buy a Pongoose from us, then simply mention that you read this review on our website to receive 10% discount.

Pongoose Clipsticks

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