What a wonderful day! You beat the sending season crowds when you stumbled across a gorgeous hidden gem. The climb was inspirational, the rappel station, however, was not.
From the high alpine to the local crag, the Gunks to Red Rock, tattered rappel stations pockmark the cliffs of the nation. Most are fine, but some of these stations are absolute time bombs, and they can claim the lives of climbers. When climbers encounter these anchor stations, the prepared prevail.
Features and benefits of the Trango Piranha
The Trango Piranha is a micro belay knife, crafted from surgical quality stainless steel. At 20g, this tool weighs less than any carabiner on the market and can fit into the palm of your hand. The serrated blade cuts through nylon and Dyneema with ease, and a thoughtfully designed locking mechanism keeps that razor edge safely stored.
The Piranha shines as a lightweight and inexpensive piece of safety gear, coming in at less than half the weight of the Petzl Spatha, another common climbing knife. When paired with a micro carabiner and some spare rappel rings, the Piranha makes improving old anchor stations a breeze.
Why you should climb with a knife
Some may argue that a knife is unnecessary, and anchor stations can be improved without the use of a knife. This is technically correct, just as belaying your partner on a munter hitch is technically correct. Both will work in a pinch, but neither are an ideal scenario.
A knife gives climbers two important advantages. First, it can save you money when you improve rappel stations and anchors. Rather than leaving an entire length of cordelette, or having to use long runners, you can cut cordelette and webbing to size. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, you can cut away the old webbing that you never wanted to rappel from in the first place!
It may not be safety critical, but we all have a responsibility to be stewards for our sport. This means keeping cliffs clean, and removing what essentially amounts to trash: old, unsafe webbing. Ideally, you will be able to cut away all old webbing and replace it with a redundant anchor made from rock-colored materials. This both cleans the cliff of unwanted trash and makes the anchor easy to evaluate.
The Piranha is perfect. Light enough that you’ll never notice it. Sharp enough that you can cut with ease. Small enough that you won’t ruin the blade spreading peanut butter on things. Be a safe climber and a steward of your local crags; carry a knife.
*No bomber anchor stations were harmed in the making of this article … just sketchy ones.
Gear You Ought to Know is a series that showcases underrated, underappreciated, or just plain innovative gear in a discussion-based format. If there’s a piece of gear you’d like to see featured, contact us.
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