You’re ready to take your climbing to the next level. You want breathtaking views, total immersion in nature, and exciting stories to tell. So, you decide that multi-pitch climbing is the next step. Go for it — but only once you're well-equipped and well-prepared. Multi-pitch climbing requires a different approach than single pitch or gym climbing. You need specific gear so you can be as prepared as possible and take on this new challenge with peace of mind.

July 13 2023

Multi-pitch climbing

Climbing on a multi-pitch is not the time to “wing it". So how can you make sure you’re prepared and well-equipped?

Choosing a partner you trust, carefully planning your itinerary, and confirming weather conditions are all essential steps to making your multi-pitch experience a smooth one. But first and foremost, gear up with the proper equipment. Here's the basic list of gear that we recommend:

  •  Helmet
  •  Harness
  •  Lanyard
  • Belay device for double ropes
  • Half or twin ropes
  • 10 to 14 quickdraws
  • 3 to 5 slings, 60cm and 120 cm
  • 3 to 5 non-locking carabiners
  • 4 locking carabiners
  • 1 loop of accessory cord to make a friction hitch such as an autoblock or Prusik
  • 1 mechanical capture device (such as a TIBLOC) and a progress-capture pulley (such as a MICROTRAXION) to assist the second
  • 1 ascender to ascend the rope
  • Cams/nuts and nut tool if necessary Pitons and hammer if necessary
  •  Gear sling if necessary 
  • Chalk bag
  • Climbing shoes
  • Lightweight pack (20 liters)
  • Food
  • Drink
  • Lightweight windbreaker
  • Knife
  • Headlamp
  • Small first aid kit
  • Topo of the route, map


We're rooting for you, and we want your multi-pitch to go smoothly. So, we put together a detailed description of different products you’ll need.


You’re gonna need one, and for your first multi-pitch, we recommend a harness from our CORAX range. The wide waistbelt and padded leg loops make it a comfortable choice. Plus, it’s fully adjustable, making it great for climbing in the gym or outside. Five gear loops are an essential feature for multi-pitch climbs when you need to carry a large quantity of gear with you.


You’ll also need a helmet to protect your head in the event of a fall or impact. We suggest the BOREO, whose innovative hybrid construction provides both durability and comfort. Its construction and design offer side and rear coverage to protect the head from both rock fall and lateral impact. This is exactly what you want for a multi-pitch climb.


Next, you’ll want to choose your rope, a very important decision. The most natural choice is using half ropes. Petzl recommends the TANGO 8.5 mm rope. It comes in two distinct colors, and has a sheath thickness that helps reinforce durability. Having two different rope colors allows the climber to easily tell them apart. This can make clipping easier if you dedicate one color to one side, and it can also help you remember which side the knot is on when pulling the rope down.


On multi-pitch climbs, to link the pitches, you’ll need a belay/rappel device to belay the second from the anchor. Simple, smooth, easy to use, and very lightweight, the REVERSO® remains the top choice for many climbers. Favored for its versatility and low weight, it allows you to rappel, belay your partner, and belay one or two seconds from the anchor in REVERSO mode. Efficiency is important for safety, but also for user enjoyment — the braking system is both efficient and exceptionally smooth, for a pleasant belaying experience. It’s suitable for most rope diameters: Single ropes from 8.5 to 10.5mm, half ropes from 7.1 to 9.2mm, and 6.9 to 9.2mm.


When it comes to quickdraws, you’ll need a full set of 10-16, with a few different lengths, so you're ready for any situation. Remember, on a multi-pitch, every gram counts. DJINN AXESS quickdraws are lightweight, easy to use, and feature the Keylock system. Especially durable, they're resistant to wear from impacts or abrasion. These draws are versatile and available in multiple lengths to fit different situations you might encounter while you climb. Generally, if the route goes straight up, shorter quickdraws work just fine. But if the route zigzags, longer quickdraws are recommended to help avoid rope drag, which is caused by a significant amount of friction between the rope and the carabiner on the quickdraw.


On multi-pitch climbs, we use locking carabiners for different situations, such as building an anchor, belaying, or for connecting to an anchor point or friction hitch when rappelling, for example. Weight is always important to consider. That’s why we recommend the ATTACHE carabiner, which features an H-frame to keep the weight low. Plus, it’s compact and ideal for anchors. The SCREW-LOCK gate is easy to use and allows for quick and efficient maneuvers when necessary.


For any climber wishing to push their limits on a multi-pitch, a high-performance lanyard is a must. We recommend the DUAL CONNECT ADJUST lanyard, with an intuitive and quick adjustment system which allows the climber to easily select the length of the lanyard according to specific needs. The ADJUST device makes adjusting the length quick and easy, simplifying operations and helping to reduce risk.

Extra Gear

Other tools can be useful in certain situations, such as a sling. For example, even if most anchors on the climb are well-equipped and connected, sometimes, you have to connect the two anchor points using a sling before you can belay up the second. In other cases, you might need to place a cam or a nut in a crack, adding another point to your anchor to back it up. Then, you can quickly retrieve it with a nut tool if needed. In some cases, pitons and a hammer could be useful if there is a situation where the cams or nuts can’t be placed. You can place steel pitons in very narrow cracks to add an additional points of protection.

Making sure you’re well-equipped for a multi-pitch is absolutely crucial, and it will help set you up for a more comfortable, enjoyable experience. Investing in high-quality equipment and learning to use it properly can open up the opportunity for exciting challenges and unique landscapes, all while pushing your personal limits with confidence.

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