In the gym or in the alpine, dropping your tools is simply not an option.

As a follow up to a previous post about leashes and tethers, we go in depth with the two tethering options for DRY ICE Tools and ice tools available here.

The French-made Blue Ice Boa ($39.95) is a flawless synthesis of form and function.

From Blue Ice:

"With the Boa leash system, you get all the advantages of leashless tools, without the risk of dropping them! The leashes are a simple, lightweight way to connect your tools directly to your harness. The updated Boa system includes a separate tether for each tool, so you can use just one or both as necessary. To save weight, the large loops allow you to girth hitch the leashes directly to your tools, without requiring carabiners. The leashes are different colors so you can easily identify your right and left-hand tools. They can also be used to secure a piton hammer, camera, or even a backpack. True to Blue Ice tradition, the Boa leash system offers a compact, minimalist and versatile solution for your boldest alpine adventures."

Ideal uses

Alpinism, mixed & ice climbing

  • No carabiners required for attachment
  • Elastic webbing
  • Two different colors
    • Over the blade
    • With a carabiner

Alpinists and DRY ICErs benefit from separate colored strands that help identify one tool for the other.  Weighing in a scant 1.76oz (50 grams) they are the lightest tethering option available. With a little creativity climbers can use Boas in their lightest form, important for those light and fast ascents.  

Attaching the Boas to your tools and harness affords a few options however, allowing climbers to choose the method that best suits their needs. You can girth hitch them or carabiner them or use a combination of the two.

At DRY ICE, the best results for use with DRY ICE Tools we have seen is to girth hitch them to the keeper strand on the tools, and then carabiner them to your harness.  This allows for easy on/off when swapping between rock routes and DRY ICE routes at the gym.

Blue Ice Boas also are the lightest tethers for your ice tools.

The Black Diamond Spinner Leash ($49.95) is a tried and true choice for tethering your DRY ICE Tools.

From BD:

"For hard, technical alpine climbing where you want to climb leashless but can't risk dropping a tool, the Black Diamond Spinner Leash provides a simple and secure solution. This lightweight elastic tether system stretches for maximum reach and the steel mini-clips keep your tools securely connected to your harness. A built-in swivel ensures tangle-free climbing.

  • Proprietary elastic webbing stretches for maximum reach and absorbs less water than nylon
  • Steel mini-clip attaches to the tool’s spike or head
  • Built-in swivel ensures tangle-free use
  • Rated to 2 kN"

They have a clip at the end of each umbilical, and a sweet swivel to prevent the strands from getting tangled.  At 4 oz. (120g) they are a little more than twice as heavy as the Boas, but that is due to the Boa's lack of hardware.  BD Spinners offer fewer options for attachment. In their lightest form, Spinners girth hitch to the belay loop of your harness, and then clip to the keeper strands on DRY ICE Tools.

For easier on/off, add a carabiner between the harness and the Spinner loop.

For ice tools one can clip to the hole a the spike of the tool or through a hole in the handle.

While neither of these leashes are rated to be used as protection, take a fall, and are never be used in an anchor system. they are both excellent solutions to keeping you tools with you.  Both leashes are available here