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With all the dangers surrounding the use of daisy chains to clip into an anchor, Metolius decided to create a much safer option- the Personal Anchor System or Metolius PAS. After climbing in Boulder last summer, I decided to buy one as I wanted a personal anchor system that was not only safe but also adjustable and extremely easy to use.  

The Metolius PAS is made up of numerous individual 16 mm Monster Sling webbing loops (27% Dyneema, 73% nylon). Each individual loop has ten bar tacks (compared to a daisy chain's two), giving each loop the full 18 kN of strength.

The PAS is designed to be used as a multiple clip in point, meaning you can clip into two points on the anchor with two separate loops for redundancy. You don't need another daisy chain, sling, or quick draw to clip into the second point. Each loop is 4 inches long so you can easily adjust your distance from the anchor simply by clipping through the next loop. 

For both rock climbing and ice climbing, I automatically rig my Metolius PAS to my harness from the start. During multi-pitch climbing, I still clip into belay stations using the rope with a clove hitch in case I should fall, but use the PAS when clipping into the top anchor for rigging up the rappel. I also use my PAS to clip into the anchor at the top of a single pitch climb that I have seconded in order to rig up my rappel or to be lowered down after clearing.

The Metolius PAS makes it super easy to extend the rappel through one of the loops in front of you. The PAS also allows you to weight the rappel before fully unclipping from the anchor to make sure everything is set up correctly. 

Metolius PAS

Some people argue that the PAS is a bit of a one trick pony so they would rather carry multi-purpose slings. My view is that since the Metolius PAS weighs only 3.2 oz, it isn't going to weigh me down and the convenience as well as added efficiency are well worth the extra weight. The PAS stows nicely on your harness-simply clip a bunch of loops together and stow them on one of your gear loops.

Bottom Line: To me, the Metolius PAS is a no brainer- a safe, adjustable and super easy to use personal anchor system. The Metolius PAS retails for $35.90 or $25.95 without the carabiner. 

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  1. I think a better option for this use is a short piece of cordelette tied as a Purcell prusik loop. It is adjustable, it is cheap, it is safer if you fall on it accidentally because it is naturally load-reducing, and you can easily chop a piece off if you need to leave a piece of tat to get off a route. The only downside is that it is a little bulkier than the PAS, but I think overall it is a big improvement.

    Also, it is worth noting that the Sterling Chain Reactor is made of nylon, and so is less likely to break you or your gear if you shockload it by falling on it.

  2. Thanks for this post, Amy! I, too, love the PAS for rock climbing; convenient and safe, hard to argue with that. But partially in response to Mark’s good comment above, I think Metolius was looking for a product that would be valuable to all climbers and understandable for beginners. It’d be great if every climber knew the half dozen most useful knots and how to use them, but I think many don’t. While you’re picking up those valuable skills along the way (eg always using your rope as an anchor), the PAS is a mostly-brainless way to stay safe and have fun.

  3. Hi Josh,

    My worry is that beginners are especially likely to not realize just how dangerous it can be to let slack develop in a static tether and fall on it. Dyneema tethers like the PAS have failed in short FF1 drops! That’s why I think that, at a minimum, climbers should choose a tether system that is made out of nylon (which has some natural stretch), like the Sterling Chain Reactor, rather than very static Dyneema. For more on the dangers of falling onto dyneema, see this link:


    In other words, I think the PAS can be used safely, but that beginners are unlikely to appreciate the ways in which it adds risk to climbing.

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