Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trango Piranha Alpine Knife

There are just a few pieces of gear that I carry with me on every climb: shoes, harness, belay device and chalk bag. The route dictates what other gear may be necessary, but I consider these pieces essential. A permanent fixture on my harness is my rescue biner. It consists of 1 SMC rappel ring, 1 lenth of 5mm prusik cord (I keep a second on my leg loop), and a Trango Piranha Alpine Knife, all clipped together with a small Black Diamond Enduro screwgate carabiner. I wear this kit clipped to my haul loop and locked, so that it is always within reach, but well out of the way.

My Piranha knife has come in handy on numerous occasions. It slices through tattered webbing with ease, has the precision to delicately cut away tape gloves, has the teeth and spine to cut through layers of gear in a medical emergency, and even features a handy bottle opener for kicking back after a long route.

The Piranha's blade locks in the open position easily with just one hand. Unlike some knives, it's blade also locks closed when clipped to a carabiner. Trango says that "it's absolutely impossible to open when clipped to a normal carabiner". This is the case with many carabiners, but some ultra-light carabiners, such as wiregates, do allow the blade to open while clipped. Make sure that you check the diameter of your biner in relation to the knife's keeper loop carefully before climbing with your Piranha. My setup makes it impossible for the blade to accidentally open while clipped, but to keep the blade from moving even a millimeter, I wrap mine with a super-thin strip of tape.

If you get caught out in the elements, a knife can mean the difference between life and death (read Touching The Void or Between a Rock and a Hard Place). Weighing in at a mere 7/10ths of an ounce, the Piranha is my silent partner. When you're in a pinch in the mountains, reach for the Piranha Alpine Knife. I don't climb without it.

For more information, please visit Trango.com

Luke Terstriep
AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor
Colorado Mountain School &
Boulder Rock Club


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Jackie Oliver said...

I really like the size of this knife! You could store it practically anywhere. It's so compact, but it looks like it has a really sharp blade on it. I really like how it has a serrated edge at the bottom, that is always very convenient. I might have to get a few like this, so that I can keep on in my car, on my key ring, and I'm pretty sure one would fit in my wallet.