Forums: Climbing Information: The Lab: Re: [dead_horse_flats] Has a rope ever broke with no extenuating circumstances?: Edit Log


Apr 1, 2012, 11:43 PM

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Re: [dead_horse_flats] Has a rope ever broke with no extenuating circumstances?
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dead_horse_flats wrote:
Has a rope ever broke with no extenuating circumstances? More specifically, has a climber ever taken a fall and had the rope break because the force of the fall exceeded the breaking strength of the rope.

Typical extenuating circumstances that dont apply to this question:
--Rope cut by sharp edges in gear or rocks.
--Rope exposed to chemicals.
--Manufacturer defects like the disintegrating petzl ropes.
--dan osman.

And by rope, I mean a modern dynamic kernmantle rope.
First, we need to define what "rope failure" actually is. No, I dont think anyone has ever completely severed a rope in half from "too big" of a lead fall (aside from failure due to sharp edges or chemical alteration). However complete sheath failure, resulting in serious injury, has occurred. When rappelling a 11mm static rope in Yosemite this happened to me:

The rope deshethed as my belay device hit a worn section of the rope. I slid down the rope until the sheath jammed in my belay device, stopping me. A few of the core strands failed as my Trango Cinch attempted to jam the core strands, but failed to. The rope could have failed and if it had, my death/ injury would have been a result from rappelling on an excessively worn rope, which seems to meet your qualifications. Someone in Hawaii had the same thing happen to her a few years back. She was rappelling on a rope and the sheath failed sending her 60 feet to the deck. The rope did not completely fail, however, because belay devices grab onto the sheath of the rope, she just slid down the core strands to the ground. I did not have that problem because in my case, the sheath failed in the belay device, not after the belay device. Had the sheath severed after it passed through my belay device, it would have been pinching the detatched sheath instead of the core strands and I would have likely decked (think of trying to rappel by holding onto the rope through a banana peel)

(This post was edited by USnavy on Apr 1, 2012, 11:48 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by USnavy () on Apr 1, 2012, 11:46 PM
Post edited by USnavy () on Apr 1, 2012, 11:48 PM

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