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Todd Skinner Killed
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jonescd


Oct 27, 2006, 8:49 PM
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Jim,
I am trying to provide food for thought. I think it is disrespectful to throw personal attacks in every gear debate -- you pulled me into this last time and will not again. It is a waste of everyone's energy to read this here. You tend to try to provoke with these comments and it just shows that you are overly defensive of your "supreme" techie knowledge. This is unbecoming of any gumbie AMGA guide. Green, hell boy, your resume again shows that you stand in the shadow of the canopy. Please give us all the courtesy to analyze accidents without the AMGA fascist representation. As I told you before, I don't really care for everything the AMGA has to say and again with this accident we see another example of how safety can be improved beyond the teachings of AMGA. Like it or not your teachings are not perfect.

Curt, what are latest pebble's that you have ripped your tips on in Phoenix?


curt


Oct 27, 2006, 9:02 PM
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...Curt, what are latest pebble's that you have ripped your tips on in Phoenix?

FYI, "pebbles" should be plural rather than possessive. But, I digress..... Oh, the answer to your question is that Oak Flat is just coming into prime bouldering season here. :wink:

Curt


majid_sabet


Oct 27, 2006, 9:29 PM
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These two experts are taking this last good forum down


jimdavis


Oct 28, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Please give us all the courtesy to analyze accidents without the AMGA fascist representation.

Huh....and where did I post anything of that sort?

Oh, i see...so, someone posts a bunch of legitimate info, with links to back it up....and it threatens your techniques and practices.....so your defense if that I'm a AMGA fascist?

It's pretty foolish to think that an argument about following the recommendations of the manufacturers of all this gear....has something to do with "guiding practices"...more like common sense.

Here's what Mal has to say about clipping biners into your tie in points...form the thread I linked. What are you gonna call him now? A retail fascist?

In reply to:
Time to jump in here...

First, the pedantic gene in me is screaming. It's not tri-axle loading, it's triaxial!!! There are not three axles on a carabiner and you can make the argument that there are no axles on a carabiner. It is possible, however, to load a carabiner on three axes, thus, triaxial loading.

Second, not one single harness manufacturer, ever, has recommended clipping your belay biner into the tie-in points of your harness if it has a belay loop. That's right, never. The recommendations that you've heard to do this are from well meaning people--many of them instructors--who tout the "redundancy' thing. Bottom line is that the belay loop on your harness is the strongest place on yout harness with failure load sometimes in excess of 8,000lbf. To my knowledge there has never been an injury due to the failure of a belay loop on a harness. There have been multiple injuries and some deaths do to complications of clipping a carabiner to the tie-in points.

Here are some of the things that have happened when a carabiner has been clipped to the tie-in points of a harness.

1) Triaxial loading of the carabiner resulting in carabiner failure
2) Triaxial loading can locate the rope at the gate notch, damaging or cutting the rope over the sharp gate and hinge edges.
3) The carabiner hole in a rigid device (Fig 8, Grigri, Cinch, SUM, SGBII, etc) has located over over the locking collar, causing a levering action on the gate and breaking it.

This was all nicely summed up and evaluated in a UIAA safety commission report that was issued as a warning in 2001. Link to it here: http://www.uiaa.ch/...20with%20figure8.pdf.

BTW, There is a ton of great info on that UIAA site. It's real, it's definitive and it should answer lots of the questions that crop up repeatedly on this site. Those of you interested in the standards and test methods used you can find them on the UIAA site as well: http://www.uiaa.ch/?c=310

Climb safe,
Mal

I think we can all see that you just throwing punches blindly, now...bringing up arguments from other threads, without the ability to offer any reasoning to why I'm/ we're wrong here. Can't say I'm surprised though.

If you wanna debate my points, fine. Debating resumes is kinda silly though, considering all the outside proof I can provide for my points...that is, unless your just trying to rip on me, and not talk about the issue here. If THAT'S that case, do it over PM.

Cheers,
Jim


jonescd


Oct 28, 2006, 2:05 PM
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Re: *Merged topic* What went wrong? Skinner accident thread [In reply to]
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steelmonkey

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Dude here in Phx at the rock gym cratered a few years back when his belay loop blew when he was lowering off a lead route. Lucky for him, only 26 feet or so to a rubber covered floor. But then I think the main cause of the accident was that he was using a very worn harness that probably should have been retired.

The above post does show other belay loops blowing. That took 5 minutes to find. I saw one other post which also happened in a gym. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples out there where wear and tear on a harness causes loop failure.

Also when looking at the other threads out there, there seems to be as much debate as there is here concerning rappelling or belaying off tie-in points vs belay loops. I always belay off the belay loop but like the extra reinforcement on the tie-in points for rappelling (though I have never taught students to rappel from their tie-in points) - its just my old school way of doing it that has always worked for me personally. If Todd had used this method he would be alive. That is enough to convince me to continue despite any techie debates. Here are several posts from long-time valley climbers concerning belaying (not rappelling) from a belay loop. There is also a discussion about triaxial loading on RC.com where there is still 50/50 agreement/disagreement. Sure, the manufacturers and AMGA are going to back their own arguments. I say let the people decide what works for them - both have their advantages and disadvantages that seem evenly split. For me the tie-in points have reinforced protective nylon shell to protect wear of the weight bearing nylon. Maybe the belay loop should have the same protective layer.

From: Douglas McMullin

I agree that belaying from the belay/rap loop is the best for the belay carabiner. I however hate it and do not do it. I prefer the way a biner sits when cliped through both the waist and leg loop part of the harness.

Yes the biner gets sort of tri loaded, but not really. Even in a hard fall (on my harness anyway) the leg loop portion of the harness never sees any load - what so ever. So its not actually being loaded three ways. Also even in a worst case fall the amout of force that hits that biner even in a three way load comes no where close to the breaking point.

From: Steven Cherry

The triax fear seems pretty ungrounded to me. When the leader takes a good fall, the belay biner orients itself and the two parts of the tie-in come pretty close together. What I like about the tie-in point belay is that the rope runs horizontally through the belay device (using the belay loop means the loop has to be twisted to get the same angle).

From: Karl Baba (very long time veteran valley rat)

I agree that the danger of cross loading is extremely minimal. Belaying off a biner clipped through the waist and leg loop parts of the harness gives you more room to use your hands feeding and taking in rope, thus giving the leader a better belay. Thus, you give up a tiny bit of safety and get a bigger bit of safety in return.

Another factor to consider regarding crossloading, if you belay solely off the belay loop, the biner flops around much more freely including positions loading the minor axis of the biner. If it is clipped in your whole harness, it stays put, which, when met with a strong upward pull (fall) generally bunches the force and webbing at the bottom of the biner with the rope and plate at the top of the biner, really only loading the minor axis.


jimdavis


Oct 28, 2006, 4:56 PM
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steelmonkey

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Dude here in Phx at the rock gym cratered a few years back when his belay loop blew when he was lowering off a lead route. Lucky for him, only 26 feet or so to a rubber covered floor. But then I think the main cause of the accident was that he was using a very worn harness that probably should have been retired.

The above post does show other belay loops blowing. That took 5 minutes to find. I saw one other post which also happened in a gym. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples out there where wear and tear on a harness causes loop failure.

Also when looking at the other threads out there, there seems to be as much debate as there is here concerning rappelling or belaying off tie-in points vs belay loops. I always belay off the belay loop but like the extra reinforcement on the tie-in points for rappelling (though I have never taught students to rappel from their tie-in points) - its just my old school way of doing it that has always worked for me personally. If Todd had used this method he would be alive. That is enough to convince me to continue despite any techie debates. Here are several posts from long-time valley climbers concerning belaying (not rappelling) from a belay loop. There is also a discussion about triaxial loading on RC.com where there is still 50/50 agreement/disagreement. Sure, the manufacturers and AMGA are going to back their own arguments. I say let the people decide what works for them - both have their advantages and disadvantages that seem evenly split. For me the tie-in points have reinforced protective nylon shell to protect wear of the weight bearing nylon. Maybe the belay loop should have the same protective layer.

From: Douglas McMullin

I agree that belaying from the belay/rap loop is the best for the belay carabiner. I however hate it and do not do it. I prefer the way a biner sits when cliped through both the waist and leg loop part of the harness.

Yes the biner gets sort of tri loaded, but not really. Even in a hard fall (on my harness anyway) the leg loop portion of the harness never sees any load - what so ever. So its not actually being loaded three ways. Also even in a worst case fall the amout of force that hits that biner even in a three way load comes no where close to the breaking point.

From: Steven Cherry

The triax fear seems pretty ungrounded to me. When the leader takes a good fall, the belay biner orients itself and the two parts of the tie-in come pretty close together. What I like about the tie-in point belay is that the rope runs horizontally through the belay device (using the belay loop means the loop has to be twisted to get the same angle).

From: Karl Baba (very long time veteran valley rat)

I agree that the danger of cross loading is extremely minimal. Belaying off a biner clipped through the waist and leg loop parts of the harness gives you more room to use your hands feeding and taking in rope, thus giving the leader a better belay. Thus, you give up a tiny bit of safety and get a bigger bit of safety in return.

Another factor to consider regarding crossloading, if you belay solely off the belay loop, the biner flops around much more freely including positions loading the minor axis of the biner. If it is clipped in your whole harness, it stays put, which, when met with a strong upward pull (fall) generally bunches the force and webbing at the bottom of the biner with the rope and plate at the top of the biner, really only loading the minor axis.

Again, you show someone abusing their gear, and show it to be reason to use your gear incorrectly. By your reasoning, you should not follow the recommendations of the manufactures, so that you can abuse it and not retire it as needed....I don't care for that argument.

As stated by Douglas in your quoted post....do you know what kind of force really breaks a biner in a tri-load? Show me some average force values that breaks triloaded biners...then I'll belive that it's not possible.

You also state that people like to run a rope horizontally, and that's why you like that method. I don't do this, nor do most climbers I know these days. I brake directly infront of myself, and rappel there as well....I see no reason to orient the ropes this way when using an device with appropriate friction.

Karl states that you keep the carabiner from moving around, by clipping it into your tie in points....when you pin a carabiner, and prevent it from being able to allign with a pull...then you can break carabiners. Belaying a leader causes a lot of movement to go on with your belay device....either the belay device and rope are gonna move around...or the biner is. If you pin the biner in one spot...then all that is gonna happen is the rope and device will move around...now it's free to get hung up on the gate of the biner, and break the gate.

Since your quoted posts use statments like...
In reply to:
generally
...well generally a cross loaded biner will align itself back to major axis alignment with a good pull...Most people belay with Asymetric D biners....when the belay biner has an angle like this < the load will slide along one of the sides, generally, and reorient the biner. Also, DMM makes a biner that prevents crossloading, and some newer harnesses has spots on their belay loop to prevent a biner from rotating. It isn't that hard to notice when you have a cross loaded biner...you can feel the whole device and rope move noticably closer to yourself.

The quotes I have used from Mal, and BD, have clearly shown how harnesses and biners are ment to be used, and have shown specific evidence as to why this should be done.

Your claims defend this inferrior method, and offer no real advantages. Multiple deaths have been attributed to your method of connecting biners to ones harness. The only real benefit is the way the rope runs, which I don't care for one bit...nor does just about everyone I've climbed with. Your sources even admit that it's not as safe as the alternative.

You still state that you belay off of your belay loop, but don't trust it to rappel on....your clearly showing that the life of your partner isn't worth retiring your gear as nescessary. If your not willing to trust your life, to what you trust your partners life to...why should anyone climb with you? Or trust you? Apparently others lives aren't worth more than the $50 or so that a new harness costs, to you atleast.

So tell me again why we should take safety advice from you?

Jim


jonescd


Oct 28, 2006, 7:45 PM
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Jim,

Here you go again. I am not stating that belaying off the tie-in points should be done. You read the quotes I submitted but missed what I said about advocating belays from the belay loop. I am not giving you or anyone safety advice -- I am mainly stating that something needs to be done here - one of the greatest died and there are things we can think about as a climbing community to see that what happened doesn't go unanswered. We are all here sharing what we do personally to examine this. Hopefully you are perfect but I sincerely don't think anyone with 4 years of experience and an AMGA toprope certification warrants giving safety advice and claiming that most old school climbers know absolutely nothing about their personal safety - you're advice is fine for teaching situations (albeit toproping) where liability is the key issue for following industry standards.

Please stop arguing and spewing every time you post in response to someone sharing their personal style. Do you know me? What is your issue? I've climbed and guided for twenty years without a scratch and have a right to state what I do on RC.com without being subjected to your harrassment. Please stop posting to me in this forum. My last post was not to you.


dutyje


Oct 28, 2006, 9:05 PM
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Re: *Merged topic* What went wrong? Skinner accident thread [In reply to]
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Dude here in Phx at the rock gym cratered a few years back when his belay loop blew when he was lowering off a lead route. Lucky for him, only 26 feet or so to a rubber covered floor. But then I think the main cause of the accident was that he was using a very worn harness that probably should have been retired.

My intent here is to remain a spectator in this gumby thread, but I (as a gumby) can't resist pointing out that if the "dude" had just led a route, he should have been tied into his tie-in points instead of his belay loop. Unless the gym is using shuts similar to an outdoor anchor which would require the leader to anchor in and re-thread, wherein most leaders will use the belay loop as a convenient re-attachment point to be lowered.

I don't understand, in a typical gym setting, how the leader's belay loop had been weighted at all during this sequence of events. Outdoors, of course, it's a whole new ball game.

Maybe the belayer's loop blew? As has been stated before, you would expect this to happen in a fall scenario rather than a low-impact scenario such as lowering off a route.


jimdavis


Oct 28, 2006, 9:52 PM
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In reply to:
I am mainly stating that something needs to be done here - one of the greatest died and there are things we can think about as a climbing community to see that what happened doesn't go unanswered.

The issue wasn't that a belay loop failed...it's that a harness was pushed to hard for too long. If it was a new harness, or it broken under minimal wear...then there might be something to consider here.

If Tommy Caldwell, or someone of equal stature...broke a rope that'd been used heavilly for years and years of hard use....would we be screaming about ropes needing to be built better?

I just don't get how you can recommend misusing equipment, because someone pushed a harness beyond it's limits with years of abuse. Numerous experts in the industry have written in that belay loops are designed for all attachments of carabiners, be it belaying or rappeling.

Why should one accident attributed to misuse change anything... if anything we should just be more cautious, and retire our gear conservativly.

How is it that you call this a personal attack? Yet your the one throwing stones about resumes and qualifications?

I think we would all benefit if we could see the harness in question, and see just what shape it was in. I wonder if BD will run a chemical analysis on the belay loop...if it was found.

Cheers,
Jim


jonescd


Oct 28, 2006, 10:12 PM
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dutyje,

The gym harness sounds like there was a tie-in with the rope on TR as far as what I saw on that thread. I've even heard industry experts say that tying into a belay loop is accepted - not for me.


Partner philbox
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Oct 29, 2006, 9:12 PM
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Re: Todd Skinner Killed [In reply to]
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Seems that this thread is once again open for memorial posts.

The What went wrong thread is here. Please post here all of your condolonces and keep the other thread for discussion on what may have gone wrong.

In the mean time I shall keep the rest of this post for a silent moment for the passing of a fellow climber. I recently lost a dear friend and climbing partner so I understand well the loss of a mate. Goodbye Todd, I didn't know you personaly but I canfeel something of the loss of those around you.


stymingersfink


Oct 30, 2006, 6:54 PM
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It sucks and its a bummer but now we know that we can't just abuse this stuff forever and expect it to still do it's job.

nothing new there, it's something we've always known, though not all accept this as fact. FWIW, I bought a harness, climbed on it for a week or two then stored it in a closet for 7 years. When I decided that I had enough time to become a climber, out it came. After climbing on it for several months I was approaching the chains on a TR to clean the draws when I experienced a bad feeling about hanging on my belay loop. That was the last time I wore the harness, as it was cut and junked that night. It's hard to climb on gear you can not trust.

this event is yet another proof to chongo's theory that

"Death cares not how bitchin' you are"

the circumstances outlined in the newspaper article make it that much more frustrating, that the situation could be identified before hand but no action was taken... something we all have done and will probably continue to do in many aspects of our lives. (listen to the small quiet voices, they are often the most important ones!)

My heart goes out to his partner as well as the friends/families of both men.


I wish i had met the man before death came a callin' him. He will be missed...


Partner angry


Oct 30, 2006, 7:05 PM
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Re: *Merged topic* What went wrong? Skinner accident thread [In reply to]
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Until we know the brand, model, and year of manufacture of the Skinner harness, this thread will accomplish nothing.


htotsu


Oct 30, 2006, 8:57 PM
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Until we know the brand, model, and year of manufacture of the Skinner harness, this thread will accomplish nothing.
Trophy.


billl7


Oct 30, 2006, 9:41 PM
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In reply to:
Here you go again. I am not stating .... You ... missed .... I am not giving you or anyone safety advice ... something needs to be done here .... Hopefully you are perfect .... you're advice is fine for teaching situations .... Please stop arguing and spewing .... Do you know me? What is your issue? I've climbed and guided for twenty years ... have a right to state what I do ... subjected to your harrassment. Please stop posting to me in this forum.

This is getting old. Take the chips off of your shoulders you guys. Bill L


jimdavis


Oct 30, 2006, 10:49 PM
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Until we know the brand, model, and year of manufacture of the Skinner harness, this thread will accomplish nothing.

Why do you say that? I think knowing how many lead falls, rappells, and days out on the rock that harness had would be worth a lot more than the make and model. It's all nylon, and it all passed the UIAA or CE test or whatever.

I hope some pictures can be provided regarding the condition of the harness...if that is possible, all things considered.

I think a lot of us, myself included, are thinking that the thing probably looked like a piece of tat...It'd be a hell of a wake up call if it didn't.

Cheers,
Jim


overlord


Oct 30, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Until we know the brand, model, and year of manufacture of the Skinner harness, this thread will accomplish nothing.

ditto that. i would also like to know the approx number of climbing days.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 30, 2006, 11:29 PM
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I've always used my belay loop only for tethers, and have always belayed and rapped with a big biner in the tie in points... I taught my wife and others the same, and have even been ridiculed by some climbers as a gumby for doing so.

Personally... I just don't like adding another possible point of failure to my system, and the belay loop (even if viewed as indestructable) is an additional link in the chain if used.

For me... The relatively low static loads of belaying/rappeling negate issues of cross-loading, I like the benifit of having the ATC closer to me, and I have often seen biners cross-loaded when belaying in a loop when the ATC/rope catches on the screw of the gate, where as the tie-in points tend to hold my biner in one position.




I remember when my wife and I signed the ascent register atop Devil's Tower that Todd had authored the text on the inside of the cover. I am very saddened at his passing.


bones


Oct 30, 2006, 11:48 PM
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Re: *Merged topic* What went wrong? Skinner accident thread [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Personally... I just don't like adding another possible point of failure to my system, and the belay loop (even if viewed as indestructable) is an additional link in the chain if used..

So is the belay device and carabiner. You should use a hip belay from now on.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 31, 2006, 12:08 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Personally... I just don't like adding another possible point of failure to my system, and the belay loop (even if viewed as indestructable) is an additional link in the chain if used..

So is the belay device and carabiner. You should use a hip belay from now on.

OK... That's certainly a reasonable reply. :?

Hmmmm.... "Hanging-hip belay" while a few pitches up. :roll:


bones


Oct 31, 2006, 8:57 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Personally... I just don't like adding another possible point of failure to my system, and the belay loop (even if viewed as indestructable) is an additional link in the chain if used..

So is the belay device and carabiner. You should use a hip belay from now on.

OK... That's certainly a reasonable reply. :?

Hmmmm.... "Hanging-hip belay" while a few pitches up. :roll:

Oh, we're back in the realm of reason again? Then yes, I'd agree that using a hip belay is not that reasonable, but your fear of belay loops might not be that reasonable either.

My point is that when it comes to matters of safety, the laws of nature and physics don't give a damn about people's personal preferences and what you've always done. Maybe it's unreasonable, but I fear a belay carabiner with a minor axis strength of 7-9 kn breaking more than I do a belay loop rated at 25kn, so long as it's not excessively worn. Call me crazy.


areyoumydude


Oct 31, 2006, 9:04 AM
Post #172 of 237 (16197 views)
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Posts: 1971

Re: Belay loop failure [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
...Your really being foolish now...

...your not gonna convince anybody of much.

Jim

Thank God that you two at least have that much in common.

Curt

Care to enlighten me about this?

Because nobody but you two are reading your posts.

Because you take yourself way too seriously.

Because you think your opinions are some kinda dogma.

Because you are easy to laugh at.

......and on and on.


joshy8200


Oct 31, 2006, 9:54 AM
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Re: *Merged topic* What went wrong? Skinner accident thread [In reply to]
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I've always used my belay loop only for tethers, and have always belayed and rapped with a big biner in the tie in points... I taught my wife and others the same, and have even been ridiculed by some climbers as a gumby for doing so.

Personally... I just don't like adding another possible point of failure to my system, and the belay loop (even if viewed as indestructable) is an additional link in the chain if used.

If you're not into using the belay/rappel loop for its intended purpose...why do you even trust/use it at all?

In reply to:
For me... The relatively low static loads of belaying/rappeling negate issues of cross-loading, I like the benifit of having the ATC closer to me, .

Low loads negate the issue of cross-loading...? But does it negate the fact that there are plenty of accidents out there caused by this? You like the benefit of having the ATC closer? Have you ever used an extended rappel and experienced its benefits?


jimdavis


Oct 31, 2006, 1:41 PM
Post #174 of 237 (16197 views)
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Posts: 1935

Re: Belay loop failure [In reply to]
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Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
...Your really being foolish now...

...your not gonna convince anybody of much.

Jim

Thank God that you two at least have that much in common.

Curt

Care to enlighten me about this?

Because nobody but you two are reading your posts.

Because you take yourself way too seriously.

Because you think your opinions are some kinda dogma.

Because you are easy to laugh at.

......and on and on.

Well, if you posted this...then apparently your reading our posts, too.
Why not take climbing safety seriouslly?
My opinions as dogma? More like the facts as stated by accident reports, manufactures recommendations, UIAA research, and the professional opinions of numerous professional climbers.
Easy to laugh at? Maybe...that's for you to descide. I could care less what you think...what I do care about is getting the facts out for people to see.

Jim


johnhemlock


Oct 31, 2006, 2:27 PM
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Re: *Merged topic* What went wrong? Skinner accident thread [In reply to]
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I have been performing some interesting testing in conjunction with the International Consortium of Harness and Cookie Sciences in Leysin, Switerland. What I have found is a bit disturbing:

Cookies with a high M&M content fail (i.e crumble) under cross-loading when a mere 16.4 kgs of force are exerted on opposing ends.

Cookies with a high peanut butter content seem to fail under load less frequently. However, the failure strength of peanut butter cookies seems to be quite variable depending on the manufacturer.

Famous Amos seemed to get the lowest overall marks for safety, followed by Otis Spunkmeyer and Grandma's. All results assume unexpired cookies - always retire cookies after the expiration date.

Obviously, no cookie is redundant and must always be backed up by another cookie, when possible.

I would post photos of the results but my dog ate all of the research while I was looking for my Nikon.

Obviously, this isn't publishable quite yet and I am neither an engineer nor a food scientist. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

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Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


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