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csproul


Jun 14, 2010, 4:46 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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Is it also possible that the Petzl strings were just put on and were put on incorrectly? I'll have to grab a sling/string and see if it is possible to put it on incorrectly such that it looks ok but will not hold weight.


Partner climboard


Jun 14, 2010, 5:14 PM
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Re: [csproul] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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It would certainly be more likely to "miss" the runner with the biner if you were using a skinny Dyneema sling but I would think it would just pull out of the string and not tear it as was mentioned in the description earlier.

I think the most likely scenario is it got doubled through the biner.


sherpa79


Jun 14, 2010, 5:44 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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This is terrible. I just pulled one of those off of a friends sling yesterday. She had it installed correctly, but wanted to use the biner in the end for something else. She pulled it out leaving the String on the runner. I could see how you might clip into that incorrectly upon a later date.
They are useless devices in my opinion, but widely used. I'm just so sad that it resulted in a tragedy and not an opportunity to learn. Many of us have "learned" one thing or another as a result of a near miss. I count my blessings every time I hear about something like this. I am deeply saddened for Karen's family and especially her climbing partners. I hope that they can find some measure of peace.


ensonik


Jun 14, 2010, 6:06 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
chester wrote:
This is my first time posting on here but I had to say something since this is something I can relate to.

Could it be possible that the problem happened even before she left the ground? I mentioned this accident to someone and said something about the slim chances of both biners accidently looping back thru. He promptly put on his harness, stuck a couple of petzel rubber grips on two slings with biners and girth hitched them to his harness. As he went to clip the biners to the back of his harness there was enough slack in the slings that the biners (quite easily) looped back thru the sling.

At that point a light bulb went off. Often, when I girth hitch my slings before I climb, I'll get halfway up the route and notice one (and a few times both) of my slings dragging down. It's always been a mystery to me how this happened (I obviously wasn't thinking hard enough about how it would happen). They would be "attached" when I started (or so I thought). I don't use the petzel band on my long slings so it's never been an issue, but it certainly would have been if I had.

You might be on to something.

Jay

+ 1

I just tested this out and it's all too easy to replicate. I can very easily see someone doing this accidentally more than once.


wmarkham


Jun 14, 2010, 6:47 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Assuming that these configurations are equally likely, the probability of both slings becoming configured in the failure configuration is just 1 in 4.
I agree that it is unsatisfying to suppose that each mis-configured sling an independent event with a 1-in-1000 chance of happening. But then again, a systematic error alone doesn't completely explain the accident either:

I suspect that most climbers, usually, test their anchor system with more than enough weight to break a Petzl STRING (Petzl appears to capitalize the product name) in this configuration, before committing to it. Given that, it seems to me that a climber who, due to any systematic mistake, is likely to put one of his anchor slings in that dangerous configuration is also fairly likely to discover that something is wrong with such a methodology while still on belay.

For that reason, it also seems rather important to note, as Mike did, that on Rico Suave in particular, one might be able to weight one's anchor system just enough to feel secure, but not enough to break the STRINGs.

Even allowing for the possibility of some systematic error on her part, I think that one also needs to also suppose that Karen adopted her flawed routine recently enough that she had not yet discovered this possibility. It seems more likely to me that there was a single reason why she did something unusual with both slings, just before this one climb.

Also, although it is a bit of an aside, if one wishes to apply more precise statistics, it is worth noting that repeatedly doing something that is unsafe in a way that allows a single anchor sling to fail like this with probability p, gives a probability of p/(2-p) that both STRINGs break, when at least one of them finally does break. (That's assuming that every time one weights the anchor, both slings are weighted enough that any mis-configured STRINGs do break.) So, even repeatedly clipping anchor bolts in a way that gives a 1/2 chance of clipping each bolt in an unsafe way (such as what Jay describes) will, 2 times out of 3, result in only one of the STRINGs breaking.

It is certainly enlightening to identify the particular dangers of using Petzl STRINGs with non-stitched-together slings. But perhaps an additional lesson to learn here is that one should test each individual anchor point with one's full weight before trusting the entire system. Or at least put one's full weight on the entire system before untying.


warrenw


Jun 14, 2010, 7:15 PM
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Re: [sherpa79] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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I’m a bit worried about this comment:

sherpa79 wrote:
I just pulled one of those off of a friends sling yesterday. She had it installed correctly, but wanted to use the biner in the end for something else. She pulled it out leaving the String on the runner. I could see how you might clip into that incorrectly upon a later date.

And a few other comments, because you seem to be missing the issue. It is NOT that the sling + constrictor + carabiner were put together in some confused fashion. It is NOT the case that you’ll be fine if you put them together right.

Watch the UKC video please. Mike linked it earlier. Forgive their laughing about issue, as the video was created before the NRG accident: http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=20

They can be put together “correctly” BUT THEN LATER get into the deadly configuration in your gear bag, OR LATER while you’re girth hitching the thing to your belay loop/tie-in points, OR LATER when you clip it to the gear loop on your harness, OR LATER when you're clipping things at the anchor.

Also, this isn’t just a danger with the Petzl String. It can happen with ANY little constrictor thing you put on an open sling. People use rubber bands, o-rings, hair ties, climbing tape... People use these setups on personal anchors as well as on homemade quickdraws from sewn slings or tied cord. They ALL pose the same hazard.

(My apologies to sherpa79 if you didn’t mean to come across as saying what I thought you did. But I hope my point is clear to anyone getting the wrong idea.)

Edit to add: Please keep an eye out for this problem, and if you see it on a stranger, tell them. Tell them someone smart, capable, and experienced DIED because of the setup.

Take care on the rock.
w


(This post was edited by warrenw on Jun 14, 2010, 7:25 PM)


jt512


Jun 14, 2010, 7:30 PM
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Re: [wmarkham] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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wmarkham wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Assuming that these configurations are equally likely, the probability of both slings becoming configured in the failure configuration is just 1 in 4.
I agree that it is unsatisfying to suppose that each mis-configured sling an independent event with a 1-in-1000 chance of happening. But then again, a systematic error alone doesn't completely explain the accident either:

I suspect that most climbers, usually, test their anchor system with more than enough weight to break a Petzl STRING (Petzl appears to capitalize the product name) in this configuration, before committing to it.

No, no one tests their connection to a sport anchor, ever. At most, you inspect the bolts, but you assume implicitly that the draws or slings you're connecting to the anchors are 100% reliable. The only way to test the slings would be to rely 100% on the belayer, but it's the other way around: you use your complete confidence in the slings (and the bolts) to test the belayer!

In reply to:
Even allowing for the possibility of some systematic error on her part...

I think that sherpa79 has identified, as confirmed by ensonik, a highly plausible way that the slings could have become configured in this failure mode. The mechanism is systematic insofar as it involves clipping the "Stringed" biner into a gear loop, and random insofar as happening to catch a single strand of the sling while clipping.

In reply to:
I think that one also needs to also suppose that Karen adopted her flawed routine recently enough that she had not yet discovered this possibility.

I think that one needs to consider that Karen might have adopted a flawed routine recently, but the fact that—if sherpa79's mechanism (or one similar) is correct—there can be a large random element to the mechanism, could mean that Karen had been following the same practice for a long time. In sherpa79's mechanism, for instance, one could clip the Stringed biner to their gear loop many times without ever catching the correct single strand needed to cause the failure (and it is just one of the strands; catch the other, and you're fine. And moreover, whichever strand you catch, the result looks similar, so actually having caught the wrong strand before, and having experienced no problem, could lead one to shrug off the dangerous configuration.)

In reply to:
Also, although it is a bit of an aside, if one wishes to apply more precise statistics, it is worth noting that repeatedly doing something that is unsafe in a way that allows a single anchor sling to fail like this with probability p, gives a probability of p/(2-p) that both STRINGs break, when at least one of them finally does break. (That's assuming that every time one weights the anchor, both slings are weighted enough that any mis-configured STRINGs do break.) So, even repeatedly clipping anchor bolts in a way that gives a 1/2 chance of clipping each bolt in an unsafe way (such as what Jay describes) will, 2 times out of 3, result in only one of the STRINGs breaking.

Maybe it's the beer I just drank, but I don't follow this at all. If the probability of making an error with either sling is p, and the errors are independent, then the probability of making an error with both slings is p^2.

Jay


DexterRutecki


Jun 14, 2010, 8:51 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Never girth hitch or tie knots with those skinny dynema/spectra slings. They can act like a wire saw and cut through themselfs or nylon.

Umm, I'm sorry, what? Since when are you not supposed to tie knots in dyneema or spectra slings?

What are you supposed to use this for? http://www.rockclimbing.com/gear/Add-On_Climbing_Gear/Webbing/Slings/Contact_Sling_Dyneema_8mm_-_240cm_8ft__12130.html

I use a skinny double length sling all the time to set up an anchor on 2 bolts, with a sliding X and two overhands.

I may be missing something.


geogoddess


Jun 14, 2010, 9:03 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear of this, and my heart goes out to her family, children and friends. We lost a friend in a climbing accident a few years back, and I have a son of my own; I can only imagine how this loss will be felt. I am sending my thoughts and prayers to all of you for love and closeness as you deal with her loss.


patto


Jun 14, 2010, 9:31 PM
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DexterRutecki wrote:
I may be missing something.

Knots in dynema slings typically reduce their peak strength by almost half. While it most likely wont kill you it is best to be avoided.

jt512 wrote:
No, no one tests their connection to a sport anchor, ever. At most, you inspect the bolts, but you assume implicitly that the draws or slings you're connecting to the anchors are 100% reliable. The only way to test the slings would be to rely 100% on the belayer, but it's the other way around: you use your complete confidence in the slings (and the bolts) to test the belayer!

I'm sorry Jay but you do seem to make baiting comments with regularity. I most certainly do test my connections to sport anchors for body weight before going off belay.

There have been numerous death reported on this site when people fail to test their new safety attachment with body weight before removing their other safety. This happen alot in rappel accidents.


jt512


Jun 14, 2010, 9:44 PM
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Re: [patto] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
DexterRutecki wrote:
I may be missing something.

Knots in dynema slings typically reduce their peak strength by almost half. While it most likely wont kill you it is best to be avoided.

jt512 wrote:
No, no one tests their connection to a sport anchor, ever. At most, you inspect the bolts, but you assume implicitly that the draws or slings you're connecting to the anchors are 100% reliable. The only way to test the slings would be to rely 100% on the belayer, but it's the other way around: you use your complete confidence in the slings (and the bolts) to test the belayer!

I'm sorry Jay but you do seem to make baiting comments with regularity. I most certainly do test my connections to sport anchors for body weight before going off belay.

There have been numerous death reported on this site when people fail to test their new safety attachment with body weight before removing their other safety. This happen alot in rappel accidents.

So do you also test your harness, your rope, and every carabiner on your rack before you rely on them, or do you actually assume that these elements of the protection system will work as advertised, and as they have every other time you've relied on them?

Jay


jkdfjkdfjkdfjkd


Jun 14, 2010, 9:48 PM
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This is a great summary of a mistake that is very, very, very easy to make. Thanks for posting this, and my condolences to the family of Karen Feher.

I wanted to add one lesson learned to newrivermike's post, and it is:
1. Never untie from the rope, even when threading the shuts at the top.Before you untie,take slack and pull a loop through your draws and tie that loop to your harness with a figure eight on a bight...now you are double tied to the rope. leave enough slack to then untie the end of the rope from your harness and thread it. After you've threaded and retied the end of the rope back to your harness (and tested it), then untie the loop (with the fig 8 on a bight, or overhand, or whatever you used)


patto


Jun 14, 2010, 9:52 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
So do you also test your harness, your rope, and every carabiner on your rack before you rely on them, or do you actually assume that these elements of the protection system will work as advertised, and as they have every other time you've relied on them?

Jay
No.

But I'm not sure why that is relevent.


wmarkham


Jun 14, 2010, 10:00 PM
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jt512 wrote:
wmarkham wrote:
I suspect that most climbers, usually, test their anchor system with more than enough weight to break a Petzl STRING (Petzl appears to capitalize the product name) in this configuration, before committing to it.

No, no one tests their connection to a sport anchor, ever.
Hmm. Clearly, there has been a miscommunication. By "test", I just mean, "weight". Are you saying that you are always able to stand at the anchor without weighting either your anchor draws or the rope? That does not match my own experience.

Plus, many climbers will use those same girth-hitched slings to clip into a bolt while "hang-dogging", in order to give their belayer's break hand a rest. In that case, the belay system serves as a backup while the climber puts his full weight onto a single sling.

I will certainly admit that the flaw in my reasoning may very well be that a STRING can actually hold about half of Karen's weight, in the configuration in question. Perhaps she actually had weighted them in the past, while still on belay, but had simply never had the good fortune to have one break on her in such a situation.

(Edited to respond to:)
jkdfjkdfjkdfjkd wrote:
Never untie from the rope, even when threading the shuts at the top.
I think that when they can, most (well, let's say many) climbers use a locking 'biner to clip into a figure-eight tied on a bight that they have threaded through the anchor. This is somewhat common knowledge, I hope. And when you are preparing to rappel, (as I think may have been the case in this particular incident) you will untie anyway.


(This post was edited by wmarkham on Jun 14, 2010, 10:22 PM)


jt512


Jun 14, 2010, 10:02 PM
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patto wrote:
jt512 wrote:
So do you also test your harness, your rope, and every carabiner on your rack before you rely on them, or do you actually assume that these elements of the protection system will work as advertised, and as they have every other time you've relied on them?

Jay
No.

But I'm not sure why that is relevent.

Because her connector to the anchor fails. No one checks their connector to the anchor. You can't check every element of the system. You have to assume that some element is the bombproof gold standard. The only way to check that the connectors are ok is to rely 100% on the belayer; but, in my opinion, the belayer is much more likely to fail than two independent connections to the anchor. So, by testing the anchor by reference to the belayer, you would actually be increasing the chances of an accident occurring.


patto


Jun 14, 2010, 10:05 PM
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jt512 wrote:
Because her connector to the anchor fails. No one checks their connector to the anchor.
I check my connect to the anchor with body weight. As I said.

jt512 wrote:
You can't check every element of the system. You have to assume that some element is the bombproof gold standard. The only way to check that the connectors are ok is to rely 100% on the belayer; but, in my opinion, the belayer is much more likely to fail than two independent connections to the anchor. So, by testing the anchor by reference to the belayer, you would actually be increasing the chances of an accident occurring.
This does not make sense. How do you increase you chances of an accident occuring by weighting you 'connections to the anchor' before going off belay.

Oh I give up...


DexterRutecki


Jun 14, 2010, 10:24 PM
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patto wrote:
DexterRutecki wrote:
I may be missing something.

Knots in dynema slings typically reduce their peak strength by almost half. While it most likely wont kill you it is best to be avoided.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Knots will decrease the strength of any sling. A dyneenma sling is rated to around 22 KN, a force I do NOT want to ever feel. In fact, half of that will probably cause your body damage. There is no reason to avoid using material other than 7mm nylon cord for applications such as anchors, which require bends and knots in the rope. People do this all the time, and it is safe. Feel free to back up your reasoning with something, I offer this

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP18/newswire-dyneema-broken-sling-report

Although that really shouldn't be needed.


patto


Jun 14, 2010, 10:43 PM
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DexterRutecki wrote:
I wholeheartedly disagree.

You disagree with what? I never claimed that you shouldn't tie knots in sling.


cjon3s


Jun 14, 2010, 10:52 PM
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First, I offer condolences to the family for their loss.

The New really hasn't seen many accidents and the atmosphere and people there are always so great.

Hey Jay? Could you explain what exactly is going on here? I got a bit lost in the explanation but you seem to have got it.

Finally, why would a string be used in this fashion? I'm not super familiar with them, so I'm not sure why they would be rigged like this. Just looking for some insight.


majid_sabet


Jun 14, 2010, 11:20 PM
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jt512 wrote:
wmarkham wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Assuming that these configurations are equally likely, the probability of both slings becoming configured in the failure configuration is just 1 in 4.
I agree that it is unsatisfying to suppose that each mis-configured sling an independent event with a 1-in-1000 chance of happening. But then again, a systematic error alone doesn't completely explain the accident either:

I suspect that most climbers, usually, test their anchor system with more than enough weight to break a Petzl STRING (Petzl appears to capitalize the product name) in this configuration, before committing to it.

No, no one tests their connection to a sport anchor, ever. At most, you inspect the bolts, but you assume implicitly that the draws or slings you're connecting to the anchors are 100% reliable. The only way to test the slings would be to rely 100% on the belayer, but it's the other way around: you use your complete confidence in the slings (and the bolts) to test the belayer!

In reply to:
Even allowing for the possibility of some systematic error on her part...

I think that sherpa79 has identified, as confirmed by ensonik, a highly plausible way that the slings could have become configured in this failure mode. The mechanism is systematic insofar as it involves clipping the "Stringed" biner into a gear loop, and random insofar as happening to catch a single strand of the sling while clipping.

In reply to:
I think that one also needs to also suppose that Karen adopted her flawed routine recently enough that she had not yet discovered this possibility.

I think that one needs to consider that Karen might have adopted a flawed routine recently, but the fact that—if sherpa79's mechanism (or one similar) is correct—there can be a large random element to the mechanism, could mean that Karen had been following the same practice for a long time. In sherpa79's mechanism, for instance, one could clip the Stringed biner to their gear loop many times without ever catching the correct single strand needed to cause the failure (and it is just one of the strands; catch the other, and you're fine. And moreover, whichever strand you catch, the result looks similar, so actually having caught the wrong strand before, and having experienced no problem, could lead one to shrug off the dangerous configuration.)

In reply to:
Also, although it is a bit of an aside, if one wishes to apply more precise statistics, it is worth noting that repeatedly doing something that is unsafe in a way that allows a single anchor sling to fail like this with probability p, gives a probability of p/(2-p) that both STRINGs break, when at least one of them finally does break. (That's assuming that every time one weights the anchor, both slings are weighted enough that any mis-configured STRINGs do break.) So, even repeatedly clipping anchor bolts in a way that gives a 1/2 chance of clipping each bolt in an unsafe way (such as what Jay describes) will, 2 times out of 3, result in only one of the STRINGs breaking.

Maybe it's the beer I just drank, but I don't follow this at all. If the probability of making an error with either sling is p, and the errors are independent, then the probability of making an error with both slings is p^2.

Jay

sorry jay

But the laws of gravity applies to ALL climbers who use harnesses and everyone (sport, trad,TR whatever) needs to triple check their attachment before sending an off belay command.


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Jun 14, 2010, 11:20 PM)


justroberto


Jun 14, 2010, 11:50 PM
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jt512 wrote:
No, no one tests their connection to a sport anchor, ever.
Seriously? I'd bet that most people, when planning to rap from or thread the anchor bolts to lower would clip their pas/slings/whatever to the bolts, sit back on them, and then say "I'm off." I can't think of anyone I've climbed with that doesn't do the same. Even if you said you were off as soon as you clipped into the anchor bolts, you'd probably sit back before your p got you fully out of the belay device.

Rico Suave isn't super steep, but it's still near vertical at the anchors, and there isn't a ledge that you're on. Weighting your attachment to the anchor at that point would most certainly blow out the rubber if it were the only thing holding the biners to the slings. If still on belay, you fall onto the last bolt.


tradmanclimbs


Jun 15, 2010, 4:48 AM
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Jay, anyone who does not weight their attachment to the anchor before yelling Off and again weight their rappell before unclipping from the anchor is liveing on borrowed time.

Possible that you sport climbers get into a few bad habits due to the routine of yo yo ing?


Partner j_ung


Jun 15, 2010, 5:34 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Jay, anyone who does not weight their attachment to the anchor before yelling Off and again weight their rappell before unclipping from the anchor is liveing on borrowed time.

Possible that you sport climbers get into a few bad habits due to the routine of yo yo ing?

I think we've begun to seek out behaviors that could mitigate the risk in question... and maybe justify our own? But the lesson, which I think is pretty simple, is that strings and like devices place a serious flaw in the system when attached to any sling that isn't stitched shut like a dog bone.


camhead


Jun 15, 2010, 6:14 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
strings and like devices place a serious flaw in the system when attached to any sling that isn't stitched shut like a dog bone.

Yes. This is the bottom line that everyone should take from this.


welle


Jun 15, 2010, 8:22 AM
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Re: [DexterRutecki] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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DexterRutecki wrote:
patto wrote:
DexterRutecki wrote:
I may be missing something.

Knots in dynema slings typically reduce their peak strength by almost half. While it most likely wont kill you it is best to be avoided.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Knots will decrease the strength of any sling. A dyneenma sling is rated to around 22 KN, a force I do NOT want to ever feel. In fact, half of that will probably cause your body damage. There is no reason to avoid using material other than 7mm nylon cord for applications such as anchors, which require bends and knots in the rope. People do this all the time, and it is safe. Feel free to back up your reasoning with something, I offer this

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP18/newswire-dyneema-broken-sling-report

Although that really shouldn't be needed.

First of all, my condolences to Karen's family and friends.

Second, knots in nylon slings have been found to slightly increase their strength as demonstrated by DMM: http://www.dmmclimbing.com/video.asp?id=5

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Forums : Climbing Information : Accident and Incident Analysis

 


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