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Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety?
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TimeSpiral


Sep 16, 2012, 9:52 AM
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Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety?
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Greetings, RC'ers!

I just agreed to purchase this lot of gear. It seems like a great deal. I'm new to the sport (just got back from Kalymnos, Greece).

The seller claims, "Gear was my sons and he is not here with us so we are cleaning up and this equipment is brand new and never used all the rope, and other items used for mounain and ice and alpine climbing."

Do you guys have any tips to help me inspect this gear for safety?

I'm new to the site and the sport, but I look forward to interacting here. Also, I intend to write a trip report about my experience in Kalymnos - it was incredible.

Here are the images of the gear (one is blurry. I didn't take the images):




Also; I don't need some of this gear and will be looking to sell it, like the ice climbing axes and the ice probe. Is RC a decent place to sell gear?

Thanks, everyone!


TradEddie


Sep 16, 2012, 11:21 AM
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First suggestion is to please, please make sure that this gear really belongs to the seller. There are too many stories on every climbing website about gear being stolen and turning up online.

If this was me, and this is simply my opinion, your life could depend on getting this right:

Sell anything I don't need, or don't want.

Unless the ropes/slings were in original unopened bags, and less that 5 years old, I would throw them away or use them for tasks in the garden, slings are inexpensive, and ropes are too critical. If your conscience allows, perhaps sell these on too, but I wouldn't.

Inspect the cams very carefully, all will have a manufacture date code stamped somewhere (see manufacturers websites if needed). If less than five years old, and in 100% perfect visible condition, I would use them, otherwise I would send them to be reslung (see many posts here about reslinging cams). Similarly with the QDs, but while you can buy new dogbones, it's usually almost as expensive as buying complete draws.

Here is what it comes down to: You have no idea how these were stored or used, and your life depends on trusting an unknown previous owner. Not much can happen to metal, but nylon can easily be accidentally damaged by common household chemicals. Is it worth saving a few bucks?

TE


TimeSpiral


Sep 16, 2012, 12:25 PM
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TE,

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate hearing from you, and hopefully others. I verified ownership as much as I suppose I could. She said it was her son in law's and he no longer lives with them and was given the okay to sell it (maybe a little suspect?).

The ropes are not unopened, and neither are the slings. The ropes do not look frayed, and the colors are still vibrant. I'm going to inventory everything to see what I have.

I will report back to see if anyone else wants to weigh in.


theextremist04


Sep 16, 2012, 1:08 PM
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As said, used soft goods are always suspect- there are many different ways to damage them with no change in appearance. Hard goods are usually different- if they look okay, they're probably fine. Look for frayed cables on nuts, damage to cams, etc. Remember that the slings on cams count as soft goods.


climbingaggie03


Sep 16, 2012, 1:10 PM
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those hexes and cams look shiny in the pictures, although it looks like the camalots are the pre-c4 model so the slings are automatically several years old. I bootied a cam similar and use it, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to have the cams reslung.

The slings look like some older things and I don't think I'd trust them, same with the quick draws, replacement slings and dog bones are too cheap to trust old slings.

I might be interested in the probe, the ice tools, and is that an ice screw hiding under there? RC.com isn't a bad place to sell stuff, but I see more stuff changing hands at mountainject.com or there's always craigslist and Ebay


TimeSpiral


Sep 16, 2012, 2:58 PM
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I'm primarily interested in Sport Climbing, so the quick draws, carabiners, ropes, and belay devices are of particular interest to me.

Am I understanding that I should not trust the ropes at all? My thoughts are to get the opinions of RC'ers here and then take the gear to a local rock climbing gym and look over it all with one of the experienced staffers.

When I visually inspect it, some of the quick draws look near-new. But, like you guys have been saying ... soft goods can look better than they are.

So ... Did I buy mostly useless stuff?! Damn!

Oh, and yes ... There are two ice axes, an ice probe, and two ice screws.


(This post was edited by TimeSpiral on Sep 16, 2012, 3:07 PM)


climbingaggie03


Sep 16, 2012, 3:20 PM
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yeah, I wouldn't trust any of that nylon, ropes, slings, or quick draws. I can't say definitively but that harness may be ok, it looks like it still has the creases in it from being put in a bag in the factory.

In my opinion, the ropes are junk, the slings too, that bluish/denim looking sling is an REI sling and I'm pretty sure they quit making those many years ago. Those DMM Mamba quick draws that have the special quick draw pockets in the biners, look like they are from the late 80's early 90's so I definitely don't trust those slings, and since the carabiners are specialized like that, I don't think that you can replace just the slings, at least not without sending them to the mfg or someone else to re-sling them.

Like theextremist said, nylon is susceptible to damage by all kinds of household chemicals, and there's no real way to know how strong nylon is without testing it to failure, at which point it's not really useful anymore. I think there was a climbing accident/fatality several years ago that involved a rope that was unknowingly weakened by exposure to car battery fumes. The rope broke and the climber died.

I know that you're just getting into climbing and that it can be an expensive proposition. Buying used gear isn't a bad way to save money, but you need to be careful about what you buy and use. metal is usually trust worthy as long as it doesn't show any signs of wear or damage. Ropes and Slings? buy new, there's plenty of sales and bulk discounts out there.

I'd replace those dog bones on those quick draws, I think when I replaced mine, I got 10 for less than 2 bucks a piece so that's very inexpensive piece of mind in my book.


TradEddie


Sep 16, 2012, 5:34 PM
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Re: [TimeSpiral] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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TimeSpiral wrote:
So ... Did I buy mostly useless stuff?! Damn!

Depends on how much you paid whether you got a bad deal or not. Selling the ice and trad gear will easily get you enough to buy everything you'll need for sport climbing. I expect everything except the hexes will be easy to sell.

As noted, that harness looks unused, there will be a date on that which will give you a good idea of how old all that stuff is.

TE


redfox1939


Sep 16, 2012, 8:09 PM
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Your climbing gear takes a beating at the cliff and in the mountains. It wears out. It won’t last forever. Lots of falls when you’re working a hard sport route; belaying your friends every weekend while they top-rope through carabiners; dust and dirt ground into your rope at the base of the cliffs; and regular exposure to sunlight all conspire to wear your gear out. Climbing equipment is manufactured with high-quality stainless steel and aluminum, but regular use gives it a beating. Treat your gear right, retire it when it's worn out, and you’ll live long and prosper.
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DemolitionRed


Sep 17, 2012, 5:23 AM
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Re: [redfox1939] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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Something not quite right about this. The harness, like others have said, looks brand new.
The sellers are saying its a brother-in-law who no longer wants it and given permission to sell. Why isn't he selling it himself and why hasn't he included his climbing shoes, chalk bag and helmet (I know not everyone wears a helmet but if the guy has been an ice climber he would of been an idiot not to of).

I would stab a guess that the stuff is stolen or the climber met his end on the rock, hence no shoes, helmet, chalk bag are missing but don't take any notice of me, Im female and that's the way I think! If I had been you I would of wanted to talk to the guy that was selling it.

Here is a good link for you http://www.aspiring.co.nz/info-5.aspx
Get an expert to take a proper look at it and then sell off what you don't need.


TimeSpiral


Sep 17, 2012, 8:15 AM
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Points well taken, and I've thought of that as well.

Three chalk bags were included in the lot and there are actually four harnesses, one of which looks new, one looks very used, and two look like they are in good condition.

I'm going to reach out to the seller and try and get in touch with the son-in-law.

The lot has tons of stuff in it. Four ropes, 20 quick draws, a dozen autolocking carabiners, a Grigri, two belays, two dozen trad anchors, ice climbing gear, mountain axes; it's a very thorough lot.

I plan on having a local expect inspect the gear with me also, just as an FYI to those helping me here.


DemolitionRed


Sep 17, 2012, 8:20 AM
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You are welcome and btw, I would be interested in your ice hacks at the right price Wink


TimeSpiral


Sep 17, 2012, 8:26 AM
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Very cool. It appears some of the ice climbing gear might be easy to sell as just on this thread two people have already expressed interest.

I will have to figure out what a fair price is for the ice climbing equipment which I believe includes: 2 axes, one probe, and two ice screws.

I don't want to derail the thread into a selling thread, so please PM me if you're interested in any of the gear listed (not my intent when creating the thread).


billcoe_


Sep 17, 2012, 8:59 AM
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Clearly there is a lie and some bullshit involved. If the son is not there how can they (or you saying it's "them") say it's new? Who would buy all that stuff and NOT use it? Sorry to say it, but I distrust you and find your post fishy. Something isn't right here. If you proved the link where you got the items, or where you are located, I might be dissuaded that you are not a crook. But this ain't right.

TimeSpiral wrote:
Greetings, RC'ers!

I just agreed to purchase this lot of gear. It seems like a great deal. I'm new to the sport (just got back from Kalymnos, Greece).

The seller claims, "Gear was my sons and he is not here with us so we are cleaning up and this equipment is brand new and never used all the rope, and other items used for mounain and ice and alpine climbing."

Do you guys have any tips to help me inspect this gear for safety?

I'm new to the site and the sport, but I look forward to interacting here. Also, I intend to write a trip report about my experience in Kalymnos - it was incredible.

Here are the images of the gear (one is blurry. I didn't take the images):




Also; I don't need some of this gear and will be looking to sell it, like the ice climbing axes and the ice probe. Is RC a decent place to sell gear?

Thanks, everyone!


TimeSpiral


Sep 17, 2012, 9:59 AM
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Fair enough, Billcoe_.

I had not considered the possibility that I might be looked at as suspect here when posting this thread, but when you write it out like that I completely agree with your skepticism!

I live in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I had just returned from a family vacation, got hooked on climbing, and wanted to see if I could find some good deals on used gear. It seemed, at the time, like a decent way to save some money and get involved with the sport. Now, I'm starting to think I might be on the shitty end of this stick, or worse : /

I found the ad on Craigslist. They are locals in the Clearwater, Florida area, or so they say. Selfishly, I did not post the link because I did not want competition, as I had not actually received the items yet, I had only agreed to buy them. Part of me assumed the RC community would never do such a thing, but I'm new here and really have no idea what to expect.

I brought the gear home after giving it a cursory inspection in the parking lot of a Bealls department store, and learned that the gear was definitely used.

Feeling uncertain, and a newfound pang of buyer's remorse after reading the RC responses, I reached out to the seller and wanted to talk with her son. I received a very dubious response: He is no longer with us. He committed suicide, it's a touchy subject. and then she went on to say the Dad said he was unsure of the gear's usage, then reclaimed it was not used, then assured me it was all safe.

Or he died climbing, I thought, and I'm getting a dead man's gear ... I think I might just have to eat this as a learning experience and be the one getting duped here. Obviously there is little recourse to be had with a Craigslist seller, and now I don't trust anything about this gear.


DemolitionRed


Sep 17, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Out of interest, how much did you pay for it?


TimeSpiral


Sep 17, 2012, 10:13 AM
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They wanted $400, they took $350.

It appears I might as well have wiped my ass with that money instead Mad

I'm inclined to think I should try and return the gear and get my money back. The whole ordeal feels wrong. Or do I try and sell the reliable gear, and junk the soft stuff? I don't know ... Shoot! Or maybe have Yates re-dogbone the QDs?


(This post was edited by TimeSpiral on Sep 17, 2012, 10:47 AM)


billcoe_


Sep 17, 2012, 11:29 AM
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All this happened between your first post yesterday at 9:52 AM and This post of 9:59 AM today? I'm getting dizzy in between your story and your time frame.


TimeSpiral wrote:
Fair enough, Billcoe_.

I had not considered the possibility that I might be looked at as suspect here when posting this thread, but when you write it out like that I completely agree with your skepticism!

I live in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I had just returned from a family vacation, got hooked on climbing, and wanted to see if I could find some good deals on used gear. It seemed, at the time, like a decent way to save some money and get involved with the sport. Now, I'm starting to think I might be on the shitty end of this stick, or worse : /

I found the ad on Craigslist. They are locals in the Clearwater, Florida area, or so they say. Selfishly, I did not post the link because I did not want competition, as I had not actually received the items yet, I had only agreed to buy them. Part of me assumed the RC community would never do such a thing, but I'm new here and really have no idea what to expect.

I brought the gear home after giving it a cursory inspection in the parking lot of a Bealls department store, and learned that the gear was definitely used.

Feeling uncertain, and a newfound pang of buyer's remorse after reading the RC responses, I reached out to the seller and wanted to talk with her son. I received a very dubious response: He is no longer with us. He committed suicide, it's a touchy subject. and then she went on to say the Dad said he was unsure of the gear's usage, then reclaimed it was not used, then assured me it was all safe.

Or he died climbing, I thought, and I'm getting a dead man's gear ... I think I might just have to eat this as a learning experience and be the one getting duped here. Obviously there is little recourse to be had with a Craigslist seller, and now I don't trust anything about this gear.


TimeSpiral


Sep 17, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Yeah ... I'm pretty upset about the whole ordeal. Sorry about the dizziness!


USnavy


Sep 17, 2012, 11:44 AM
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climbingaggie03 wrote:
I think there was a climbing accident/fatality several years ago that involved a rope that was unknowingly weakened by exposure to car battery fumes.
It was an injury and it involved a climber who decked in a gym from rope failure. The climber placed the rope on the ground in the parking lot. When the rope was on the ground it came into contact with sulfuric acid on the ground. "Car battery fumes" is mostly just evaporating water and hydrogen. The liquid in automotive batteries is typically a mixture of 30% sulfuric acid and 70% distilled water. Overtime the water in the battery can evaporate, but sulfuric acid does not really evaporate. That is the reason why automotive batteries that are low in electrolytic fluid should be refilled with water, not battery acid. When voltage and current is applied to the battery from the alternator, small hydrogen bubbles are produced in the electrolytic fluid mixture causing a buildup of hydrogen gas in the battery's cells. The hydrogen gas is vented into the atmosphere or filtered through a hydrogen filter. But the hydrogen is not really the problem, it is the sulfuric acid. That is what will weaken a rope and that is what caused the rope failure in the example above. It is for that reason that you should never set your get on anything in the engine bay or on the ground in a parking lot.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Sep 17, 2012, 11:51 AM)


TradEddie


Sep 17, 2012, 5:16 PM
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TimeSpiral wrote:
They wanted $400, they took $350.

It appears I might as well have wiped my ass with that money instead Mad

Even if you throw out every piece of nylon, you've still got much more than $350 worth in that pile.

As to billcoe's question about who would go out and buy all that but never use it; this is America, much of the economy is dependent on "consumer discretionary spending" i.e. people buying sh** they don't need. It happens all the time, many people have more than enough money to buy all that stuff on a whim, and decide soon enough that climbing is not for them. Many of those people have enough money that it isn't worth their time and effort to try sell it. I've seen it happen, I'm sure most others have too.

Most of that gear looks about 10 years old but barely used, I think that story sounds plausible.

TE


TimeSpiral


Sep 18, 2012, 7:18 AM
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TradEddie wrote:
TimeSpiral wrote:
They wanted $400, they took $350.

It appears I might as well have wiped my ass with that money instead Mad

Even if you throw out every piece of nylon, you've still got much more than $350 worth in that pile.

As to billcoe's question about who would go out and buy all that but never use it; this is America, much of the economy is dependent on "consumer discretionary spending" i.e. people buying sh** they don't need. It happens all the time, many people have more than enough money to buy all that stuff on a whim, and decide soon enough that climbing is not for them. Many of those people have enough money that it isn't worth their time and effort to try sell it. I've seen it happen, I'm sure most others have too.

Most of that gear looks about 10 years old but barely used, I think that story sounds plausible.

TE

The hardware on the QuickDraws appears to be in good condition. They are definitely used; nicks and scratches here and there, but the gates do not stick and nothing really feels loose. Is it reasonable to assume that if I have new dogbones installed that these are okay to use?

I've decided that there is no way to verify the ropes' safety and will therefore not be using them for climbing. I guess I just have a lot of non-climbing rope now. Oh well. Same thing with the slings.

The cams and the trad anchors all look like they are in really good condition and the slings are not really "soft" material, but from what I gather it is the most suspect part in regards to the gear being used. I'm not a trad climber, so maybe I sell them with the disclaimer that they should be reslung?

Thanks, guys! I'm sorry for such a ridiculous first thread Unsure


climbingaggie03


Sep 18, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I don't think I'd have any trouble trusting any of those biners, and yeah I'd throw away the slings and rope. The term "soft goods" doesn't necessarily mean that they're soft, just softer than metal. I think it's perfectly reasonable to sell the cams telling people that the slings are suspect, that's fairly common.

Just so you know, you don't have to send the quickdraws off to get new dog bones (except for the DMM ones) alot of those you can just buy new dog bones from REI or backcountry or any other online retailer and do it yourself.


TimeSpiral


Sep 18, 2012, 12:28 PM
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Are dogbones synonymous with runners? What are some of the attributes I should keep in mind when buying new ones?

Any tips on how to remove the old ones and install the new ones myself? Maybe there is a good article that you guys know of.

Also, sorry for the noob question; the QDs I have are currently configured so the gates alternate; anchor side faces one way, rope side faces the other. Is this preference, sign of an old QD, or what?


Thanks!


jeepnphreak


Sep 18, 2012, 1:00 PM
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TimeSpiral wrote:
[image]http://images.craigslist.org/5Ib5E55F53Eb3J13lbc9c251c2ca2f08a1192.jpg[/image]
[image]http://images.craigslist.org/5Id5K25M93G43F33Jbc9cd0580ea889381cab.jpg[/image]
[image]http://images.craigslist.org/5F35M75J63E93Kf3M9c9c0afde0fc76e3112d.jpg[/image]


Looking at the nylon runner aka dog bones, those look mighty like the runner that Blackdiamond used in the late 90s. The single stem cams are in the 6-10 year old range and those old DMM xeons havent been made in years. All in all I would guess than most of that gear is 12-14 years old and not worth much.
toss out or use it for other purposes all the ropes and other sof goods. The carabiners and cams are probably good to use still. But check it over well.


DemolitionRed


Sep 18, 2012, 1:29 PM
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Re: [USnavy] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:
I think there was a climbing accident/fatality several years ago that involved a rope that was unknowingly weakened by exposure to car battery fumes.
It was an injury and it involved a climber who decked in a gym from rope failure. The climber placed the rope on the ground in the parking lot. When the rope was on the ground it came into contact with sulfuric acid on the ground. "Car battery fumes" is mostly just evaporating water and hydrogen. The liquid in automotive batteries is typically a mixture of 30% sulfuric acid and 70% distilled water. Overtime the water in the battery can evaporate, but sulfuric acid does not really evaporate. That is the reason why automotive batteries that are low in electrolytic fluid should be refilled with water, not battery acid. When voltage and current is applied to the battery from the alternator, small hydrogen bubbles are produced in the electrolytic fluid mixture causing a buildup of hydrogen gas in the battery's cells. The hydrogen gas is vented into the atmosphere or filtered through a hydrogen filter. But the hydrogen is not really the problem, it is the sulfuric acid. That is what will weaken a rope and that is what caused the rope failure in the example above. It is for that reason that you should never set your get on anything in the engine bay or on the ground in a parking lot.

I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed


(This post was edited by DemolitionRed on Sep 18, 2012, 1:32 PM)


climbingaggie03


Sep 18, 2012, 1:34 PM
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Re: [TimeSpiral] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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yeah, dog bones are synonymous with nylon runners, just a specialized version. the black diamond ones you can just slide the biners out of the sling. They may have rubber inserts on one side that help hold the rope end biner in place, so those take a bit more work, but they can be slid out, or you can cut them since you're throwing those away anyway.

As far as replacements, it's mostly personal preference. REI sells the petzl express runners http://www.rei.com/...petzl-express-runner Backcountry.com sells the black diamond dynex runners which are my favorite http://www.backcountry.com/...amond-dynex-dogbones Trango sells draws http://www.trango.com/...bing/Express%20Sling Fish has some http://www.fishproducts.com/...g/productlinefs.html or you could always get some mammut runners and make trad draws.

Gate direction is preference, there have been many debates on which is better/safer but in the end it comes down to preference.


billcoe_


Sep 18, 2012, 3:50 PM
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Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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Taking the story at face value. If you are being up front then I would suggest that what you really need timespiral, is not any gear, but someone who knows how to use it and can share the info, or an organized series of classes. Maybe both.

Pass on that advice to your peril. Good luck.


TimeSpiral


Sep 18, 2012, 4:25 PM
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Re: [billcoe_] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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I took three half day lessons with an instructor (who was incredible!) and I absolutely believe that I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. Isn't there always more to learn?

Thanks for the advice to hire professional help (but when is that not good advice?).

I was anxious to get my own gear, walked into a bizarre situation on Craigslist, and am now trying to make heads or tails of my hasty decision. So far I think I've received some sound advice and I'm very appreciative of it.


billcoe_


Sep 19, 2012, 7:08 AM
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TimeSpiral wrote:
I took three half day lessons with an instructor (who was incredible!) and I absolutely believe that I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. Isn't there always more to learn?

Thanks for the advice to hire professional help (but when is that not good advice?).

I was anxious to get my own gear, walked into a bizarre situation on Craigslist, and am now trying to make heads or tails of my hasty decision. So far I think I've received some sound advice and I'm very appreciative of it.


I understand that feeling:-) Sounds like your head is right then. What I've seen in my 40 years of doing this is that most of the danger of starting this sport is that people do not know what they don't know. They know enough to get themselves hurt or killed. The advice you received upthread is good and I'd trust all the biners, nuts and cams. If you sell the 4 axes you'll probably make your money back, put them on Mountain Project in the classifieds.

Let me add more. I would never lead on your ropes, but I would immediately wash them and all the soft goods inc. rope bags (cold water with woolite on delicate, hang out to dry) and use them for anchors for top roping. Having seen a rope break on a kid rappelling, I don't take my ropes for granted any more.

Next, see if there are any classes at a local college or climbing club for climbing, it will be much cheaper than paying for an instructor or guide. Then look for the most experienced dude you can find and hang on him like a ramora on a shark, invite him out, invite yourself in, buy the beer, buy the gas, carry the weight (or at least offer).

Good luck!


TimeSpiral


Sep 19, 2012, 7:26 AM
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Re: [billcoe_] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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billcoe_ wrote:
TimeSpiral wrote:
I took three half day lessons with an instructor (who was incredible!) and I absolutely believe that I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. Isn't there always more to learn?

Thanks for the advice to hire professional help (but when is that not good advice?).

I was anxious to get my own gear, walked into a bizarre situation on Craigslist, and am now trying to make heads or tails of my hasty decision. So far I think I've received some sound advice and I'm very appreciative of it.


I understand that feeling:-) Sounds like your head is right then. What I've seen in my 40 years of doing this is that most of the danger of starting this sport is that people do not know what they don't know. They know enough to get themselves hurt or killed. The advice you received upthread is good and I'd trust all the biners, nuts and cams. If you sell the 4 axes you'll probably make your money back, put them on Mountain Project in the classifieds.

Let me add more. I would never lead on your ropes, but I would immediately wash them and all the soft goods inc. rope bags (cold water with woolite on delicate, hang out to dry) and use them for anchors for top roping. Having seen a rope break on a kid rappelling, I don't take my ropes for granted any more.

Next, see if there are any classes at a local college or climbing club for climbing, it will be much cheaper than paying for an instructor or guide. Then look for the most experienced dude you can find and hang on him like a ramora on a shark, invite him out, invite yourself in, buy the beer, buy the gas, carry the weight (or at least offer).

Good luck!

Awesome tip about the local colleges, but being in Florida I find that chance to be slim, but I will look. There is a local rock climbing gym called Vertical Ventures that I plan on checking out soon.

Will you elaborate a little more about the top roping anchors? I've only ever climbed in one location; Kalymnos, Greece, and they were all sport climbs so at the top of each route there were to anchors, with chains, connected to two opposing biners. Once you made it to the top you clicked in to both biners and that was it, then you came down.

Will you also elaborate on how to wash the rope? I'm very nervous about rope care; it being so critical to not getting dead. You're talking about hand washing, right?

But I understand that some people create top roping anchors using trees, or bolts, or other things, but will you see that sort of thing on a sport climb or is that more typical for a trad climb?

My plan is to find some local professionals/enthusiasts and learn a lot more. I'm far from feeling confident trying any type of outdoor climbing on my own. I suppose I will just know when I'm ready; meaning, if I have to ask, I'm not ready.

Thanks, Billcoe.


(This post was edited by TimeSpiral on Sep 19, 2012, 7:32 AM)


TradEddie


Sep 19, 2012, 9:13 AM
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Re: [DemolitionRed] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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DemolitionRed wrote:
I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed

Not sure what exactly your chemistry question is, but the story about the rope breaking was reported first-hand either here or on Supertopo. Analysis of the rope showed traces of acid, but it could not be determined how it happened.

Batteries should not emit significant quantities of either sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide in normal use, else we would all have a corroded hole on our car hood (when liquid level is low, you add only water, not acid), but it can easily be spilled during removal etc, especially in older style batteries.

The chemistry term, "strong acid" does not refer to concentration, it describes the ability of an acid to dissociate, even dilute sulfuric acid will damage nylon.

What is so scary about this is that if exposed to sulfuric acid, nylon ropes or slings may have no visible damage.

TE


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TradEddie wrote:
DemolitionRed wrote:
I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed

Not sure what exactly your chemistry question is, but the story about the rope breaking was reported first-hand either here or on Supertopo. Analysis of the rope showed traces of acid, but it could not be determined how it happened.

Batteries should not emit significant quantities of either sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide in normal use, else we would all have a corroded hole on our car hood (when liquid level is low, you add only water, not acid), but it can easily be spilled during removal etc, especially in older style batteries.

The chemistry term, "strong acid" does not refer to concentration, it describes the ability of an acid to dissociate, even dilute sulfuric acid will damage nylon.

What is so scary about this is that if exposed to sulfuric acid, nylon ropes or slings may have no visible damage.

TE

Out of curiosity, I once poured full-strength acid from an old leaky battery onto a light colored nylon sling, just so I could clearly see what acid damage would look like. All it did was give the nylon a very slight brown tinge. Comparable to a dirty spot on it. Spooky, for sure.

GO


USnavy


Sep 19, 2012, 3:17 PM
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Re: [DemolitionRed] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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DemolitionRed wrote:
USnavy wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:
I think there was a climbing accident/fatality several years ago that involved a rope that was unknowingly weakened by exposure to car battery fumes.
It was an injury and it involved a climber who decked in a gym from rope failure. The climber placed the rope on the ground in the parking lot. When the rope was on the ground it came into contact with sulfuric acid on the ground. "Car battery fumes" is mostly just evaporating water and hydrogen. The liquid in automotive batteries is typically a mixture of 30% sulfuric acid and 70% distilled water. Overtime the water in the battery can evaporate, but sulfuric acid does not really evaporate. That is the reason why automotive batteries that are low in electrolytic fluid should be refilled with water, not battery acid. When voltage and current is applied to the battery from the alternator, small hydrogen bubbles are produced in the electrolytic fluid mixture causing a buildup of hydrogen gas in the battery's cells. The hydrogen gas is vented into the atmosphere or filtered through a hydrogen filter. But the hydrogen is not really the problem, it is the sulfuric acid. That is what will weaken a rope and that is what caused the rope failure in the example above. It is for that reason that you should never set your get on anything in the engine bay or on the ground in a parking lot.

I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed
Do I have a link for what? As far as the SA concentration goes, it can be anywhere from 2:20 to 19:20, it depends on the battery type, but automotive batteries are typically around 1:3 SA to water. As far as the rope failure goes, the heat of the engine had nothing to do with it since the user dident store the rope in the engine bay.

Anyway the incident was at Pipeworks Climbing Gym
in Sacramento, California. You can download a PDF about it here:

www.caves.org/section/vertical/nh/52/RopeBreakagefinal.pdf


Gmburns2000


Sep 19, 2012, 5:19 PM
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cracklover wrote:
TradEddie wrote:
DemolitionRed wrote:
I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed

Not sure what exactly your chemistry question is, but the story about the rope breaking was reported first-hand either here or on Supertopo. Analysis of the rope showed traces of acid, but it could not be determined how it happened.

Batteries should not emit significant quantities of either sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide in normal use, else we would all have a corroded hole on our car hood (when liquid level is low, you add only water, not acid), but it can easily be spilled during removal etc, especially in older style batteries.

The chemistry term, "strong acid" does not refer to concentration, it describes the ability of an acid to dissociate, even dilute sulfuric acid will damage nylon.

What is so scary about this is that if exposed to sulfuric acid, nylon ropes or slings may have no visible damage.

TE

Out of curiosity, I once poured full-strength acid from an old leaky battery onto a light colored nylon sling, just so I could clearly see what acid damage would look like. All it did was give the nylon a very slight brown tinge. Comparable to a dirty spot on it. Spooky, for sure.

GO

Did you pull test it?


Partner cracklover


Sep 19, 2012, 9:16 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
TradEddie wrote:
DemolitionRed wrote:
I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed

Not sure what exactly your chemistry question is, but the story about the rope breaking was reported first-hand either here or on Supertopo. Analysis of the rope showed traces of acid, but it could not be determined how it happened.

Batteries should not emit significant quantities of either sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide in normal use, else we would all have a corroded hole on our car hood (when liquid level is low, you add only water, not acid), but it can easily be spilled during removal etc, especially in older style batteries.

The chemistry term, "strong acid" does not refer to concentration, it describes the ability of an acid to dissociate, even dilute sulfuric acid will damage nylon.

What is so scary about this is that if exposed to sulfuric acid, nylon ropes or slings may have no visible damage.

TE

Out of curiosity, I once poured full-strength acid from an old leaky battery onto a light colored nylon sling, just so I could clearly see what acid damage would look like. All it did was give the nylon a very slight brown tinge. Comparable to a dirty spot on it. Spooky, for sure.

GO

Did you pull test it?

Nah, it would've been cool to see the difference, but A - I don't have a strain gauge so I'd have had to jury rig something, and B - I didn't want it potentially touching any of my gear.

GO


USnavy


Sep 21, 2012, 8:42 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
TradEddie wrote:
DemolitionRed wrote:
I asked my husband about this and he suggested I write the following

Do you have a link for this?
The concentration of sulfuric acid normally found in car batteries is 40% SA to 60% water. in these concentrations sulfuric acid is usually stored in plastic containers, note batteries are made of plastic. However, not all plastics are the same.
Strong concentrations of SA will decompose some grades of plastics, particularly those with high organic or volatile component.
All of this said, there is probably a better chemist in the house than he is. He did though, suggest the decomposition of the rope in the above scenario would more likely to of been caused by a combination of heat (from the engine?) and the sulfur dioxide emitted from the battery whilst being charged. In extreme circumstances this would be far more corrosive than the sulfuric acid.

I suggested we chop up bits of rope and experiment. He said 'no' Unimpressed

Not sure what exactly your chemistry question is, but the story about the rope breaking was reported first-hand either here or on Supertopo. Analysis of the rope showed traces of acid, but it could not be determined how it happened.

Batteries should not emit significant quantities of either sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide in normal use, else we would all have a corroded hole on our car hood (when liquid level is low, you add only water, not acid), but it can easily be spilled during removal etc, especially in older style batteries.

The chemistry term, "strong acid" does not refer to concentration, it describes the ability of an acid to dissociate, even dilute sulfuric acid will damage nylon.

What is so scary about this is that if exposed to sulfuric acid, nylon ropes or slings may have no visible damage.

TE

Out of curiosity, I once poured full-strength acid from an old leaky battery onto a light colored nylon sling, just so I could clearly see what acid damage would look like. All it did was give the nylon a very slight brown tinge. Comparable to a dirty spot on it. Spooky, for sure.

GO

Did you pull test it?

Nah, it would've been cool to see the difference, but A - I don't have a strain gauge so I'd have had to jury rig something, and B - I didn't want it potentially touching any of my gear.

GO
Well I have pull tested 1" webbing soaked in battery acid, I posted the results in the lab in my pull testing thread. Anyway, a piece of webbing that was failing at 23kN failed at only a few hundred pounds when contaminated with acid. The exact values are located in the thread.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Sep 21, 2012, 8:43 PM)


DemolitionRed


Sep 24, 2012, 2:30 PM
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USnavy wrote:
Anyway the incident was at Pipeworks Climbing Gym
in Sacramento, California. You can download a PDF about it here:
www.caves.org/section/vertical/nh/52/RopeBreakagefinal.pdf

Very interesting read... thanks for that. Anyone thinking of buying second hand rope should read that first.


TimeSpiral


Sep 26, 2012, 6:16 AM
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I want to thank the RC community for the feedback I received in this thread.

Here is an update:

1. I downgraded all of the soft goods; everything. They will be performing non-lifeline tasks, if not ending up in the garbage.

2. I discovered the age of the harness that looks new. This is the Black Diamond Rep's exact comment:
In reply to:
Hi David, thanks for the email, this harness was produced in early 2003, and would be past our recommended life-span of 5-8 years, so we would recommend retirement at this point.

That gives me a good idea of how old this gear is.

3. I'm on the fence with the biners. They all look like they are in good condition. The gates work well, they are not deformed, they don't look oxidized, and none of them have gouges or anything like that. They are scratched up and some of them have wear in the area the rope would run through.

Do I buy new dogbones and essentially have new QuickDraws, or do I buy new QuickDraws?

I know there is a debate in the community. What if they were dropped? What if they've been exposed to extreme conditions? Either way; I don't know the usage history. But, biners and lockers are terribly complicated. It seems a basic inspection should reveal any red flags.

4. I was able to sell all of the ice/alpine gear, thanks for the suggestion Billcoe. I still have some of the trad gear. The nuts and hexes are proving a little harder to get rid of.

5. Either way; I plan on buying a new harness, a new rope, and will be making a decision about the QuickDraws and the lockers soon.

Thanks a ton to everyone!


kennoyce


Sep 26, 2012, 7:07 AM
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You don't need to worry about the biners at all. BD once pull tested a bunch of biners found at the base of El Cap (meaning that they had been dropped from 100s to 1000s of feet) and every single biner that was not obviously deformed from the fall broke at above it's rated strength. If the biners look fine (minor scratches are not a problem) and the gates function correctly, you're good to go.


TimeSpiral


Sep 26, 2012, 7:11 AM
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kennoyce wrote:
You don't need to worry about the biners at all. BD once pull tested a bunch of biners found at the base of El Cap (meaning that they had been dropped from 100s to 1000s of feet) and every single biner that was not obviously deformed from the fall broke at above it's rated strength. If the biners look fine (minor scratches are not a problem) and the gates function correctly, you're good to go.

This seems to be the consensus, which of course makes me very happy. So I'll probably just buy some new dogbones. Do you guys have any favored spots to do that sort of thing?

I imagine they are easy enough to install on my own.


brokesomeribs


Oct 4, 2012, 7:10 PM
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Just a thought - climbing gym employees are frequently not experienced at all. They're high school kids who make minimum wage belaying birthday kids at parties.

Similarly, even head route setters at gyms, particularly in a place like Florida with no "real" climbing to speak of, may in fact just be very strong gym rats with no experience to judge the quality/safety of gear.

Just food for thought.


climbingaggie03


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climbingaggie03 wrote:
REI sells the petzl express runners http://www.rei.com/...petzl-express-runner Backcountry.com sells the black diamond dynex runners which are my favorite http://www.backcountry.com/...amond-dynex-dogbones Trango sells draws http://www.trango.com/...bing/Express%20Sling Fish has some http://www.fishproducts.com/...g/productlinefs.html or you could always get some mammut runners and make trad draws.


TimeSpiral


Oct 5, 2012, 8:04 AM
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Re: [brokesomeribs] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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brokesomeribs wrote:
Just a thought - climbing gym employees are frequently not experienced at all. They're high school kids who make minimum wage belaying birthday kids at parties.

Similarly, even head route setters at gyms, particularly in a place like Florida with no "real" climbing to speak of, may in fact just be very strong gym rats with no experience to judge the quality/safety of gear.

Just food for thought.

Well intention and relevant thoughts, Brokesomeribs. Thank you!

I have taken this into consideration. I will do the best I can to evaluate the gym's staff, gear, and credentials. If I'm not comfortable there, I will walk, and unfortunately, just be out of luck.

I've purchased a book called Rock Climbing: Mastering the Basics of Climbing. I know, and am 100% in agreement with the fact that, reading a book is not substitution for proper in-person instruction. But, reading books like that is also better than not reading them and being forced to blindly trust random gym-rats.

Also, luckily, I received three days of personal instruction from a certified climbing guide while on holiday in Kalymnos. It was incredible! But I still have so much to learn ... Living in Florida, it looks like real rock climbing is going to be left to future holidays, and when I hit the crags, I will probably recruit a local climbing guide to come with and keep us safe for many years to come until I feel confident in my abilities to keep me and a partner safe.


USnavy


Oct 5, 2012, 9:03 AM
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Re: [brokesomeribs] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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brokesomeribs wrote:
Just a thought - climbing gym employees are frequently not experienced at all. They're high school kids who make minimum wage belaying birthday kids at parties.

Similarly, even head route setters at gyms, particularly in a place like Florida with no "real" climbing to speak of, may in fact just be very strong gym rats with no experience to judge the quality/safety of gear.

Just food for thought.
I could write a book listing the experiences I have had with gym employees validating the above quote. Even in world class gyms, the employees often dont know what they are doing (such as Momentum in Salt Lake).


JimTitt


Oct 5, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Re: [USnavy] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
brokesomeribs wrote:
Just a thought - climbing gym employees are frequently not experienced at all. They're high school kids who make minimum wage belaying birthday kids at parties.

Similarly, even head route setters at gyms, particularly in a place like Florida with no "real" climbing to speak of, may in fact just be very strong gym rats with no experience to judge the quality/safety of gear.

Just food for thought.
I could write a book listing the experiences I have had with gym employees validating the above quote. Even in world class gyms, the employees often dont know what they are doing (such as Momentum in Salt Lake).

I wouldn´t trust most guys in the gym to tell me the time of day, well the knackered looking over 40´s with the funny looking hands yes but the rest not!

We have two levels of gym personnel you commonly encounter in the UK (and their equivalants in Europe), the lower qualification is for people who have never seen a rock, the other for those that have. Above this we get the MIA and one is told on the forums in the UK to get these guys to check your gear, of course they aren´t trained for this, have no remit to do so and would turn white if you asked that they put their "professional" opinion in writing since then they are legally liable.

The whole issue of "qualified equipment inspection" has been discussed at the highest level since this is a general recommendation from all manufacturers and in fact a requirement for some of the labelling. Not surprisingly this is a hot potato that has been handed around and no one wants to know, even the manufacturers have a problem since generally the only way they can confirm equipment conforms is to break it. Not even senior members of the manufacturing industry are going to stick their necks out too far, the best you´ll get is "I would/wouldn´t climb on it".


rocknice2


Oct 5, 2012, 2:25 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Just bought a lot of gear. How can I inspect for safety? [In reply to]
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Just speaking about the slung cams, it occurs to me that the slings attached to those cams are about twice as strong as the cams themselves.
I can't think of any gear that is anywhere near 22kn.
I think as long as the cam slings are clean, unfrayed and not sun bleached, they should be OK.

Fortunately I can afford to buy brand new gear.
A student on a tight budget has a good reason to buy used gear. If they can NOT stomach the fact that the history is uncertain then .......There is a saying that goes "The cheap comes out expensive"


(This post was edited by rocknice2 on Oct 5, 2012, 2:26 PM)


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