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Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure
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majid_sabet


Jun 13, 2008, 9:17 AM
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Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure
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I recently reviewed two climbing accident reports in Yosemite National Park in which an LED headlamp was separated from its harness during a fall.These were models in which the lamp snaps into a yoke attached to the strap system. Two different brands were involved. In the first incident (November 10, 2007), two climbers were rappelling at night on Cathedral Peak during a sudden snow storm. One climber accidentally swung a short distance and struck a corner. The low-speed impact did not hurt him but it popped his LED headlamp out of its yoke (on his helmet) and the lamp was lost. Later that evening one of the climbers died due to hypothermia. The loss of the headlamp had slowed them somewhat but it may not have been a major contributing factor in the climber's death, since they were already in serious trouble. In the second incident (May 15, 2008), a climber was seriously injured in a leader fall on the Nose route of El Capitan at night. His LED lamp separated from its yoke during the fall and was lost. The injury forced the climbers to wait until morning before moving, so the missing lamp played no role in the accident or its outcome, as far as we can tell. I had a short conversation about this with John Dill (YOSAR) and we looked at two of the latest model LED headlamps that come with yokes. This design enables you to interchange different lamp and harness models at will, but you run a significant risk of losing your light. Even without this particular risk, there are lots of other ways to lose or damage a light,and the loss can be serious, so YOSAR recommends carrying your spare batteries in a spare headlamp. The accidents mentioned above will be published on the YOSAR website and in the AAC's annual Accidents in North American Mountaineering.

Majid S
June, 12-2008


chossmonkey


Jun 13, 2008, 9:33 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure [In reply to]
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Well then..


There is only one solution.



DON"T CLIMB AT NIGHT!!!


or get a non LED headlamp.


chossmonkey


Jun 13, 2008, 9:34 AM
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Re: [chossmonkey] Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure [In reply to]
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I forgot this ---->


swaghole


Jun 13, 2008, 9:50 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure [In reply to]
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Just a thougth. If it was a critical piece of gear (i.e. losing or breaking = death), why didn't they double up?? Pretty simple solution.


blondgecko
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Jun 13, 2008, 11:32 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure [In reply to]
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Actually, I think that's pretty decent advice, on the whole. Backup lights are cheap and plentiful these days.


adatesman


Jun 14, 2008, 5:59 AM
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stymingersfink


Jun 14, 2008, 9:44 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Warning ,LED headlamp harness (yoke) failure [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:
Not sure why this is in The Lab and not A&I, but this is by far the best/most useful writeup you've ever done Majid. Thanks!

-aric.
I'm not reading that^^


Partner angry


Jun 14, 2008, 11:05 AM
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I have had several BD "Spot" and "Cosmos" harnesses.

They are the type that could come right off the strap if you got hung up on something. The quickest, easiest, and most secure fix I've come up with is a small piece of tape on the back. It really seems to be that simple.

I honestly have more problem with it coming off screwing around at the campsite then when climbing.

I dropped one in a crevasse but that was due to forgetting it was on my head.

I would say that LED might not be the key issue. A hard fall on my Petzl Micro (lightbulb style) would just break the bulb and it would be equally useless. A damaged headlamp or a missing headlamp is essentially the same.

Those itty bitty spare headlamps that run on watch batteries put out a lot of light considering what they are. It's probably a good investment for anyone climbing more than a few times a year.


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