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Ask Dr. Pee'd On.....How would you open a open a stuck screw
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bshaftoe


Jan 23, 2002, 3:44 PM
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Ask Dr. Pee'd On.....How would you open a open a stuck screw
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Doc,

True story. I had just clipped a two bolt anchor at the top of a 4 pitch (about four 80' pitches) trad route. As soon as I arrived at the anchors, I girth hitched a sewn sling through my two harness tie-in points and used a screwlock locking carabiner on one of the bolts, I then clove-hitched the rope coming from my waist to another locking carabiner.

About the time I had finished equalizing the anchor (consisting of the two bolts and a wired nut) I noticed some dark storm clouds approaching, and the distant rumbling of thunder. I informed my partner of the approaching storm and he agreed that we should probably rap down.

There were some ratty looking slings attached to the two bolts in the classic "american triangle" death configuration. The setup also included a couple of OK looking rap rings. I spent some time adjusting a couple of new tied slings to try and equalize the bolts to the rap rings. After doing this, the storm was drawing closer along with the sound of thunder. I reached up and removed the clove-hitch and locking carabiner from the other bolt. This was a questionable action as the clove-hitch and sewn sling were my primary anchor. It was a good stance, so I thought it would be OK. I rigged my rap rope through the rap rings, tied a couple of independant triple fishermans in the ends and put myself on rappell.

After double checking the rap setup, I reached up to try and unscrew the locking carabiner, "Gosh darnit" (or something similar) I exclaimed when I discovered that the screwgate was stuck. Meanwhile, the wind had picked up, and the storm was almost upon us. I tried as hard as I could to unscrew the thing but couldn't. I then remembered the Leatherman multi-tool in my pocket, whipped it out and used the pliers to try and unstick the screwgate. No luck. I leaned back on the girth-hitched sewn sling to tell my partner I was having some problems, and that I was going to cut the sewn sling with the knife. Meanwhile, as I leaned back and slightly weighted the sewn sling, I was still trying to unscrew the locker with my fingers. All of a sudden, as soon as I put some weight on the locker, the screwgate magically shifted.

I was able to remove the locker, and rap down to my partner. We quickly rigged a two rope rappel, tied a couple of independant knots in the ends and tossed it off. As my partner started rapping, it started to rain, and more alarmingly, the sound of thunder was upon us, this was very unnerving. Finally, my partner reached the anchors on the top of the first pitch, and was off rappell. I rapped down as quickly as possible, rigged another 80' rap and we were down safely.

I was fortunate to have a alternate solution in the form of a Leatherman tool. Because I had girth-hitched the sewn sling to my harness, I would have been screwed (get it) if I didn't have a knife and couldn't get the locker unscrewed.

I had heard of locking screwgate carabiners becoming stuck when bearing a load, but this was not the case.

So, good Doctor, how do you open a stuck screwgate carabiner while on a big wall?

-Shaft


[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-01-23 22:58 ]


graniteboy


Jan 23, 2002, 5:29 PM
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Well, I'm not Dr.Peed on, (although I did accidentally Pee ON someone while climbing when I was young and stupid; you shoulda seen him trying to pull that raincoat hood up while leading....)
So here's the issue; your locker gate got unstuck because it was binding against the biner. You weighted it, and it opened because your weight flexed the biner slightly and allowed it to become unbound. Not a mystery. I always open stuck lockers by weighting them and unscrewing the gate. Unless they're frozen, on an alpine climb, in which case I have been known to breathe and/or pee on them (always done in that order, and in that order only) to unthaw them.

Warning: Climbing,mountaineering, and Using KNIVES are Hazardous Activities, which should only be learned in person from a trained professional. Graniteboy(TM) explicitly refuses to accept
responsibility for any actions which you, the learning climber, perform, which may lead to bodily or psychic injury or death, unless Graniteboy is employed by you
as a Guide for a sum of several hundred dollars per day.... In FACT, Graniteboy refuses to accept any responsibility at all, for anything whatsoever.


bshaftoe


Jan 23, 2002, 10:00 PM
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Graniteboy,

I forgot to mention that this was the first time I had used this particular 'biner. Here is a photo of the offending 'biner.

It is a first generation airlock style 'biner and will always bind when screwed down. I own several other screwgate lockers and have never had a binding problem with any of them. The list includes, REI (MSR made) I-beam lockers, BD pearabiner, Petzl Attache and William, REI D locker, DMM belay master, and Trango D.

-Shaft

[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-01-23 22:02 ]


passthepitonspete


Jan 24, 2002, 11:34 AM
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Dear Bob,

It is not uncommon for screwgate crabs to get stuck.

In fact, I have previously written that Dr. Pee'd On HATES screwgate locking carabiners!

When it comes to screwgate carabiners, I subscribe to the-latin credo,

"caveat climb-or"

The thing to remember about screwgates is to NEVER tighten them while you are weighting them! Because if you do, as soon as you unweight them, you will be unable to open them. This was your problem, and you were the author of your own misfortune.

That a weighted screwgate cranked shut will bind is not prophesy, it is fact.

As Graniteboy usurps, er I mean, points out, the proper way to open a tightened screwgate carabiner is to weight it. This usually works, assuming you are in a position where you can get your full body weight onto it.

If you are dumb enough to use a screwgate carabiner on your rappel device or cow's tail clip-in, at least be smart enough to bring your Leatherman. Applying some WD-40 to the threads ahead of time, and then wiping off the excess would not hurt, either.

I highly recommend some type of autolocker on your belay device and on your rappel device. I believe that the use of screwgate carabiners on cow's tails, rappel devices and belay devices is Traditional Big Wall Technology.

If you do not know exactly what I mean by Traditional Big Wall Technology, then please click here and hit your PgDn buttom four times.

The sole exception to my not using a screwgate carabiner is when I am caving - the mud tends to bugger up autolockers.

So when I am caving, I rappel with a screwgate locker. Because muddy caving ropes DESTROY rappel devices, I frequently rappel in caves using a munter hitch on a big honkin' steel screwgate crab.

When I get on rappel, I automatically check that the screwgate is shut. This I do by twisting the gate shut, and then

* BACKING OFF A BIT ON THE THREADS! *

So if you were to feel my screwgate as I was rappeling, you would feel the gate screwed "not quite tight." I leave some "torsional slack" in the gate.

[I just made that up - "torsional slack" - I rather like that...]

I am Dr. Pee'd On,

and I have indeed been pee'd on many times!




In fact, if you are going to climb a big wall, a place where killer updrafts are a certainty and where you are sure to be standing in your aiders for hours at a time, it is equally certain that sooner or later, you will pee on your partner, and your partner will pee on you.

In some cases, it may be better to address this formality while still on the ground, so that when it later happens on the wall, it will not be the first time.


apollodorus


Feb 18, 2002, 7:53 PM
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You probably did the best thing by weighting the thing, to shift parts around. If that didn't work, I'd take either a cleaning tool or a wired number 6-8 stopper, and use it as a hammer to knock the screw tangentially in the direction of unscrewing it. Don't smack directly on the lock, but try to hit it at an angle to hammer it in the direction you want it to go.

As a bonus, the next time you get a jar that's stuck, try this with the back of a knife, tapping not too hard, and going around. All of a sudden, the top will magically fly off.


BKSAD


May 21, 2009, 12:54 PM
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This happened to my friend recently on a wall. I untied my 5mm prussik cord and tied a clove hitch around the screw mechanism of the locker. I pulled up and he pulled down on the clove hitch...it slipped off a few times but eventually we were able to create the leverage to loosen the screw mechanism.


jrathfon


May 21, 2009, 1:22 PM
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holy thread revival batman!

Feb 18, 2002...


hafilax


May 21, 2009, 1:46 PM
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BKSAD wrote:
This happened to my friend recently on a wall. I untied my 5mm prussik cord and tied a clove hitch around the screw mechanism of the locker. I pulled up and he pulled down on the clove hitch...it slipped off a few times but eventually we were able to create the leverage to loosen the screw mechanism.
I'm surprised that this could still happen. Don't all modern screw locks have something that keeps the sleeve from going too far up to the nose?


bill413


May 21, 2009, 6:18 PM
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hafilax wrote:
I'm surprised that this could still happen. Don't all modern screw locks have something that keeps the sleeve from going too far up to the nose?
Yeah, but they didn't sell with the cocaine crowd, so it was discontinued.


skinner


May 23, 2009, 5:15 AM
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Did they actually make screwgates in "Feb 18, 2002..." ?


bill413


May 23, 2009, 4:12 PM
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skinner wrote:
Did they actually make screwgates in "Feb 18, 2002..." ?
Well, they were harder to use then - you had to either have all slotted or all philips screws, or you'd have to carry two screwdrivers. Oh, and a wrench to hold the nut.
Which, of course, meant you could really only use them when you had a good, hands-free stance.


skiclimb


May 23, 2009, 6:21 PM
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Occasionally a screwgate biner has tried to take me hostage...

I beat the motherfuckers into submission somehow someway..period....

I am the boss


flatlanderAB


Jun 27, 2009, 11:18 AM
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jrathfon wrote:
holy thread revival batman!

Feb 18, 2002...

Great pun if it was intended to be one, if not its even better.


Allanon124


Aug 14, 2009, 12:53 AM
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so damn funny....seriously, i just laphed.

yup


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