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Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks
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moose_droppings


Sep 24, 2010, 3:08 PM
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Re: [dynosore] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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dynosore wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
csproul wrote:
iron106 wrote:
I don't think the groove was actually that bad. I think the only problem was the sharpness of the groove. Worn biners are usually stronger than new ones.
??
Worn biners have been shown to better concentrated the force along the spine and break at higher loads

So there not stronger.
??

Could we please not derail this thread with a semantic argument about the meaning of the word "stronger."

Jay

Good thing you never nitpick and derail threads, eh? Like all the time for instance. The ironing is thick today.....

I'd have to agree with the irony here.

Seems like the discussion about prehung draws and grass roots of sport climbing is more on topic than the strength of a biner, much like the one that broke in the OP.


redlude97


Sep 24, 2010, 3:23 PM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
dynosore wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
csproul wrote:
iron106 wrote:
I don't think the groove was actually that bad. I think the only problem was the sharpness of the groove. Worn biners are usually stronger than new ones.
??
Worn biners have been shown to better concentrated the force along the spine and break at higher loads

So there not stronger.
??

Could we please not derail this thread with a semantic argument about the meaning of the word "stronger."

Jay

Good thing you never nitpick and derail threads, eh? Like all the time for instance. The ironing is thick today.....

I'd have to agree with the irony here.

Seems like the discussion about prehung draws and grass roots of sport climbing is more on topic than the strength of a biner, much like the one that broke in the OP.
Which biner broke?


jt512


Sep 24, 2010, 3:28 PM
Post #53 of 134 (4495 views)
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Re: [moose_droppings] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
dynosore wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
csproul wrote:
iron106 wrote:
I don't think the groove was actually that bad. I think the only problem was the sharpness of the groove. Worn biners are usually stronger than new ones.
??
Worn biners have been shown to better concentrated the force along the spine and break at higher loads

So there not stronger.
??

Could we please not derail this thread with a semantic argument about the meaning of the word "stronger."

Jay

Good thing you never nitpick and derail threads, eh? Like all the time for instance. The ironing is thick today.....

I'd have to agree with the irony here.

I'd ask dynosore to provide some examples of the nit picking he's accusing me of, except that I'm not willing to unkillfile him to see his inability to respond.

Jay


newrivermike


Sep 24, 2010, 3:44 PM
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Re: [minibiter] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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In reply to:
This one was pulled of a climb at Roadside earlier this year... Injury averted!


Just to clarify: I took this biner down from the anchor of 40 oz. of Justice at the Motherload. Worst I've ever seen. I could flex it between two fingers. One anchor biner was bad, one was good. I guess that's why no one had taken it yet. I keep this one clipped to the outside of my pack to show people. Hopefully raise some awareness of this issue.

And for the record... I think the whole thing about sport climbers being too lazy to clean gear is hilarious. Isn't that ironic that the climbers that are out there training like mad and climbing ridiculously steep 5.14s and 5.15s are considered lazy. You know, guys like Sharma that are too lazy to clean the draws off Jumbo Love. Anyone that questions the importance of fixed draws has certainly never even seen the Motherload at the Red. Cleaning one of those routes would be an all day affair and would actually be quite dangerous.

Fixed draws, if maintained properly, are essential for mega steep pitches and they actually promote safety. We just need to get some steel ones which is happening to remedy this situation. Most of the Undertow wall is already equipped with steel biners. If you read the Redriverclimbing.com post you'll note that a bunch of steel biners were donated to the crag where the cut rope incident occured.

It takes time and money to make the crags a safer place. Until then, be careful and be aware of what you're climbing on.


moose_droppings


Sep 24, 2010, 5:03 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
Which biner broke?

I misspoke, there was no broken biner


socalclimber


Sep 24, 2010, 5:40 PM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
Which biner broke?

I misspoke, there was no broken biner

Nope, but the rope sure was.

I'm sorry, but this whole thing is just stupid. I'm still at a loss to understand how this happened. There is no need for "analysis" of the rope. The people involved yes, but the gear, no!


jt512


Sep 24, 2010, 6:29 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
Which biner broke?

I misspoke, there was no broken biner

Nope, but the rope sure was.

I'm sorry, but this whole thing is just stupid. I'm still at a loss to understand how this happened. There is no need for "analysis" of the rope. The people involved yes, but the gear, no!

For once, Robert, I have to disagree with you. There is little, if anything unusual about the people in this incident, or what they were doing. In all likelihood, this could have happened to any sport climber. In contrast, the condition of the rope and the gear, and the mechanics of the accident are what we need to learn more about.

Between the link to the BD testing provided by jmeizis and newrivermike's incisive observations, a highly plausible explanation for this accident is beginning to emerge. According to newrivermike, sharp edges on the rope-end carabiner of a fixed draw can develop if the draw is often under tension with the rope running relatively unbent though the carabiner. This is likely to happen at the first bolt, because belayers often stand a few feet away from the wall while lowering their partner. In addition, according to BD, rope damage over a sharp edge is more likely to occur when the fall-factor is high or the catch static. Now, the first bolt just happens to be where the highest fall factor falls are likely to occur as well as where the belayer is least likely to give a dynamic belay. Add in the fact that the carabiner used "T-bar" construction, which amplifies the sharpness of the edge, and that the groove appeared to be worn to the worst possible depth, the apex of the "T," and it starts to look like this accident took place under exactly the sort of perfect-storm conditions required.

Jay


socalclimber


Sep 24, 2010, 6:40 PM
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Re: [jt512] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
Which biner broke?

I misspoke, there was no broken biner

Nope, but the rope sure was.

I'm sorry, but this whole thing is just stupid. I'm still at a loss to understand how this happened. There is no need for "analysis" of the rope. The people involved yes, but the gear, no!

For once, Robert, I have to disagree with you. There is little, if anything unusual about the people in this incident, or what they were doing. In all likelihood, this could have happened to any sport climber. In contrast, the condition of the rope and the gear, and the mechanics of the accident are what we need to learn more about.

Between the link to the BD testing provided by jmeizis and newrivermike's incisive observations, a highly plausible explanation for this accident is beginning to emerge. According to newrivermike, sharp edges on the rope-end carabiner of a fixed draw can develop if the draw is often under tension with the rope running relatively unbent though the carabiner. This is likely to happen at the first bolt, because belayers often stand a few feet away from the wall while lowering their partner. In addition, according to BD, rope damage over a sharp edge is more likely to occur when the fall-factor is high or the catch static. Now, the first bolt just happens to be where the highest fall factor falls are likely to occur as well as where the belayer is least likely to give a dynamic belay. Add in the fact that the carabiner used "T-bar" construction, which amplifies the sharpness of the edge, and that the groove appeared to be worn to the worst possible depth, the apex of the "T," and it starts to look like this accident took place under exactly the sort of perfect-storm conditions required.

Jay

Thanks, let me read this and digest the info you provided.


socalclimber


Sep 25, 2010, 4:37 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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Hmmm.

Well I read that earlier in the thread. I still have a number of issues with this. First off, Mike clearly stated that he will carry extra draws with him due to the very problem that caused this accident. He even goes on to say that these time bombs are everywhere and knew this was gonna happen to someone eventually.

This tells me Mike has a functioning brain. For god sakes, I've cleaned and replaced old copper heads that were in better condition than either of those two biners. What astounds me is that nobody has bothered to fix the problem and continued to climb on them anyway.

If I ever came upon a "fixed" biner in that condition, especially straight off the deck, I promise you, I wouldn't just clip it. I'd be off that thing in a heart beat or placing my own piece if I could.

Those two pictures are with out question the worst examples of wear I have seen in a caribiner in 20 years of climbing.

I have absolutely no problems with the analysis and conclusions of why and how the wear occurs. The high fall factor due to the first bolt on the route, or that the belayer is standing a bit back from the route. This is all well and good. Majid is 100% correct. Rule #1 in climbing is NEVER BLINDLY TRUST FIXED GEAR. INSPECT IT. I don't care what it is, fixed pin, fixed draw, stuck cam, whatever.

How anybody could not have noticed that biner is beyond me. If this is the accepted norm and practices at popular sport climbing areas, be rest assured I won't be going near them any time soon.

I can only imagine what some of the bolt hangers must look like. I would suggest some of the locals get on the phone to the ASCA and get new hangers and gear and start replacing these things. At the very least, people should be noting these time bombs on the web sites and gear stores near by. Nomads has a note book for bad bolts. Locals take a gander at it and replace the offending gear. If we can do it with 7000+ routes in the park, then it should be doable in other areas.

The truth is, complacency is what lead to this accident.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 25, 2010, 4:45 AM)


csproul


Sep 25, 2010, 6:17 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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Not that I disagree with you, but I bet there are more bolts and fixed gear in Muir Valley (not to mention the rest of RRG) than in all of JT.


socalclimber


Sep 25, 2010, 6:51 AM
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Re: [csproul] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
Not that I disagree with you, but I bet there are more bolts and fixed gear in Muir Valley (not to mention the rest of RRG) than in all of JT.

I'll bet you're right. Especially since JT is not a sport climbing area as a general rule. Regardless, anything with that level of wear needs to be replaced.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 25, 2010, 6:54 AM)


socalclimber


Sep 25, 2010, 7:58 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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I gotta go to work, but:

Time for devils advocate. What if the first draw on this route, and others are being stick clipped? In other words, people are not leading up to them, clipping and moving on.


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 9:45 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
Hmmm.

Well I read that earlier in the thread. I still have a number of issues with this. First off, Mike clearly stated that he will carry extra draws with him due to the very problem that caused this accident. He even goes on to say that these time bombs are everywhere and knew this was gonna happen to someone eventually.

Well, in over 20 years of climbing, this is the very first time I have heard this mechanism discussed. And I don't know a single climber who knew that there are sharp fixed draws all over the place (if in fact there are).

In reply to:
This tells me Mike has a functioning brain. For god sakes, I've cleaned and replaced old copper heads that were in better condition than either of those two biners. What astounds me is that nobody has bothered to fix the problem and continued to climb on them anyway.

That really deeply grooved one was certainly the worst I've seen, by far. But the one that caused the accident wasn't. The depth of that groove is where biners on fixed draws usually get replaced, in my experience. So a groove that deep isn't that unusual or dangerous per se. What is unusual (I hope) and dangerous is that the groove was sharp. I'd have probably clipped that draw myself. I've certainly clipped others that were grooved that deeply with absolutely no concern that either the biner would fail or that it could cut my rope. Remember, most of these grooves are smooth.

In reply to:
Rule #1 in climbing is NEVER BLINDLY TRUST FIXED GEAR. INSPECT IT. I don't care what it is, fixed pin, fixed draw, stuck cam, whatever.

But the rule is largely unworkable, especially in sport climbing. You can't "inspect" a bolt in the middle of a hard sport climb. And even if you could, you probably couldn't tell anything about it. Likewise, you can't determine the condition of a fixed nylon sling by looking at it. Likewise, I doubt that you could visually distinguish a routine groove on a carabiner from one that could potentially cut your rope. You pretty much have to make a decision to either trust the gear and do the climb, or not trust it, and take up trad climbing. This is not to say that you should be completely unaware of the condition of the gear. Far from it, but you can't avoid a certain element of trust in the hardware in sport climbing.

Jay


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 9:56 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
I gotta go to work, but:

Time for devils advocate. What if the first draw on this route, and others are being stick clipped? In other words, people are not leading up to them, clipping and moving on.

Then, as far as I can see, the situation would be exactly the same. On the other hand, if every sport route with fixed draws was equipped a dedicated cleaning bolt, and everybody used it, then the problem of the first actual protection bolt (ie, the second bolt) becoming sharp would be solved. The wear due to lowering would occur on the cleaning bolt's draw, never gets fallen on. The problem is getting everybody to clip the lowering bolt.

(A lowering bolt is one that is intended to be clipped from the ground, and unclipped from the ground after the leader has cleaned the other draws while lowering off. It's too low to be part of the protection system. Its only use use is to facilitate cleaning.)

Jay


dynosore


Sep 25, 2010, 10:06 AM
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jt512 wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
dynosore wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
csproul wrote:
iron106 wrote:
I don't think the groove was actually that bad. I think the only problem was the sharpness of the groove. Worn biners are usually stronger than new ones.
??
Worn biners have been shown to better concentrated the force along the spine and break at higher loads

So there not stronger.
??

Could we please not derail this thread with a semantic argument about the meaning of the word "stronger."

Jay

Good thing you never nitpick and derail threads, eh? Like all the time for instance. The ironing is thick today.....

I'd have to agree with the irony here.

I'd ask dynosore to provide some examples of the nit picking he's accusing me of, except that I'm not willing to unkillfile him to see his inability to respond.

Jay


No prob jay. The examples are there all the time, as you cruise this forum 24/7, looking for any reason to belittle someone or carve their slightest possible error into a thousand pieces. You may impress a few young and naive noob types but most of us see clearly what you are.
Hope you find some inner peace someday....Ciao.


MS1


Sep 25, 2010, 2:39 PM
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In reply to:
On the other hand, if every sport route with fixed draws was equipped a dedicated cleaning bolt, and everybody used it, then the problem of the first actual protection bolt (ie, the second bolt) becoming sharp would be solved. The wear due to lowering would occur on the cleaning bolt's draw, never gets fallen on. The problem is getting everybody to clip the lowering bolt.

(A lowering bolt is one that is intended to be clipped from the ground, and unclipped from the ground after the leader has cleaned the other draws while lowering off. It's too low to be part of the protection system. Its only use use is to facilitate cleaning.)

That's an interesting idea. Does this system interfere with giving a good dynamic belay? I can envision scenarios where a low draw in the system would cause problems when catching a fall.


bill413


Sep 25, 2010, 3:22 PM
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I gotta go to work, but:

Time for devils advocate. What if the first draw on this route, and others are being stick clipped? In other words, people are not leading up to them, clipping and moving on.

Then, as far as I can see, the situation would be exactly the same. On the other hand, if every sport route with fixed draws was equipped a dedicated cleaning bolt, and everybody used it, then the problem of the first actual protection bolt (ie, the second bolt) becoming sharp would be solved. The wear due to lowering would occur on the cleaning bolt's draw, never gets fallen on. The problem is getting everybody to clip the lowering bolt.

(A lowering bolt is one that is intended to be clipped from the ground, and unclipped from the ground after the leader has cleaned the other draws while lowering off. It's too low to be part of the protection system. Its only use use is to facilitate cleaning.)

Jay

Jay, not having encountered what I recognize as a lowering bolt, I'm envisioning this as primarily something to keep you in close to overhanging rock during the lower, but not something useful on more vertical terrain?


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 5:13 PM
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MS1 wrote:
In reply to:
On the other hand, if every sport route with fixed draws was equipped a dedicated cleaning bolt, and everybody used it, then the problem of the first actual protection bolt (ie, the second bolt) becoming sharp would be solved. The wear due to lowering would occur on the cleaning bolt's draw, never gets fallen on. The problem is getting everybody to clip the lowering bolt.

(A lowering bolt is one that is intended to be clipped from the ground, and unclipped from the ground after the leader has cleaned the other draws while lowering off. It's too low to be part of the protection system. Its only use use is to facilitate cleaning.)

That's an interesting idea. Does this system interfere with giving a good dynamic belay? I can envision scenarios where a low draw in the system would cause problems when catching a fall.

Not that I've ever encountered. I suppose that if the belayer were much lighter than the climber, the belayer would have to be all the more wary about getting pulled up into the first bolt.

Jay


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 5:19 PM
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bill413 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I gotta go to work, but:

Time for devils advocate. What if the first draw on this route, and others are being stick clipped? In other words, people are not leading up to them, clipping and moving on.

Then, as far as I can see, the situation would be exactly the same. On the other hand, if every sport route with fixed draws was equipped a dedicated cleaning bolt, and everybody used it, then the problem of the first actual protection bolt (ie, the second bolt) becoming sharp would be solved. The wear due to lowering would occur on the cleaning bolt's draw, never gets fallen on. The problem is getting everybody to clip the lowering bolt.

(A lowering bolt is one that is intended to be clipped from the ground, and unclipped from the ground after the leader has cleaned the other draws while lowering off. It's too low to be part of the protection system. Its only use use is to facilitate cleaning.)

Jay

Jay, not having encountered what I recognize as a lowering bolt, I'm envisioning this as primarily something to keep you in close to overhanging rock during the lower, but not something useful on more vertical terrain?

Yes, they're most useful on moderately overhanging routes.

Jay


socalclimber


Sep 25, 2010, 6:51 PM
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I can understand not being able to check every bolt/hanger on steep or difficult clips, but either one of those biners are bad news. If you're happy clipping the biner that caused the accident, on a first bolt (high fall factor), then be my guest.

I wouldn't. That thing has disaster written all over it. If this is the case, then expect the accidents to continue. There's nothing mysterious worthy of "in depth analysis" here.

So, out of curiosity, why wouldn't you sport climbing folks use steel biners on "fixed" routes (perma-draws)? It seems to me that would really alleviate the problem. Especially with a high fall factor down low.


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 7:09 PM
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socalclimber wrote:
That thing has disaster written all over it.

Except that it doesn't. To the naked eye it looks like an ordinary ready-for-replacement, but still safe, carabiner. I've never heard of any carabiner breaking because of wear. Have you? What made that carabiner both unusual and dangerous is that it had sharp edges on it. I don't think one sport climber in a thousand would have been able to differentiate it on sight from just another worn biner.

Jay


socalclimber


Sep 25, 2010, 7:58 PM
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I'm not talking about breaking the biner. I talking about sharp edges cutting the rope which appears to be the case here. I'm still having a problem that anybody cannot tell that the biner in question had the potential for causing a big problem.

You can dress this up with all the excuses you want. If this is the state of the union with regards to sport climbing, then there is a real problem.

There is no excuse based on how rad, bitch'n and cool sport climbing is. That biner has bad shit written all over it.

What part do you not understand here? First bolt. High fall factor. Badly worn biner with sharp edges.

Rope cut.

Jeeze, what a surpise. Defending this is does not lend credence to your case, nor does my lack of climbing steep overhanging routes.

Simple, I see gear like that, I'm not trusting my life to it.

If you want, then be my guest.

Maybe you need to take a break from sport climbing and get back to trad where we actually consider things like this.

I'm gonna end my part in this. I've made my statements. I have a lot of respect for you Jay. But this is one area I cannot even begin to agree with you on. There is no excuse under these circumstances for trusting your life to something like that.

Robert


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 25, 2010, 8:19 PM)


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 9:23 PM
Post #73 of 134 (4117 views)
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Registered: Apr 11, 2001
Posts: 21890

Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
I'm not talking about breaking the biner. I talking about sharp edges cutting the rope which appears to be the case here. I'm still having a problem that anybody cannot tell that the biner in question had the potential for causing a big problem.

Question: Does this biner have a sharp edge?



In reply to:
You can dress this up with all the excuses you want. If this is the state of the union with regards to sport climbing, then there is a real problem.

Really? How many accidents have there ever been in sport climbing due to poor judgment about the gear? Compare that number to the number of climbers who have decked at J Tree alone due to poor judgment about the gear during just the last few years.

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There is no excuse based on how rad, bitch'n and cool sport climbing is.

Huh? What are you smoking?

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That biner has bad shit written all over it.

And the one pictured above? Does it?

In reply to:
What part do you not understand here? First bolt. High fall factor. Badly worn biner with sharp edges.

What part do you not understand? I'll tell you: the part where the typical sport climber has seen thousands of biners that look just like that and are perfectly safe. Until now, (almost) no one (including me) had any reason to believe that a worn biner could cut a rope. And it's not like we haven't thought about it. I've examined scores of worn biners and have never found any of them to have a sharp edge that could cut a rope.

In reply to:
Rope cut.

20/20 hindsight.

In reply to:
Simple, I see gear like that, I'm not trusting my life to it.

Fair enough. But for every piece of gear like that you refuse to use you'll be refusing to use probably thousands that are perfectly safe. You just don't seem to get that until now well-considered opinion was that worn biners (which are routine in sport climbing) would not cut a rope or break. This is the only incident in the decades-old history of sport climbing that I am aware of where a biner has completely severed a rope. That's a pretty good track record, and I would bet that you take far greater risks on a routine basis trad climbing than you would by trusting every worn biner you ever came across on a sport climb.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Sep 25, 2010, 9:27 PM)


socalclimber


Sep 25, 2010, 9:52 PM
Post #74 of 134 (4104 views)
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Registered: Nov 27, 2001
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Re: [jt512] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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First bolt, clearly worn biner with sharp edge, rope cut.

Nuff said.


jt512


Sep 25, 2010, 10:09 PM
Post #75 of 134 (4099 views)
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Registered: Apr 11, 2001
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Re: [socalclimber] Rope severed by worn carabiner at RRG, climber decks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
First bolt, clearly worn biner with sharp edge, rope cut.

You're still not getting it. All the climber would have known is that the biner was worn. Sport climbers encounter worn biners every day. Every draw I own has a worn rope-end biner. This includes draws that are less than a year old. UNTIL THIS INCIDENT THERE HAS BEEN NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT A WORN BINER POSED A RISK OF CUTTING THE ROPE.

Based on the information that has come to light in this thread, I have probably climbed past hundreds of dangerous biners, and probably even fallen on some, without reason to believe that there was ever any danger in doing so. This isn't because I've been blissfully unaware of such dangers. On the contrary, it's because I, like many other sport climbers, have thought deeply about the issue and have concluded (perhaps wrongly) that there was no risk.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Sep 26, 2010, 4:56 AM)

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