Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Screw-Gate Biner Myth?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 


donwanadi


Jan 10, 2012, 12:18 PM
Post #1 of 24 (4090 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 19, 2011
Posts: 170

Screw-Gate Biner Myth?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've heard from three parties now that you should back off a screw gate a little bit so that it doesn't get fixed after being loaded. A guide, an experienced trad climber teaching an anchor class, and a rescuer teaching a basic vertical skills class for caving all said this on separate occasions.

This seems just plain wrong to me. The design of all screw gate biners I've seen is such that the 'screw' hovers about 1/16" outside the main body to prevent this. This little tension when closed fully is presumably just a gasket at the end of the threads. I went as far as to test this while jumping on some of my gear placements and had no trouble opened the biner.

Is this left over from a period when the design was not so refined? Does it only happen when much greater loads are exerted on the biner?

On a somewhat related note... I have also heard of people having to cut their rope after whipping onto a clove hitch. My experience has been that it's very simple to loosen a clove by pulling the strand that was weighted opposite the direction it was loaded. I haven't gone so far as to jump off my roof onto a clove hitch, and I don't intend to so perhaps someone wiser could chime in with their experience.

Thanks.


(This post was edited by donwanadi on Jan 10, 2012, 12:31 PM)


caughtinside


Jan 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
Post #2 of 24 (4074 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Posts: 30418

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've had biners get jammed shut when the locker is down all the way and they get a heavy load. Usually you can tap on the lock sleeve with another biner and it will loosen.

Whip onto a clove hitch? That doesn't happen every day. I have had to cut my rope at my tie in after a big whip welded my figure 8. yeah yeah, should learn the bowline on a coil. I think some of it was the rope was several years old and the fuzz really locked it down.


kennoyce


Jan 10, 2012, 12:51 PM
Post #3 of 24 (4034 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2001
Posts: 1312

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

donwanadi wrote:
I've heard from three parties now that you should back off a screw gate a little bit so that it doesn't get fixed after being loaded. A guide, an experienced trad climber teaching an anchor class, and a rescuer teaching a basic vertical skills class for caving all said this on separate occasions.

This seems just plain wrong to me. The design of all screw gate biners I've seen is such that the 'screw' hovers about 1/16" outside the main body to prevent this. This little tension when closed fully is presumably just a gasket at the end of the threads. I went as far as to test this while jumping on some of my gear placements and had no trouble opened the biner.

Is this left over from a period when the design was not so refined? Does it only happen when much greater loads are exerted on the biner?

On a somewhat related note... I have also heard of people having to cut their rope after whipping onto a clove hitch. My experience has been that it's very simple to loosen a clove by pulling the strand that was weighted opposite the direction it was loaded. I haven't gone so far as to jump off my roof onto a clove hitch, and I don't intend to so perhaps someone wiser could chime in with their experience.

Thanks.

The bolded portion is your answer. Back in the day most locking biners just screwed until the sleve came in contact with the nose of the biner. The real problem was locking the biner when weighted, but so started the myth.

As far as the Clove question, I've never whipped on one so I don't know, but just thinking about it, it seems like your loosening method should work.


sbaclimber


Jan 10, 2012, 12:53 PM
Post #4 of 24 (4032 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 3080

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

donwanadi wrote:
This seems just plain wrong to me. The design of all screw gate biners I've seen is such that the 'screw' hovers about 1/16" outside the main body to prevent this.
It does depend on the design of the 'biner. Not all screwgates created equal...Pirate
I worked at a wall 10-15 years ago, where we used Petzl Attaches as belay 'biners (w/ GriGris), and I absolutely despised them! Mad
They had the 1/16" gap you are talking about, but the gate/sleeve threads would lock up if you tightened the sleeve too much.
Other (albeit older) 'biners I have used didn't have the gap, which meant you were screwing the sleeve up against the nose of the 'biner. If the biner was under load while you tightened the sleeve, then you could forget unscrewing it while the 'biner wasn't loaded (...or pliers were involved).


wonderwoman


Jan 10, 2012, 1:45 PM
Post #5 of 24 (3984 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 14, 2002
Posts: 4269

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I own some biners that are PITA to unscrew unless they get turned back a little. Some of them are pretty new. This happens just by simply putting my body weight on them. Now, go ahead and make jokes about my body weight!


kennoyce


Jan 10, 2012, 2:04 PM
Post #6 of 24 (3964 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2001
Posts: 1312

Re: [wonderwoman] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

wonderwoman wrote:
I own some biners that are PITA to unscrew unless they get turned back a little. Some of them are pretty new. This happens just by simply putting my body weight on them. Now, go ahead and make jokes about my body weight!

I'm just curious what biners these are. I currently have mostly BDs, but I do have a few mammuts and DMMs and I don't have this problem with any of them. I do remember the older biners where locking them while weighted caused an issue, but I haven't seen any like that in years.

I'm wondering if maybe this is an issue with a specific brand and I've just been lucky enough not to purchase any of that brands lockers.


mitchy


Jan 10, 2012, 2:14 PM
Post #7 of 24 (3951 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2008
Posts: 52

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i've only had a couple of lockers lock up on me. I use them for everything, quickdraws, racking and all that, can't be to careful. sure they are a little heavier but i don't care.


climbbaja


Jan 10, 2012, 2:33 PM
Post #8 of 24 (3927 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 174

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Old (1970s) SMC locking biners were a particular problem. I've had to use pliers, along with some muscle, to unscrew them.


bearbreeder


Jan 10, 2012, 5:06 PM
Post #9 of 24 (3860 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

never had a locker get so tight that i cant undo it ... and i use DMM/BD/Petzl/WC ...

never had a clove hitch that i couldnt undo ... i use cloves instead of 8s at a lot of belays


wonderwoman


Jan 10, 2012, 5:13 PM
Post #10 of 24 (3858 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 14, 2002
Posts: 4269

Re: [kennoyce] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kennoyce wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
I own some biners that are PITA to unscrew unless they get turned back a little. Some of them are pretty new. This happens just by simply putting my body weight on them. Now, go ahead and make jokes about my body weight!

I'm just curious what biners these are. I currently have mostly BDs, but I do have a few mammuts and DMMs and I don't have this problem with any of them. I do remember the older biners where locking them while weighted caused an issue, but I haven't seen any like that in years.

I'm wondering if maybe this is an issue with a specific brand and I've just been lucky enough not to purchase any of that brands lockers.

The newer biners that I have a problem unscrewing are the small madrock lockers. We got a prodeal on them.

The others are Omega Pacific D shape variation with a purple gate. They are shaped funny & perfect to clove hitch. Except for when you can't unlock them!


lena_chita
Moderator

Jan 10, 2012, 6:01 PM
Post #11 of 24 (3828 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5723

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've had it happen to me once, and yes, it was under just body weight. Apparently I have the weight problem, just like wonderwoman. (should we join WW together? WW for WW, sounds like a good slogan!)


Anyway, don't remember what locker it was. I did end up loosening it eventually, but it took a while. And after that, I have always turned the locking sleeve back just a little bit, after screwing it shut.

Oh, and I once witnessed a full-blown drama when a girl got her locker frozen like that at the anchors of a single pitch sport climb, while doing TR transfer. They ended up sending a knife up to her, and she cut one of the loops on her PAS to get down, leaving the locker on the anchors. Oops! Could have avoided the whole thing by using two regular draws, instead of a locker and a PAS, but that is another story.


granite_grrl


Jan 10, 2012, 7:30 PM
Post #12 of 24 (3794 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14813

Re: [kennoyce] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kennoyce wrote:
donwanadi wrote:
I've heard from three parties now that you should back off a screw gate a little bit so that it doesn't get fixed after being loaded. A guide, an experienced trad climber teaching an anchor class, and a rescuer teaching a basic vertical skills class for caving all said this on separate occasions.

This seems just plain wrong to me. The design of all screw gate biners I've seen is such that the 'screw' hovers about 1/16" outside the main body to prevent this. This little tension when closed fully is presumably just a gasket at the end of the threads. I went as far as to test this while jumping on some of my gear placements and had no trouble opened the biner.

Is this left over from a period when the design was not so refined? Does it only happen when much greater loads are exerted on the biner?

On a somewhat related note... I have also heard of people having to cut their rope after whipping onto a clove hitch. My experience has been that it's very simple to loosen a clove by pulling the strand that was weighted opposite the direction it was loaded. I haven't gone so far as to jump off my roof onto a clove hitch, and I don't intend to so perhaps someone wiser could chime in with their experience.

Thanks.

The bolded portion is your answer. Back in the day most locking biners just screwed until the sleve came in contact with the nose of the biner. The real problem was locking the biner when weighted, but so started the myth.

As far as the Clove question, I've never whipped on one so I don't know, but just thinking about it, it seems like your loosening method should work.
Now I haven't bought any lockers for a long time, but it seems that all the cheaper off brand lockers I own have this problem. I remember an old Lucky belay biner that I had to take pliers to after catching a top rope fall in gym one time. What a POS.


jt512


Jan 10, 2012, 11:41 PM
Post #13 of 24 (3743 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 11, 2001
Posts: 21892

Re: [granite_grrl] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

granite_grrl wrote:
I remember an old Lucky belay biner that I had to take pliers to after catching a top rope fall in gym one time. What a POS.

You bought a piece of climbing gear with the brand name "Lucky"?

Jay


majid_sabet


Jan 10, 2012, 11:42 PM
Post #14 of 24 (3742 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8359

Re: [donwanadi] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (6 ratings)  
Can't Post

technically you are suppose to screw the lock then back off 1/8 of a turn on almost all biners.


sungam


Jan 11, 2012, 1:16 AM
Post #15 of 24 (3719 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 26599

Re: [jt512] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

jt512 wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I remember an old Lucky belay biner that I had to take pliers to after catching a top rope fall in gym one time. What a POS.

You bought a piece of climbing gear with the brand name "Lucky"?

Jay
I have a draw made by Lucky. Found it in Suirana.


Partner j_ung


Jan 11, 2012, 4:15 AM
Post #16 of 24 (3671 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18687

Re: [majid_sabet] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
technically you are suppose to screw the lock then back off 1/8 of a turn on almost all biners.

Agreed. The design that eliminates the problem still hasn't permeated the market. There are plenty of new and old biners out there that will lock up tighter than my sphincter on the Bachar-Yerian if you over twist.

Edit: I wonder how that would sound to a non-climber. ^^


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jan 11, 2012, 4:16 AM)


Gmburns2000


Jan 11, 2012, 5:17 AM
Post #17 of 24 (3650 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2007
Posts: 15156

Re: [j_ung] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

j_ung wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
technically you are suppose to screw the lock then back off 1/8 of a turn on almost all biners.

Agreed. The design that eliminates the problem still hasn't permeated the market. There are plenty of new and old biners out there that will lock up tighter than my sphincter on the Bachar-Yerian if you over twist.

Edit: I wonder how that would sound to a non-climber. ^^

quoted, just in case...


moose_droppings


Jan 11, 2012, 7:51 AM
Post #18 of 24 (3591 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 7, 2005
Posts: 3356

Re: [majid_sabet] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
technically you are suppose to screw the lock then back off 1/8 of a turn on almost all biners.

I five starred this post just to offset the idiot that's one starring all of Majid's post.

Get a life who ever you are.


markc


Jan 11, 2012, 9:41 AM
Post #19 of 24 (3541 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 21, 2003
Posts: 2475

Re: [climbbaja] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

climbbaja wrote:
Old (1970s) SMC locking biners were a particular problem. I've had to use pliers, along with some muscle, to unscrew them.

I think it was a newer SMC that locked up really tight when my wife was belaying in the gym. It was the biner she was using to clip into the floor anchor, so it was more funny than frustrating. I don't know if she was leaning on it when she locked it or what, but we had to borrow pliers to open it. We had a couple of them, and semi-retired the to clipping shoes on the pack or similar duties.

In addition to putting weight on the biner to see if that frees it up or tapping it with another biner/gear, I've also heard of wrapping part of the sleeve with tape to give you a bigger surface area to grab and twist. Might be worth a shot if you happen to have tape and you're in a desperate situation.


majid_sabet


Jan 11, 2012, 9:52 AM
Post #20 of 24 (3534 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8359

Re: [j_ung] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

j_ung wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
technically you are suppose to screw the lock then back off 1/8 of a turn on almost all biners.

Agreed. The design that eliminates the problem still hasn't permeated the market. There are plenty of new and old biners out there that will lock up tighter than my sphincter on the Bachar-Yerian if you over twist.

Edit: I wonder how that would sound to a non-climber. ^^

I own about 100-200 different lockers from every brand and model, both steel and aluminum you can find in the market and we used them very often on rigging and class demonstration and for some reason, the aluminum ones in particular have issues with gate locking. I am not sure if oxidation over time, dirt or what causes them to lock but there is defiantly something going on gates locking. Also rope vibrations have a tendency to lock things up.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 12, 2012, 5:23 AM
Post #21 of 24 (3413 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2002
Posts: 4602

Re: [majid_sabet] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
j_ung wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
technically you are suppose to screw the lock then back off 1/8 of a turn on almost all biners.

Agreed. The design that eliminates the problem still hasn't permeated the market. There are plenty of new and old biners out there that will lock up tighter than my sphincter on the Bachar-Yerian if you over twist.

Edit: I wonder how that would sound to a non-climber. ^^

I own about 100-200 different lockers from every brand and model, both steel and aluminum you can find in the market and we used them very often on rigging and class demonstration and for some reason, the aluminum ones in particular have issues with gate locking. I am not sure if oxidation over time, dirt or what causes them to lock but there is defiantly something going on gates locking. Also rope vibrations have a tendency to lock things up.

Isn't this due to the aluminum being a softer metal and it having some give to it. I believe I was either told that or read it somewhere, that the reason you turn the screw gates back a little is to prevent them from locking up due to that "stretch", however minute it may be.

Josh


Partner robdotcalm


Jan 12, 2012, 7:31 PM
Post #22 of 24 (3327 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2002
Posts: 1023

Re: [blueeyedclimber] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Occasionally, any locking carabiner will lock up. Over the years there’ve been threads here about climbers getting stuck this way. Here’s an example. At the belay stance, they’ve girth hitched a sling to their harness. The sling is then hooked into a locking carabiner, which is clipped into the anchor bolts. They weight the sling, and then find they can’t unloosen the carabiner. (To add drama to the story, state that a lightening storm is moving in). The usual advice has been: (i) weight the carabiner as it may be easier to loosen then; (ii) always carry a knife so that you’re prepared to cut the sling to gain your freedom.

On a climb last year, I got into a situation that suggested a scenario that would require a Majid-like escape sequence. I was following on a long bolted + natural gear pitch where the hard stuff was near the ground. My partner clipped the first bolt with a locking carabiner to minimize fall distance. Worried about rope drag, he clipped a regular carabiner to the locker. The rope went through this second carabiner. When I followed, he was out-of-sight and out-of-earshot. We had agreed that he would keep me tight for the first 20 feet since a fall with rope stretch at the point would lead to bad landing. I could not open the locking carabiner. Since rope went through the second carabiner, I unclipped that, left the locker, and continued climbing.

Here’s the scenario I imagined. There was only one carabiner—the locker. I couldn’t get past it unless I untied from the rope. But how could I do that when I was under tension and unable to communicate. I haven’t really come up with a good answer to this predicament, which, fortunately, didn’t happen to me. However, if my partner had only used one carabiner, I might still be hanging there.

Gratias et valete bene!
RobertusPunctumPacificus


sbaclimber


Jan 13, 2012, 2:17 AM
Post #23 of 24 (3270 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 3080

Re: [robdotcalm] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

robdotcalm wrote:
Here’s the scenario I imagined. There was only one carabiner—the locker. I couldn’t get past it unless I untied from the rope. But how could I do that when I was under tension and unable to communicate.
Put a prussic as high up the rope as you can (and above the bolt), extend with sling, stand on sling. Provided your partner doesn't alread have your body-weight worth of tension on the line, this should get you enough slack to untie the knot. If not.....you can still always cut it.
(I would recommend attaching yourself to the prussic and bolt firstWink)


billl7


Jan 13, 2012, 6:14 AM
Post #24 of 24 (3238 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [robdotcalm] Screw-Gate Biner Myth? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

robdotcalm wrote:
The usual advice has been: (i) weight the carabiner as it may be easier to loosen then; (ii) always carry a knife so that you’re prepared to cut the sling to gain your freedom.

In the last 8 years, I've seen a screw-gate lock up twice. Both times, the above technique 'i' did the trick in getting it loose again.

One of the times was just last summer on a locker someone had bought the spring of 2011.

Bill L


Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook