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Syd


May 17, 2013, 1:50 AM
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Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul
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The Edelrid mega jul seemed great on my initial testing but on a rap today it locked up and wouldn't release. By moving the release biner up and down (in every way I could think of, slow, fast, side to side ), I made it release in big jerks. It took forever to make it to the ground.

I was grateful I'd used my ATC on a much longer rap I did earlier in the day. We avoided using the mega jul for belaying today.

I suspect the problem may be the biner I was using. It had an "I beam" profile. I'd previously tested it on a biner with a smooth, more rounded cross section. Edelrid gives no warnings about which biners to use.

More testing in the backyard tomorrow.


qwert


May 17, 2013, 2:25 AM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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I had the same issue when i rapped with mine a few days ago. Took me a lot of time and swearing to get down.

Lifting it up with the thumb loop was easier to get it unlicked, however it almost totally unlocked and then totally locked when i tried to go slower, putting a lot of strain on the rope and anchor.

I did use it with a round stock biner, but also with a very very fuzzy rope…

Used in reverse, like a normal tube it worked well.

But i still have to play around with it a bit more, before i totally dismiss it.

qwert


Syd


May 17, 2013, 2:59 AM
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Re: [qwert] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Thanks qwert. Good to know it's not just me.

My initial tests were actually with an older fuzzy rope. We used a slinky new one today. Both well under the 10.5 mm max spec for the mega jul.


Partner rgold


May 17, 2013, 8:14 AM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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From everything I've heard and can tell, the Climbing Technology Alpine Up is superior, most especially for half ropes. I think it well worth the extra weight and price.

None of the other devices allow slack to be pumped to the leader as easily without grabbing, there is a way to rig the Up that provides smooth rappelling with solid autolocking if the the climber lets go, and the lever for determining the speed of rappelling and lowering is built-in.

I don't think any of the assisted locking devices, Up included, do well with thicker or fuzzier ropes, and performance does seem to depend in various subtle ways on the carabiner used. (Climbing Technology forces you to buy a carabiner with the Up, which solves the problem of finding the optimal biner but of course raises the already high price.)

Recently, the integrity of the Mega Jul has come into question, with two posted images of identical breakages of the wire keeper loop (which also serves to release the locking action).





I wouldn't buy a Mega Jul until it seems clear that Edelrid has fixed this problem.

By contrast, the Up and the Mammut Alpine Smart are absolute tanks.


theguy


May 17, 2013, 9:06 AM
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Re: [rgold] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
From everything I've heard and can tell, the Climbing Technology Alpine Up is superior

Have you used this? I have the Click-Up, which appears to be a similar mechanism for sport belaying, and it's anything but smooth with largish ropes.


Partner rgold


May 17, 2013, 9:12 AM
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Re: [theguy] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Yes, I've used it quite a lot, and know a number of other people who have adopted it and are very enthusiastic about its performance.

The size of the rope is an issue for all these devices, with "largish" being bad. I rather doubt the Alpine Up is any good for belay handling with single ropes bigger than about 10mm, and I'd wonder about its rappel performance with two ropes that size.

I'm using it with 8.5 mm half ropes, so my comments should be taken in that context.


bearbreeder


May 17, 2013, 9:34 AM
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Re: [rgold] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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the smart works just fine with the RIGHT 10mm rope and the RIGHT biner ...

i suspect ALL these devices are very rope and biner specific for best use ... for the alpine smart you want a VERY wide radius biner, and a supple rope

alot of it also has to do with a learning curve in using it, like any other device

the alpine smart and the petzl william (proper biner) are heavier of course ... but they are so bomber you can beat that that bear that chases you for yr climbing snacks with it

Wink


Syd


May 17, 2013, 6:34 PM
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Some more testing in the backyard today. The problem is a sudden load plus the weight in the rope tails causing excessive lockup that can't be released smoothly. I testing half a dozen different biners and all except one had the problem. The good biner had a rounded triangular cross section. It was smooth no matter what I did. Others would lockup, then have a sudden release, causing another hard lockup.

My conclusion is that I definitely wouldn't use it for long raps. For a typical sport route, inspection/cleaning, with the RIGHT biner, it's great.

These problems only seem to apply for rapping. For belaying, especially on double ropes, it's fantastic.

Overall, the concept of a cheap, super light, all round device is great but it needs more development. It probably should be sold with a biner that is suitable for the device.


rsmillbern


May 18, 2013, 8:21 AM
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Re: [rgold] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
Yes, I've used it quite a lot, and know a number of other people who have adopted it and are very enthusiastic about its performance.

The size of the rope is an issue for all these devices, with "largish" being bad. I rather doubt the Alpine Up is any good for belay handling with single ropes bigger than about 10mm, and I'd wonder about its rappel performance with two ropes that size.

I'm using it with 8.5 mm half ropes, so my comments should be taken in that context.

In my opinion the Alpine Up is only good with single ropes 9.8 (max!) and smaller. I use one with 8.5 half ropes as well and am happy. But some 9.8s are even too big for it.

The Click Up (a friend has one) works well up to 10.


Syd


May 22, 2013, 2:29 PM
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Re: [rsmillbern] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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I've written to Edelrid about the Mega Juls problems but they haven't bothered to reply.
More discussion here: http://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/EditObject.php?id=108052298&action=add&type=MESSAGE

Perhaps Edelrid is waiting for a serious accident using their device before taking action ?


walkonyourhands


May 22, 2013, 3:48 PM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
I've written to Edelrid about the Mega Juls problems but they haven't bothered to reply.
More discussion here: http://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/EditObject.php?id=108052298&action=add&type=MESSAGE

Perhaps Edelrid is waiting for a serious accident using their device before taking action ?

From what I've heard, they're redesigning it, but I really don't know what parts exactly.


qwert


May 23, 2013, 12:48 AM
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Syd wrote:
Perhaps Edelrid is waiting for a serious accident using their device before taking action ?
What serious accident is likely to happen?

As of now, it definitely needs a redesign, and i would advise against buying this version, but i dont really see a safety issue. Or am i missing something?

qwert


Syd


May 23, 2013, 1:45 AM
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Harness hang syndrome can occur with some people in 10 minutes. My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 5:46 AM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
Harness hang syndrome can occur with some people in 10 minutes. My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.
Not being able to go down shouldn't lead to a serious accident. We all should be able to deal with something jamming in a rap device (e.g., a piece of clothing).

At the same time, most of us quickly learn to avoid getting things near the rap device that could cause it to jam. It's not so swift when the device itself can be the source of the problem.

Bill L

Disclaimer: I have no experience with the Mega Jul.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 5:48 AM
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.... and my armchair understanding of harness hang syndrome is that a necessary condition for it to develop is unconsciousness.


Syd


May 23, 2013, 4:33 PM
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billl7 wrote:
We all should be able to deal with something jamming in a rap device (e.g., a piece of clothing).

It's a bit different when the thing jamming and refusing to unlock, is the biner ! (You may not have read the whole thread).
On my last rap with the thing, I did contemplate trying to switch over to my ATC mid rap.


Syd


May 23, 2013, 4:35 PM
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billl7 wrote:
.... and my armchair understanding of harness hang syndrome is that a necessary condition for it to develop is unconsciousness.

That is the final result of HHS.

I used to feel exceptionally uncomfortable in my last harness after hanging for quite short periods. I think it was the waist band rising up and compressing my ribs and diaphragm. No problems with my current one.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 4:46 PM
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Syd wrote:
It's a bit different when the thing jamming and refusing to unlock, is the biner ! (You may not have read the whole thread).
On my last rap with the thing, I did contemplate trying to switch over to my ATC mid rap.
I still think we all should be able to deal with it. First step is to rig things to get your weight hanging from the rope section above the rap device. I typically carry prusik cords that help me with that.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 4:56 PM
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Syd wrote:
billl7 wrote:
.... and my armchair understanding of harness hang syndrome is that a necessary condition for it to develop is unconsciousness.

That is the final result of HHS.

I used to feel exceptionally uncomfortable in my last harness after hanging for quite short periods. I think it was the waist band rising up and compressing my ribs and diaphragm. No problems with my current one.

Sounds good to get rid of a harness that is that uncomfortable.

I've hung in my harness for an hour at a hanging belay. It isn't fun. But I never felt like I was dangeriously close to HHS.

Dont' get me wrong. I'm greatful for this thread. I do think it's a problem if a rap device can jam all by itself and require the user to unload it in order to get unstuck.


moose_droppings


May 23, 2013, 5:16 PM
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As long as your able to move your legs around , HHS isn't going to set in.


Syd


May 23, 2013, 9:46 PM
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moose_droppings wrote:
As long as your able to move your legs around , HHS isn't going to set in.

Yes, as long as you remember to keep squirming while trying to get your mega jul to unlock. It seems that constant movement is needed otherwise "The FFS testing showed that HHS symptoms appeared in no more than 10 minutes with healthy subjects." and "...one fellow lost consciousness in 3.5 minutes. "

http://www.outdoorswa.org/files/Harness%20Hang%20Syndrome.pdf


qwert


May 24, 2013, 12:54 AM
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Syd wrote:
Harness hang syndrome can occur with some people in 10 minutes. My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.
OK, that sucks, but i deem it a bit far fetched to use this as "a serious accident using [edelrids] device".
After all, the fact that the device locks up is the expected behaviour of the device, and it is the users responsibility to familiarize his/herself with the device in a controlled setting, where you either have help around, or just turn the device around mid rap or switch to ascending, for witch the locking of the device should be beneficial.

I played around with mine some more, and here is what i found:

The rope size ratings in the upper end suck. Its rated to 10.5mm max, but i had no problems rapping on an 11mm rope, however i turned the device around beforehand!

My first rap was on a single 9.8mm with lots of fuzz, and that was a nightmare. the same 9.8 doubled was bearable, but still not recommended, because the biner method still is utterly jerky. It helps to pull the rope up with your brakehand, and feed it in from above, but since that is a pain in the ass and violates the brake hand below principle, I wouldnt recommend it. Also its still jerky since you are likely to be going to fast and then when trying to slow down lock it up hard.
Its no problem for a short rappel on a sport route, but for multipitch the added time and the possible strain on the anchor could be a big issue.
Using the yellow plastic "lever" is a bit better. While the biner method just rocks the device sideways - which doesnt help much - the lever method lifts the device up, unlocking it. But that also has issues: Again, you easily go to fast and when trying to slow down, you lock it up. Also the fact that you have to pull up in a rather uncomfortable position puts a lot of strain on your hand. I wouldnt want to have to do that after a hard climb when i am totally pumped. And after an easy climb you still have the option to get a good pump from the route…
But with a new 9.8mm rope i did manage to get a smooth rappel going for about 4 meters!

Belaying is less problematic.

The device does not like fuzzy ropes. At all.

But with non fuzzy, it worked great and locked up perfectly. However it also locks up when you have a slight pull on the rope you are trying to feed in because it has some tangles or something. If you have your rope stacked on a rope tarp i see no issues, but at a hanging belay, where you constantly shift around your rope it does suck.

And then there is the issue of scratching the biner. When i first read that on MP i though its just another case of "ohmygawd!!!!11! i scratched my gear!!11!!" but it is definitely more than that. Not a safety issue, but especially rapping with a biner puts very deep groves in the biner, due to the rocking of the device.

The should just make it out of aluminium, or extend the plastic lever into a full plastic cover as found on the single rope jul.

qwert


Syd


May 24, 2013, 1:33 AM
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Re: [qwert] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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qwert wrote:

After all, the fact that the device locks up is the expected behaviour of the device, and it is the users responsibility to familiarize his/herself with the device in a controlled setting, ...

You are missing the point. Testing WAS done in our back yard, without realising that some biners cause a repeated savage lock on raps. Fuzzy vs new ropes made no difference.

Full testing should have been done by Edelrid before releasing the device.


billl7


May 24, 2013, 5:56 AM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
"The FFS testing showed that HHS symptoms appeared in no more than 10 minutes with healthy subjects." and "...one fellow lost consciousness in 3.5 minutes. "

http://www.outdoorswa.org/...0Hang%20Syndrome.pdf

Just to continue keeping the information up front, these tests involved the person deliberately hanging immobile while conscious. The practical context is exhaustion or being knocked unconscious by some other mechanism.

Bill L

Edit:

Syd wrote:
... as long as you remember to keep squirming ....

Of the times I have spent hanging in a harness for long periods, 'remembering' to squirm was not a problem. For me, the uncomfortableness of it demands movement.


(This post was edited by billl7 on May 24, 2013, 5:59 AM)


Partner rgold


May 24, 2013, 8:38 AM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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One of the problems with the gear industry, in my opinion, is that a majority of belay devices come with a recommended range of rope sizes that is unrealistic at both ends, with poor to unacceptable handling at the large diameter end and inadequate friction at the small diameter end.

The truth of the matter is if you have ropes of substantially different diameters, you will need different belay devices for them. I don't believe there is anything that is genuinely adequate for, say 8mm doubles and 10mm singles. You'll either compromise decent handling or severe-fall holding power.

My suspicion is that all three of the current crop of "alpine" assisted locking devices (the Mega Jul, the Alpine Smart, and the Alpine Up) were designed primarily to work with thin twin ropes, which are far more popular in Europe than in the U.S. and U.K., and the further you get from those sizes the more trouble you'll have with handling.

I had initially given up on rappelling on a pair of 8.5mm ropes with my Alpine Up in assisted locking mode, and just used it in its ATC mode for rappels. But Climbing Technology supplied an addendum to their user manual that describes rigging with an additional carabiner that miraculously makes assisted-lock rappelling smooth and easy to control, providing by far the best autolocking rappel system I know of. Still, I doubt it would work without jamming problems if you went to much bigger than 8.5mm ropes.

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