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ivan

attaching slings to protection

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my buddy and i have a real death wish (okay he doesn't, but i do) and have been teaching ourselves lead climbing for about a year now...i figure if i could pass algebra and just read "freedom of the hills" a gazillion times i could stay pretty well out of trouble...that and climbing in virginia doesn't afford the opportunity to get truly cluster-fucked 500 feet off the deck

at any rate, my friend is in favor of conserving on biners by simply girth hitching slings to the nuts and cams....his point is that it's one less failure point in the whole setup...meanwhile i've yet to see another climber use this technique, or to see it mentioned in the literature anywhere

my main problem with this method is seconding the climb...the slings are rather more a pain in the ass to detach and stow...i was wondering if there might be any increased danger of the sling breaking as well?

any opinions on this method? my bud's a phd engineer type, so there's pretty much no arguing with him without a world of evidence behind me.

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Some are of the opinion that the wires on the nuts tend to saw through slings when weighted or especially shock-loaded. And as you said, they're a pain to untie.

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Ivan: I would do it in some situtations, but not to purposefully conserve biners from the get-go. My gut tells me there are real concerns regarding the nut wire having a "cutting" effect on the runner. The flatter, smoother, and wider the rope bearing surface area, the better. The narrower the surface area the more likely to have that "cutting" effect. That is why you don't see super thin biners. The rope bearing surface area of a nut wire is god damn small.

One less failure point in the system? Why trade a known success for a guess?

Not 500 feet off the deck? Does it take 500 feet to reach terminal velocity? No.

Buy some biners and be safe. Good luck...

Nelly: That was some good beta. Always interesting to see these types of tests.

[big Drink]

[ 03-19-2002: Message edited by: Rodchester ]

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Tell your friend to stop doing that right now. The wire will cut through your slings and you will die. Also it is a lot easier to clip a piece of pro with a biner than to tie a knot.

If your friend wants to be a sucker you can't stop him, but don't you do it. Tell him to stop being so cheap.

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Yeah, what Rodchester said . . .

I'm always looking for a way to reduce weight, I'm definitely not the most risk averse climber in the world, and I'm also a stron believer in reducing the possible number of possible failure points, but I don' girth hitch slings around nut wires. Wires are used to cut cheese and many other thihngs. [hell no] It's basically a knife edge.

Another argument for your partner is that as you start pushing your limts on leading, the increase in convenience (for both the leader and the follower) will be far offset by weight disadvantage.

Keep asking questions, it mitigates the risk inherent in learning on your own.

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if you need since i ihave updating my rack with the best biner in the world (neutrino) i have surplus old biners....all good but heavy......

when you come out i will and can hook ya up with a deal......

dont die it puts a bad light on the sport.....

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Erik,

Actually the DMM Prowire is just as light and has a larger gate opening wink.gif" border="0 I have each and the DMM is of higher quality too. But it's all just gear anyway!

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one point nobody mentioned is that the girth hitch is much more of a fixed connection than is a biner, and hence increases leverage of sling on pro (chance of walking cams or pulling nuts out) shocked.gif" border="0

but it wont matter cause if you fall on one of those babies it will cut the sling and you will die!!! shocked.gif" border="0

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A bit of simple math:

Trip to hospital=$5000.cost of biners=$5 (assuming a bargain hunting cheapskate)number of biners potentially bought=1000

An aid climber would be happy as a clam with that many biners (as long as he/she didn't have to carry them all at once).

Don't cheap out. Stay alive. Eat ramen for a month if you have to. *Especially* when you are learning and especially if you are teaching yourself, err on the side of caution. Don't start cutting corners and devising a personalized system until you have an understanding of the issues involved.

Intuititively, I wouldn't throw a runner over a cable and use it as a zip line. I sure as hell wouldn't do the equivalent for protection unless I had to.

My .000002 worth.

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Ivan,

Another thing - when you go out and get your 'biners, pick up a handful of slings of different lengths, (or webbing to tie into different lengths) - you can much easier adjust the length of a sling by doubling it or tripling it, then extend it, rather than having to add 'links to the chain' by clipping or hitching multiple slings together. What you want to aim for with your rack is flexibility of gear and placements, rather than cobbling something together in the name of saving a 'biner or a few bucks.

Have fun.

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My two cents...

Don't get a bunch of different length slings. Get a bunch of single-length ones (over the shoulder length). Triple them up like draws. They'll be more compact and easier to handle if you buy the sewn high-strength ones. If you really need to, get some shorties too (I have one). If you come to a spot where you want a double sling just connect two singles (using opposite and opposed biners, not a girth hitch). I carry a cordelette that sometimes will see action if I want a REAL long sling.

Rack all your cams on their own personal biners (nuetrinos work well to keep the bulk/weight down) and combined with the double biners on all your draws, you'll never run out.

Girth hitching (especially wires) is dangerous AND it takes too long. Get a bunch of biners and MARK them. Marking them will make your and your partner's lives much more simple at the end of the day. Plus, your biners will dissappear less often.

Chuck

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That's what I meant - buy longer slings and double or triple them up - If you have acquired some older cams without slings, get them slung with sewn slings by Yates or Fish - although avoid slinging old camalots with wire stems (same danger as wire nuts cutting slings). And again, as other folks have mentione, you can't have too many biners.

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To add a bit:

In an alpine setting and most any trad setting I carry two sizes of runners, standard 24in. (over the shoulder size) and a couple of 48in. (over the shoulder in-half). I find 36 in to be too long from the harness, too long over the shoulder, and too short to half over the shoulder.

As far as shorter than 24in. goes I just don't see a need. Set up the 24 as a draw (2 biners and half it) I have never NEEDED one shorter.

I find that "marking" gear with fingernail polish is one good way. Pick an odd-ass color and with the brush work it into the inprints on the gear (Usually the company name/logo). That way it is unlikely to rub off.

Good luck...

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quote:

Originally posted by Rodchester:
I find that "marking" gear with fingernail polish is one good way. Pick an odd-ass color and with the brush work it into the inprints on the gear (Usually the company name/logo). That way it is unlikely to rub off.

I thought I'd cleverly marked my gear this way. Got some funky purplish color from my aunt, painted everything up. About two years later I bought a set of camalots from a kid selling off his rack and whadya know...already marked up in a color indistinguishable from the one already on my stuff. Guess it saved me from having to mark it though...choose a really obscure color!

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quote:

Originally posted by willstrickland:

choose a really obscure color!

"what, you mean everybody here chose Wild Yeti Fur #67"?

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Ivan, you can take your friend's approach one step further for those alpine routes where every gram counts; here's how: where you approach a horn or a flake that would make an excellent sling, simply pull out a double runner, step into it, pull it over your head and out over the rope. Now just sling it over a feature and voila, no biners needed! You might have to weigh it down with some rocks, cos there's gonna be some drag! Seriously though, my buddy once swore he saw some guys top roping in Squamish with the rope just running through the webbing. Managed to saw it about half-way through before someone actually told him, "you know, you need a biner there, man!" grin.gif" border="0

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All I can say about this sling meathod is you will die pure and simple. If you dont believe any of this advice you will sure as hell believe it after a few good size leader falls. "Gee I wonder why I go through new slings all the time". Be safe man dont die, people depend on you!! [Moon][Moon][Moon]

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I have heard that the whole wire-cutting-the-sling-thing is somewhat urban legend. Of course, it won't be as strong as clipping with a biner, but it's not exactly a knife. I think that the main argument against it is the time lost from girth-hitching and un-girth-hitching all the time.

I never do it in cragging situations, but I sometimes do it on alpine climbs. I try to keep it to the slung peices (tri-cams, cams), but do it on nuts and pins sometimes as well. Also, I try to use a spectra sling while doing this, because I have heard they have a higher cut-resistance than normal webbing. The safety freaks will tell you that you should never do it, but I think it has it's place (not in Virginia though).

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you know i am waiting for cleesther to chime in about one time while climbing with morbid tina, he girth hitched her with slings as he led by and retrived her on rappell.....though lost her when he took the whipper and cut his slings on her over bite.....what ever happend to that cleesther????

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:
you know i am waiting for cleesther to chime in about one time while climbing with morbid tina, he girth hitched her with slings as he led by and retrived her on rappell.....though lost her when he took the whipper and cut his slings on her over bite.....what ever happend to that cleesther????

Cleeshterfeeshter is Ike Turner???!

shocked.gif" border="0shocked.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0

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Holy shit, is the sky falling again? No. So quit freaking out, folks.

While the strength of webbing (and rope, for that matter) is ALWAYS reduced by knots, you'll still have a bunch in a girth-hitched sling. According to BD's data (http://www.putzl.com/~klew/knot5.htm) the girth-hitched slings break at about 30% lower rating than the full strength sling. Since full strength is over 6,000 lbs (that's about 2.5 Pro Stock cars with the driver inside), they still will hold 4,000 lbs. That's a lot. That's more than most stoppers can hold.

Having said that, it's a good idea to use 'biners to maximize strength where you need it most: close to the belay where fall factor can be the highest. As a leader gets further from the belay while periodically placing gear, the force generated by a fall will be increasingly dissipated by rope stretch and friction, so using girth-hitched slings becomes less of a liability --and falling won't generate over 4,000lbs onto the gear (Un-fucking-likely anyways).

(If you want to freak-out about stupid stuff, recall that a figure-8 know reduces rope strength by about 20%. Oh my Gawd! We're gonna fucking die!).

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Wait a minute... research aside, I'll buy that if you can avoid slinging nuts, etc. without a biner it's a good idea to do so, but what's the deal with using two opposed biners to link slings in series for length sake? It sure seems like it would be plenty safe? I'm basing this on my experience, and intuition. If there is a major flaw in this let me know.

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