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Carbiner Broke in Fall: Red River Climbing Article


higgins
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Hi Higgins and All,

 

I have encountered this phenonena at least twice, possibly more times. One time was rock climbing, the other ice climbing. I have also read at least once of this occuring in the AAC's Accidents in North American Mountaineering. In my situations the proximate cause of the carabiner becoming rotated and thus cross-loaded to either the bolt (rock climbing) or to the screw hanger (BD Turbo Express) was just the biner "riding" up on the rope. It is a very rare phenomena, but not unheard of. After some time field testing on my own I found a simple solution--use an oval and not a "D" shaped carabiner when clipping to a bolt or screw. I made the conversion on my draws more than 10 years ago after field testing this solution and have never had a issue like this since then. Ovals are plenty strong and due to the smooth inner curve of the biner there is no "pinch point"/inflection point, or place for the biner to bind and hang up on a bolt or screw hanger. I have been somewhat surprised over the years why more climbers do not use ovals for exactly this reason. I hope I have helped.

 

Cheers,

 

Bob Loomis, Spokane, Washington

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read through the report and still have a question. I have no data, but my gut tells me and I've occasionally seen it that having tight sewn draws contribute to this possibility. I prefer unsewn slings and draws so that the draw can move freely around the carabiner.That minimizes the likelihood that the draw will be cross-loaded as the sling easily stays or moves to the top or bottom. Any one have some 'data' on this concept?

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No matter what you do, if you do it a million times, something will break. D and H shaped biners are just fine as are sewn draws. You don't see many high end sport climbers using open draws and ovals do you? Draws have a floppy end for the bolt which you could clip backwards and fuck up as easily as you could fuck anything up.

 

Both of your arguments and solutions are conjecture, not cause and effect. This is how most bogus medical treatments become popular. Companies like Petzl wouldn't be in business if their quickdraws regularly broke. This is kinda like John's argument on Black Diamond's heel bail thead.

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in most such cases it's user error. I have hard time believing, that Petzl (or any other reputable company) would put a defective item on the market. I doubt a sawn sling has anything to do with it. Like the poster in the link said: most likely scenario- the carabiner was kicked, leading to cross loading. So actually a tightly sawn draw would have prevented this, vs Susan's advice.

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Anyone remember the DMM Mamba quickdraw? These saw a brief stint of popularity in the 1990s, not sure if they are still around these days. It was a clever design: a captive quickdraw in which the sling was sewn into a bespoke biner.

 

mamba.gif

 

This completely prevented movement of biners on both ends of the draw. I never saw many of them at the crag, probably because at the time they were the most expensive draw you could buy.

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Anyone remember the DMM Mamba quickdraw? These saw a brief stint of popularity in the 1990s, not sure if they are still around these days. It was a clever design: a captive quickdraw in which the sling was sewn into a bespoke biner.

 

mamba.gif

 

This completely prevented movement of biners on both ends of the draw. I never saw many of them at the crag, probably because at the time they were the most expensive draw you could buy.

 

I bootied one of these on a 5.5 trad climb of all places years ago. Still on my rack.

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I read through the report and still have a question. I have no data, but my gut tells me and I've occasionally seen it that having tight sewn draws contribute to this possibility. I prefer unsewn slings and draws so that the draw can move freely around the carabiner.That minimizes the likelihood that the draw will be cross-loaded as the sling easily stays or moves to the top or bottom. Any one have some 'data' on this concept?

 

I have seen unsecured biners move around in loose draws of the type you prefer and work themselves into potential cross-load positions. So it appears that your perception and preference may either be entirely wrong, or possibly both fixed and loose biners can crossload and it has nothing to do with the problem.

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Anyone remember the DMM Mamba quickdraw? These saw a brief stint of popularity in the 1990s, not sure if they are still around these days. It was a clever design: a captive quickdraw in which the sling was sewn into a bespoke biner.

 

mamba.gif

 

This completely prevented movement of biners on both ends of the draw. I never saw many of them at the crag, probably because at the time they were the most expensive draw you could buy.

 

I had a set and used them a ton. They were really, really common in Buoux and Cimai in the late '90s. Probably the fastest clipping draws I ever used, and I have never heard of them breaking -- including when I've asked senior folks at DMM about them.

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