/ NEWS: VIDEO: Easter Accident Prompts Safety Video

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UKC News - on 14 Apr 2009
[Streaky Desroy at The Great Orme, 3 kb]An accident over the Easter weekend has prompted discussion as to the safety of open slings fixed with rubber bands.

Climbing gear designer Streaky Desroy has given a demonstration of the potential dangers of open slings and rubber bands. This demonstration is shown in this short video.

Watch the Video: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=46912

ericinbristol - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Thought I'd cut and paste my reply on this topic in the other thread re recent accident:

Many years ago someone I was climbing with had exactly the same accident with fortunately much less severe consequences.

Since then, I have still used quickdraws and slingdraws with rubber retainers for the bottom krab, but I keep the stitching of the two ends of the draw (ie the stitching that makes it a loop at all as opposed to second set of stitching that creates a keeper loop for the bottom krab) right down at the rubber retainer. I have found that this would make it really obvious that the bottom krab had somehow become reclipped dangerously. John Arran's suggestion of some sticky tape around the whole thing a few inches above the rubber retainer is a good idea and I'm going to add that to make it even more obvious.
In reply to UKC News: That is really scary! And it explains what must have happened when I was multi-pitch sport climbing years ago:

We were about 6 pitches up, and attaching ourselves to the double bolt belays - I always used 2 slings with screwgates, and my partner always used 2 long quickdraws. She leant back, unattached to the rope, and one quickdraw just went 'ping' !! If she'd only attached with one quickdraw, or if they had both had a problem, she would certainly have fallen to her death.

We were both freaked out, and couldn't understand how it had happened.

Many thanks
alifin - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Is there anything wrong with not securing an open sling with anything? I often use slings in this way.

Ali
steve456 on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News: Already had a semi-argument about this today. If you have the rubber band directly next to the thick sewn bit of the sling then it makes it easier to use the quickdraw and change it between 1/3, 1/2 and full length and it won't fold over anywhere near as easily (it won't do it on the stiff side and unloaded it'll hang funny on the soft side, try it). If you're still paranoid you can entirely avoid the problem by taping the sewn portion of sling to the single strand where you have the bar tacks in a normal krab, then you'd have a whole three inches looking completely wrong.
steve456 on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to alifin: Your rope krab can spin all the way around and could maybe somehow unclip itself. People have known about the danger of rubber bands for years, this isn't new, yet shops still sell little rubber rings for long extenders.
Morgan Woods - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News:

had a look ast the other thread and thought it didn't apply since I only have sewn sling but then realised i have two 60cm doubled extenders wich i have put rubber grommets to make threading and unthreading them easier. not sure i will bin the system however as i tend to have a good look each time i place them.
gethin_allen on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News:
So the real message is:-
Check your gear before you rack it and then check your gear when you place it.
You could say that's common sense, especially if you climb trad.
You place an item of gear then give it a real good tug and a wiggle before you rely on it to potentially save your bacon.
jkarran - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to alifin:

> Is there anything wrong with not securing an open sling with anything? I often use slings in this way.

There's a little more danger of loading the krab across the gate and I suppose it might conceivably get hung up so it can unclip when loaded. All my 'draws are like this, doubled 60cm slings with loose krabs, they don't worry me but I know several friends can't stand them.

jk
Andy Donson - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News:
I had this exact thing happen to me descending a desert tower in Utah 10 years ago. I clipped the anchor with a single long sling that was booby-trapped as described above, leant back, felt a pop and started falling. Fortunately I landed on a ledge 10 feet below and didnt take the big ride. Im now religous about clipping anchors with 2 pieces and never using biner-holders on open slings ....
If you look there's actually a warning about this scenario in the little Petzl instruction book that comes with their biner holders.
spa_bob - on 14 Apr 2009
I've also been worried about this for some time so have switched to using rated elastic bands that are good up to 10kN.

ericinbristol - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to spa_bob:
> rated elastic bands that are good up to 10kN.

Is this a wind up?

Michael Ryan - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to Eric Herring:
> (In reply to spa_bob)
> [...]
>
> Is this a wind up?


Slightly - elastic bands that hold a ton!
ericinbristol - on 15 Apr 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Indeed, and it being spa bob it could hardly be anything else...
Mick Lovatt - on 15 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News: who knows just what goes on in Streaky's sac for stuff like this to happen!
matthew - on 16 Apr 2009
In reply to jkarran:
Interesting video. The skinny new Dyneema is so compact, it makes it less obvious when something is clipped wrong. But I don't think closed slings are the answer. I have found there is more danger of cross-loading with the closed slings. The geometry of modern crabs tends to make them hang straight if they are free to move, but if the crab gets knocked sideways and is constrained by a tight loop, it cannot right itself. Many times I have seen a crab that has lodged itself sideways in one of these closed slings and the rope running straight across the gate. Also the closed slings tend to be too stiff to twist around freely. Whilst this may make clipping easy, it means that if the rope gets pulled the 'wrong' way, there is an increased danger of the crab unclipping itself, especially with the shorter quickdraws. I have seen this happen.

Open quickdraws are much more versatile when linking runners together and in numerous other situations. When using rubber bands to hold the crab the right way for clipping, adding one or two further up the quickdraw, holds it tightly together to prevent tangling or double-clipping like shown in the video. Unless a climber racks their gear very messily, I feel this is safer overall than the closed slings.
daveyw - on 17 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News:
Well done UKC.
GrahamD - on 17 Apr 2009
In reply to matthew:

Good thread. Of course just being made aware that this failure mode is possible is going to make the biggest difference to most of us.

I was once told that trying to make sytems foolproof never works because fools are too ingenious - and its kind of true. If people are not being vigilent they will always find ways to screw up.
Stoo Irvin - on 17 Apr 2009
I was having a wee think about this. All of my quickdraws are sewen ones apart from two which are open that I use as extenable ones. I made them up a year ago with Mammut 60cm slings and some of the petzle Grommits.

The slings are really neat and thin, maybe I'm missing something, but why not put a simple overhand knot close into the snap gate that you want to keep in place and then use one of the grommits if you want to stop the snap gate from spinning.

Stu
Jimbo MSider - on 20 Apr 2009
In reply to UKC News: Good thread, good basic to the point video, well done to Mark R and UKC
ads.ukclimbing.com
IanC - on 23 Apr 2009
> but why not put a simple overhand knot close into the snap gate that you want to keep in place and then use one of the grommits if you want to stop the snap gate from spinning.



Would this not reduce the overall strength of the sling? My reasoning being that the knot would cut into the sling under heavy loads or is this irrelevant due to the high loads required?
Derbyshire Ben on 23 Apr 2009 - 135.196.63.136 whois?
In reply to UKC News:

I saw this happen down Cheedale at the weekend. Leader (luckily still tied in) clipped into the belay, leaned back and whoosh. Cue one surprised leader and belayer. Luckily they were tied in and still in the system..
Craig Geddes - on 23 Apr 2009
In reply to IanC: Yup. Would significantly reduce the breaking strain of the sling particuarly as you would have the knot causing damage in the same place all the time unless you retied every time you went climbing. As we are talking about a piece of equipment that is withstanding the full force of the leader fall plus pully effect (doubling of load) then you wouldn't really want to risk it - particuarly as the overhand isn't a strong knot.
SeeGee - on 14 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Can anyone point me in the direction of the video from this link? It seems to have dissapeared.

Thanks
In reply to SeeGee: Hi, the video is there - embedded in the news item.

It works for me. Is Vimeo banned at your work? Or you could try 'force refreshing' your browser.

Cheers,

Jack

SeeGee - on 14 May 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Thanks Jack. I'll check it when I get home.

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