/ PRODUCT NEWS: Metolius Element HMS Karabiner
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=2071
Curious, is this every one or standard (irksome 3 sigma) 6 sigma QC testing?
Just seems a strange specification to add, I wouldn't expect any item to 'need' individual testing with adequate quality control in place. Perhaps i'm opening a can of worms in which I don't want the answer.
I expect it is in addition to the 3 sigma destructive testing to verify the 24kN rated strength. 11kN may well be more force than most krabs every get subjected to. Be interesting to know whether it is for marketing reasons or what. But presumably we can only take confidence from it.
Am I the only person who finds screwgates hard to get excited about? Lightweight krabs / quickdraws, yes, cos you're carrying loads up a route therefore a small weight gain becomes significant and ease of clipping is a great benefit in extremis. But screwgates? I normally only carry one and sometimes none. They don't have to be easy to use because you normally only use them belaying ... just don't float my boat really.
I tend to carry a few (maybe 4-5) so getting lightish weight ones is fairly important.
I did have a play with some of the tiny phantom screwgates, and decided they were to small to be that useful. Something like the sentinal seems to be a good compromise between lightweight and usable sizing.
I thought the sentinel would be a great lightweight belay screwgate, but after having used it with double ropes IMHO it's a bit too small and can be a bit clunky to use as a result.
If the krab inverts on your belay loop (so the ropes run through the narrow end rather than the wide end) it can jam the rope up. Using it with an ATC XP. Of course you can keep your eye on it to prevent it from doing this, but it has a habit of doing it just when your leader is looking wobbly and you most want keep an eye on them while being able to pay out/take in slack quickly.
I've got a fairly chunky larger HMS krab which I usually use and that's fine, as the narrow end is still wide enough for two double ropes to run through freely.
I found it a bad belay krab with my reverso I think because of the vertical sides causing the rope to turn to tight an angle. I just use a bog standard HMS now.
I did have a BD mini-pearbiner which was a really good mini belay krab but I threw it down the decent gully at anoch mor along with my ATC in a moment of fumblyness a few years ago and haven't seen any for sale since.
You can easily get 2 or 3 clove hitches on a sentinal though, which can be handy when over-engineering multipitch belays :)
Well its just a screwgate but it is a very nice one. Brown anodize is so original so you stand out at the crag too!
I can't believe some folk carry 4-5 up a route with them, maybe I'm completely irresonsible but usually I don't carry any bar the HMS on my belay device.....
what about setting up belays? Two crabs opposed? That would be heavier than a screwgate. Or you just attach everything to your single HMS?
'Individually tested' certainly implies each and every one is tested. Why... Probably because they can and some people find it reassuring therefore it potentially adds value.
Incidentally, what do you find irksome about '3 Sigma' labeling?
Unless the gate is likely to be forced open I just clip the gear with a quickdraw or whatever comes to hand, in the rare occasions that it might be opened I oppose 2 karabiners.
Equalise the pieces on to the loop created by tying in. Just pass a bight through the loop and tie a figure of 8. Its old skool but works and saves carrying screwgates.
People may argue the relative merits of being able to "escape the system" but I've never really needed to. I think shoving loads of clove hitches on a biner is clumsy, regardless of adjustability.
I don't do a lot of multipich but I might do something different there depending on circumstances like leading all pitches, depends on the partner, the route, the cliff etc...
Thats just my take on it - not botherd what folk think or do themselves really. I get the impression in the old days all this building a belay with equalised pieces wasn't bothered with anyhow.
> what about setting up belays?
Can't answer for Pete (actually, I could since I climb with him but I wont) but I'm the same, I use one on the belay plate*, other than that I use snaplinks, quickdraws and knots to build belays.
*I have a few screwgates and they do have uses. Sometimes they end up on my rack but I don't specifically carry them for belays, in fact even if I have them on me I rarely think on to use them.
Anyway, I'd say the biggest selling point for this is that fantastic colour, these look awesome out in the sunlight!
Because it's marketing bull and I believe safety equipment should hold greater standards of quality anyway.
I'm no health and safety nazi, in fact I rather dislike the constant talk of safety and essentially the softening up of climbing.... When companies start using this jargon they are clearly directing it at either people who think "99.7%, thats good!" or us engineers who know better.
How many crabs you think DMM have made in total? A million or so? So that would be more than 25,000 crabs that fail to meet quality control standards. 3 sigma is the first level of quality control, hardly something to brag about. I'm not saying other companies are better, they may very well be worse, but it just seems strange to brag about 3 sigma quality control.
Climbing (or any safety) equipment should surely be leading the way in the form of quality control no?
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