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Topic - does cross-loading of belay biners really matter?

pacman - on 27 Apr 2012
As per topic title... does cross-loading of belay biners really matter?

If the maximum braking force of my belay plate is 2 to 2.5 kN - typical for most modern plates, even those with teeth - why should I worry about cross-loading of my belay biner when the weakest that I use (Petzl Attache) is rated to 6 kN cross-loaded, and others are even stronger?

I accept that spinning of the biner can be mildly irritating, particularly when belaying with double ropes, but as I understand it a cross-loaded belay biner is still plenty strong enough for arresting a fall without breaking. So why the big song and dance about it?

Are people worrying about a problem that doesn't really exist? Or am I missing something?
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