/ Hanging Belay Station, Wiregate or Locking Biner.

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phil456 - on 07 Jun 2012
I have just started easing into multi pitch and have always used locking biners on the anchor station, however my climbing partner used a wiregate in part of his station and I mentioned that a locking biner would be better.

Because I am a new climber and am still learning, I tend to review how the climbs went, what was good technigue and what needs further work.

I thought lockers better because that is what I was taught for top rope anchors and just insticitvely went with that, but now thinking about it, lead climbing is all wiregates and the only reason I can see for a locker is if useing clove hitches to tie in.

So the question is; at a hanging belay station ( not top / bottom rope anchors ) is it usual to use wiregate biners or lockers ?

Cheers Phil
Al Randall on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456: The only time I would consider it essential is if there is a single attachment point and a chance of the gate being opened. If the ropes are taught and the krab always in sight a plain gate will do but as a force of habit I usually get a screwgate into the system somewhere. I only carry three and one of those is for the belay plate.

Al
highclimber - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456: so long as it's weighted I wouldn't worry about it. I use screwgates all the time for multipitch belays but if I might be moving around ect I'll tend to have the best one on a screwgate but chances are that a snapgate would be just as safe. if in doubt and you don't have any screwgates you can always use two snapates back to back.

Nothing wrong with being safe and there's nothing wrong with using snapgates either!
mkean - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:
Whatever comes to hand, typically for me this will be a mixture of screwgates and opposed snapgates. A little bit of redundancy goes a long way, and more importantly prevents you from going a long way :-)
nniff - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:

If the krab's in a position where the gate might be compromised, I'd use a screwgate. If it's out of sight I tend to use a screwgate. I have screwgates on slings and so those get screwgates by default.

Otherwise, wires, cams etc used as part of the belay get whatever comes to hand.
GrahamD - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:

What they said ^^^

In the list of things that could go wrong whilst climbing, the failure of a wiregate where the gate is free from the rock is not high up on it.
CurlyStevo - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:
I think the best answer is it depends. If you are using a single attachment point biner anywhere in the belay then it should be a screw gate or 2 snap gates back to back. Otherwise it depends on the quality of the other pieces if one piece is the bomber bit and the other a less good backup it may be wise to have a screwgate on the bomber bit also. However if you had 3 good bits as your belay I'd be happy with snap gates on each of those. You also need to consider how easily the gates could be opened (protrusions of rock etc)
Dave Garnett - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to nniff:
> (In reply to phil456)
>
> I have screwgates on slings and so those get screwgates by default.

Me too. I have a spare one on my harness for clipping in as well. On a hanging stance where you are shifting around, clipping ropes in and out, rearranging things as you lead through... being attached by a separate sling with a screwgate at one or both ends means there's one less thing to worry about, which means you can focus on the important stuff.

In any situation where a single failure (however rare) would be fatal I'd use a screwgate.
Al Randall on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456: This is disappointing. Where are all the idiots that tell you that you MUST always use screwgates and should carry at least 12 about your person, just in case.

Al
GrahamD - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

Mounting the barricades and sharpening their guillotines possibly ?
highclimber - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:
> lead climbing is all wiregates and the only reason I can see for a locker is if useing clove hitches to tie in.

To add: although not ideal, you can use snapgates for clove hitches but screwgates are better for these, esp. pear-shaped ones.
jkarran - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:

It all depends. If it's a single critical point you need to take precautions against the rope getting accidentally released. If it's a redundant point it matters less and a snaplink will do. If that snaplink is in obvious danger of being opened then again you should take precautions, either moving it, turning it, doubling up or using a locker.

Some people are only happy with all-screwgate belays, some are totally slapdash, most are somewhere in between. The best advice is to think about why you're doing something, what can go wrong and what would happen if it did. The worse the consequences the more care needed to avoid that thing happening.

jk
EZ on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456:

As I feel I have to carry enough screwgates to cover every anchor potentially needing one, I know for certain that I have enough screwgates, ergo I use a screwgate every time. I don't need to add that to the decision making en route so I don't. I have been called a safety freak though.
The Ex-Engineer - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to various: Lots of sensible answers.

For me this issue boils down to there only ever being 3 reasons to use a screwgate (or back-to-back krabs) rather than just a normal wiregate/snapgate krab:
- it is a single point of failure.
- it is out of sight.
- it is in a high risk position susceptible to both being disturbed and not to be continuously loaded (e.g. clipped to my tie-in loop).

Once you have a clear set of criteria, I find it is easier to make objective rather than subjective decisions. It is also then much easier to explain your actions to other climbers.
GrahamD - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

True - Better to be able to explain and if necessary improvise rather than just relying on the dogmatic approach.
highclimber - on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to phil456: if it's a properly hanging belay then chances are that the anchors are going to be within sight if not arms reach so having all Screwgates is a belts and braces approach to belay building. more often than not, belays are not proper hanging belays and a more careful thought process needs to be employed.
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phil456 - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
Thanks for all the polite ! and helpful replies; the test seems to be can you explain to a climbing partner your actions and in doing so any problems soon become apparent.
Cheers phil

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