/ Quickdraw gates facing the same way - safe?

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Well it is according to this vid done by Climbing magazine, Wild Country and others: http://www.vimeo.com/46441234 She just claims this though - she doesn't say why. If this is current "best practice", I'm sure there is some freshly minted SPA-type out there who can tell me why this is so!
Toerag - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA: I have some draws the traditional 'opposite way round', and some with the gates facing the same way. I made up the latter to avoid 'gate against the rock' situations when trad leading. As I don't fall off I can't add anything more about their effectiveness or safety. I suspect the biggest issue is with climbing on bolts and the way the krab rotates around them?
MeMeMe - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I'm not freshly minted or an SPA but if you have gates facing opposite ways and you clip so that the your rope is on the spine side of the rope krab as you go above it then it can tend to rotate the quickdraw so that the gear crab gate is on the bolt/gear.

If your krabs both face the same way then the rope will tend to rotate the quickdraw so that the spine of the gear krab is on the gear/bolt.

If that makes sense, it's not that easy to describe but easy to show.
Kemics - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I have both gates facing the same way. Really it's just so it's one less thing to think about when clipping. Makes sure I always have the rope travelling over the spine (not the gate) if traversing. Seen a rope unclip in a fall from this before and not something I want to experience myself.
a lakeland climber on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I have all my quickdraws with the gates facing the same way - not died yet!

I've not looked at the video (at work) but so long as the spine of the krab with the rope going through it is towards you then there is very, very little chance of anything untoward happening. (I.e. - it doesn't matter whether both krabs face the same way or not) The tricky bit is when the gear is to one side but then you climb up and across so that the gate is now nearest - I just clip for the most likely point of falling off. Something like back clipping is much more likely to lead to unclipping.

ALC
In reply to TobyA:

I have always used q-ds with the gates facing the same way. Opposites always seem to involve more 'thinking' as in 'the route is trending right, I want the bottom gate facing left, therefore the upper gate need to face right'.


Chris
bpmclimb - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to MeMeMe:

Makes sense - when clipping bolts with short, relatively inflexible QDs.

It's nice, if budget allows, to have a separate set of QDs for sport. They can have shortish, thick connectors (hard wearing and good for grabbing), and there's no need to set them up in any way other than with gates facing the same direction.

The trad set can generally be longer, thinner and lighter; and you have the option of setting some up with opposing gates, for situations in which the top crab is resting on rock in an undesirable way.
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I have always used q-ds with the gates facing the same way. Opposites always seem to involve more 'thinking' as in 'the route is trending right, I want the bottom gate facing left, therefore the upper gate need to face right'.

I've always had mine facing opposite directions, for no other reason than that's how they came. Once used to one way or other I don't think it really makes any difference in amount of thinking. You just get used to whichever.

I just wondered why the instructor in the vid claims its "safer"? DMM seem to still send theirs out of the factory in the opposite style. I would have thought they would have noticed if this was more 'dangerous'? Most of these situations always seem to come down to being six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Taurig - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Coming from the perspective of a novice climber who has recently been reading up on this kind of thing, I thought both gates should face the same way for the reasons mentioned by MeMeMe?

For example, if the route trends right, both gates face left so a) the rope runs over the back bar of the bottom krab and b) if the quickdraw is pulled/rotated upwards it's the back bar of the upper krab in contact with the hanger, rather than the gate.

Interested to hear opinions on this as I have occasionally seen quickdraws in videos etc. set up opposing and wondered why they were like that?
bpmclimb - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to Taurig:

Assuming you're only talking about sport climbing. Many climbers use the same QDs for sport and trad, and in the latter there are other considerations.
Taurig - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to bpmclimb:

True, the stuff I was reading was sport climbing based, although my main interest at the moment is learning to lead trad. Either way, I'm keen to learn about best practices for this kind of thing, so I'll keep an eye on this thread.
Howard J - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> I have always used q-ds with the gates facing the same way. Opposites always seem to involve more 'thinking' as in 'the route is trending right, I want the bottom gate facing left, therefore the upper gate need to face right'.
>
It all depends what you're used to. I have them facing opposite directions (mainly for trad, it has to be said) and my thinking is "If I clip with the gate facing the direction I'm moving towards then the bottom krab will be facing the correct way". Rather than thinking about which way the bottom krab should face (which to me involves more thinking), I think about the one I'm clipping with, and everything else follows.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I have a different thought process which works for me.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
OK Togby I'll bite, but to be honest I would have thought you'd have spotted this yourself.

When clipping the rope the sensible way to orientate the bottom quick draw is so the gate is away from the way you climb, as if you fall it is pulling the rope away from the gate so is less likely to unclip (I'm sure you knew that part). This means if the top biners gate is facing the same direction, when you pull the rope to the side whilst climbing, it will rotate the top carabiner so that the gear clipping point is more torwards the back bar. This makes more of a difference on bolts where the gate facing the other way on the bolt can lead to the biner unclipping it's self, but is still a generally safer way to clip as the gate is further away from being able to unclip it's self.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to MeMeMe:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> I'm not freshly minted or an SPA but if you have gates facing opposite ways and you clip so that the your rope is on the spine side of the rope krab as you go above it then it can tend to rotate the quickdraw so that the gear crab gate is on the bolt/gear.
>
> If your krabs both face the same way then the rope will tend to rotate the quickdraw so that the spine of the gear krab is on the gear/bolt.
>
> If that makes sense, it's not that easy to describe but easy to show.

Yes I agree.
cuppatea on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I still have some ancient Cobra quickdraws that have captive krabs, both facing different ways.

Hardly ever used them as I preferred to have them facing the same way, never really worked why, I just preferred it that way.
In reply to cuppatea:

> I still have some ancient Cobra quickdraws that have captive krabs, both facing different ways.

<90s climbing gear geek alert> No you don't. You have Mambas. The Cobras were the non-captive tape version. ;-) Cobras and Mambas are bloody brilliant to clip still. http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2009/11/stuff-that-works-1-dmm-cobras.html
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I can see that in theory, but 20 years of climbing and falling off suggests to me it's not an issue in practice. Besides anything else, normally I'm going up when climbing not to the side, in which case it doesn't matter. I also think that trying to clip a bolt at full stretch its easier to 'pull' the krab through the hanger than to push it (away from you) but maybe that's just the result of having my QDs the way they are.
bpmclimb - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to cuppatea)
>
> [...]
>
Cobras and Mambas are bloody brilliant to clip still.

Yes, I've just brought some Mambas out of retirement, and really enjoying using them again.
Fraser on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to bpmclimb:

I still have a number of Mambas too, but the tape on them is getting dodgy so I don't like using them. I don't (didn't) find them any better or worse than most other draws tbh.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA: toby for what its worth my runners are set up like yours but if i sport climbed more i switch. i have had runners very nearly unclip themselves on sport but ive caught it in time
cuppatea on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks!

They are nice and tactile and very old school :D (skool?)

Might have to get some new tape for them and get them used again.
In reply to Fraser:

> I still have a number of Mambas too, but the tape on them is getting dodgy so I don't like using them.

Same here. Twenty year old tapes don't inspire confidence! But I guess DMM isn't even allowed to re-do them on krabs that old.
rockcat - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA: Can't fault the video. The back of the carabiner should always be against the rock and this cannot be the case if they are arranged the opposite way around. She claims its safer because it is possible for the gate, if facing the rock, to press against a nubbin of rock and open. This has actually happened. Also the flat back of a carabiner sits against the rock more comfortably than a gate and the quick draw is less prone to twisting. If the route and protection is in a straight line and vertical then carabiner orientation would not be an issue but no climbs are.


> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
>
> [...]
>
> I've always had mine facing opposite directions, for no other reason than that's how they came. Once used to one way or other I don't think it really makes any difference in amount of thinking. You just get used to whichever.
>
> I just wondered why the instructor in the vid claims its "safer"? DMM seem to still send theirs out of the factory in the opposite style. I would have thought they would have noticed if this was more 'dangerous'? Most of these situations always seem to come down to being six of one, half a dozen of the other.

In reply to rockcat:
> Can't fault the video. The back of the carabiner should always be against the rock and this cannot be the case if they are arranged the opposite way around.

This strikes me as a huge claim and one that is not really sustainable because of the huge variation in rock and placements. I'll flip a krab if I think the rock next to it is less likely to push the gate open that way round, but really this is one of those things that individual to every different placement.

Howard J - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to rockcat:
> (In reply to TobyA) Can't fault the video. The back of the carabiner should always be against the rock and this cannot be the case if they are arranged the opposite way around.
> [...]

I don't see why this should be. In my experience, whether clipping trad gear or bolts the krabs usually lie flat against the rock. If you've got situations where they may hang differently, or either gate might get snagged and opened accidentally, then you have to arrange the gear appropriately, but these are exceptions.

Davy Virdee - on 02 Oct 2012
Hey Toby.


In reply to TobyA:
> Well it is according to this vid done by Climbing magazine, Wild Country >and others: http://www.vimeo.com/46441234 She just claims this though - she >doesn't say why. If this is current "best practice", I'm sure there is >some freshly minted SPA-type out there who can tell me why this is so!

Certainly I find *in trad* that 9 times out of 10 having the "beeners" facing the same direction seems to have everything oriented the right way for clipping gear and direction of movement so the rope runs correctly out of the "beener". Which is as she describes in the vid.

Current "good" (rather than "best", no such thing as "best" practice!) practice would encourge a climber to assess each placement and make a judgement on whether krabs should be on the same side or opposite depending on route, direction of movement, placement orientation, etc, etc.

However, most manufactures seem to ship QDs with them on the same side these days.

I'm sure there was a tech note on Black Diamonds website at one point saying why they decided to switch from opposite to same-side, but I can't find it just now.

Davy


Al Randall on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA: I changed my QDs to the gates being in opposition as the arguments for it seemed valid i.e. the load is concentrated on the strongest part of the krabs, but change back shortly afterwards as I seemed to get into more situations where one of the gates was pressing against the rock. I considered this to be a greater risk factor and noticed that it was more common when clipping bolts.

Al
john arran - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

The easiest solution is just to climb steeper routes - then whichever way your krabs are facing they won't be touching any rock.

;-)
cb294 - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Davy Virdee:

I suspect the gates opposite orientation was originally meant for rotating the top biner.
This make sense when you clip into a longish sling, especially if you use a quickdraw with a long sling (or an alpine or extendable qd).

Rotating the upper biner 180 degrees so that the narrow end is pointing up and the gates of both carabiners point down and out can under these circumstances protect against some forms of gate loading.

This technique is strongly recommended by the "Freedom of the Hills" instruction book, which is very popular in the US. As BD is an American company, they might have had this in mind.

Since no one rotates the top biner for clipping bolts, same side gates make more sense for sport.

CB
biscuit - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
>
> [...]
>
> I've always had mine facing opposite directions, for no other reason than that's how they came. Once used to one way or other I don't think it really makes any difference in amount of thinking. You just get used to whichever.
>
> I just wondered why the instructor in the vid claims its "safer"? DMM seem to still send theirs out of the factory in the opposite style. I would have thought they would have noticed if this was more 'dangerous'? Most of these situations always seem to come down to being six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I know 2 DMM sponsored climbers who turn them back again so they both face the same way. I have been told it all started when the Mamba's first came out and they were sent out that way. It became fashionable and has stayed that way since. Just what i was told not from the horse's mouth.

For 2 reasons really. 1 is so it's easier for decision making on a sport route and the other is safety. If they both face the same way you have less issues with the upper krab rotating into an unwanted position against the bolt. However you're talking 99.5% safe to 99.9% safe.

Caution ! statistics made up to prove a point ;0) but i hope you get what i mean.

Try it and you'll see. it's most often noticed on the first draw which eventually gets lifted and waggled about a lot more than others and it may end up sideways in the bolt or with the nose wedged into the bolt. Obviously with other draws above it's not an issue but this is where it happens most and it does rarely happen with your last bolt if you're faffing about or ropework has gone awry.
biscuit - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Davy Virdee:
> Hey Toby.
>
>
> In reply to TobyA:
> [...]

> Current "good" (rather than "best", no such thing as "best" practice!) practice would encourge a climber to assess each placement and make a judgement on whether krabs should be on the same side or opposite depending on route, direction of movement, placement orientation, etc, etc.
>

Is it good or best practice never to let go of the brake rope ?
john arran - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to biscuit:

It is easier (albeit very marginally) to clip both bolt and hanger towards you, which requires your draws to be opposite-side. As well as your good point above it's also possible to clip away from you at very slightly longer reach as you can push the krab onto the bolt with your fingertips - this requires draws to be same-side.

Regarding bolt-end gate contact with rock itself, this is almost never an issue since bolts are generally placed where the rock is fairly flat at least for a few inches in all directions. What is a real (albeit still small) possibility is for the bolt-end krab to unclip itself from the hanger. I'm not aware of any quantitative studies on this but as this will require the krab to be pressed against the diagonal hanger it surely must be more likely if clipped leftwards or rightwards through the hanger. I can therefore see some potential sense in clipping all bolts the same way. Obviously if you were to do this then the bottom krabs would have to be some same-side and some opposite-side to best clip the rope into them.

There you go - another potentially insignificant factor to argue about!
biscuit - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to john arran:
> (In reply to biscuit)

> There you go - another potentially insignificant factor to argue about!

Ooh ! I've got nothing to do for an hour or so.

I agree about the rock contact and i was talking about bolts only really. Yes they can become orientated so they are badly seated and all sorts can happen with that. I don't know about actual plain un clipping though. Wouldn't it be more likely for the biner to get damaged and fail ?

I think un clipping is more of a risk when people clip the rope the wrong way through the bottom biner and it either runs out the gate side or worse goes in the front and out the rock side on the gate side. Then the top biner can become twisted, sit wrong and when you fall there is the risk of the quickdraw being inflexible and the rope un clips itself. Not said very well but i am hope you get what i mean.

However when i'm teaching people to lead i always teach them these principles, but then tell them you're safer clipped than un-clipped so don't start fannying about if you're dangling by your fingertips and about to plummet; just get bloody clipped. Even if it's upside down and back to front it's better than nothing. You can always sort it out later.

I may have to experiment with having alternate draws on my harness. Opposites on one side and same side on the other or alternate them on both side ? Different colours to signify different orientations. It could catch on ;)
Andy Say - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to biscuit:
> (In reply to Davy Virdee)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Is it good or best practice never to let go of the brake rope ?

It is good practice not to let go of the brake rope whilst you are belaying someone. It is acceptable to let go when you go home for tea.

biscuit - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Andy Say:

Ah ! Can i let go now please as it's really making using the keyboard tricky ?

I can confirm there is no one on the other end. I feel foolish now i've been holding onto it for so long.
nbonnett - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I'm a quick-draws facing the same way kinda chap .

Plus....

After having a few draws un-clip themselves ,when clipping a bolt i make sure the gate is facing the opposite way to my next set of moves to the next bolt.
If that makes sense.
jimtitt - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to john arran:

I did once make a whole load of hangers the other way round (so left and right handed) to see if it would be better, it didnīt seem to make any difference at all to potential unclipping so long as one followed the usual rule of always clipping the bolt away from you.
Like every sport climber I know I have my draws same-sided but the crusty old trad climbers like my brother have them the other way. Lots of re-building draws when we share racks!
Davy Virdee - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to biscuit:
> (In reply to Davy Virdee)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Is it good or best practice never to let go of the brake rope ?

ho de ho de ho.

To maybe argue semantics - "Best practice" in my book defines a series of procedures that render a activity, process of what ever the most advantages giving consitent results and quality.

In a climbing situation employing "best practice" at all times would render an activity (as) risk free (as possible). It would mean essentailly having multiple redundancies on systems and make climbing more like "IRATA" SRT type stuff.

"Good practice" is what we do day in day out in our climbing to allow us to manage the risks in a sensible way - "good practice" in this sense is doing things in the "acceptable", "proper" way which is the sum of equipment manufacturers reccomendations, experts in the field advice and experience of the user.

So, to follow your example to a rather daft conclusion employing "best practice" in belaying would be having someone else hold the end of the rope when belaying well as the belayer holding the rope and maybe even employing a auto-locking belay device (if one exists!)

Employing "good practice" would be not letting go of the rope :-)



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