/ why should you equip each sling with a screwgate

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ralphio - on 23 Oct 2012
been climbing trad for around 6 months after having taught ourselves from reading instruction books... they all suggest having your slings round your shoulders when climbing and equipping each with a screw gate. why a screw gate? if using a sling over a flake or using it as a thread can you not just attach a quickdraw to it? or is this unsafe?
GrahamD - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

Most people want to carry at least one screwgate for critical positions (such as single point of failure on a belay). By carrying it on your sling it makes it easier to use the sling as a long placement extension or whatever.

FWIW I think any more than 2 screwgates is way OTT
Monk - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

Snapgates are fine for slings. Having said that I do tend to have at least one with a screwgate.
jkarran - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

Having a dedicated clip of some sort on the sling saves you a quickdraw for use elsewhere and makes the sling easier to carry/deploy. Whether it's a locking krab or not is up to you.

jk
Kemics - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

I used to have screw gates on all my shoulder slings, fine on easy routes or with rests where you place the gear. But i've found if i'm placing gear one handed it can actually be quite tricky to clip a rope through a screw gate, particularly if you're utterly boxed. For that reason alone I use wire gates now. But always have 2 or 3 screw gates on the back of my harness.
Al Randall on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio: Screwgates use to be a lot heavier than snapgates so helped to weight the sling and prevent it pulling off a spike in some situations. There was also the psychological reassurance that you were making a strong runner bombproof. Personally I carry 60cm slings on my harness as "sling draws" but prefer 120 cm ones slung over my shoulder. Like GrahamD I consider 2 screwgates enough for any situation although I often carry 3 as I like to use direct belays sometimes. so that would provide one screwgate for the belay and 2 for the belay device.

Al
Nick Russell on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

I tend to carry 60cm slings tripled up as "alpine draws", with two wiregates.

120cm slings (normally 2) go doubled over my shoulder, with screwgates, because I rarely use these longer slings except for equalising a belay, at which point I almost always want a screwgate immediately. If carrying 120s doubled in this way it's a good idea to have something hanging from it, to keep it from pulling through (i.e. you end up with a small loop up around your armpit and a really long loop getting in the way).

To answer your question about quickdraws on slings over flakes etc: no, it's not dangerous, but it does use a quickdraw that may be better used elsewhere, e.g. on a wire.
AlanLittle - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to ralphio)
>
> FWIW I think any more than 2 screwgates is way OTT

Really? For bolted multipitch with twin-bolt belys I carry five: one for each bolt, one for attaching me to the central point and two for the belay device in guide mode. OK, I could save two if I (a) didn't belay in guide mode, (b) accept that I don't really need a screwgate on the backup bolt.

But given that I definitely need five krabs for the belay, and four of the five are Phantoms, what exactly would I be gaining by not using screwgates?

[Googles weight difference between Phantom wire & screwgate]: I would be gaining *45 grammes* !!!! Sweet Holy Jesus - my screwgates are going in the bin as soon as I get home!

sianabanana - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

Another thing i noticed when carrying slings over the shoulder, the weight of the carabiner helps keep them in a nice position on your shoulder and not floating about causing a nuisance.
Robert Durran - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:
>
> Really? For bolted multipitch with twin-bolt belys I carry five: one for each bolt, one for attaching me to the central point and two for the belay device in guide mode. OK, I could save two if I (a) didn't belay in guide mode, (b) accept that I don't really need a screwgate on the backup bolt.

You could save four if you accepted that you only need one for your belay plate!
Incidentally, why are bolted belays different? (or do you use srewgates on all anchors?)
Robert Durran - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to sianabanana:
> (In reply to ralphio)
>
> Another thing i noticed when carrying slings over the shoulder, the weight of the carabiner helps keep them in a nice position on your shoulder and not floating about causing a nuisance.

Carrying slings the twiddly way on my harness rather than over my shoulders has been a racking revelation for me - so much les faff!

GrahamD - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Really? For bolted multipitch with twin-bolt belys I carry five:

You are more than welcome to carry as many screwgates as you like !
AlanLittle - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to AlanLittle)
> [...]
>
> You could save four if you accepted that you only need one for your belay plate!

How do I only need one for a belay plate in guide mode? Admittedly using a plate in guide mode is not essential, but I personally find it more comfortable for bringing up two seconds, or one slow second. And my clipping in krab is near to the moving belay plate in a guide mode scenario, so I really would rather have a screwgate for that. Screw or snap makes no real difference for the second bolt I agree.

> Incidentally, why are bolted belays different?

They aren't particularly, except that these days for bolted stances I tend to use the current DAV / ÖAV recommendation which is: bowline loop tied in the end of a sling to make a central point. Clip this to one bolt; other end of sling to other bolt as backup; self and HMS or belay plate (guide mode, two screw krabs) onto central point.

I know I could also do: krab on each bolt, clove hitch one rope to each, belay plate on harness, done. And I sometimes do. But it tends to upset continentals for some reason.

In any case we seem to have accepted that two screwgates are permissible. So subsituting non-screwgates for my other three screwgate Phantoms saves me a maximum of 3 x 15 grammes. Less in reality because for most purposes I prefer normal size krabs to fiddly little things.

> (or do you use srewgates on all anchors?)

No, I use as many as I happen to be carrying then snaps for the rest, with a preference for screwgates on the points that are nearer to me or other moving parts of the system.

martinph78 on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Nick Russell: Just started to do thios after leading my first multipitch last weekend.

My friend does it like that, and for the same reasons as you have highlighted, so do I now.

I am starting to replace quickdraws with 60cm "alpine draws" as I can afford to as well. Much more useful in most situations, my opinion.
jkarran - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Really? For bolted multipitch with twin-bolt belys I carry five: one for each bolt, one for attaching me to the central point and two for the belay device in guide mode. OK, I could save two if I (a) didn't belay in guide mode, (b) accept that I don't really need a screwgate on the backup bolt.

Really? I carry one, the one my belay device is on. Everything else I do with knots and snapgates. Each to their own but 5 screwgates in a belay (10 carried?) seems odd to me.

> But given that I definitely need five krabs for the belay, and four of the five are Phantoms, what exactly would I be gaining by not using screwgates?

I'd use 3 but that's me. What do you gain? Not much either way.

> [Googles weight difference between Phantom wire & screwgate]: I would be gaining *45 grammes* !!!! Sweet Holy Jesus - my screwgates are going in the bin as soon as I get home!

:)
GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio: Because it's in the rules and people with certificates say that you must.

James
AlH - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to GridNorth: I've got several certificates and I don't
GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to AlH: I was being facetious, controversial and amusing and failing with all three.
aostaman - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

This is an interesting thread, I'd always used screws and wondered why, it will make me feel better when I use a QD in future.

Next, what is an 'Alpine Draw', I've never heard the term. Thanks
davidbeynon - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to aostaman:
> (In reply to Martin1978)

> Next, what is an 'Alpine Draw', I've never heard the term. Thanks

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3181/3057916344_ee9f86d3a5.jpg
James Rushforth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to jkarran: I would not want to use a belay plate in guide mode with only 1 screwgate. I think that was the point Alan was making.
JimboWizbo - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio: Most of my sling use is for anchoring, so I want a screwgate on each. If I use one as protection on a route I might stick a quickdraw on and take the screwgate as a bonus for the top.

A 3 point belay can easily require 5 screwgates!
GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:

> A 3 point belay can easily require 5 screwgates!

No it doesn't "require" any but at least one is possibly advisable.

James
martinph78 on 24 Oct 2012
JimboWizbo - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to GridNorth: Sorry

A sensible 3 point belay can easily require 5 screwgates!

GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: Wrong again. A belay with 3 points can be perfectly safe without any screwgates. I can make a safe belay in some situations without any karabiners at all.
JimboWizbo - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to GridNorth: Well done, though my point is "a 3 point belay CAN easily require 5 screwgates"

I'm not saying "You need 5 screwgates to set up a three point belay"

GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo: OK. I misunderstood.
Ramblin dave - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
Since we're going down that road anyway, I'm going to raise the issue explicitly...

I wouldn't be happy with less than two screwgates for the belay - the one that connects the various bits of rope to me and the one that connects me to the belay device. The former is in the middle of a reasonably complicated system, close to things that might move (eg me), close to various bits that might get pushed against the gate (eg me, the gear, the rope) and is a single point of failure for the whole system, the latter has all that plus a rope moving through it.

But I don't know about the crabs connecting the belay pieces to the rope / sling you've built the belay with. What (if any) are the situations where it isn't safe to use a) a single wiregate or b) back to back wiregates?

I've always thought the faff of finding out the answer and the mental overhead of remembering it wasn't worth the 45g weight saving, but if the answer is "none, ever" and single wiregates on the belay pieces are no less foolproof than screwgates then why not...
GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave: I believe that that is the important distinction, a screwgate is convenient. Personally I like at least one screwgate in the system but a screwgate at one end of the system and a snap gate at the other defeats the object somewhat.
ads.ukclimbing.com
JimboWizbo - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo)
> Since we're going down that road anyway, I'm going to raise the issue explicitly...
>
> I wouldn't be happy with less than two screwgates for the belay - the one that connects the various bits of rope to me and the one that connects me to the belay device.

Definitely want one for the belay device, and it makes sense to use one to attach yourself to the system, unless you're using the rope to create an anchor in which case you might choose figure 8 knots on a bight tied to your rope loop (bit more dynamic, one less screwgate needed)


> But I don't know about the crabs connecting the belay pieces to the rope / sling you've built the belay with.

Certainly in multipitch when the leader is off up the next pitch it's not unreasonable to assume they will be climbing near your gear, they may accidentally knock the belay attachments, or worse they might slip or fall near them. At this point I'd be happy that I used screwgates.



lithos on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:

> They aren't particularly, except that these days for bolted stances I tend to use the current DAV / ÖAV recommendation which is: bowline loop tied in the end of a sling to make a central point. Clip this to one bolt; other end of sling to other bolt as backup; self and HMS or belay plate (guide mode, two screw krabs) onto central point.

got a picture/link for this as dont quite get it from description (the bowline loop bit)
masa-alpin - on 26 Oct 2012
My guess is the main reason many climbers in the UK carry a screwgate per each sling is simply traditional, that is, because the climbers who taught them years ago were doing so and so they copied it and have never revisited or reconsidered the "habit".

Having said that, I understand there are significant justifications for it. Ali Randall's point of "Screwgates use to be a lot heavier than snapgates so helped to weight the sling" may be one of them (though I think that is a weak justification). But the major points are, in my understanding, when a runner is extended with a long sling, whether used on a spike, pocket or as an extender, there is a significant and increased chance of (1) whiplash phenomenon and (2) side-loading (or worse, catching the nose), both of which can lead to the breakage of the (rope-end) karabiner and so are dangerous. Therefore it is definitely safer and recommended to use a locking krab whenever a leader uses a long sling.

You can argue about the probability of such events to happen. I have heard of such accidents more than once even among my close and small circle (the consequence was not pretty!), so I can confidently tell it is a real possibility rather than mere theoretical.

After all it must be up to personal judgement on the balance of risk. To use a locking krab is more awkward and time-consuming, particularly if screwgate (as opposed to an automatic locking one), than s snap gate, so you may not wish to use it at the sharp end while your arms are failing or when speed is safety, such as, in alpine climbing. And locking krabs are heavier than snapgates.

But one thing is sure. If you use a locking krab for whatever the reasoning is, do make sure to tighten the lock all the time for goodness sake!! Otherwise it would be a lot more vulnerable than a simple snap gate (due to the increased risk of whiplash phenomenon). In other words, if you think you may not bother doing it every single time, then it is a lot better carrying and using a snap gate than a locking krab. I have seen loads of climbers use locking krabs WITHOUT tightening the gate in use - stupid, really. They carry extra weight for the sake of reduced safety and increased awkwardness!

Personally, on balance, I usually use a snapgate for a long sling when used as a runner, and occasionally double up (with another snapgate) if it is a crucial piece. Generally speaking, doubled-up and opposed-gate snapgates are safer than a single locking krab. A friend of mine carries a DMM revolver locking krab for the use of his first and extended runner, which I think is a good idea as it increases the safety margin.

Masa
scottie390 - on 26 Oct 2012
i usually rabbit run a 120cm sling with a D shaped screw gate when out an about (the mountains, not tescos) because of the options it gives me. i can easily and quickly use it to make a safe rappelling sling/cows tail and if i do use it as a runner, then having a bomber spike/thread runner with a screw gate on it just makes me feel a lot better.

thats why I personally carry screwgates with slings

neuromancer - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

This all sounds rather confusing. I was taught, and I guess here I can be corrected if wrong, to

place anchors (slings e.t.c). Place screwgate on each. Run ropes through screwgate one at a time, clove hitch the trailing end of said rope to HMS attached to belay loop or to the fig8 loops already on harness. Equalise all of these and then take in rope until second has it tight, then belay.

Therefore all of my slings that I'm using for anchors have screwgates on them, though I was taught opposing wiregates. Then again, wouldn't two opposing wiregates be heavier than the single screw? Or is the point that it then gives you lots of options e.g. to use it as a runner when not as an anchor?
Jim Walton on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to AlH: Ahh, but how many did you carry on assessment?
seaofdreams - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

I carry 2 120 slings free off the rest of the rack and one long one with 5 screw gates.

The 120's are used for anything and everything on route and sometimes need also extended. when used as gear on routes i tend to look to see if there is a valid need for a locking biner and use on if there is. on a clean placement free from features I think its fine without a locking biner.

the reason a biner (any biner) is used rather than none at all is so you can remove any sling from yourself without removing things on top. like bags, cameras, other slings or jackets. but for me it doesnt "need" to be a locker.

on belays when you are climbing fast the issue for me is awareness. i always use locking biners on gear and at the powerpoint becasue they make you stop and think before disconnecting. things are being clipped to the anchors to sort and get out of the way ready for the change over and i like knowing that "if its in with a locker then its out lives" and not just my XYZ thing that ive clipped there.

that means that between us we will carry up to 10 lockers on a multipitch route and we are far from slow.
Jimbo C - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio:

About 95% of my use of slings is to build a belay. I always build belays using screwgates, so it makes sense for me to carry each sling with a screwgate attached.

I do also have a couple of extendable draws made with 60cm slings and 2 snapgates.
GrahamD - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to neuromancer:

I think its easy to over analyse the set up. All you are trying to do is tie yourself to a piece(s) of metal wedged in the rock. There are plenty of safe ways to do this.
Andy Say - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to JimboWizbo) Wrong again. A belay with 3 points can be perfectly safe without any screwgates. I can make a safe belay in some situations without any karabiners at all.

He did use the word 'sensible'; not 'safe'.
martinph78 on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to seaofdreams:
> (In reply to ralphio)

> the reason a biner (any biner) is used rather than none at all is so you can remove any sling from yourself without removing things on top. like bags, cameras, other slings or jackets. but for me it doesnt "need" to be a locker.
>

Never considered that, but actually is another good reason to do so.

GridNorth - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Andy Say: Conceded but my point still stands if I replace the word safe with sensible. The word that might not apply however would be convenient.
AlH - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Jim Walton: Oh I had a full 'assessment' of screwgates Jim. I just don'r tend to carry many on 120s!
mataius - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:

You sir are a comic genius and if i were wearing a cap i would doff it.
Jim Walton on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to AlH: Glad to hear it. My assessment starts on Monday, I wonder if 75 screwgates is going to be enough :-) Might have to hide a few more...
Andy Say - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Jim Walton:
Don't forget a couple of emergency prusiks hidden in your helmet....
JimboWizbo - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to ralphio: Back from SPA training and I raised this (regarding the necessity of using screwgates when setting up belays).

The instructor's advice was that a snapgate is fine as long as it's not compromised, whether or not it's compromised in any way is entirely down to your judgement as a climber.


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