/ A tip for sport climbers

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dunc56 - on 26 Feb 2013
Just climbing in France at the moment. A bit of sport don't you know. My girlfriend reached a belay station and shouted down - "I can;t get the krab undone." She had attached to the belay rings with a sling and attached said sling to her harness using a screwgate - an old screwgate.

No problem thought I. She can belay me up and I'll be able to get it undone. 30 Minutes later we were both cold and wondering how you get a krab undone or cut a sling without a knife or any other tools. Eventually, I blew on the krab for a while to warm the gate and it came undone. Praise the lord!

Possible lessons learned.

1. Always check old screwgates, lube where necessary and bin dodgy ones.

2. Always carry a knife or some such implement.

Any similar stories or comments ? I have done a fair bit of climbing and have never been in the situation where a climber was effectively stuck attached to the wall 15 metres up !
3leggeddog on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56:

Don't screw the gate up whilst the crab is loaded, when you release the load to strip the gear, the crab compresses the collar, locking it all together.

To release, load the crab then unscrew
abarro81 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56:
Just don't bother with a screwgate - use a draw or two.
Dave 88 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56:

If you had a prussick you can wrap the cord around the sling once, and use a sawing motion. The friction will cut the sling quite quickly.
turtlespit - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56: simple solution - first person to lead clips quickdraws to the anchor, lowers off on them (thus reducing anchor wear). Last person to lead (or top rope) ties into the anchor, rethreads into the anchor/fused carabiner(s) and lowers off.

efrance24234 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56: jesus christ your going to get loads of silly responses at this rate.... As above, just use a few quick draws. Sawing a sling with a prusik? :-
JLS on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to turtlespit:

Bet the OP wishes he'd thought of that...
Swirly - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to efrance24234:
> Sawing a sling with a prusik? :-

Works surprisingly well, I've used tat to cut tat in this way when we realised we'd both forgotten a knife. Agree quickdraws would be better in this situation though.

icnoble on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56: Simple answer, do what you do if the belay is a ring
efrance24234 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Swirly: yep iv dont it too in the mountains. Just trying to imagine someone at a nice cosy sports crag sawing throught their sling with a prussik lol.
needvert on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56:

Not really applicable to sport climbers...But you can cut slings by bashing with a hammer against rock.
EddInaBox on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to icnoble:

You didn't read through the original post very carefully did you?
jkarran - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56:

The usual problem is doing them up while loaded then attempting to undo them while unloaded. The solution is to increase the load while you undo them either by bouncing or by adding weight.

In this case it sounds like maybe that wasn't the problem?
jk
Rog Wilko on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56: You could try hitting the sleeve of the screw gate with something - another crab perhaps - preferably hitting it in the direction you want it to turn. Works with recalcitrant lids on marmalade jars too.
jezb1 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56: I'm assuming this was multipitch?

Did she clip straight into her belay loop rather than rope loop?
dunc56 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to jkarran:

>
> In this case it sounds like maybe that wasn't the problem?
> jk
It wasn't the problem - it was just an old Krab which seems to lock just for fun. We tried it later on the ground once we were safe.
GrahamD - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56:

As stated above, the problem is usually a combination of overdone sleeve and loading. Its quite common to see people tightening the collar in the belief that it adds to the strength. In reality, it can be quite loose and still prevent the gate accidentally opening which is all its supposed to do.

Having said that older krabs seem to be more prone to this presumably because stops and threads get a bit worn.
a lakeland climber on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

Just a thought, maybe the krab gets lightly done up but as the climber is lowered the vibrations caused by the rope running over the krab cause the sleeve to shake and move further thus giving the impression it was locked under load. Likely to be more of a problem with older krabs.

ALC
jkarran - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

> Having said that older krabs seem to be more prone to this presumably because stops and threads get a bit worn.

I think the hard surface finish on modern gear helps prevent too much sticking and binding.
GrahamD - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

Not in this case, I'm guessing, as the OP is talking about static load with no rope running. Most likely overtightening the sleeve plus doing it under load
Dave 88 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to efrance24234:

I was offering a solution to the problem the op found himself in. Obviously using draws is preferable, but if he found himself in the same situation with a screwgate, what I said would work fine. Not sure what's silly about that.
henwardian - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to dunc56: Take a spare sling. You can make a painful harness out of it and then remove your stuck harness and abseil to the ground. Go get WD40 then come back and get your sling, harness and screwgate.

Alternatively, always climb with a smoker. A lighter and melt any sling.

In extremis I'm pretty sure you could melt the sling by running the rope fast over it with tension. Not that I'd like to find myself having to attempt such an appauling maneuver mind!

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