/ Via Ferrata kit - which one?

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AlisonSmiles - on 01 Jul 2013
Does anyone have particularly strong and reasoned views on any particular via ferrata kit? Or know of anywhere which has done a group test on these so I can make an informed decision?

I've used one before, with half a day's coaching and suspect simplicity is the way forward.

Mostly I'm anxious about the amount of product recalls there seem to have been, and wonder what's tried and tested? Choices seem to be Petzl or Black Diamond for the most part ... and I'm starting to wonder whether just colour matching to my harness is the best way to make the decision.

Thoughts? Or links to reviews?!
Jeff Ingman - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to AlisonSmiles: I tend to use kit that can also be used for other things on the mountain. Because I already own them, I use a petzl screamer (2.2kN), some 8mm dynamic rope and some biners, aka ab cord and a fancy quick draw. I'm not recommending this, and I have never fallen off when climbing ladders. If you are worried about product recalls then it is an alternative.........Jeff
Mountain Llama on 01 Jul 2013
JFH - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to AlisonSmiles:
this is the type of set I find best, and most useful,
as the squeeze type opening on the karabiners are in my opinion best/easiest
-and I've used them !

http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Rock-Climbing-Equipment/Via-Ferrata/Easy-Rider-Via-Ferrata-Set...
Marq - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to AlisonSmiles:

The product recalls have been mainly because of hire kit failing i.e. excessive use and being rented out to people, and by people, that don't understand or appreciate how VF kit should be 'lifed'. The manufacturers also realised they didn't have much of a test for aged kit.

I believe there have been two modes of failure. The first last summer was where the bungee in the lanyards was causing the tubular tape to flex a lot in the same place and resulted in a fatigue failure of the lanyard. This type of lanyard was generally attached to a screamer style VF kit.

The second mode was on the rope through a friction plate design. In this case the rope had got old and stiff and consequently didn't run through the friction plate as designed.

Speaking with the BMC Technical Officer earlier this year we came to the view that the screamer style was better as you could more easily tell if it had been exercised but they should also be retired relatively soon. Note that if you take a fall that causes the screamer to deploy the chances are you are going to be quite shaken / battered!

If you can, try a few in a shop as the action on the carabiners can be very different depending on your hand size. Don't forget to try operating them with both hands as well!

Marq
AlisonSmiles - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to Marq:

Awesome explanation, thank you for taking the time to put that in writing.
davidbeynon - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to AlisonSmiles:

According to the email I got from the AAC a while ago the issue with stretchy slings was a bit more serious than that. Apparently the warp threads in the fabric were being abraded by adjacent elastic threads, so the slings were becvoming weakened and failing with a few weeks of normal use.

You should reasonably be able to expect these things to last years if you don't fall on them. The hire kit that failed and killed someone, triggering all the recalls was almost brand new.
Andy Say - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to Marq:
> (In reply to AlisonSmiles)
>


>
> Speaking with the BMC Technical Officer earlier this year we came to the view that the screamer style was better as you could more easily tell if it had been exercised but they should also be retired relatively soon. Note that if you take a fall that causes the screamer to deploy the chances are you are going to be quite shaken / battered!
>

You are going to be a bit shaken and battered no matter what! Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOzhOs9SAws and cringe at what happens to the wooden weight even when the arrest system actually works........
ads.ukclimbing.com
Toerag - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to AlisonSmiles: Good reply Marq. How do the screamer lanyards differ in shock absorbtion ability to a normal screamer as Jeff uses above? How much force does a lanyard theoretically have to absorb, and is Jeff's screamer 'man enough'?

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