/ NEWS: Tito Traversa Accident - Quickdraw Information

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UKC News - on 09 Jul 2013
INCORRECTLY threaded quickdraw, 2 kbMore information on why Tito Traversa's quickdraws tragically failed last week.

"...the quickdraws that Tito used were not open slings, but had still been similarly incorrectly threaded with an elastic 'keeper'..."

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68201

andyathome - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:
That is just horrendous. A twelve year old......
MFB - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:
Is the elastic keeper more of a problem than the original alignment problem. Should we just get rid of them entirely?-I have only climbed sport very infrequently and very badly
Rick Graham on 09 Jul 2013
I think the problem is that, no matter how well designed the product and comprehensive the instructions, if it can be misused sometime somewhere it will happen unfortunately.
Alkis - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to MFB:

I personally much prefer QDs with a stitched in keeper, you can't clip the rubber without going through the sling that way.

Utterly horrible accident... :-s
Daysleeper - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

That's very similar rigging to the 2009 Willow Creek firefighter fatality in the USA. They were rappelling from a helicopter and his kit was miss-rigged with just a rubber o-ring holding it together.

http://wildfiretoday.com/tag/osha/ (about 2/3 way down the page is a photo of the assembled rappelling kit they were using)

johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Christ.

I still don't understand how this can happen. I've never bought this sort of quickdraw. Do they come in pieces then and you assemble them? I was under the impression that the draws he was using were newly bought.

jcm
andyathome - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to MFB:
> (In reply to UKC News)
> Is the elastic keeper more of a problem than the original alignment problem. Should we just get rid of them entirely?-I have only climbed sport very infrequently and very badly

There is no real problem so long as people know what they are doing. That's like life in general really?

One would have thought in this instance that people did know what they were doing unless they left it to a 12 yr old to set up his own 'draws and didn't check them before use.

There but for the grace of god go I.....
Luca Signorelli - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to andyathome:
>
> One would have thought in this instance that people did know what they were doing unless they left it to a 12 yr old to set up his own 'draws and didn't check them before use.
>

Just for the sake of clarification - Tito did NOT assemble or put these quickdraws. They were assembled and put by someone else. This has been already make clear by the preliminary inquiry.

In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
>
>
> I still don't understand how this can happen. I've never bought this sort of quickdraw. Do they come in pieces then and you assemble them? I was under the impression that the draws he was using were newly bought.
>
> jcm

It said in one of the report that he borrowed somebody-else's 'draws for the route and 8 out of the 12 were incorrectly set up,


Chris
Carolyn - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I still don't understand how this can happen. I've never bought this sort of quickdraw. Do they come in pieces then and you assemble them?

We had some years back; IIRC they were bought as quick draws with an open sling, and then a rubber keeper thing was bought separately, and fitted by user, to stop the sling moving about on the krab.

So potentially, yes, assembled by user (rather than manufacturer).
Party Boy on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Daysleeper: That firefighter must be a prime candidate for a Darwin Award.

Tito's accident was terrible but how can someone put together draws so badly? My daughter, who is 10, wouldn't climb with someone elses draws without giving them a quick once over. Any adults involved in Tito's trip should have the book thrown at them and spend a long time in prison.
Oceanrower - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy: You're not PopShot under another name are you?
Party Boy on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to Party Boy) You're not PopShot under another name are you?

Erm no, why do you ask?
Oceanrower - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy: Because it seemed the kind of crass, insensitive thing that he would post.

Party Boy on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to Party Boy) Because it seemed the kind of crass, insensitive thing that he would post.

Sorry didn't mean to be insensitive...and certainly did not intend my post to be putting the blame on Tito (not sure who posted that because it was deleted)

The fault lies entirely with whoever rigged the draws
lowersharpnose - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy:

You stated that your 10 year old daughter would have checked the QDs and, by implication, found this problem. This suggests that young Tito is somehow responsible for his own death.

The QDs need not have been put together wrongly. They can get tangled and become lethal.
Party Boy on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:
> (In reply to Party Boy)
>
> You stated that your 10 year old daughter would have checked the QDs and, by implication, found this problem. This suggests that young Tito is somehow responsible for his own death.
>
Yes my daughter would have seen the problem but that doesn't mean Tito should have. Read my post again - particularly the bit about the adults being responsible....


> The QDs need not have been put together wrongly. They can get tangled and become lethal.

So draws can get tangled and end up with one end only connected to a keeper?
lowersharpnose - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy:

Yes. IMO, the design is fatally flawed.

I have read your post again. It does imply that poor Tito would be alive if he had the abilities of your daughter.

Perhaps you don't know what you are talking about.

Have you seen this video?
http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68201



Jamie Wakeham - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy:
> So draws can get tangled and end up with one end only connected to a keeper?

Whilst the answer to this is an emphatic 'yes' (and go watch the video that's been doing the rounds again to see how), the statement that eight of the quick draws were set up like this rather rules out pure accident as a likely circumstance, doesn't it?
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Michael Gordon - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Scary stuff. How could someone construct a quickdraw in this way without realising it was (very) wrong?!

As for the video of this happening by mistake with open slings, I actually just checked my quickdraws. As I thought they're all fully open or fully closed - no elastic to worry about!
Jamie Wakeham - on 09 Jul 2013
As an aside, I've taught a lot of ten-year-olds. Very, very few would spot a qd compromised like this.
Party Boy on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:
> (In reply to Party Boy)
>
>
> Perhaps you don't know what you are talking about.
>
> Have you seen this video?
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68201

Yes I've seen the video. Are you suggesting that this is what happened to Tito's draws.... 8 out of 12......that would be unlucky, to say the least. But hey, I don't know what I'm talking about.

winhill - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:
> (In reply to Party Boy)
>
> Have you seen this video?
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68201

Unfortunately that video doesn't help at all, it has probably been added to the story in a rush and is just confusing the situation.

Similarly, I suspect the image of the sling rubber used is unhelpful, as with that design it is obvious that the sling hasn't been threaded.

These slings were sewn, proper dogbones, so the video shows a different occurence.

It is more likely the problem was caused by something like the petzl string, where the rubber shrouds the end of the sling making it much more difficult to see if it has been incorrectly threaded.

http://www.backpackingforever.de/media/catalog/product/cache/2/image/390x/a3858afc9bbfe0fc92a687c2bb...
winhill - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to winhill:

OK, the report notes that the video is the wrong video!
lowersharpnose - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to winhill:

Feck.

Yes, really hard to spot.
Stuart Wildman - on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy:
we've all borrowed a couple of extra quickdraws from friends when climbing
And to be honest I've not always diligently checked them.
Who really does, to the extent of check the connections at both ends, I can imagine at quick glance and even sliding them round to face the right way, they looked similar to normal ones.

Horrible accident and one we can hopefully learn from
Party Boy on 09 Jul 2013
In reply to Stuart Wildman:
> (In reply to Party Boy)

> Horrible accident and one we can hopefully learn from

Agree. Never assume that gear is okay because another climber lends it to you

Misha - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to winhill:
I have some Wild Country draws with rubber keepers similar to the Petzl one you linked to. Tried playing around with them and it's impossible to get it wrong, as at as I could tell. On the other hand, the simple strings can be lethal...
MikeTS - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

the moral seems to me to take this elastic keeper product off the market ASAP
Zebdi - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

I disagree. There's nothing wrong with that rubber band. It's clearly visible whether the QD is assembled correctly or not, one just needs to take a look. It may not be the case with Petzl Ange QD's (as shown in one of the videos above), but it's clearly visible in this case. You can't take a product off the market just because someone makes a rookie mistake (no matter how grave the consequences). It can happen with almost any piece of climbing equipment, including belay devices, cams, etc. To be honest, I can't say for sure I'd notice - especially not when the QD's are already placed.
Daysleeper - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

The real problem here is one of perception. You look at something but see what you expect to see rather than what is actually there. It is the same basic mechanism that led to the firefighter death referred to above, that leads to many motorcycle v car accidents at junctions or indeed both climbers setting up to belay each other, cross checking and not realising that one of them should be tied in.

Our expectations drive our perceptions. So, if we accept that if it is possible for something to be mis-rigged it will be, then whether we then detect this error or not depends on how different it looks from what we are expecting. In the case of these slings it looks very similar be it safe or not. So you would have to have an expectation that it was miss-rigged to actually see it.

Of course if it is already clipped to the wall / bolt, then you run into another perception limit that is even harder to overcome.
Simon_Sheff - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy:
> (In reply to Daysleeper) That firefighter must be a prime candidate for a Darwin Award.
>
> Tito's accident was terrible but how can someone put together draws so badly? My daughter, who is 10, wouldn't climb with someone elses draws without giving them a quick once over. Any adults involved in Tito's trip should have the book thrown at them and spend a long time in prison.

Grow up. People make mistakes, this an extremely tragic one, someone has to live with.

GridNorth - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS: Sometimes climbers use "O" rings, I think the plumbing industry might be a little miffed at your suggestion. The better solution would be for manufacturers to make something that meets the requirement in a more robust manner.

I have two 60cm "sling draws" configured in this way and I am fully aware of the risks. If I loan them to anyone else however I always advise them accordingly.
neilwiltshire on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News: Isn't the suggestion not that they were assembled incorrectly but the draws can backclip themselves - most likely when jumbled together with other gear in a bag before or after climbing. It strikes me that this would then be hard to spot next time the quickdraws are pulled out for use. At least if the O ring isn't used at all, this backclipping would result in the sling coming off the krab entirely and no accidents are likely to result in that as it would be very obvious before someone tries to use it. I for one, just won't buy any quickdraws of this nature as a result of this, and I shall be very carefully checking any quickdraws belonging to others before I use them.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:
> (In reply to Party Boy)
>
> I have read your post again. It does imply that poor Tito would be alive if he had the abilities of your daughter.

'Imply', you mean that you have interpretated his words to mean that. Most people use the "my-ten year-old would have..." line to insult the intelligence of adults, not other children. Its not as effective or as meaningful if potentially there is only a 12 month age gap. I assumed he was addressing the adults involved.

Carolyn - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:
> (In reply to UKC News) Isn't the suggestion not that they were assembled incorrectly but the draws can backclip themselves - most likely when jumbled together with other gear in a bag before or after climbing.

I'm not sure. That seems (according to the video) to only really be a danger with open slings - whereas it seems the quickdraws used didn't have open slings, suggesting it must have happened some other way?

OTOH, I think (after a quick experimentation if you have a sling that has bar tacking at one end, then a large "open" loop, then only a rubber keeper by the krab at the other end, then back clipping into a dangerous position is still possible. Not sure if there's anything like this on the market, though?

Milesy - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> I'm not sure. That seems (according to the video) to only really be a danger with open slings - whereas it seems the quickdraws used didn't have open slings, suggesting it must have happened some other way?

The picture shown in the article shows the rubber rings on regular quickdraws so the issue would still apply assumine you managed to twist the crab out of the draw leaving the rubber ring only attached?
JoshOvki on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy:

I am still trying to work out how a regular quickdraw would end up in that position without user intervention.
Skip - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Carolyn)
> [...]
>
> The picture shown in the article shows the rubber rings on regular quickdraws so the issue would still apply assumine you managed to twist the crab out of the draw leaving the rubber ring only attached?

Difficult to do even delibrately
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Carolyn - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Yes, as far as I can tell, you could manage to end up with the same situation as an open sling (ie accidental back clipping leading to dangerous set up) if you added a rubber keeper to an quick draw such as the Helium shown the second picture in the row at the bottom of this article
http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3999

They only seem to be bar tacked at one end, so as you get longer length slings you get an increasingly large open loop, and more chance of it accidently back clipping.

As far as I can tell, it's equally possibly with a simple O-ring and the fancier purpose made things. Although the purpose made things seem to carry more risk of being set up wrongly in the first place - eg if sling simply not pushed into them far enough in the first place, when the krab is clipped in, it may never go through the sling at all. That was pretty obvious with older, wider slings - but I suspect it may be pretty hard to spot visually (although I'd think easy to check with a firm tug) with modern skinny slings.

All speculation, though.....

Carolyn - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Skip:

> Difficult to do even delibrately

Yes, with the set up in the picture. Rather easier to achieve accidently if you added a rubber keeper to the longer QD pictured at the bottom of article I linked to.
Jody - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:

"People make mistakes, this an extremely tragic one, someone has to live with."

Yes, and considering he borrowed the quickdraws from a friend, more than likely the unfortunate person is also a child. Very tragic.
Toerag - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
>
> OTOH, I think (after a quick experimentation if you have a sling that has bar tacking at one end, then a large "open" loop, then only a rubber keeper by the krab at the other end, then back clipping into a dangerous position is still possible. Not sure if there's anything like this on the market, though?

Yes - the long red/white DMM Spectre 2 draws are like that, but the closed end has a rubber keeper sewn inside the loop thus the 'open' end won't normally have a rubber keeper fitted.
Fraser on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Misha:
> (In reply to winhill)
> I have some Wild Country draws with rubber keepers similar to the Petzl one you linked to. Tried playing around with them and it's impossible to get it wrong, as at as I could tell.

Yep, I've got these on plenty of my sport draws too and it's very hard to get them fitted in the first place, never mind getting it 'wrong' later by somehow 'through-clipping'.

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/verticality/carabiners/carabiner-accessories/string

If you want rubber retainers on your bottom crab, these are the ones I have and would recommend.
GridNorth - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Fraser: They don't work so well on skinny DMM/Mammut Dyneema type slings though.
Milesy - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> (In reply to Milesy)
>
> Yes, as far as I can tell, you could manage to end up with the same situation as an open sling (ie accidental back clipping leading to dangerous set up)

I am confused by your use of the words back clipping because it is a recognised term to do with the rope clipping through crabs? Are you talking about the crab clipping through the draw loop?
Carolyn - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Toerag:

> Yes - the long red/white DMM Spectre 2 draws are like that, but the closed end has a rubber keeper sewn inside the loop thus the 'open' end won't normally have a rubber keeper fitted.

That's not to say someone wouldn't add one to the "open" end, though.
Milesy - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy:

Also is this rubber business strictly a sport climbing related thing? I pulled out the stuff in my quickdraws which stop one end spinning as I like more flexibility with what I can do with the crabs in a pinch.
Carolyn - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy:

> I am confused by your use of the words back clipping because it is a recognised term to do with the rope clipping through crabs? Are you talking about the crab clipping through the draw loop?

Sorry, I thought the video had used the term, but looking at it again, I think it's only my mind that's made the connection!

Rather than describe it, it's quicker to say it's what's shown in the video (which I think is what you mean about the krab clipping the draw loop). It's really very similar to back-clipping a rope, which I think is why my brain thought the term had already been used.
GridNorth - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy: Partly you are right but personally I have all DMM Phantom QD's for trad and I like one end being captive it seems to make clipping easier and I think that it is still a good thing to always clip the ropes using the same karabiner. I have never had an issue freeing up karabiners.
Carolyn - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Milesy:

> Also is this rubber business strictly a sport climbing related thing? I pulled out the stuff in my quickdraws which stop one end spinning as I like more flexibility with what I can do with the crabs in a pinch.

I think it was quite common,particularly before the days of bar tacked slings, to do it at one end of a quick draw even for trad climbing. Makes them rack a bit neater, bit less prone to tangling themselves together, and maybe rather easier to clip. But yes, the downside is it's harder to get the krab off to use for other things if you need to. By no means essential, but certainly used by some trad climbers too.
Alex Parker - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:

I have read Party Boy's post and you are talking nonsense. He clearly states that the adults should be blamed and has in no way suggested it is the young boy's fault.

Stop using this tragic event to look for a fight you clown.
bazzag - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to papabear:
> (In reply to lowersharpnose)
>
> I have read Party Boy's post and you are talking nonsense. He clearly states that the adults should be blamed and has in no way suggested it is the young boy's fault.
>
> Stop using this tragic event to look for a fight you clown.

I have to agree with papabears comment. I started climbing age 17 and by my late 20's had managed to survive quite a few 'near misses' through the eagerness of being young. I have known friends who have made one mistake and it cost them their life. I was always taught to check and double check any gear and whilst trad climbing this is particularly important. Perhaps we have become complacent with the perceived 'safety' of sport climbing and certainly if people have never climbed trad, then they will not have the benefit of that experience. I regularly take friends children climbing and understand that I am looking after their welfare. Checking and checking again is the order of the day. I'm afraid that the people who geared the route for Tito are responsible for his death, but, of course, they would never have wished for that to happen. We only need to think back to the Lyme Bay kayaking deaths, to realise that complacency in outdoor sports can result in unnecessary fatalities.
EddInaBox on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to anyone who uses sling-draws:

I use Petzl Strings on my sling draws and when I learned about the problem shown in the UKC video I had a bit of a think. Rather than stopping using the Strings I now position the bar-tacked section of the sling so that it butts up against the rubber String, then I put a rubber 'O' ring around both sides of the sling and push it up to the other end of the bar-tacked section, i.e. an inch and a half or so from the captive karabiner, finally I add the second krab at the loose end and triple it up. This makes it very obvious should the sling draw get extended in the incorrect manner.
Misha - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
I have heliums. The longer ones have an open sling at one end. I've always thought that the point of that was to enable freedom of movement - this is the end that clips into the gear. Adding an O ring there is counterintuitive as it restricts movement, but I agree if someone does do that it could lead to failure. Note the heliums don't come with O rings so someone would have to go out of their way to attach them.
winhill - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to bazzag:
> (In reply to papabear)
> [I have read Party Boy's post and you are talking nonsense. He clearly states that the adults should be blamed and has in no way suggested it is the young boy's fault.
>
> Stop using this tragic event to look for a fight you clown.]
>
> I have to agree with papabears comment.

Read Party Boy's post again, perhaps it will be clearer.

> I'm afraid that the people who geared the route for Tito are responsible for his death,

You need to read the reports again.
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Zebdi:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
>
> I disagree. There's nothing wrong with that rubber band. It's clearly visible whether the QD is assembled correctly or not, one just needs to take a look.

A good safety rule is keep it simple. So if you're sport climbing, use QDs stitched at both ends.
jimtitt - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
No, a good rule is do it properly. Draws are made the way they are because it is better and safer.
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to jimtitt:

We're talking here about them getting into the hands of a 10 year old. It's for reasons like this that you keep it simple; do it properly but reduce the realm of possible error.

And no matter how good my 10 yo was, I would even let them lead a 4a.
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Carolyn - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Misha:

I think there's a bit of personal preference, though - whilst most probably prefer one krab with some movement, I've come across others who reckon it's easier to clip without any movement, so prefer both ends fixed, and would consider adding something like the string.
wilkie14c - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Misha:
> (In reply to Carolyn)
> I have heliums. The longer ones have an open sling at one end. I've always thought that the point of that was to enable freedom of movement - this is the end that clips into the gear.

Yep, me too. 10 Helium QDs on my rack and one end is 'open' and the other tight. The Helium draws have a rubber on the inside of the sling to restrict movement so better than the string/castration/O ring etc IMO as it is obvious if the sling isn't clipped, as said, some other methods can at first glance, appear deceptive. They look fine but they are not. These are the open sling draws featured in the UKC video and IIRC was the cause of a nasty accident a couple of years ago on the slate IIRC.

There are often QD related questions on UKC and retainers, which end is which etc and it is obvious there are many who don't have a full understanding of the concept of open end / closed end. I'm not attempting to preach to the converted here but if anyone isn't sure why they are made that way and which end is which, here is my understanding:

1. If climbing a mix of sport and trad, it is important to clip the same crab to gear and the same crab to rope. When clipping bolts regularly, nicks can form inside the bend of your crab caused by the bolt hanger. Remember, the hanger is made from harder material <Steel> than a crab <alloy> so wear will happen. Most QDs are colour coded to make gear end and rope end easy to spot time and time again. The point is that if you didn't follow this rope/gear code then you can find yourself clipping the nicked/worn end to your rope and this will fray and fuzz your rope and potenially damage it further.
2. The open end of a QD is for the gear end, the tight, closed end is for the rope. This is for a reason - if you clip a wire/hanger/peg whatever, you may find the gate of the crab is facing the rock or other protusion, upon becoming tight the crab could be pressed into the rock and the gate could be levered open. Your crab now only has open gate strength. The gear end of the QD is open to allow you to easily turn the crab so the gate is facing outwards and better orientated away from facing the rock. The additional free movement the free/open gear end allows also helps a lot to prevent wires etc from being lifted out when you climb above them.
I hope I've not come across all holier than thou, just want to make it clear the resons why draws are made this way in the first place is all.
Deepest condolencies to everyone who knew Tito, what an awful and tragic ACCIDENT to befall this young man.
petellis - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to EddInaBox:
> (In reply to anyone who uses sling-draws)
>
> I use Petzl Strings on my sling draws

I have never understood the need to use retainers on slingdraws. Why not just remove the complicating feature (the retainer) entirely?



New petzl express slings have instructions as to which way to orient them and there just isn't room to re-clip in the manner shown in the video if you do it as instructed.

jimtitt - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
> (In reply to jimtitt)
>
> We're talking here about them getting into the hands of a 10 year old. It's for reasons like this that you keep it simple; do it properly but reduce the realm of possible error.
>
> And no matter how good my 10 yo was, I would even let them lead a 4a.

No, you are talking about 10 year olds, Im talking about the best way to make quickdraws. The post from Wilkie explains most of it well enough.
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
> [...]
>
> No, you are talking about 10 year olds, Im talking about the best way to make quickdraws.

Nah. You said 2 things. One about QDs. The other was
'a good rule is do it properly.' And my question is whether 10yos can?

Anyway, this issue worries me so I started another thread about the ethics of 'children' doing hard routes

jkarran - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Party Boy:

> That firefighter must be a prime candidate for a Darwin Award.
> Tito's accident was terrible but how can someone put together draws so badly? My daughter, who is 10, wouldn't climb with someone elses draws without giving them a quick once over.

I'm not so sure I'd notice that with getting on at 15 years experience and a fair bit of 'mechanical aptitude'... We tend to see what we're looking for, it's human nature. Save for a quick 'fur & corrosion' glance that's all the checking I do while racking my kit or someone else's, I'd easily miss something subtle, likely something obvious. I'd almost certainly miss it if they were fully shrouded ends like Petzl make or in-situ clips.

> Any adults involved in Tito's trip should have the book thrown at them and spend a long time in prison.

People make mistakes. Usually no harm comes of it, but sadly sometimes the consequences are tragic. We *all* make mistakes so be very careful what you wish for.

jk
Zebdi - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
> (In reply to jimtitt)
> [...]
>
> The other was
> 'a good rule is do it properly.' And my question is whether 10yos can?
>

Yeah, they can. I've seen 11yo girls lead 8a sport routes and trust me, they did more checks than adults around them. They were fully aware of what can happen, so they double checked each other, etc. It's not the age, I guess, it's proper training that matters.
Nic DW - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

Wow! Scary video- I think on balance probably much better not to use any sort of elastic band on non-sewn in quickdraws. I have a few of them in my rack (assembled from slings and krabs) and don't have any problems with the lack of elastic band. They sit just fine- gravity tends to sort that one out!
jimtitt - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
Clearly you are confused about what you wrote:-
"A good safety rule is keep it simple. So if you're sport climbing, use QDs stitched at both ends."
It is not "safer" to use draws stitched at both ends, it is safest (and more convenient) to use draws open at the upper end and correctly assembled with retainers at the bottom end.

I have no intention whatsoever of discussing minors climbing, group supervision and parental responsibility since I am not in the outdoor education industry and there are those with far more experience able to make better judgements than myself. I do however know a lot about quickdraws and it is part of my job to know how they interact with fixed protection and therefore corrected your erroneous statement.

Perhaps you ought to instead start a new thread about the wisdom of allowing old men to go in the hills? It is after all heart attacks in the over 45s which is by far the major cause of death, not letting young people lead routes nor how you fit rubber bands to slings.
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
I do however know a lot about quickdraws and it is part of my job to know how they interact with fixed protection and therefore corrected your erroneous statement.
>

Then how about a simple solution that eliminates this risk - apart from checking? Great money opportunity for you.

MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
> Clearly you are confused about what you wrote:-

> It is not "safer" to use draws stitched at both ends, it is safest (and more convenient) to use draws open at the upper end and correctly assembled with retainers at the bottom end.
>

I read what was said carefully, and with interest. In an imperfect world where people don't always check (and the Tito accident proves that it is an imperfect world), there is risk of using QDs stitched at both ends - and there is a risk of using open draws with a retainer at one end.

So you are only making a relative risk statement, and based on what statistics I'd be interested to know.
Lukem6 - on 11 Jul 2013
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013

In reply to Lukem6


Was having a really dumb questioner to demonstrate how easily you can get confused?

Sorry, but this really reinforces my concerns about the possibility of incorrect assembly, or being given one done wrong. Keeping it simple using QDs with both sewn ends still seems to me to be the less risky option for sports climbing where the hanger (I read wilkies explanation) and therefore the biner's gate usually is clear of the rock.
Again, it's relative risk it seems to me.
Now, pls don't flame me, but patiently explain to me why using a retainer lessens risk in the real world.
Misha - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:
Climbing is full of risks and it's all about managing them. But there's no need to add to the risks by using gear that could potentially fail if you don't pay attention. In an ideal world we would all pay attention all of the time and it wouldn't be an issue. But it isn't an ideal world and we all make mistakes and oversights. So I wouldn't use an open draw with an O ring. Nor would I use a bowline or a harness that needs doubling back to secure the waist adjustment strap. I'm not saying that people who use such gear are wrong as it's very rare that accidents happy and if you always check properly you will be fine. But I wouldn't use such gear myself or advise others to use it because there's no need to increase the potential risk. The more foolproof something is, the better.
MJ - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

Then how about a simple solution that eliminates this risk - apart from checking? Great money opportunity for you.

Already done: -

https://www.theclimbingdepot.co.uk/resource_files/thumbs/big_thumb_5098_mamba-2.jpg

Incidentally, are you going to replace all your snap links with screw gates and start using a full body harness?
MJ - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

Now, pls don't flame me, but patiently explain to me why using a retainer lessens risk in the real world.

On the safety side, there is less chance of cross loading. The upper karabiner is kept in true alignment by the weight of the quickdraw and gravity, therefore it doesn't need to be held captive. In fact, it's safer to have it free, as it prevents the whole quickdraw from swivelling along its axis and applying a 'bottle opening' force between the bolt and krab.
Practically speaking, it ensures the crab is in the correct alignment when you come to clip it. Nothing worse than a preventable 'Gripper Clipper', when you're going for it!
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
https://www.theclimbingdepot.co.uk/resource_files/thumbs/big_thumb_5098_mamba-2.jpg
>

According to wilkie you need a bigger loop at the open end, I think he implies, when he says
'The open end of a QD is for the gear end, the tight, closed end is for the rope. This is for a reason - if you clip a wire/hanger/peg whatever, you may find the gate of the crab is facing the rock or other protusion, upon becoming tight the crab could be pressed into the rock and the gate could be levered open. Your crab now only has open gate strength. The gear end of the QD is open to allow you to easily turn the crab so the gate is facing outwards and better orientated away from facing the rock. The additional free movement the free/open gear end allows also helps a lot to prevent wires etc from being lifted out when you climb above them.'

> Incidentally, are you going to replace all your snap links with screw gates and start using a full body harness?

Well screwgates is a bit silly for draws, as you well know.

But chest harness is not so stupid perhaps!!????
Jack B on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to UKC News:

To add to Wilkie's post, it is possible for draws to unclip themselves from a hanger, and this is more likely with a stiff draw and/or one that has retainers at both ends.
IMHO this is as big a problem as the rock-opening-gate one he mentions.

Examples (not read in detail, just googled):
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2557213
http://www.spadout.com/a/face-those-gates/

I agree with jimtitt: an open end at the top and a sewn-in retainer at the bottom is best. I'm not going to get drawn into a discussion about it though - I'll just add the extra information and let people make their own risk assessments.
jimtitt - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
As has been mentioned having an open draw above reduces the chance of rope movement putting the top karabiner into an unfavourable orientation on the bolt, particularly a problem with bolt-ins. It also allows the karabiner to be quickly rotated if required by the route direction, makes extending easier and stripping draws for individual karabiners easier.
The bottom karabiner is better fixed (and the lower portion of the dog bone stiffened) as this makes clipping the rope easier and more reliable which is safer than missing a clip.
As far as I know virtually all quickdraws are made this way and those are the main reasons why.
MJ - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

The linked quickdraw does have a bigger free loop at the gear end, not as much as a totally open loop, but it is bigger. 'Mambas' were primarily designed for 'hard' sports climbing. They didn't really catch on, because you can't readily replace the tape.

Well screwgates is a bit silly for draws, as you well know.

In my mind yes. However, if you're being safety conscious, then why not eliminate all potential risks? Karabiners have a relatively low gate open strength and the only sure way to eliminate that is via screw gates.
ads.ukclimbing.com
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Jack B:
> (In reply to UKC News)

> I agree with jimtitt: an open end at the top and a sewn-in retainer at the bottom is best.

A product example? I checked at Cotswolds and couldn't see any QDs that looked like they had a long enough open loop to prevent all these terrible problems I now hear about. But maybe I was looking in the wrong place.
MJ - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

The one I linked has...
MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
>
> The one I linked has...

well, for example, jimtitt says 'It also allows the karabiner to be quickly rotated if required by the route direction' and I don't see how you could do it with the linked one.

MJ - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

well, for example, jimtitt says 'It also allows the karabiner to be quickly rotated if required by the route direction' and I don't see how you could do it with the linked one.

You just rotate it...

MikeTS - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MJ:

If you say so. Sorry, it just didn't look long enough in the picture, it looked that it might be stiff enough to risk flipping the lower carabiner, which would be bad.
Jack B on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
> (In reply to Jack B)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> A product example?

I use the DMM Prowire draws. They fit the description, and I would suggest the 18cm ones are the best all rounders. In reality I have a few each at 12, 18 and 25cm, and choose the best according to the individual bits of pro. That's probably more a trad habit than a sport one though.

The open loop doesn't have to be particularly large to get most of the benefit, even a couple of centimeters makes the draw much more flexible and allows the top krab to orient itself freely on the bolt. Think about clipping the top krab into a hanger, then lifting the bottom one up beside it. What you want is for the top krab to stay hanging down, with the gate well away from the hanger.

You can also help matters by clipping such that if it does lift up, the back bar rather than the gate meets the hanger.
winhill - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Jack B:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> I agree with jimtitt: an open end at the top and a sewn-in retainer at the bottom is best.

One problem with the sewn in tadpole type of retainer is that the tails get ripped off too easily, so you can end up fiddling with them to get them back in place, which is quite stiff.

Absolutely incredibly, DMM seem to be moving away from them towards an external retainer, in the style of the petzl string, much easier to replace.

The really incredible bit is this though, I mentioned further up that part of the problem with black retainers is that the sling is out of sight and then shrouded so it's not immediately obvious, visually, if the sling has been misthreaded.

But what DMM seem to have done, in what appears to be incredibly serendipitous prescience is to use translucent rubber/plastic for the retainer, allowing a quick visual check that the sling is over the top of the biner.

If they sat down and realised the weakness and designed round it, or were acting on previously reported issues or dumb luck, it is a brilliant solution. I wonder if they have realised the significance yet.

I haven't seen these for sale yet (just announced 2 months ago) but it appears from this image that they are moving that way:

http://dmmclimbing.com/news/2013/05/dmm-solid-gate-quickdraws-overview-2013/
Michael Gordon - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to MikeTS)
> Karabiners have a relatively low gate open strength and the only sure way to eliminate that is via screw gates.

but what if they unscrew? I'd advise using 4 way locking karabiners

jimtitt - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to MikeTS:
> (In reply to Jack B)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> A product example? I checked at Cotswolds and couldn't see any QDs that looked like they had a long enough open loop to prevent all these terrible problems I now hear about. But maybe I was looking in the wrong place.

I dont think you quite understand, Ive NEVER seen a quickdraw sling where the top loop wasnt loose enough to allow free movement and rotating the karabiner and believe me Ive seen a lot of draws. The only one which wasnt made this way way the Mamba and they werent exactly a big success. The tightest top loop Ive seen was a Camp draw but even that was loose enough and made of incredibly floppy tape as well.
MikeTS - on 12 Jul 2013
> (In reply to MikeTS)
> [...]

> (In reply to MikeTS)
> [...]
>
> I dont think you quite understand, Ive NEVER seen a quickdraw sling where the top loop wasnt loose enough to allow free movement and rotating


Thanks, I misunderstood and stand corrected. The QDs I have (HB) are about 8cms from the sewing thread to the top biner and rotate just fine. I had imagined (obviously incorrectly) that to avoid all the problems that people have explained with tight/closed top loops that the open loops should be more 'trad-like', i.e. somewhat larger. So I was asking for a replacement product suggestion. Do you think 8 cm open loop is OK?
a lakeland climber on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MikeTS:

I've just seen this link - http://www.climbing.com/news/manslaughter-investigation-in-tito-traversa-death/ - from which:

"The prosecutor entered into the docket five people: the owner of the Italian company that produced the rubber "keepers" designed to keep carabiners from flipping out of position on quickdraws; the store that sold the quickdraws; the manager of the club that organized the trip during which Traversa was killed; and two instructors who were working with the group at the cliff in Orpierre, France. The newspaper also reported that the prosecutor is still investigating a relative of the girl who loaned the incorrectly assembled quickdraws to Traversa."

Seems quite a wide ranging list.

ALC
winhill - on 26 Aug 2013
pebbles - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: seems a bit bonkers. its a known potential hazard of a particular kind of equipment when used incorrectly, seems completely inappropriate to make it a matter for prosecution no matter how awful the outcome of the accident.
andrewmcleod - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to pebbles:

So if you hired a guide, they set up a direct belay incorrectly and you fell and broke a leg, you would be 'just an accident when the gear is used incorrectly' and be fine with that?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod: He's talking about the manufacturer dumbass.
simondgee - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=198785
'She' dumbass...
does your mother know you talk to strangers like that?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to simondgee: ... Sorry I didn't stalk someone before commenting. Do you think that in anyway changes what I said? Maybe andrew will be forgiven for misunderstanding a woman because women are bad at making statements? Is that what you're saying?
andrewmcleod - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to UKC News:

There is a big difference between charging people and finding them guilty (presumably even in the slightly bizarre Italian legal system). Any one of the ones charged could potentially have a responsibility for the accident, and we currently have considerably less than all the facts.

The manufacturer could have known about the potential risks but failed to provide adequate instructions or warnings indicating
The shop could have provided the quickdraws incorrectly set up (unlikely from the evidence so presumably this will be dismissed quickly). When I bought a short sling the other day, the shop were at pains to check I wasn't going to be falling onto it - more than required, but good practice.
The organizer of the trip would have a responsibility to ensure that kit is being checked; he would presumably derogate this responsibility to the guides actually working on the trip. The limits of this responsibility deserve investigation; for example, it could turn out they were not checking equipment as they should be and were allowing people to use equipment from other sources without check it.

So this does deserve investigation of all relevant individuals.

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