/ Back to back screwgates?

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esoteric on 03 Feb 2014
Anyone have any thoughts or links to info on using two screwgate carabiners back to back to attach a climber into a top rope system at an indoor climbing wall?

Any info on this as a taught technique, SPA, MIA etc.?
Any info on carabiners failing at indoor climbing walls in the UK?
Any info on this actually causing carabiners to undo?

Most harness manufacturers would advocate tying in.

Any info or thoughts would be great.
Choss on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

Single screwgate is fine for Clipping into an 8 on the bight, but most walls Frown upon it Apparently. Perfectly adequate for top roping.
crayefish - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

For winter climbing I use a pair of opposed oval screwgates to tie into my harness as I removed the belay loop (the two screwgates effectively replacing the belay loop). I have not had any issues with them unscrewing to be honest and every time the I do anything with the rope I re-check. No idea about whether walls would consider it ok though.
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

These look like an interesting alternative. Don't know if anyone come across these yet?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkraPv-I_Bk
Choss on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to Sebastian Fontleroy:

They seem a bit faffy to me. I think BD Magnetrons are the dogs knackers when it comes to locking krabs at Present.
jimtitt - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

It is the only way you are allowed to connect to the toprope for speed climbing comps:-
"The climbing rope shall be connected to the competitor’s harness by two Screwgate or Self-Locking Karabiners arranged in opposition (i.e. with the gates in opposition) and the climbing rope must also be attached to the Karabiners using a “figure of eight” knot, secured with a “stopper” knot or tape."
climber david - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

I've heard of folk using BD gridlocks or DMM belaymasters as this prevents them cross loading. Possibly worth looking at?

David
crayefish - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to climber david:

A pair of ovals cross loaded would give you 24kN but are less likely to suffer from an accidental gate opening.
Ban1 - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

you should search 'quickdraw to quickdraw' topic as a lot of views on this earlier
ow arm - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

i asked this to the guy at climbing wall in wrexham, he couldnt give me an answer just said he wouldnt allow it at their wall!
AdrianC - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Now why do you do that, if you don't mind me asking?
highclimber - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to ow arm:

> i asked this to the guy at climbing wall in wrexham, he couldnt give me an answer just said he wouldnt allow it at their wall!

Anyone who tells you not to do something without giving an explanation why should be ignored until they provide one.

in reply to the OP. I think it's more of a belts and braces approach to use two opposed Screwgates to attach a climber and actually doesn't really save much time unclipping and reclipping clients, especially if they are new to the activity. I personally will use just one double-action auto locking crab for most groups (depending on the ability) but there's nothing unsafe about using a regular screwgate for this purpose, it's just less safe than an auto-locking one or two opposed ones.
crayefish - on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to AdrianC:

A few small reasons. Means I can fully drop the bottom of the harness out to go to the loo while staying tied in (if need be), put waterproofs on while being tied in, more to tie into the middle of a rope and general compactness. But also just because I like it :)
andy_e on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:
I would have to disagree, it can be safe enough most of the time, although it is important to make sure the loop of the figure eight knot is kept very small. This prevents the rope loop from sitting over the gate if the karabiner rotates.

A better option is to attach the karabiner to the rope using a round turn and scaffold (barrel / double fisherman's (all the same thing but different names)) knot. This holds the karabiner in place and prevents cross loading.

For what it's worth, there has been a few very serious accidents due to tieing with this method, one case causing a young girl to be paralysed.

A search of the site will pull up this discussion a few times over, one has some good links to the issues I mentioned.

Edit: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=529245&v=1#x7117030

The knot I mentioned can be seen on the second page of my second link of my first post on the other thread. It is next to the alpine butterfly.
Post edited at 21:36
Choss on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to andy_e:

But theres nothing wrong with Tying in that way, just people getting it wrong?
andy_e on 03 Feb 2014
In reply to Choss:
I suppose it's safe enough, but personally, the extra few seconds to tie in, or add a second screw gate is worth it for me.

Out of interest, would you lead whilst attached by a single screwgate?
Post edited at 21:47
andrewmcleod - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

DMM advertise that the Belay Master cannot have its plastic clip closed unless the screwgate is done up, but it has only just occurred to me that once closed it cannot have its screwgate opened either, which is presumably reassuring whenever leaving the carabiner unattended (either at the top of a bottom rope system outside, or for clipping in a climber).
Enty - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

Why would you stick two bulky screwgates into the systyem when a single Fig of 8 knott will do?
I'm all for less clutter and that's the way little Ent was tied on last night.

E
HeMa on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to Enty:

> Why would you stick two bulky screwgates into the system when a single Fig of 8 knott will do?

Speed? Using a proper triple-action locker (or two opposed lockers) is quite common for adventure companies offering toprope climbing (or rappeling + toproping). Quite a bit faster than having to tie people in all the time.

Of course the fig 8 knot is a lot better option, when people know how to do it them selves (less clutter).
Jamie B - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> For winter climbing I use a pair of opposed oval screwgates to tie into my harness as I removed the belay loop (the two screwgates effectively replacing the belay loop).

Struggling to understand why you would do that. What do you use to abseil with?

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Neil Williams - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to HeMa:

Our take on it at our Scout wall is that a Fig 8 with stopper direct into the harness is:-

Safer, because...
- It won't cross-load (though as some have said I've seen walls use Belay Masters to avoid this)
- The climber won't either accidentally or because of fiddling with things become disconnected from the rope (we'd notice someone untying a Fig 8 before it became an issue)

Otherwise better, because...
- We can teach people how to tie in themselves (they do learn very quickly in my experience) so they know if they climb again
- It's the same as you'd expect to do at a wall

The only disadvantage is it taking a bit longer[1]. But in practice the amount of time required is fairly low. Though that time does have a disadvantage - despite drilling it into climbers that they must not climb until I say so, I have on one or two occasions had someone get a couple of feet up while my back was turned tying a knot.

As for leading on a krab, I wouldn't on a "loose" krab because the loose rope would mean a higher chance of cross-loading. On pure safety grounds I would on a Belay Master, but equally it'd get in the way so I can't see why I would want to.

Neil
crayefish - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to Jamie B:

Mentioned why above. Why do you think it would affect an ab though? I'd never ab straight off a belay loop as it's just not that safe... the kliemheist off the leg loop can release if it hits the belay plate.
highclimber - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> Mentioned why above. Why do you think it would affect an ab though? I'd never ab straight off a belay loop as it's just not that safe...
The belay loop is the strongest part of any harness.

> the kliemheist off the leg loop can release if it hits the belay plate.
If you extend you abseil device, they won't happen.
Neil Williams - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

"I'd never ab straight off a belay loop as it's just not that safe... the kliemheist off the leg loop can release if it hits the belay plate."

Can, but usually won't, depending on the length of the prussik. Plenty of people do it :)

The other danger on ziplock harnesses is that it releases the leg loop - but has that ever actually happened to anyone?

Neil
crayefish - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to highclimber:
> The belay loop is the strongest part of any harness.

> If you extend you abseil device, they won't happen.

You just answered your own question :) yes the belay loop is strong... the two screw gates replicate that but I said it wasn't safe because of the risk of it releasing the prussik, not due to strength. I ab off a sling just as you described.

Edit: sorry... you weren't the original question asker! But basically I'm saying to Jamie that the belay plate is on my ab sling, not through the pair of lockers which is what I assume you were getting at?
Post edited at 09:13
climbwhenready - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> DMM advertise that the Belay Master cannot have its plastic clip closed unless the screwgate is done up, but it has only just occurred to me that once closed it cannot have its screwgate opened either, which is presumably reassuring whenever leaving the carabiner unattended (either at the top of a bottom rope system outside, or for clipping in a climber).

The second time I ever belayed, the person showing me how pointed out that the brake rope was running over the krab gate and had undone it. Shoddy belay technique, probably, but when I got my first HMS krab, I got a Belay Master for that reason :-)
duchessofmalfi - on 04 Feb 2014
Surely the biggest risk factor when using a screwgate or gates is human error (more than equipment failure).

Making the use of two screwgates back to back probably doesn't significantly reduce the risk of equipment failure but probably reduces the risk of human failure leading to overall failure.

Anyone aware of the rationale in regulations or a study showing the risks?
Neil Williams - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to climbwhenready:
Yeah, I'm a big fan of the Belay Master. Less so of the Black Diamond one, though - there seems too much scope to catch things on the sharpish edge of the extra bit of the gate and either damage them or (if you clip both the rope and the harness the wrong side - think about it) potentially cause a failure of the krab.

Neil
Post edited at 11:10
David Coley - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

Assuming you want to use carabiners rather than tying in to increase speed, an alternative it to get both the belayer and the climber to tie in at the same time. I find this saves a lot of time when they swap roles.
Neil Williams - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to David Coley:

True, though if doing a group session you might well be "bell ringing", and that approach would be less good for that.

Neil
Jamie B - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

It still sounds absurd. What do you belay off?
jamestheyip - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

UIAA has published an article on this topic. Might answer some of your questions.

http://theuiaa.org/upload_area/files/1/Attaching_to_rope_by_karabiner.pdf
Jackspratt - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

fig 8 on the bight with stopper and a loop just small enough to get your belay master krab in is what we use where i work and have used for donkeys years and have never had an issue the manufacturers frown on it because of fall factors and the forces involved with loading a krab in belay loop on a fall but the rope should never be slack enough for it to be an issue to be perfectly frank.

you definitely do not need two screw gates though that's overkill
crayefish - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Jamie B:

> It still sounds absurd. What do you belay off?

Each to their own :) I find it works very well for me... no less faff than having the belay loop I find but with the added benefit of the things I described which I consider important enough to warrant it for me. But I totally get that its not for everyone; same as the old Alpine Bod harness I would guess. It also has the advantage of when being tied into the rope, you can escape the system which I consider very important (obviously it's necessary for glacier travel).

I belay off just one of the krabs (usually the right hand one which is red and has the gate facing outwards) and have no issues with the belay plate being slightly closer to the harness. If there is any danger of clothing catching (not had a problem with any of my layers) then I could always extend with a shortened sling but I have never needed to yet.
jon on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> It also has the advantage of when being tied into the rope, you can escape the system which I consider very important (obviously it's necessary for glacier travel).

Weird what some find important.
crayefish - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to jon:

If a roped partner falls and is knocked out, then to rescue them it is easier if you have the option to escape the system with less faff. But for the advantages I find it has, I don't see any disadvantages (save for being 50g heavier).
deepsoup - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:
> Yeah, I'm a big fan of the Belay Master.

They seem an odd choice as a karabiner specifically for attaching beginners to a top-rope though.

I'd have thought it'd make more sense to use a proper captive-eye karabiner, the kind of thing that comes fitted to an autobelay, eg:
http://dmmprofessional.com/products/captive-eye-locksafe-a917/
jezb1 - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Just out of interest, What's your method for escaping the system when the unconscious climber is hanging?
jon on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

I meant in the sense of basing your choice on something which in nearly fifty years of climbing I've never had to use once. I can't remember, did you say that you'd cut the loop off? If you have then I'd guess the warranty is null and void. There's also the possibility that in a big fall those krabs are going to do some damage to your ribs. I always thought that the Bod was a strange design, especially for an alpine harness. I've had a couple of clients show up with them and believe me, they're a real pain (the harnesses, not the clients... well sometimes them as well!)
crayefish - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to jezb1:
Set up anchor, prussik (or two if you want a backup) rope to anchor, load prussik slowly, then unclip and reclip fig of 8 into anchor. Then you can go about doing what you need to get to them using the rest of the rope on your end.

In reply to jon:

Yeah I cut the belay loop off. I am not too worried about warranties personally; I haven't own a harness I haven't modified to be honest, even if just adding extra gear loops which would also invalidate it. Yeah I know many people really don't like the alpine bod concept. I totally understand that... for me it's just a matter of preference. I have used both systems (the other being the standard) and I prefer the one I currently use given my style of climbing.
Post edited at 13:28
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galpinos - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:
> I prefer the one I currently use given my style of climbing.

What's your "style of climbing" if you don't mind me asking? I've a wild country "something" that I use for most things (trad/sport/winter) and a BD Couloir that I use ski touring and I imagine easy alpine (if i ever get to the alps again). I can see I might want an extra loop or two on the couloir if I was using it for harder stuff but can't imagine I'd ever prefer two screwgates to a belay loop! Each to their own I guess.
crayefish - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to galpinos:

Hard to describe a style :) but I do like 'options' and the double screw gates give me more. But my favourite thing is the ease of trouser removal/addition while remaining tied in.

Yeah the couloir does suffer from a lack of loops... especially as the two are just fabric which are a f*cker to use.
ianstevens - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

Single screwgate is all that's necessary, anything else is overkill.

Pros:
-Easy
-Safe

Cons:
-None, unless used incorrectly
-Doesn't teach people how to tie in

To avoid me typing hundreds of pointless replies:
-If it crossloads (which it shouldn't if the rope is tight enough, assuming this is for a novice there should me minimal slack) a carabiner is still rated to around 8kN. Even the fatest of fat bastards will only put about 2.5kN (i.e. 250kg) of force on it when hung staticly. They shouldn't be falling dynamically (at least not of any notable distance) its a top rope for a novice.

-No, it won't come undone in a realistic climbing situation. Take a fig-8 on a bite and try and use it to undo and subsequently unclip from a screwgate. You won't be able to get it undone.

Personally, I'd much rather have people tie in. Not from a safety point of view, more as this will actually aid their progression as a climber; its an important skill, may as well learn it from the start.
maria85 - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to jon:

I use a Bod purely because there is no other lightweight and very packable harness on the market that has a rise anywhere near long enough to suit my body shape. I've modified it with a 7mm cord 'belay loop', mainly to stop the leg loops dropping and getting in the way when I'm not tied in. I abseil with my biner clipped through both the waist loop and the 'belay loop', which is safe enough in my books.

Given the choice, I would have something more like the Couloir, but there is simply nothing out there that fits.

So... not always any real option!
AdrianC - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to maria85: You're not that funny a shape! But I hope you're waterproof for this weekend.

jonnie3430 - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> same as the old Alpine Bod harness I would guess.

I have an Alpine bod for winter, but have been using my arcteryx instead after several uncomfortable hanging belays (I have promised that I will never use it again....!!!) and because it is missing a belay loop, which is a pain in the butt-ocks for abseiling. The arcteryx is also lighter, if I wanted a tape harness I'd go for something like the Blue Ice one my GF was given for an exped. http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Rock-Climbing-Equipment/Harnesses/Alpine-Harnesses/Choucas-Har...
Hannes on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to esoteric:

if it for something like a top rope a twist lock is going to be safer as it won't get undone whereas a screwlock may unscrew itself with the right kind of rubbing. Add a normal krab for backup if you want
maria85 - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to AdrianC:

Well, I'm not square or anything...!

Fully waterproofed up, though debating putting lead weights in boots to not be blown away. You coming?
bpmclimb - on 06 Feb 2014
In reply to all:
Regarding what wall staff (or instructors at a crag for that matter) will or won't allow: it's about more than assessing the security of a given method; it's also about being able to do quick, reliable visual checks. In practice, where lots of climbers are involved, having simple rules that everyone has to follow enhances overall safety.

Personally, if I were running a session at which I'd asked everyone in the group to tie in, and one client said they preferred 2 screwgates, I'd politely explain why not - but the bottom line would be that they either tied in or didn't climb.
Post edited at 14:31

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