/ Racking krabs

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Firestarter on 25 May 2014
Ok so I learned a big lesson at the weekend - screw gates (only used them because they are old and wouldn't trust them for anything else) are fiddly in the extreme to get gear off when using them for racking. So what's the best bet?
Landy_Dom on 25 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

I use old straight gate snap link krabs. Old ones tend to have a wider rad at the hinge end which racks better.

Dom.
The Ex-Engineer - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter: For racking wires, it is definitely a matter of personal preference but popular choices include BD Ovalwires, DMM Spectre 2 and Petzl Spirits depending what type of krab you prefer; oval, wiregate or snapgate.

For racking anything else, the best bet is matching colour wiregates in your preferred size.

jezb1 - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

Spectre 2's for me.
MFB - on 25 May 2014
Firestarter on 25 May 2014
In reply to MFB:

They look the dees bees - thanks very much. Tatty screw gates destined for ab tat methinks.
jezb1 - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

I don't like ovals, I find it hard to tell at a glance which way up they are for opening the gate, but others love 'em.
DaveGoesClimbing - on 25 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

I made that mistake once, took me forever to get one nut :/ always use snap gates now, bent gates for the nuts which I'm likely to have to clip back on my loops. As I build my rack I'm going to be trying to colour code it wherever possible
timjones - on 25 May 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:



> For racking anything else, the best bet is matching colour wiregates in your preferred size.


That probably depends how your brain works. I just cannot equate sizes to a range of colours chosen by a random third party.
victim of mathematics - on 25 May 2014
In reply to jezb1:

> I don't like ovals, I find it hard to tell at a glance which way up they are for opening the gate, but others love 'em.

I genuinely do not understand this problem. Assuming you always clip them onto your gear loops the same way, then it's obvious how to unclip them from there. Then you only have to remember, when the krab is in your hand, which way you unclipped it a second earlier when you took it off your gear loop. It's so intuitively obvious that I never have to think about it.

1poundSOCKS - on 25 May 2014
In reply to victim of mathematics:

I don't like them, but for a different reason. I find them more difficult to handle one-handed than the DMM snap-gates I use now.
jezb1 - on 25 May 2014
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> I genuinely do not understand this problem. Assuming you always clip them onto your gear loops the same way, then it's obvious how to unclip them from there. Then you only have to remember, when the krab is in your hand, which way you unclipped it a second earlier when you took it off your gear loop. It's so intuitively obvious that I never have to think about it.

Just my opinion. More for when swapping over at belays etc.
In reply to jezb1:

+1- I don't like ovals for racking- i'm an 'outy' for racking as well!
Cameron94 on 26 May 2014
In reply to jezb1:

> I don't like ovals, I find it hard to tell at a glance which way up they are for opening the gate, but others love 'em.

I tape the top curve of my oval carabiners so I can tell when it's up or down.
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> I genuinely do not understand this problem. Assuming you always clip them onto your gear loops the same way, then it's obvious how to unclip them from there.

Krabs can get flipped round on your gear loops easily enough, or in extremis you might end up clipping your wires somewhere different from normal (such as when your normal side for krabs is half into a deep crack or similar). I've used mates' oval krabs for wires and hated them. I couldn't really see what the advantage was over the little keylock normal shaped ones I've had forever for my wires.
CMcBain - on 26 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I might be wrong but if you always rack biners in the same way (for me its gate facing out) then you should always know which way the gate opens. If it flips on your harness, the gate would change from facing outwards, to facing into you and hence you would still know which way the gate opens. Or as Cameron mentioned above just use your marking tape to help identify which way round the biner is.

I just use random wire gates with a hooked nose for racking wires, never really understood the need for specific racking biners. Although saying that I did recently drop a bunch of wires on a single pitch route (luckily) when they fell off a racking biner, but I reckon this would have been made worst by a 'clean nose' one - which would have made even more fall off.
GrahamD - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

Whatever works for you is the best one. I would say though that whatever you use, its better that you do trust it - always handy to have spare gear you are willing to abseil from in emergency
victim of mathematics - on 26 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

If you always clip them to your gear loops the same way (gate in or out) then it doesn't matter if they rotate round or if they're on a different gear loop. They open the same way. I literally do not understand how it's not totally obvious (and that's without even pointing out that it's really very easy to see which way they open by looking at them).
Firestarter on 26 May 2014
In reply to GrahamD:

I would trust my tatty screwgates to ab out if I needed to, was trying to have a 'double use' for stuff on my harness. From now on I'll still carry a couple for that purpose, just won't be racking with them any more.

Cheers for advice all.
Merlin - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

BD Hotwires. Light with a wide bottom so wires don't bunch.
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to victim of mathematics:
But you don't always clip them the same way round - like I said, sometime you just desperately stuff them back on a gear loop - any gear loop - ASAP so you can clip the rope or grab a hold before you fall off. Or if the krab flips on your harness and you go to grab it without really thinking much you can pull the gate open and stuff can fall off. And of course you can look, although old school plain gate ovals were hopeless even in that respect - it was hard even to see which end was which. With normal shaped krabs just the shape of it in your hand tells you whether it has flipped or not.

But anyway, that's by the by - what are the advantages of buying ovals specially? I always took it to be a hangover when books from 80s and 70s told us all we needed oval krabs for racking pitons on.

Post edited at 13:02
David Coley - on 26 May 2014
In reply to jezb1:

> I don't like ovals, I find it hard to tell at a glance which way up they are for opening the gate, but others love 'em.

The solution is that ovals carrying wires should have a couple winds of insulating tape at the top. This tape should be the same colour as the insulating tape on the wires. So small, medium and large wires have different colour tape on them and go on ovals with matching tape.

This mean that a) you know which way the top of the oval is, and b) your mate can rack the wire
victim of mathematics - on 26 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> But you don't always clip them the same way round - like I said, sometime you just desperately stuff them back on a gear loop - any gear loop - ASAP so you can clip the rope or grab a hold before you fall off.

I'm not renowned for my dexterity, but I always manage to clip krabs onto my gear loops the same way round. Whatever hand I'm doing it with and irrespective of whether I'm in extremis or not, or reaching round to clip it to the 'wrong' side for whatever reason, I always use the same clipping action.

Or if the krab flips on your harness and you go to grab it without really thinking much you can pull the gate open and stuff can fall off.

I can't recall this ever happening either. Even if you're not looking, you can feel which side the gate's on before you close your hand to open the gate. Unless you just reach down and start clawing aimlessly at krabs in the hope that the right piece of gear magically appears in your hand?

I'm not trying to have a go here, it's just such a non-issue to me that I cannot understand why anybody else has a problem with it.

And of course you can look, although old school plain gate ovals were hopeless even in that respect - it was hard even to see which end was which.

That's fair enough. Old school solid gate ones were much harder to spot. I use wire gate ovals to rack all my nuts on, which are trival to look at and see which way the gate opens.

> But anyway, that's by the by - what are the advantages of buying ovals specially? I always took it to be a hangover when books from 80s and 70s told us all we needed oval krabs for racking pitons on.

The nuts don't all bunch up so much at the bottom of the krab, making it much easier (in my experience) to pick out the right wire rather. As an added bonus this also makes it less likely you'll throw a load of wires down the crag when you accidentally grab the wrong one and take a bunch of others off with it.

In reply to victim of mathematics:
I've just dropped nuts off oval krabs and seen others do the same - while never having the problems with getting wires of normal krabs (and I generally have about 10 or 11 nuts on each racking krab. I suppose I normally end up with wire I want in my mouth, so what's happening down at the krab end isn't much of an issue! Thinking about it I guess I never take the wire off the krab until it is seated in the placement.

> Unless you just reach down and start clawing aimlessly at krabs in the hope that the right piece of gear magically appears in your hand?

It has been known to happen yes! :) Normally routes like this http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=44903 where you end up committed and arm deep to a jam and then need to get a bit of gear from right side with your free left hand. Much literally aimless clawing follows along with shouts up from the belay like "no, not that one! no thats your belay plate, no, next one! NEXT ONE!" ;)
Post edited at 20:32
victim of mathematics - on 26 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> It has been known to happen yes! :) Normally routes like this http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=44903 where you end up committed and arm deep to a jam and then need to get a bit of gear from right side with your free left hand. Much literally aimless clawing follows along with shouts up from the belay like "no, not that one! no thats your belay plate, no, next one! NEXT ONE!" ;)

Ah, now as a connoisseur of horrible offwidths myself, your mistake there is not forseeing that problem. I frequently rack up so that the 'outside the crack' gear is on one side of my harness and the 'inside the crack' gear on t'other. Of course that falls down when I end up facing the other way than I'd anticipated...
bigbobbyking - on 26 May 2014
In reply to Firestarter:

In response to the 'you always clip krabs to your harness the same way round' debate... For me the problem is not so much when on the harness, but when I chose the wire I want, put it in the crack and then give the other bunch of wires a tug to seat the nut. At the end of this procedure it's not obvious how many times the krab has flicked around. So I'm another vote in the 'not an oval for racking' camp.
victim of mathematics - on 26 May 2014
In reply to bigbobbyking:

> In response to the 'you always clip krabs to your harness the same way round' debate... For me the problem is not so much when on the harness, but when I chose the wire I want, put it in the crack and then give the other bunch of wires a tug to seat the nut. At the end of this procedure it's not obvious how many times the krab has flicked around. So I'm another vote in the 'not an oval for racking' camp.

Hmm. So you have one wire in a placement and the rest of the wires on the krab in your hand. Ignoring the fact that the krab is pretty unlikely to rotate while you're doing this unless you're doing some pretty violent multi-directional yanking (hey, maybe that's your thing), and that you can probably tell which way the gate opens just by looking, if you press your thumb to the gate in this position, all of the wires are captive, so none will fall out whichever way it opens. Then you know - problem solved.

Maybe I'm some kind of wizard, but I don't think I've ever had the krab rotate in this situation. It always ends up the same way up as I started (with the gate opening at the top).

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