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Quickdraw Gate Directions

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 firatgokalp 16 Oct 2020

Hi all, 

I could not find any satisfying answer about the quickdraw gate directions on sport climbing. Is it relevant to the route's direction, or your current position relative to the bolt?

For example, you are passing through the left side of a bolt, and the next bolt is on the right. (I mean, the route is traversing right) The quickdraw which you clip the bolt near you, should be facing left, or right? 

Thank you.

PS: Let's say, quickdraw's carabiners are facing the same direction.

Post edited at 15:26
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 nikoid 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

You should clip the bolt such that the bottom krab of the quick draw has the gate on the left. This minimises the risk of the rope opening the gate in the event of a fall. Good practice but you frequently see people not doing this. 

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 Big Lee 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

Depends on your clipping technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kvbx1ccMb4&

Summarised at around 6 minutes in. 

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 firatgokalp 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Carless:

Thank you, but those are not answering my question. The tutorial says "quickdraws are facing the opposite side of the climber's travel direction"

But, at one point I'm traveling on the left side of a bolt. If I fall at that point, the rope pulls the quickdraw to the left.

So, I'm clipping that quickdraw facing left because of the next bolt, but some people say that "You are passing the left side of the bolt, you should clip this facing right!" That's why I'm asking for

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 firatgokalp 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Big Lee:

I saw the video last week, and this is another discussion topic. Petzl says "The carabiner gate must always face away from the climber's direction of travel.", but Adam Ondra thinks that "facing of the carabiners isn't relevant to the direction of the travel."

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 petegunn 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

I always try and have the rope rub against the spine of the carabiner rather than the gate in the advent of a fall, if traversing it should be quite obvious to see if the rope is on the gate (re-clip it facing the opposite direction) or spine side.

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 Oceanrower 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

In my personal opinion, whichever way is easier to clip.

Why worry about something that is NEVER goung to happen?

Post edited at 15:54
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 John Kelly 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

Flip the biner, hinge at the bottom.

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 nikoid 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

> But, at one point I'm traveling on the left side of a bolt. If I fall at that point, the rope pulls the quickdraw to the left.

I don't see how this is relevant.

> So, I'm clipping that quickdraw facing left because of the next bolt, but some people say that "You are passing the left side of the bolt, you should clip this facing right!" That's why I'm asking for

I think "some people" are correct.

Post edited at 17:15
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 wbo2 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp: the Ondra video , focusing on ease of clipping,  makes sense and is easy to understand as opposed to a bunch of ad hoc rules which aren't obvious to  decide away from the comfort of an armchair 

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 McHeath 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

Look at the direction the rope will take after you climb away from the quickdraw you're about to clip; the gate should always face in the opposite direction. 

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In reply to Oceanrower:

> Why worry about something that is NEVER goung to happen?

Except that it has happened - John Redhead, FA of Demons of Bosch (I think it was). He probably just had two krabs though. But came unclipped from the only thing that was going to stop him, facing the crux and a deathfall as the penalty for failure - or a hold snapping. 

I'm sure I've heard of it happening to others (using conventional quickdraws) but certainly can't quote cases. I see poor to horrific ropework regularly. Sport climbing was supposed to be safe (and I spend forever trying to create routes which are as safe as possible.) Why allow careless technique to put a bullet in the chamber?

Mick

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In reply to McHeath:

Totally agree.

Mick

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 Enty 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

I've seen it happen.

E

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 Al Randall 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

I always carried one of those Edelrid locking krabs, I think they are called "slidelock" for those circumstances where I am moving left but the next bolt is up to the right or alternatively I was simply unsure.  I have to say I didn't use it all that much. Always endeavour to make sure the rope is in the direction of travel but I would not get too hung up about it if you get it wrong now and again.

Al

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 tehmarks 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

I've had a rope unclip itself from a quickraw as I've slumped onto a bolt before. Thankfully, as I'm the scarediest of scaredy cats, I also had a hand on the sling. Good job, really, as it was at La Joux and I reckon I'd have been close to troubling the ground otherwise. I also saw just the other week a gentleman at Froggatt take a slump on to gear only for his top piece to unclip itself.

It might be a rare occurrence, but it's pretty spooky when it happens and you only experience it once before you decide it may be better to stack the odds in your favour where and when you can.

Post edited at 18:39
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 Darron 16 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

Whilst agreeing with back of Krab facing direction of travel as upthread I think the most important thing is to ensure when you clip the rope comes from rock side to the outside.

I recommend having a play around in the comfort of your kitchen to understand the principle.

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 Mark Stevenson 17 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

> I could not find any satisfying answer about the quickdraw gate directions on sport climbing.

You won't, it's complicated...

What many people think (and often teach) doesn't always make as much sense in practice. The issues involved also vary depending on the style and angle of climbing you're doing (i.e. Ondra's advice probably isn't that relevant for people climbing easy, multi-pitch slabs). It is also complicated by slightly unhelpful marketing and advice from some gear manufacturers and retailers. 

Best thing I've seen on the subject is this video by Trevor Messiah who's probably got more experience teaching sport climbing than almost anyone else -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R4sHmJlwyw&

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 Martin Hore 17 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

> Thank you, but those are not answering my question. The tutorial says "quickdraws are facing the opposite side of the climber's travel direction"

> But, at one point I'm traveling on the left side of a bolt. If I fall at that point, the rope pulls the quickdraw to the left.

> So, I'm clipping that quickdraw facing left because of the next bolt, but some people say that "You are passing the left side of the bolt, you should clip this facing right!" That's why I'm asking for

Use a screwgate?

Martin

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 LeeWood 18 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

I agree with the general response to this query - orientation for ease of clip is what most often makes best sense ie. staright line

However, someone showed me an issue with no-symmetric bolt hangers, in which crabs clipped wrongly could open if incorrectly clipped - and I have witnessed this happen in real life. This gives a different rule - non-symmetric bolt hangers should always be clipped from L to R, regardless of any other logistic.

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 teddy 18 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

Interesting topic. I, like many, will have seen Ondra's stance in his recent video on not being concerned about which way the gate is facing. After years spent worrying about this, is it now time to realise that it doesn't really matter that much, at least in a sport climbing context?

I see Petzl's advice is "The carabiner gate must always face away from the climber's direction of travel." Is this backed up by any empirical testing or is it just opinion?

Surely the main thing is that you have a good quality, new quickdraw on the bolt with the crabs both well seated in relation to the sling and bolt and without any sharp edges on the rope end? If a climber like Ondra is not concerned by the gate direction then I am inclined to side with him (in a sport climbing setting at least.)

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In reply to firatgokalp:

Most of the time I don’t think about which direction the carabiner faces, I’m more worried about just clipping before I fall off.

In general I have always thought that when climbing a route that goes straight up it is best to alternate direction of the quick draws, but I don’t think it is that important. If a route goes diagonally at any point then carabiner facing opposite to direction of travel is best. It is worth having some slightly longer quick draws for where a route changes direction or where the carabiner goes over a lip. Most importantly, make sure you take enough quick draws with you!, (ideally carry an extra one in case you drop one).

If you’re anything like me, then remembering to set off with any quick draws is a good start.

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 springfall2008 20 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

If it's a really critical clip make sure it's extended on a flexible sling so that the crab won't impact the rock during a fall, or use a screwgate, or two quickdraws back to back.

For most other cases it's unlikely to matter.

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 Webster 20 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

> Thank you, but those are not answering my question. The tutorial says "quickdraws are facing the opposite side of the climber's travel direction"

> But, at one point I'm traveling on the left side of a bolt. If I fall at that point, the rope pulls the quickdraw to the left.

> So, I'm clipping that quickdraw facing left because of the next bolt, but some people say that "You are passing the left side of the bolt, you should clip this facing right!" That's why I'm asking for

What matters is where you are relative to the quickdraw once above it, while below or level with the clip, there is no way that the rope is going to force the gate open in the event of a fall. so it requires a little bit of thought as to where you will be in a few meters time, not where you are at the moment of clipping. but its not the be all and end all, i only learned about that about a year ago, having been climbing quite happily on randomly orientated draws for around 20 years!

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 Fakey Rocks 20 Oct 2020
In reply to firatgokalp:

If its onsight and you don't know where the harder moves are I try face the gates away from where I'm climbing. If it's a bit weavy as you describe with climbing on the left side moving over to the right b4 the next clip, I'd have it facing away from most of the climbing, so that might be facing to the left in your scenario if there is more of the climbing to come moving right.

Sometimes I've climbed stuff onsight, but on someone else's quick draws, and decided I want to switch which way one or two of those draws face, before moving on, (if it's a good not too taxing clip position) only to then find the draws bottom carabiner gate is now vulnerable because I didn't realise the cruxy bit of climbing, where you are most likely to fall, is actually over to the vulnerable side of the switched clip. 

If you are projecting stuff it's easy to set everything just right. 

​​​​​​It could be said to be more of an issue if you are climbing on the gate side of your clip, and neither of you haven't noticed that you back clipped, as it is then much more likely to unclip if you fall. 

I once suggested that someone at the first bolt reset the draw to face the other way and they fell off whilst doing so almost kneecapping themselves quickly followed by almost chincapping themselves and falling into me. 

There's another thread recently discussing which way to clip petzl / fixe type hangers as the top carabiner can lift and get in a strange orientation that might easily  crossload and break a carabiner. 

Post edited at 21:07
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