/ Screw gates on lower offs.

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tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
What is the purpose of screw gates at the top of wall routes that are equipped to be lead? Seems unnecessary and causes a struggle to clip when found done up. Plenty of lower offs don't have, why not the rest?
dunnyg - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

So you can set up a top rope in the screw gate. Top roping off a single snap gate is frowned upon by climbing wall insurers probably.
Luke90 on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

I imagine that the most likely reason is that some are sometimes used for top ropes and some aren't. Or perhaps different lower-offs have been replaced at different times with different people in charge or the person in charge changed their mind about what they wanted.

Could be many other reasons though. Perhaps if you specify the venue, someone might know specifically.
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to Luke90:

I suspect you and dunnyg are right, but interestingly I don't see anything saying to only top rope off the screw gates. I see some logic, but can't see how a rope will unclip from the none screw gate versions and wonder if they cause more problems than they potentially solve.
Wanderlust - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

> I suspect you and dunnyg are right, but interestingly I don't see anything saying to only top rope off the screw gates. I see some logic, but can't see how a rope will unclip from the none screw gate versions and wonder if they cause more problems than they potentially solve.

The wall I go to tends to have one screwgate and one snapgate, which seems like a good solution to the problem you allude to.

Have seen plenty of double screwgate setups elsewhere, mind
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderlust:

> The wall I go to tends to have one screwgate and one snapgate, which seems like a good solution to the problem you allude to.

> Have seen plenty of double screwgate setups elsewhere, mind

Out of interest, is there anything written to suggest people should use the screw gate for top roping? I have never seen such a notice, which suggests to me that the screw gate isn't really required?
HeMa on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

> Out of interest, is there anything written to suggest people should use the screw gate for top roping?

Yes. A lot is written, and generally they recommend 2 locking biners with gates pointing opposite directions.
Greasy Prusiks on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Surely no one's going to want to top rope off a single snap gate though, unless I've misunderstood?
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Never seen this set up at a wall or read anything at a wall suggesting this.
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

We lower off a single snap gate regularly, so why not?
HeMa on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Because you're not (hopefully) take money from people to abseil like that. Business vs personal and all that.

BTW Most of the toprope anchors where I live use maillons for topropes. Opposing double snaplinks are for leading (and you're supposed to clip both).
GridNorth - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Because you are also clipped into all the QD's below so not reliant on just that one.

Al
Greasy Prusiks on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

That's different though because the quickdraws below the lower off act as back ups. Relying on a single snap gate isn't a good idea.
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to GridNorth:

By the time you have unclipped from a couple of bolts you would hit the floor on many routes if the rope unclipped, but how can a weighted rope unclip? I don't think it needs a screw gate. Does anyone know of any actual incidents in which top roping, or lowering from a none screw gate style lower off has come unclipped?
Greasy Prusiks on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Yes I have seen someone have a very nasty accident after a snap gate came unclipped on an abseil.
john arran - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

I know there have been cases. By their nature they cannot be explained with certainty as the gear is left undamaged afterwards, but my guess is that kinks in the rope may have contributed to a second strand of rope clipping into the krab, leaving a loop that then can simply slide out. In any case, the chance of that happening while lowering on a weighted rope must be many times smaller than on an unweighted top-rope.
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

In which case why aren't all lower offs at walls screw gates?
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

I wonder if this was the crab clipped into the bolt twisting and unclipping, rather than the weighted rope coming out of the crab?
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to john arran:

If this does happen, then I am surprised that many wall lower offs either give the choice of screw gate or snap link, and sometimes, both outdoor and in, just a snap link.
Greasy Prusiks on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

I can't remember whether the rope unclipped or the anchor.

Lowering off a single snap gate doesn't pose the same risk because it is backed up by the lower quickdraws. Personally I would consider it bad practice to end up relying on a single snap gate so I wouldn't top rope off one or unclip the quickdraws as I lowered off.
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:




Personally I would consider it bad practice to end up relying on a single snap gate so I wouldn't top rope off one or unclip the quickdraws as I lowered off.

So how do you recover your quickdraws when lowering off those sports climbs equipped with a single clip lower off?
Greasy Prusiks on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:
I'd rethread the anchor or failing that leave an old screw gate. Obviously it's a personal choice but I just wanted to make sure you're aware that snap gates can unclip.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/how-to-lower-off-from-a-sport-climb
Post edited at 22:04
jezb1 - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

As people have said already...

The screw gate is for top roping, the snapper for lowering off after leading and clipping all the 'draws on the way up.

Not much more to it than that.
tmawer - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to jezb1:

The implication is that it's unsafe to top rope off the none screw gate, if this is so why do walls have them, and similarly, many routes outdoors? This logic would seem to suggest locking crabs should be used.... Which would be a real pain. I think people screw the gates up unnecessarily causing a nuisance to the next user and for no significant increase in safety.
jezb1 - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:
When do you top rope off one snapper outdoors? You shouldn't ever top rope off fixed gear regardless of what it is.
Post edited at 22:31
John Stainforth - on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:
You've not heard of Murphy's Law?
Greasy Prusiks on 29 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:
> The implication is that it's unsafe to top rope off the none screw gate,

Exactly.

>if this is so why do walls have them, and similarly, many routes outdoors?

For people who are only lowering off and leaving the draws clipped.

>This logic would seem to suggest locking crabs should be used.... Which would be a real pain.

It would be a pain. The snap gate is there to give a quick clip and for people who are not going to top rope the route or unclip the draws.

>I think people screw the gates up unnecessarily causing a nuisance to the next user and for no significant increase in safety.

The screw gates are done up by people who are top roping the route after the initial lead. They finish top roping and pull the rope so the locker is always done up when people get up to it. Hope that helps.

EDIT : sorry about the dodgy formatting
Post edited at 22:37
Steve Perry - on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to dunnyg:

> So you can set up a top rope in the screw gate. Top roping off a single snap gate is frowned upon by climbing wall insurers probably.

Yes I think you're right. I heard off a climbing wall employee they were told that a worse case scenario is somebody toproping on a snap gate, grabbing the chain above it or even the top of the wall so their waist/knot goes above the clip, then sitting back quickly and the rope coming back over the gate and snapping back through to completely come out. A long shot but can happen. Certainly got me using the screwgate for top roping.
tmawer - on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to jezb1:
> You shouldn't ever top rope off fixed gear regardless of what it is.

Yes, but not just for the reasons we are discussing.
Post edited at 07:03
tmawer - on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> I'd rethread the anchor or failing that leave an old screw gate. Obviously it's a personal choice but I just wanted to make sure you're aware that snap gates can unclip.


This would be significantly more dangerous than just lowering off the lower off.
jezb1 - on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

I know....

Makes it a moot point though.
Greasy Prusiks on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

We might have to disagree there. Whilst rethreading a lower off you are always made safe by either a cows tail and a screw gate or the rope through the lower off. If you lower off on one snapper and clean the draws as you lower off you end up in a situation where a single snap gate failing will see you taking a potential ground fall.

Anyway I'm off climbing, have a good weekend.
HeMa on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

> This would be significantly more dangerous than just lowering off the lower off.


Yes, if everything is peachy...

But if soime a-hole has toproped from said anchor enough, and wore the biner enough... well, threading through is a lot safer...

The gubberment used to subsidise/pay for the bolts and anchors where I live (provided the one who installed the m had "proper" training) and previously the top anchors were always of the fixe glue in with fixed snapper type. But again some a-holes have used the biners as their toprope anchor (hopefully though, with a locking backup). So now all new anchors are bolts with two adjoined rings (like these: http://www.libertymountain.com/SupplyImages/WF00051/403017_340x340.jpg ).

So while leading, you will need to place and extra biner or QD etc. on the anchor (that can also be used as TR anchor). And when you're done, you need to thread through.


Oh, and as a reminder... what you do on your own time (i.e. outside) is your own business... But what guides do, and also when you're at a climbing facility (ie. you pay), the rules are a tad different... One thing that is mentioned in about all climbing literature and instructions (and also taught) is never to use non locking biners in an unsupervised environment. So simply put, a normal biner might be ok on a belay (as you're there all the time to see it). But a toprope anchor, well bar when one reaches it well there's no one there.

pec on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Why all this talk of lowering/toproping off single snap gates?
Walls which have no screwgates at the top always have 2 snapgates (in my experience) with gates opposed so you lower/toprope off both. This solves the problem of arriving at the top totally pumped and unable to undo the screwgate before you can clip it (although most do have a snapgate as well).
springfall2008 - on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Seems odd, our wall has double snap gates (back to back) which can be used to lower off on lead or second/top rope.
Michael Gordon - on 30 Sep 2017
In reply to pec:
> Why all this talk of lowering/toproping off single snap gates?
> Walls which have no screwgates at the top always have 2 snapgates (in my experience) with gates opposed so you lower/toprope off both.

That's what I was thinking. Makes sense, particularly since wall snap gates are not the average ones you use on a route (won't open quite as easily).
Post edited at 18:23
Bulls Crack - on 01 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Havjng to unscrew a screwgate at the top of a route's not really a problem though
john arran - on 01 Oct 2017
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Havjng to unscrew a screwgate at the top of a route's not really a problem though

It can be if, as happens often, whoever screwed it up tight was hanging from the rope clipped through it at the time. Then it can be very difficult to get undone without also hanging on in, which itself will be hard since you can't get the rope in to weight it.
springfall2008 - on 01 Oct 2017
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Havjng to unscrew a screwgate at the top of a route's not really a problem though

When I'm climbing at my limit that would mean falling off!
HeMa on 01 Oct 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

That is why you first place a QD on the anchor and clip that ... followed by the victory dance and whotnot... only after that do you worry about clippin' the locking biner (or threading through the anchor).
Michael Gordon - on 01 Oct 2017
In reply to HeMa:

But this thread is about indoor wall routes, and most don't take their own quickdraws to the wall!
HeMa on 01 Oct 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:
That depends on the wall... I've climbed at a bunch, where you *need* QDs.

That said, often what you see at the top, is two biners. One might be locking, but certainly the other is just a snap gate.

Toprope anchor on a single biner (locking or no), will prolly skyrocket insurance premiums...


Oh, locally at the reasonably new (& Cucci) walls they are using maillons for TR anchors... so they can't be unclipped by accident (unless you carry a wrench that is, but hardly accidental at that point). They still might also have the double opposing snapgates for when they either change that line to be a lead only...

And mentions of single snapgate rappels are also highly likely scenarios indoors ;).
Post edited at 16:54
GrahamD - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Someone has to dangle down the wall and equip the routes. I suspect they are happier doing it from a screwgate ?

It is a pain to get to the top of a route to find the gate done up though !
Bulls Crack - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

See it as a https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=672081 opportunity!
galpinos on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Top roping and lowering are different scenarios. When lowering at a wall, the rope is constantly weighted. The chance of it popping out of a snapgate are very slim and you are backed up by the draws below (as most walls have pre-installed draws).

When top roping you are totally reliant on that top anchor and the crab. The rope is not constantly weighted as the climber moves and the belayer responds so the chance of the rope coming out of the snapgate increases (though minimal it MAY happen, and it's worth remembering that this is a commercial venture) so having a screwgate makes sense.

I can't remember going to a wall that doesn't have the snapgate/screwgate or back to back snapgates configuration.
neuromancer - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Steve Perry:

How is this any different to taking a lead fall?

Unless you back-clip?
Greasy Prusiks on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to neuromancer:

If you're leading you've got multiple quickdraws, if one fails you fall to the next one.

If your top rope fails you're going to take a ground fall.
Steve Perry - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to neuromancer:
No different I guess, except if you were top roping on a lower off snap gate and it happened you're screwed as you're at the top of the wall and would fall all the way to the deck, whereas if you were leading, you'd be clipped into every quickdraw beneath as well so would just fall to the last one.
Greasy, you beat me to it.
Post edited at 13:17
1poundSOCKS - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

> Does anyone know of any actual incidents in which top roping, or lowering from a none screw gate style lower off has come unclipped?

I was top roping at Robin Proctor's Scar years ago, through a screwgate as it happens. Somehow the rope became trapped in the gate, with the gate part open. I presume it was a mistake and we forgot to screw the carabiner shut. In any case, the rope managed to work the gate open.
neuromancer - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

If you re-read, the situation I questioned was one about sport leading with a snapgate loweroff. In this circumstance, you literally have the most backup quickdraws you could have at any one point, but the original poster was using it as an example of a dangerous practice that justified screwgate loweroffs.
Greasy Prusiks on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to neuromancer:

Which post do you mean sorry? The one of Steves that you replied is talking about top roping, as I read it anyway.

MeMeMe - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

I've seen people second routes, unclipping the QDs as they go and once they get to the top try to unclip the top krab as well!

Indoor walls tend to err on the side of caution because they have so many people through their doors and some of them will be idiots (and almost everyone is an idiot sometimes), having a screw gate provides a little more security at the price of a little inconvenience (unless you have a snap gate and screw gate setup).
C Witter on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Is this guy trolling? Otherwise there's a phrase about a pair of undersized planks that springs to mind...
tmawer - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to C Witter:

Thanks for the helpful input!

I got some reasoned responses earlier in the thread about screw gates, at walls, being used to mitigate the risk, when top roping, of perhaps a kink or otherunusual movement of the rope causing unclipping. This is perhaps unlikely but seems possible. I understand there is less need for screw gates on outside lower offs as we do not top rope directly off them, and the risk to the person stripping the route coming unclipped is considered minimal as the rope is weighted.

I would prefer those just lowering off a screw gate having lead a route not to tighten it, as this seems unnecessary as they are clipped in to all quickdraws and so safe anyway and causes inconvenience for the next climber.

Your response adds nothing to this thread, but I hope it made you feel a bit better by trying to belittle my intelligence .
jimtitt - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Screwgates outdoors have a lifespan of months if you are lucky before they seize solid, plenty of people have installed them ONCE and learnt they just become an expensive thing to thread through which is why you rarely see them.
tmawer - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to jimtitt:

I know, I have seen plenty of them.

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