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Tito Traversa Accident - Quickdraw Information

INCORRECTLY threaded quickdraw  © Grimper.com
INCORRECTLY threaded quickdraw
© Grimper.com
Last week we reported the tragic death of Tito Traversa, the young Italian sport climber, who fell to the ground after his quickdraws were incorrectly attached whilst he was climbing in France. There is now information on how his quickdraws were attached.


We illustrated the initial report with a UKC video from several years ago, that shows how easy it is to have an incorrectly threaded quickdraw if you use an open sling.

It has now come to light in a report on the French website Grimper that the quickdraws that Tito used were not open slings, but had still been similarly incorrectly threaded with an elastic 'keeper' - used to grip the carabiner and stop it moving around on the end of the sling.

You can see in the photo on the right that the sling is not clipped to the carabiner, it is just held by the elastic band. This is INCORRECT.

It is essential that the actual sling itself takes the load of the climber, and not just the elastic band. Double check when assembling your quickdraws, and if you have open slings, check them again before you clip as they can accidentally end up incorrectly threaded in your rucksack (see video below).

VIDEO: The Potential Danger of Open Slings

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9 Jul, 2013
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
9 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.
9 Jul, 2013
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
9 Jul, 2013
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)
9 Jul, 2013
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
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