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Tie in or screwgate

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:00 pm
by Mark

Ignorant question time. Why do we tie a figure of eight into our harnesses, instead of clipping a figure of eight into a screwgate (assuming the screwgate as been clipped through the \"leg loop\" and \"waist belt\" of the harness).

The screwgate must experience the same force as the first quickdraw we fall on so it must be strong enough? and we are okay to belay on a screwgate (I can see here that the force of a climber falling would be reduced by rope drag etc by the time it gets to the belayer)

So why?

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:12 pm
by shorti
I guess it's because a screw gate can cross load and a harness can't. And there's no real need to use gear if it doesn't do anything. I have used a screw gate when simul-climbing, but that was simply because its to much effort tying into the harness if you're not near the end of the rope.

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:23 pm
by emile
The theory, as I have it:
On lead climbing it's easy to exceed the breaking strength of the screw gate when cross loaded, and it's easy to get into that position as there is no tension on it most of the time. On top rope, the belayer is \"supposed\" to keep enough tension on the rope to prevent the screwgate turning into the crossload position and / or on top rope the fall is shorter thus not exceeding the breaking strength of the screw gate in that position.

Having said that, it seems that the consensus at the GSCL training session was to rather always tie in, where possible. Where the knots are so tight it's nearly impossible to untie (at the climbing gyms typically) a screwgate will be used.

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:52 pm
by The Jimmy
The simple rule is that the more links you have in your chain, the higher probability that one of them are going to let you down (excuse the pun)
You don't need the screwgate there and aside from the chance that it could become crossloaded (never good), it could also become unscrewed and clipped open while your climbing and not watching it.

Perfect related example are people who often rig long chains of clipped-together kwikdraws on Bellybutton at Paarl at the belay stance halfway up instead of using simple slings...someday someone's going to get unclipped and go to the Great Crag in the Sky.

And besides why would you want a bulky rig like that in front of your harness? Surely it will irritate you after a while.

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:21 pm
by brolloks
regarding the rope: if 100 people climb on the same rope,for one week, on the same route (not unusual for a indoor climbing wall), on the same knot... imagine what that will do to the rope on the one spot where the knot is made... can't be good... maybe easier, but...

regarding the carabiner: there's also a thing called 'three-way shock loading', which happens when a biner is being pulled in three directions (when falling, hence the 'shock' part). think about it: put the biner through your waist loop (direction 1), leg loop (direction 2), and the rope (direction 3). not good...

so i suggest not toproping with a carabiner tied to your belay loop, especially not toproping, leading or belaying with a carabiner tied into your waistband, leg-loop and rope...

and some people get verrrry angry when you try to help them, no matter how nice you try to be... i wonder why...?


Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:11 am
by bergie
I must be missing something here. Why would you want to use a biner in the first place? You have to make a loop in the rope anyway, with which ever knot you prefer, then use a biner from the rope loop to the harness. Whats the point? Just use the same loop in the rope to the harness, the biner is just extra gear and a weak link. Is it to make space or is it easier or something? Maybe someone who uses this system can explain the advantages, 'cause I just don't see it! I understand the stiff ropes in the gym...but you still make a loop?

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:51 am
by Mark
Shot for all the answers, I always tie in properly myself but on the weekend someone else asked me why and I had an \"I think\" answer instead of an \"I know\" answer.

Why do some people use a screwgate, \"I think\" some people battle to tie in (they get confused following the rope back through the figure of eight) plus it takes more time than doing a normal \"double\" figure of eight and just clipping it into a screwgate.

I dont like clipping the screwgate through the waist and leg loops because it makes certain things uncomfortable. But the pretty girl who was asking me seemed to look just fine. :)

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:54 am
by Justin
Any knot that has taken a fall, should be undone and redone - I think one of the reasons for this is to allow the rope to 'relax' back into its normal shape. Probably not as critical for top roping - but definitely for leading (this is done by default when you untie.

The carbiner onto the harness is an advantage when swapping leads if when multi pitch climbing (more often done when speed climbing).

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:02 am
by Justin
Just want to throw in a disclaimer here:
With regards to the 'carbiner into the harness' when leading - this is is a bad practice and could result in 3-way loading, resulting in the biner breaking.

See the Bad carabiner practice thread.

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:18 pm
by Fool
I haven't had a 3-way in a while