Bad carabiner practice

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Bad carabiner practice

Post by douard » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:49 am

I cannot help noticing a bad practice that is becoming common in SA.

In the post \"tie in or Screwgate\" Mark wrote this:
\"clipping a figure of eight knot into a screwgate (assuming the screwgate as been clipped through the \"leg loop\" and \"waist belt\" of the harness).

The practice of clipping a screwgate through leg and waist belt is specifically prohibited and marked with skull and crossbones in the petzl catalogue. see ... rience.pdf

It also says:
(EN) Tying in
Tying into the rope must be done directly, without
using a carabiner. In certain situations where the risk
of a fall is reduced (top roping, glacier travel…),
two locking carabiners may be used to tie in.

If one reads up on the construction of harnesses it is shown that the belay loop is the strongest part of the harness. Please don't point out todd skinners accident to me, that was old equipment becuase if you read the rating on cross loading carabiners you will see that putting them through the leg and waist loops reduces them to around 700kg and the belay loop of your harness is rated to about 3000kg.

I don't see the need to back up your belay loop but if you feel better then back it up with climbing rope or an appropriate cord, do not think that you're doing yourself any favours by using a carabiner incorretly.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Post by Nic Le Maitre » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:52 am

I agree completely.

The reason you must not clip a biner through the leg loop and the waist loop (i.e. following the path of the belay loop) and then clip your rope into the biner is that it can create 3-way loading in the carabiner, which they are not designed to take. The carabiner will break with very low forces if it is 3-way loaded.

If you feel the need to back up your belay loop, you can either use some cord, though this is not as strong as your loop, or use a delta (triangle shaped) maillon rapide, which is degned to take 3-way loading.

Furthermore, when climbing (leading or seconding) you should always tie directly into your harness, again following the path of the belay loop.

Safe climbing

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Post by proze » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:07 pm

Yup, spot on.

But try and help a South African sport climber doing something blatantly wrong. I've tried, more often than not with newbs and this very problem. All you're met with is aggression and \"who the hell do you think you are?\" looks.

Edit: yup, I see brollocks has had similar experiences, judging by the other thread.

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Post by brolloks » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:05 pm

yessir, and i've even seen some young hothead diss a well known and well respected climbing teacher when he gently, even respectfully approached them with some sound advise about all this...

sad, but true... :?

you have one mouth, two ears. listen more...

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Post by Hector » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:58 pm

The same applies to belay biners. Never put your belay biner through your leg loops and waist belt unless its on a harness specifically designed for this, and then only in the way recommended by the manufacturer. Its called a belay loop for a reason.

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Post by jsmcm » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:18 am

Hi douard,

Thanks for this advice. I do tie the rope directly through the harness as you mention, but at the climbing gyms we generally tie through a biner because the ropes are already set up with fig 8's in them. Is this a bad thing? I see that you do mention that in some instances it is safer to use a biner, eg, top roping, which is what generally happens at the gyms.

Proze and Brolloks, I take it you are trad climbers. I am a sport climber, relatively new to rock climbing. Haven't really tried trad yet (too scared!) but will try it soon enough. Anyway, all I wanted to say to you, and other more experienced climbers, is please DON'T STOP giving advice to us newbies. I know there are those arrogant climbers (new and not so new) who don't want advice. When they fall they will only have themselves to blame, but I for one appreciate all the help I can get, so please don't stop.

Now, on a personal note, I don't really get this \"rivalry\" between sport and trad climbers. Its kind of like when I was in school as a skateboarder and there was all this rivalry between skateboarders and rollerskaters / rollerbladers, I never really got it?

Anyway, thanks for this post, I never knew that this was a problem.


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Post by BAbycoat » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:48 pm

Clipping the belay loop reduces the chances of cross-loading, but doesn't eliminate it. Correct procedure doesn't remove the need for vigilence.

PS - @Nic
The dangers here arise from cross-loading the 'biner (i.e. load taken across spine/gate axis). To 3-way load a 'biner you need your torso and legs to be moving in different directions. If this happens, you have bigger problems than 3-way loading.

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