coming clean

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Nic Gear
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coming clean

Postby Nic Gear » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:52 am

With great hesitation and possible humiliation do I admit the following. After reading and agreeing to the well documented posts on topics such as “replacing webbing on camming devices” and “harness belay loop” I have realized that I’m an ignorant idiot. :bom:

So I turn to the well informed climbing nerds of Southern Africa for guidance, advice and well deserved spanking. This is my omission of guilt: I have been climbing for over 17 years and still use some of my original gear. Don’t phone the rescue ranges yet, I do retire ropes on a regular basis. I retire my ropes in steps: lead; top rope only; set up only, then knife out and swings, tow ropes, key rings est…, but last week Sunday I climbed on a very worn 11 year old harness, belay loop did have a sling back-up. (my other harness were lent to mates). But today with great hesitation, tear in the eye and a lump in my throat :cry: , I cut it up. I did this knowing it was a danger risk.
The question is posed what else should join that pile of hacked nylon? My draws, my trusty 8 my mother bought me for my 16th birthday :shock: , my gear loop occasionally hung on a multi-pitch and please don’t say my collection of rusty cams, hexs and nuts, if it pops or breaks, does it matter? I have thrown gear away after a fall off a face or if it “looks” sketchy but not because it’s too old. I know manufactures have “expire dates” and I respect that, but why waist gear, I would rather spend money on a climbing trip than a new set of draws.

But honestly what, when, how and be honest I doubt I am the only one guilty of gear overuse.
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XMod
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Re: coming clean

Postby XMod » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:19 pm

Nic you are not entirely alone in using old gear, I have biners that are over twenty years old that still hold falls on a regular basis, I have friends who use even older hardware. The software however is far more prone to ageing and you should toss it if youre not certain. I replace all slings and quickdraws fairly regularly (they still give me a few years of service). Ropes are fairly obvious, they lose their stretch and start to feel as if they will break your back if you take a big winger on them. Harnesses (as well as belay biners) I turn over the most, if it gets a bit fuzzy its out.

That said most of my vintage biners have been relegated to top-rope and bolting gear. Lets face it there's nothing more confidence inspiring than leaving the ground knowing that all your gear is new and in perfect nick, confidence that actually makes you climb harder! :thumleft: By the sounds of things you should start saving and plan a renewal program for all the old fuzzy faded stuff youve been hanging on to - your climbing partners will love you for it! :wink: :D

See my last post in the 'Harness belay loop' thread when waying up cost versus safety!

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Mark
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Re: coming clean

Postby Mark » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:35 am

I was chatting with a friend about this on the weekend, the problem is that companies tend to get sued for ridiculous c%$p (woman sued McDonalds because coffee was hot and burnt her :roll: etc etc.) so as a result everything has a warning on it (objects in rear view mirror are smaller than they appear) and at the same time the warnings are extremely prudent / safe so that they stay out of the splatter area.

With that in mind, I often find myself ignoring these cautions (because most often they are ridiculous) and if I look at my climbing gear for example, if they say a harness can last a year, a little voice in my head says it can probably last five but they're making sure they're being safe.

So, therein probably lies the answer, we've gone full circle and once again we have to make the decision for ourselves (is that coffee with the warning labels really a risk, is that just an uno?) - Its your life, if you're happy to climb on that gear then do. Or when you're at the crag ask someone to have a look at it for you, rather than using arbitary 5 years 2 days throw it away type safety.

But thats just my opinion :)

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XMod
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Re: coming clean

Postby XMod » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:29 pm

Mark please go and read my post in the harness gear loop thread. Its your choice to use outdated worn out gear until such time as it either kills you or you and the taxpayer have to fork out a small fortune to clean up the mess. You all have a responsibility not only to yourselves but to everyone else to practice this sport safely and cleanly. Any other route is purely irresponsible! Would you drive your car with worn out brakes and an oil leak??

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Mark
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Re: coming clean

Postby Mark » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:57 am

Hay X mod, maybe I should have made more of an example, I am saying that you can't rely on arbitary 5 years etc rules, you need to assess your gear properly and make the decision (for example rope per the manufacturers can last 5 years if stored in the dark, 3 years if used occasionally etc etc). So when you assess your gear it could sometimes mean that you have to throw it away before the manufacturer suggests (just like sometimes driving at 80 in a 120 zone is dangerous) and sometimes you can keep it beyond (like driving in the karoo at a 140 can be safe) - Simply, it is unsafe to use set rules to make your decision - you need to assess the situation and make an informed one. By saying its your life I mean you should make the decision and be responsible to look after yourself properly, this does not imply that you should be stupid.

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Nic Gear
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Re: coming clean

Postby Nic Gear » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:39 pm

I value and appreciate all views, I think that they highlight the point we were drummed into us on our first climb “safety first”. It is nice that I’m not alone on my feelings regarding gear. :thumleft:

With all this talk of checking your gear, I don’t think gear related injuries are that common, not accounting for recent events. I am sure other factors are more responsible. I would like to see stats on climbing related injuries and see the comparison to the different causes.

My estimation would go along the lines of: equipment failure 0.5%; equipment misuse 10%; human error as result of inexperience 29%; weather related 10%; area related 20%; human error as a result of over confidence 30%, Act of god 0.5%.

Would be keen to hear comment.
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Nic Gear
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Re: coming clean

Postby Nic Gear » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:55 am

check out this link : http://www.vicclimb.org.au/old_site/med ... idents.pdf
it answers most my questions :?
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Justin
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Re: coming clean

Postby Justin » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:12 pm

Thanks, interesting document.
The closest thing we have to that is the:S.A. Mountain Accidents Database web site
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

george nel
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Re: coming clean

Postby george nel » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:21 pm

Hi Nic,the Bible says that God is good,so the 0.5%"act of God" is rubbish.Rather account that percentage for human stupidity!

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Nic Gear
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Re: coming clean

Postby Nic Gear » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:35 pm

George,
I am sorry if I offended, the term "act of god" refers to lightning, wind, rain est. I was no way referring to religion. Please accept my apologies for the missunderstanding.

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Mark
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Location: JHB

Re: coming clean

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:03 pm

That's based on a 100% assumption that the bible is right :lol: stir stir :bom:

Iain
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Location: Paarl

Re: coming clean

Postby Iain » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:03 pm

How do you replace the slings on the DMM Mamba?
Inspiration exists, but it must find you working. – Pablo Picasso

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DAcaveman
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Re: coming clean

Postby DAcaveman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:26 pm

I've tested that "God is good' statement with my life, rock climbing.
And yes indeed, for me its true. I should have been dead due to equipment misuse, but I've been granted an extra few years...to live this one life to the fullest. Mighty good of Him, and no assumption there - just cold hard fact!
But funny how we so easily say 'yep i should maybe retire that old harness, rope', but when the sh1t hits then fan, you can't change the rope in mid air.
Now, since I've made grateful peace with my good God, I'm not so worried to what happens to me when I die, but what scares me the most, what freaks me out!: I don't think I want to live crippled or brain damaged, or maybe even responsible for someone else's death...? Rather all gone, or not at all, if I can have that say.
so I reckon by choosing good gear, and doing it as safe as possible, I hope I'll be climbing till I'm 110 or more... :wink:

j

george nel
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Re: coming clean

Postby george nel » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:44 pm

Amen brother!the Bible is 100% on the money,because the Author is 100% holy and cannot lie.Mark the Word also state that the Bible is foolishness to those who perish,so......Nic I knew what you meant,I'm also just stirring,no offense taken.Your on belay,climb when ready.Climb on!


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