Todd Skinners failed harness - update

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couchmaster

climber
pdx
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 20, 2012 - 01:45pm PT
Didn't see it posted but it's old news....not to me though. Todd Skinners harness failure wasn't due to any acid on the belay loop. It just gave up the ghost.


"No contamination on Skinner’s harness

Mercedes Huff & Associates
By Angus M Thuermer Jr.
September 15, 2007

An investigation of the climbing harness that failed and sent Lander, Wyo. climber Todd Skinner plunging to his death in Yosemite National Park last October found no signs of contamination that might have weakened the safety webbing.

The report by Yosemite ranger M. Faherty has been awaited by climbers worldwide who were stunned by the death of Skinner, a well-known pioneer, and the unusual failure of his safety gear. The Jackson Hole News&Guide obtained a copy of the report Friday through the Freedom of Information Act.

Climbers know that a critical part of the nylon webbing harness, a belay loop, broke and caused Skinner, 47, to fall 800 feet from the overhanging wall of Leaning Tower. At the time of his death, Skinner was descending the face after a day of climbing, sliding down a rope using a friction device linked to the belay loop.

Climbers also know that Skinner’s harness was worn, that his climbing partner, James Hewitt, commented on its poor condition, and that Skinner agreed the harness needed replacing.

Skinner was wearing an Arc’Teryx Targa harness. Tests of new belay loops similar to the one on Skinner’s harness, which were conducted by another climbing equipment manufacturer, showed them to be strong enough to hold body weight, even when cut most of the way through.

Climbers wondered whether Skinner’s harness might have been contaminated and weakened by a foreign substance. The Park Service report found no evidence of that.

Faherty wrote in his investigation that he sent the torn belay loop to Rhodia/Nexis Fibers in Switzerland for a chemical analysis. “On 06/15/07, I was notified by Rhodia representative Elman Ernst that ‘apart from the residues of the original spin-finish, no substances could be extracted from [the] analysed part of the loop’. ...” the report says

Also, Faherty’s report discounts the possibility that animals may have gnawed on the harness when it was cached. Skinner left his harness overnight at the base of the climb, stored in a bag. “There was no sign of tampering by animals or people,” Faherty wrote.

The report comes to no conclusion as to why the belay loop broke. Faherty makes several observations, however, that could lead climbers to a conclusion.

Skinner’s partner reiterated in interviews with rangers that he observed the loop “had been about 20 percent worn through three days prior,” to the accident. Faherty wrote that he, too, “also observed that the harness was extremely frayed and worn where the belay loop should run through the ‘swami belt’ and the leg loops.”

“The belay loop appeared worn near where it was torn,” Faherty wrote. “The actual torn section appeared frayed. I could see no fusing of Nylon fibers suggestive of a shock load...”

Faherty also found a sling girth-hitched to the broken belay loop, which Hewitt believed had been in place for some time and prevented the belay loop from rotating and absorbing wear evenly. “Also broken was the keeper strap on the leg loops,” ranger Faherty wrote. Loss of the keeper strap would free the leg loops to saw against belay loop, often in the same spot, given Skinner’s harness set-up.

Those observations support climber Will Gadd’s theory, published in a recent issue of Men's Journal magazine, that the sawing leg loops contributed to the belay loop’s failure."

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=2198
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Sep 20, 2012 - 02:36pm PT
Thank you. I had not seen any updated information on this and the leg loop sawing action is totally new to me.
Erik
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Sep 20, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
When I first read about that failure I quit relying on a belay loop, tie in to the harness and rap on the harness. Of course I will never climb enough to saw through a belay loop, but scary anyhow.

RIP Todd
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Sep 20, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
Man, I wish the actual facts around Todd's harness failure would become more widely known. The initial, uninformed conclusion of 'belay loop failure!' is sooo pervasive...I constantly encounter climbers (of all experience levels) who don't know of the significant related causal factors around that failure. There's a lot of needless fear out there.

Spread the word...with facts. It's good for all of us.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Sep 20, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
I had assumed the stitching came undone. I'm surprised that the belay loop wore all the way through, it seems unlikely to break under body weight unless there was almost nothing left. I guess that's wrong. I feel bad about this and met Todd once, but I think the lesson is to tie in directly through waist belt and leg loops, and only use the belay loop for belaying. I know the gyms teach everyone else the opposite. On a wall especially, you don't need to untie from the rope quickly. I also tie into the haul line, might as well.

Once I was in a gym and a guy was just hanging there on the rope looking at the route, and his harness broke, just like that. His waist belt went up to his armpits, I guess he was tied into that also. I have no idea how that one happened.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 20, 2012 - 02:49pm PT
It wouldn't seem too wise to even use the belay loop given that logic.
Pretty scary to think of that failing when yer leader is flying.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 20, 2012 - 02:49pm PT
This report is also new to me.
Faherty also found a sling girth-hitched to the broken belay loop, which Hewitt believed had been in place for some time and prevented the belay loop from rotating and absorbing wear evenly.
I think this is the salient point.
I never girth hitch my belay loop. I sometimes girth hitch the waist band and leg crossover with a ready sling. And take it off again as soon as I don't need it any more.
RIP Todd
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Sep 20, 2012 - 03:02pm PT
I use a belay loop for rapping and belaying and always will. I never tie anything to the belay loop though.

I climb less than 50 days a year and replace my harness every five years or so. My harnesses never see more than a few hundred days of climbing.

Todd Skinner's failed harness probably had been used for more than a few thousand days.

It's like automobile tires: If they have 10K miles, they are not going to fail unless they are punctured or cut. If they have 100K miles, all it might take is normal use.

One though that occurred to me about this incident is the effect of urine on a climbing harness. I know that the standard folklore is that urine is bad for nylon. Since most guys pee with their harness on, could the accumulation of a couple of "errant" drops over many years slowly weaken he nylon?



apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Sep 20, 2012 - 03:10pm PT
Somebody should do a short video illustrating exactly how Todd's harness had been used, showing the girth-hitched sling, how this setup was used in working routes, how this creates the abrasive/sawing action. Showing the actual harness, with details of the failure and wear spots would be useful, too. I just don't think many people really understand the way that harness was being used.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 20, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
This has been discussed at length, as I remember it, the loop was imobilized by a sling he had perpetually girthed to it. As a result the loop couldn't rotate and all wear was taken in exactly the same spot, a saw-through scenario as has been mentioned. He was aware of it. He had a new harness on the way, maybe even waiting at general delivery. There are other details, but that's the gist.

This is not the same as saying that the belay loop is an inherently weak spot, as many have inferred.

A spooky add-on to this; Several years before I had an almsot worn out Whillians harness. One of the straps that hold the legloops up was almost worn through, non-critical, but nonetheless, a sign of an aging harness. Todd brought this to my attention.

"Jay, would you climb on a sling that was worn like that? You need a new harness."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 20, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
We have all observed the effects of ropes pulling thru stacks of webbing at rap anchors. The heat generated thru friction by countless pulls is obvious. The heat generated by falls in harness equipage described above is not at all obvious. Several falls, generating heat in one spot repeatedly, being involved in eventual failure of the harness, is not surprising. I believe this is what the general idea is of the cause. Correct me if I've misread. I was as sorry to hear of the Cowpoke's untimely accident as anyone, FTR.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Sep 20, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
I climb with a guy who's from the old days of yosemite climbing. He always wears a "keeper" sling on his chalk bag. I have one now too. An 8mm for the chalk bag tie in and its tied around my waist in a water knot. I tie in the rope through my harness and through the 8mm. This way the whole harness could blow and the 8mm would be my back up. What do you think??
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Sep 20, 2012 - 04:53pm PT
That's good idea Radish.

When my buddy solo'd Bohica, he had a sling around his waste for a chalk bag belt.


He only had to use it to rap off.
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 20, 2012 - 05:29pm PT
Evidently a replacement (harness) was on the way and he would have had a new one in a few days.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Sep 20, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
If your harness is worn in anyway get a new one.
If your rope is feeling old and you are worried - get a new one.
Pretty simple..
So easy to get over comfortable with our gear and forget what we are doing with this climbing stuff.

You would think that a half way cut belay loop would still hold 1000 pounds.
I had an issue a few years ago with a belay loop being to thin on my harness - the company contacted me about it - but the next version of the harness had two independent belay loops - basically double the loop!
I dig that
We think of these things being ridiculously over engineered....I guess they are not sometimes
Horrible accident..
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 20, 2012 - 05:33pm PT
I frequently go through all my gear, slings, harness, cams, nuts, biners checking for wear and functionality. Generally after no more than 3 or 4 days of climbing. Anything questionable gets set aside.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 20, 2012 - 06:06pm PT
Said it before; just because belay loops test OK doesn't mean that there is any GOOD reason for adding another link in the safety chain when not needed.
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 20, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
We think of these things being ridiculously over engineered....I guess they are not sometimes

Can't over-engineer something so that it works when it is broke. Maybe replacing things that are worn out is the important lesson here, not the issue of belay loops being under-engineered.

Worrying about adding a belay loop to the chain of things that can fail is like worrying about the diet cola that spilled in the back seat of your car a few days ago and thinking that it could cause a car crash. Sure, there is some odd situation where it could be a problem, like when there is now a thirsty bear in the back seat that you don't see until you are driving on the freeway, but the odds are in your favor that there will never be a problem.

You are in more danger driving to the crag than you are of belay loop failure. Remove that drive from your chain of potential failures if you want to be really safe.

Dave
briham89

Big Wall climber
los gatos. ca
Sep 20, 2012 - 06:32pm PT
Credit: briham89
sethsquatch76

Trad climber
Joshua tree ca
Sep 20, 2012 - 06:58pm PT
Piton Ron represents the wisdom of a proudly certified guide......

Todd unfortunately blew it.....sounds like the fixed sling did him in........ with a professional dirt bag harness........ don't be cheap old f*#kers.......

I seem to kill my harness about every year and a half......acteryx brand the last couple rounds..... where the leg loops meet the belay loop is a extremely high wear point. Its the beginning of weight distribution throughout the harness......Next time you are on TR sit in your harness and check out what's happening.....

Thanks Mr. Skinner for putting up so many rad routes!
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Sep 20, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
I think Dave has a point. The belay loop isn't going to break unless it's sawed most of the way through like this one apparently was. The main motivation to tie directly into the harness, is that it's like you have two harnesses on - the waist, and the leg loops. Each are tied in. I prefer to be tied in than to be clipped in, even if its a locking biner. I guess I'm thinking long routes and big walls. I just don't want to have to worry about whether I'm going to get disconnected from the rope because of some mistake.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 20, 2012 - 07:41pm PT
Its not just a spilled soda if a friend of mine died.

I miss Todd's infectious smile, and it pains me that he failed to K.I.S.S. and clip right in rather than add a ratted loop to the chain.
Sure, the loop is good in theory, but in reality this incident shows it is just another thing to go wrong.
sethsquatch76

Trad climber
Joshua tree ca
Sep 20, 2012 - 08:25pm PT
Sorry for the loss of your friend Ron. As much sh#t as you have given me and my crew I just had to poke back a bit........cheers to a bad ass life and this type of accident never happening again!!!

ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Sep 20, 2012 - 08:42pm PT
if the belay loop were less safe than going through the tie-in point, then why do most if not all manufactures specifically instruct users to use the belay loop for rapping?

the reason is that unless the belay loop is majorly jacked, it's clean, simple, safe, quick.

so maybe the moral isn't to have two, three belays loops, or to rap at the tie-in point, so much as not to have a jacked belay loop.
WBraun

climber
Sep 20, 2012 - 09:40pm PT
It probably will never happen to most of you people.

But guys like Skinner myself and various others didn't rely on checking our gear much.

We threw the stuff around and neglected it. Gear was just some annoying junk to deal with.

Most climbers love to fondle this garbage called gear and get all involved with it.

I hated dealing with that junk,

Thus if your stars were not aligned right sh!t happened.

RIP brother Todd .......
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Sep 20, 2012 - 09:50pm PT
It probably will never happen to most of you people.

But guys like Skinner myself and various others didn't rely on checking our gear much.

We threw the stuff around and neglected it. Gear was just some annoying junk to deal with.

Most climbers love to fondle this garbage called gear and get all involved with it.

I hated dealing with that junk,

Thus if your stars were not aligned right sh!t happened.

With ya 100 percent!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Sep 20, 2012 - 09:58pm PT
Good point by Werner, complacency plays a role. I wish I was 1/10th the bad azz Todd was, and hardly worried about the little stuff and could focus solely on the moves. Sadly we lost an amazing climber to what seems in hindsight like a minor detail. I agree with Ron, why add anything to your chain that is not necessary. Just my preference.

There is a lot worse safety lapses happening than using a belay loop to rap. I climbed with a partner who was instructed to untie the rope at belays on multi-pitch climbs. I told her not to do that with me. Double checked her anchors and technique after I saw her do that.
Hankster

Social climber
Zakynthos
Sep 20, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
Back in 1985(I was 15), James Crump had Todd and Paul Piana come all the way from Hueco down to Enchanted Rock to teach a "crack climbing seminar". I signed for that sh#t pronto and was amazed when they really showed up. Probably at most, 10 other climbers signed up. What stood out, has always stood out to me was how much gear those guys had!! Literally 100's of cams,widgets and rad thingys from Europe and literally 1,000's of carabiners!! What was amazing to me was ALOT.of his ovals were burned through, 1/3-1/2 way through, with rope wear. It was the damndest thing I'd ever seen, imagining what type of climbing could wear a rope 1/3 of the way through the carabiner and they're all fully still on the rack!!!
I waited till they weren't looking and swapped one of my brand new ovals for the burndest crab I could find and it wasn't a very long look. Just saying,when I heard how the hero of my youth ended up dying, this image is so very vivid 20+ tears later. Interesting perspective Werner, as always bro.
WBraun

climber
Sep 20, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
Hank

About the ovals burned through.

When I was in Borneo the static lines were doing that thru mine from all the grit that got into the ropes.

Can happen in a few days really fast.

My figure 8 was burned half way thru in 3 days, burned all the teeth of my juggs and when I came back to the states people were freaking about it.

I told them stop worrying about this sh!t.

I loved looking at that figure 8 looking all burned thru.

I got so much sh!t from so many people about it I changed to a new one just to get them off my ass.

I put on the load test meter and broke it at 10 thousand lbs.

Ho man!

I miss that figure 8 .....
Hankster

Social climber
Zakynthos
Sep 20, 2012 - 10:30pm PT
Classic, I knew I was born a decade too late...
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sep 20, 2012 - 11:37pm PT
This is appreciated.
RIP Mr. Skinner.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Sep 21, 2012 - 01:35am PT
Lot's of climbers run ghetto gear, I think it's fairly common.

I've never been one to really use the belay loop. I've generally just run a big ass locker around swami and leg loops that I rap and belay off of ... the control center feels a lot tighter and compact. Occasionally belaying from an anchor above I'll belay off the loop if my orientation/position feels a little awkward.


Ahh the trusty climbers' gear ghetto ... and all those fuzzed out ropes one has occasion to rely on over the years.

I'm lucky my XXyears old slings don't snap (20 yr old Tricams, 15 year old cam slings, et al).
(famous last words).


coz

Mountain climber
Northern surly
Sep 21, 2012 - 07:52am PT
I climbed tons before I was sponsored by Arteryx and then BD.

As I stated many times the BD belay loop is not bar tacked through all three layers.

But Tod had an Arteryx harness, that has one of the strongest belay loops made. He should have exchange it years before this accident.

Bottom line, certified guides or great climber may know very little about the gear they use.

I was trained and schooled by my sponsors.

The flaw is with an old harness used long after it should have been replaced, not with the belay loop, that should be clear to all.

It's such a tragic and preventable loss of a great climber and friend it still bothers me.

I never rig or climb in anything but the best gear in good condition. Replacing my harness, every six months to a year.
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Sep 21, 2012 - 09:24am PT
Just curious, does anybody remember when the "belay loop" first came out, and what the logic behind it was, ie;, less clutter, freedom, safer? I too was taught with a locker around both swami and leg loops (of course the "five carabiner brake"), to NEVER rely on one point, if possible. I'll belay off the loop but when rappelling, it just ain't right.


mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 21, 2012 - 09:54am PT
Rectorsquid, Dave,

Your words rang true.

But on a climb, there is no such thing as ever being "really safe."

You may say you feel really safe, and I will not care.

See the words chiseled in the ether at the bottom of every page of this website?

Our "hobby," as some unenlightinged inds call it at their own risk, is inherently dangerous. There are always risk. There is always hazards.

Sometimes you step on your rope. Sometimes you step on your dick. (Sorry, ladies.)


wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Sep 21, 2012 - 12:44pm PT
This doesn't change the basic principle that key components of the safety system should be backed up when reasonably and quickly possible.

When I rappel or clip in to an anchor with a poor stance, I back up the belay loop with a short sling, passed through the loop on the swami, and the leg loops (as mentioned up thread). I never girth-hitch the belay loop. If I wanted to back up the belays that I give with the same, it's easy.
BruceAnderson

Social climber
Los Angeles currently St. Antonin, France
Sep 21, 2012 - 01:16pm PT
I've always understood the purpose of the belay loop is too keep the belay biner from being crossloaded or tri aixially loaded. The biner is always the weak point (assuming the softwear is in good shape), and It's so easy to load the gate when you clip into the swami and leg loops.

aguacaliente

climber
Sep 21, 2012 - 02:03pm PT
Werner, Hankster,

I'm sure you know this but (IMO) the worn through carabiner is scary because of the sharp edge, not so much because the biner might break. Clearly that doesn't apply the same to a figure 8 since you don't fall on it like a biner. Here is a small test of whether it's a problem:

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/fr-fr/journal/climb/all/qc-lab-how-sketchy-is-a-ropeworn-sharpedged-carabiner
Rob Roy Ramey

Trad climber
Colorado
Sep 21, 2012 - 03:59pm PT
Interesting, no mention of how rappelling with a self-belay would have saved him (e.g., using an ascender or prussik knot attached to the harness and NOT the belay loop). Rappelling with a self-belay has saved me more than once while rappelling under adverse conditions. Think of it very simple, no-cost life insurance.

As for belay loops, when I buy a new harness, I always cut off the belay loop and throw it away. To me, it is nothing but useless clutter.
FrankZappa

Trad climber
80' from the Hankster
Sep 21, 2012 - 04:27pm PT
Thanks for posting this. Good points on not girth hitching to belay loop. I do this (with two) sometime when cleaning an anchor, and will no longer do so.

I've seen people add a piece of 9/16 webbing on the inside of the belay loop, but really don't see what the big deal is. If it's wearing out, buy a new one! Pretty simple. It's not like belay loops are breaking every day sending hoards of climbers to their deaths; more like a freak occurrence on a harness most of would have retired long ago.

Wish Todd had retired that harness, miss that guy.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Sep 21, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
Likely Todd's belay loop was not only worn but degraded by UV light from being exposed more than most people's. If you do up on some climbs where the slings have been in the sun for years, you can tear 1 inch tubular in half with your bare hands

Sad he's gone. Super bright wonderful guy in my experience.

peace

Karl
mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
Sep 21, 2012 - 05:51pm PT
It amazes me how many people still mis the point here. Todd died because he over used a piece of equipment that should of been retired long ago. It finally failed like everything else will. Harnesses, ropes and carabiners will all break if over used

The belay loop isn't the weakest link in the system, its the human brain that is.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 21, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Whenever I belay, self or otherwise, I attach directly to the swami and leg loops.
The only reason I do not cut off the loop is to use it for body weight aid.


You are right about the failure being in the mind, but the first step to not thinking things through adequately is just to go by rote following cookbook formulas instead of always being analytical and suspicious.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Sep 21, 2012 - 06:29pm PT
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 21, 2012 - 07:02pm PT
Thanks for posting this. Good points on not girth hitching to belay loop. I do this (with two) sometime when cleaning an anchor, and will no longer do so.

My interpretation is that the girth hitch alone was not the problem. The problem was that the girth hitch fixed the belay loop position over an extended time, allowing wear from the other parts of the harness to accumulate in the same place.

Seems to me that occasionally girth hitching a sling or two and then removing them would not have the same effect, if the loop is otherwise rotating around and distributing the wear.
Clayton

Trad climber
Oct 5, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
I don't pretend to know anything about the specifics of this accident, but I have read studies suggesting that sling to sling connections are weak. It appears, the thinner the sling, the worse the weakening effect of sling on sling connection. Doubt this was the actual cause in this case... seems more like it was just an old, ratty harness.

See this BD article for data behind the sling on sling anaysis:

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/all/qc-lab-connecting-two-slings-together

I also back up my belay loop, kinda like a double belay loop big wall rig. Maybe overkill, but it would have saved Todd and others so I don't mind the slight extra weight. Just buy 2' of 11/16" nylon webbing and tie it around your belay loop with a water knot. Tape it in place if you want. Use a different color than the belay loop for easier identification (to make sure you never only clip the 11/16").

Condolences to the fallen and those that knew them. Hopefully talking about and analyzing such tragic events will save people in the future.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 5, 2012 - 02:17pm PT
thanks Kenny,, very NICE tribute vid..
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Oct 5, 2012 - 02:19pm PT
how does one know if an inherited caribiner is overused?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 5, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
^^^ When you get it for free, duh.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Oct 5, 2012 - 03:08pm PT
When I think of this accident it always hits me just how fortunate his partner was that day. They both had a loaded gun with a hair trigger pointed at them in the form of that harness, not just Skinner.

Another aspect that blows me away is that the piece of straw that finally snapped the harness' back came during the rap, with super low forces involved, rather than during a harsher catch with minimal rope out, or some other dynamic event involving higher peak forces.

I guess that if the donut blew while he was catching a fall, it's conceivable that everybody would have been ok IF he were tied in to the anchor besides his donut and IF his belay device and it's biner somehow got sucked into and jammed in the first piece of pro that the lead rope ran through.

Idle, hypothetical, useless thoughts, always come back to me when I look at the LT or think of this accident.

RIP Skinner and peace to his friends and family.
aaron4peace

Trad climber
Santa Fe
Oct 5, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
Seems like girthing a dogleash through the harness points, not the belay loop, is standard practice. Am I the oddball here? Most tie-in points are reinforced these days to account for abrasion. At the time your reinforcement material is totally blown, you can assume you have gotten your $$ worth and retire the harness, long before the integrity of the harness is compromised.

If you only use hardware to clip into your belay loop, not software, you should also avoid over-using the loop and it should last longer than your tie in points. Mammut uses hard low-friction plastic to reinforce the tie-in points, a reasonable design if you ask me. But will make it harder to keep tabs on wear and thus lifetime of the harness.

I have used this as a guide to harness replacement for the last 5 or 6 harnesses Ive owned. Probably could get another good year from all those harnesses, but......

Skinner == inspiration to many of our climbing careers. Never met the guy but usually knew something of his pursuits.
The Skin

Trad climber
Long beach, ca
Oct 5, 2012 - 05:01pm PT
Isn't this the second fatal Arc'teryx harness failure in the valley in almost as many years?
mtnguidebill

Trad climber
colorado
Oct 6, 2012 - 02:20am PT
The fact is simple, whether we care to accept it or not... An old harness that is subjected to many falls PLUS the ultraviolet rays of the sun which are known to break down the harness fabric and materials over a given amount of time (that's why we retire harnesses, slings and ropes after a given amount of time, even if they don't show an extreme amount of wear) should have been disposed of, not used even more. It was a case of pushing the harness to the extreme, and not getting away with it this time.
Sorry folks, this had to be said and Ill take the rap for calling it this way, and I'm sure Todd would want the plain and simple truth to be told so others don't make the mental error in the future.
jopay

climber
so.il
Oct 6, 2012 - 08:10am PT
Thanks for the tribute video, very nicely done. There are times at Jackson Falls when I think back to the day he visited, and on sighted most every route he got on, and down graded one or two. Todd was the real deal and certainly inspired me. I have the North Face poster of him and Paul next to my climbing woody. Proud to have met him.
sowr

Trad climber
CA
Oct 6, 2012 - 11:00am PT
Thanks for posting, and I'm very sorry about what happened to Todd.

I never rappel from the belay loop, I always rappel from a 'biner put through the same two loops that the belay loop runs through, preferring two points of failure over one, even though it is obvious that the belay loop is more than capable of supporting the load when new. My thinking being that the belay loop is more exposed and more likely to get worn, plus as stated previously it's a single point. I do belay from it, but it's in parallel with my rope tie-in, which is also going through the main harness loops, making it still a redundant system.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 6, 2012 - 11:21am PT
It seems a lot of misinformed people out there.

Sometimes adding things to a system makes a more complicated dangerous system, FYI. Make sure you pay close attention when you start adding contraptions.
Huecool

climber
Tucson, AZ
Oct 6, 2012 - 01:37pm PT
"But guys like Skinner myself and various others didn't rely on checking our gear much.

We threw the stuff around and neglected it. Gear was just some annoying junk to deal with.

Most climbers love to fondle this garbage called gear and get all involved with it.

I hated dealing with that junk"

It's called Technical Climbing for a reason...

I'd venture to say only a soloist could state a quote like that and not appear stupid. If you use one piece of gear to keep from falling you've now entered the world of technical climbing. You are not depending solely on your ability anymore, rather you've put some or all of your faith in the gear, especially when you are frikin hanging on it! Blind faith doesn't count for intelligence either. Kids, if you don't want to die earlier than necessary, respect your gear.
Robowar

climber
Stockholm
Oct 7, 2012 - 10:58am PT
Is there an official accident report to be found anywhere perhaps? Have been searching unsuccessfully on the web.

slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Oct 8, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
It still sucks and I still miss Todd....I'm suprised he never got killed by that wood burning stove in the VW Bus
Apis

Trad climber
Windham, OH
Jan 16, 2014 - 11:28am PT
So I enter this topic and conversation after more than a decade away from climbing altogether. I had not known of Todd's death (nor that of Bachar, or Heresey either) until very recently. I am gutted as these were guys I had admired, and in one case, met.

All the conjecture and speculation are fine and dandy, but let's not forget one salient point: gear maintenance. Cleanliness...wash your softgoods-ropes, webbing, slings, harnesses. Also don't be overly miserly. Replace anything that causes one to pause before use.

Rockdust and chalk are all sharp on a microscopic scale. Get the bits out of harm's way please.
TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Jan 16, 2014 - 05:40pm PT
Toker Villian
Whenever I belay, self or otherwise, I attach directly to the swami and leg loops.
The only reason I do not cut off the loop is to use it for body weight aid.

Thanks for the validation.
I am so tired of being ridiculed/back talked for that one!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Slabbo:

Good observation John ;)
speelyei

Trad climber
Mohave County Arizona
Jan 16, 2014 - 07:29pm PT
I remember when the belay loops came out. I couldn't believe it.
Never use mine, except for one of the mini traxions when solo tr'ing.
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Jan 16, 2014 - 09:04pm PT
Same here. I always tie into and clip my belay carabiner into the harness and leg loops. I use the belay ring to tie my dasie chain on with.

I just in JTree and someone had tied in with the rope and was clipping their belay device into the ring. And I mentioned if your going to clip into the loop you might as well clip into the rope as well.

Double up for safety, double up.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 28, 2014 - 10:05am PT
As someone who used to make harnesses I can you that belay loops are very strong. Anyone who walks away from this accident and thinks that belay loops are dangerous per se have not done a good analysis of the accident.

Todd's loop was almost worn through and he was rappelling with a Grigri. This can easily add a lot force to a harness versus an ATC style device, especially if one bounces for any reason. Sadly, as Todd was such a well-liked and inspiring climber, this accident is not about equipment failure as much as it is pilot error.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 28, 2014 - 10:14am PT
Rankin- would you explain the atc vs. grigri thing?
Is it just that we're more likely to bounce with the grigri?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 28, 2014 - 10:22am PT
rankin speak the truth. It is the single strongest component. If you doubt your belay loop throw out the harness and get a new one.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Feb 28, 2014 - 10:31am PT
Just got a new harness. Been using a Misty Mountain I bought 2 or 3 years ago, used; off the internet. ;D Caught many a fall on that belay loop, rapped more times than I could count (or remember, anyway).

OMG Sometimes I feel like I'm fixin to die, rag.

What are we climbing for
don't ask me I don't give a damn
Next pitch is off width land...

Anyway, brand new Camp harness, its yummy. Nice new belay loop. Of course I don't hesitate to use the belay loop for its intended purpose. It works GREAT for that. I also use it for mini trax self belay etc too. I even girth a sling to it to be used as a belay daisy.

I used to be better about gear inspection. Now I usually inspect it on the lead.

Wanna climb?

DMT

WBraun

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 10:55am PT
After the recovery of Todd's incident we took well worn very fuzzy belay loop from a popular manufactures harness to test it's strength.

We cranked up to thousands of lbs static pull load onto it and it still did not break.

We wanted to to a slack snap pull test but were concerned we would damage the frame of the truck and or the dynamometer.

The the belay loop was attached the the truck and anchor with steel shackles and steel chains for full static compliance.

Again the well worn belay loop did not fail at thousands of lbs test.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Feb 28, 2014 - 11:05am PT
What a cruddy way to go, over equipment failure in the obvious category. Ill never understand how a loop got so worn..


edit: still climb on a metolious harness bought in 1990. ??? Is that bhhhad?
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 28, 2014 - 11:19am PT
"...over equipment failure in the obvious category. "

Ron, it wasn't equipment failure so much as pilot error (as described above). Daisys that had been girthed onto the loop for years certainly weakened it in a way that a belay loop was not intended to be used. Belay loops are hella strong (though I also usually tie in/clip in directly to belt/leg loops), but like any other equipment, they can also be misused with tragic results.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Feb 28, 2014 - 11:22am PT
Hence the obvious category i mention.. And yes it was obviously used and abused. But still, it was something that the loop had worn soo harshly and gone un noticed or disregarded.. Sad...


edit: Skinner was the very reason i learned that you could hang on a mono pocket!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 28, 2014 - 11:53am PT
H said...
And I mentioned if your going to clip into the loop you might as well clip into the rope as well.


Wrong..... A horrible accident went down at the Needles a few years back.

The poor fellow was in the habit of cliping into the rope and loop. Problem... he missed the belay loop while preparing to bail in a rain storm. He was wearing a jacket, could not see his tie in. He was using a dasy to clip the anchors.... untied the rope so they could rig the rap, when he sat back after pulling the cord free from his harness .... GONE!!!!!!!


I have heard the Todd liked to do freefall raps using the grigri.... just pull the lever back and drop!!!! Release to stop... bam (This was relayed to me by someone I trust...true??)

And Ron.... a 1990 model!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF????

That is just plain stupid, if you wish I'll give you a Yates "Shield" for free, its only 5 years old. PM me... serious offer.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Feb 28, 2014 - 01:20pm PT
Thanks GUyman for that most generous offer! YOu should have seen my first "harness",, made from the bottom part of a parachute harness from WW2 vintage.!!! Of course that was the early 70s so it wasnt that old then lol!



Credit: Ron Anderson


Vintage babay! ^^^^ Parachute bottom harness, ball-peen hammer, and twisted nylon rope.
Gerg

Trad climber
Calgary
Feb 28, 2014 - 01:53pm PT
Todd's passing was a very sad day for the world climbing community, since he traveled so much he infected so many of us with his great spirit.
His laugh, his generosity, his down-to-earth attitude was amazing.
I will forever cherish the memories of bouldering, laughing, and chatting with him the times we would cross paths.
My regular climbing partner died in a avalanche a month after Todd so it was a sad time indeed. I have a poster of Todd at my front door to remind myself wither i am off to work or off to climb or off to ski with my son, that the world produces some truly inspirational folk and today you may meet another when you walk out this door.

I will leave the arguments of harness failure up to the experts.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 28, 2014 - 02:01pm PT
Rankin- would you explain the atc vs. grigri thing?

Sure. Grigris brake more suddenly and therefore put more force on the equipment. Atc type devices gradually increase friction until stopping, and even upon stopping, there can still be some slipping of the rope through the device. This puts less force on the top anchor as well as the climber's harness.

Also, a rappel on a Grigri only uses half of the rope and, therefore, there is less rope to stretch and absorb force.

It's a common scenario for a rappeller to pass a bulge and kick out to clear a feature. When using a Grigri, the instinct is to let the device brake completely at the bottom of the bulge, because it's harder to adjust the amount of friction control. With an Atc type device, the rappeller can more easily compensate for other variables in friction and continue to lower comfortably at the bottom of a bulge without ever completely braking. So to answer your question, yes, you are more likely to bounce on a Grigri, but it's also that the bounces on a Grigri are more forceful.

All of these factors add up to an overall increase in the amount of force on a top anchor as well as the rappeller's harness when using a Grigri. I'm not saying that Grigris shouldn't be used for rappelling, but one should be aware of the increase in force on the equipment.
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Feb 28, 2014 - 02:08pm PT
I suspect that the single greatest contributor to wearing out belay loops is friction between rope and loop during falls. Consider that no one raps directly off webbing for a very similar reason. We don't like to clip in to a harness for fear of adding an additional potential point of failure, but maybe a locking biner would add safety to a harness (over time).
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 28, 2014 - 02:16pm PT
I suspect that the single greatest contributor to wearing out belay loops is friction between rope and loop during falls

Disagree. Sawing at the leg loops connection much more likely. In a fall the rope would, at most, brush the side edge of my belay loop.
slabbo

Trad climber
colo south
Feb 28, 2014 - 02:23pm PT
Hey Ron- i wish i still had my FISH SKINBELT from around '90..now THAT was a harness
WTF

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:20pm PT
I know that the loss of Todd Skinner has taught me one thing and that is check your gear every time before you use it.

I think we can agree that the number one killer of climbers is complacency and just plain inexperience.

On another note it is nice to see Ron and Apogee up thread not call each other names and tell each other to f*#k off.

Thanks guys.

overwatch

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:23pm PT
Seemed barely restrained to me but good nonetheless
WTF

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:24pm PT
Its a start and ya have to start somewhere.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:25pm PT
I have bit of a detective streak in me, and it would have been interesting to sort through Todd Skinner's gear after his untimely and tragic death, just to see what else was really worn through. Gear is costly, and sometimes people just put off spending the money, saying, "Just one more climb.........."

Among climbers, there is the whole gamut; guys like Werner and Todd who treat their gear very casually, and those who are totally meticulous.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:31pm PT
Surprise surprise. Coz taking pot shots at BD again.

Please post some facts Coz. Please support any of the below statements with facts. Please reread the last line of the excerpt of the Rock and Ice article.

Coz
"Once again, on all harnesses except Black Diamond the belay loop is the strongest part of the harness."

"A brand new Belay loop, with the exception of BD, will hold to 10,000 plus pounds."

BUSTED!

Don't bother Coz. I will post some for you. This is from an article in Rock and Ice.

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/busted?page=1

BELAY LOOPS. Every harness that had a belay loop was tested. Belay-loop strength ranged from 2,160 pounds to well over 8,818 pounds. Eight belay loops failed below 3,306 pounds. Six of these had been listed as usable in a pinch or by friends. Only one harness showed any visible signs of damage to the belay loop. Curiously, 23 belay loops of the same make and age from one source showed a range of strength values, with the highest breaking strength being 41 percent greater than the weakest. Another belay loop used on a variety of harness models returned from a variety of sources had a range from 3,527 pounds to 7,054 pounds. Clearly, quality control for some harnesses is lacking, but whether this is rampant throughout the industry is unknown. The average strength of all of the tested belay loops was 6,040 pounds.

WTF

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:36pm PT
I agree my rack is old mostly second/third gen BD cams and first gen aliens and a handful of other stuff.

After this accident I replaced all my shoulder slings all my quickdraw bones and my harness and my rope. The rope was 8 years old not a lot of falls. My harness was 10 years old looked good but who knows. I did it due to age. I am now sending all my cams to Yates to be re slung with new webbing. Not worth the worry id rather be willing to fall and know my gears not old and worn.

I keep my gear in a box or a haul bag so it only sees the sun when its out climbing and away from the shelf full of chemicals in my garage.

I bet that Werner upgrades more than you think. He's picked up enough carcasses to know better than to use heavily used and worn gear.

Edit:
Is it me but i hardly use my belay loop for anything. I use a locker for my raps through the leg loops and harness and i tie in the same way. I never tie into a belay loop. In fact the only purpose i see that for is for daisy chains wall climbing.

Offset

climber
seattle
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:37pm PT

Also, a rappel on a Grigri only uses half of the rope and, therefore, there is less rope to stretch and absorb force.

this is 10000% wrong..fyi

atc = two strands of rope
gri gri = 1 strand of rope

assume rope is a spring

atc = springs in parallel ==> stiffer effective spring = higher forces.

all other things being equal, one strand of rope is half the force on the system compared to two strands.


labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
BD's testing of worn. Loops.

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/qc-lab-strength-of-worn-belay-loops.html
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
Indeed Slabbo! After the parachute rig i upgraded to a LOWE alpine harness and hangin round in those near kilt a body!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:50pm PT
Hey, FYI WTF- Yates won't resling older cams (10yrs).
I just did this and went to Fish. Better price and tubular webbing not dyneema. good workmanship from a cottage(or cabana as it were)business.
WTF

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:53pm PT
Thanks Jefe.

What was I thinking the Fish needs to work. ;)
Alpamayo

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 03:56pm PT
Wired Bliss just re-slung about 12 cams of mine and also repaired a few trigger wires. They did an awesome job. (Aliens, Camalots, Metolius)
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 04:15pm PT
Don't try to change the subject and add personal attacks again Coz. How about supporting your previous statements with the truth and some facts?

Same old Coz. Just a different login name....

edit. I'll take the dork part with a smile :-)

WBraun

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 04:25pm PT
Just be on safe side always.

After every climb throw all your gear into the dumpster and get new gear
just like the pros do .....

:-)
WBraun

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 04:35pm PT
Let Coz tell you how my gear was always top notch and perfect condition :-)

LOL

Our first climb together Coz sees my rope and imediately says holy sh!t !!! you lead Hahaha

Core shots everywhere LOL

Then a few years later he sees my rack and says that's the same fuked up rack you had years ago.

You're gonna die.

A couple of weeks later a mysterious package arrives with a brand new rack in it.

Coz was worried I would not survive another year with my original rack.

bless his soul.

Majid got scared looking at my tattered harness and gets me a brand new one.

Bless his soul.

My figure of eight when I came back from Borneo had grooves half way thru
it from all the grit in the static lines and people were telling me I'm gonna die using it still.

So I replaced it and break tested it.

It broke at 10,000 lbs .....

What me worry :-)


deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Feb 28, 2014 - 04:41pm PT
Holey Moley Werner--when I think of all those raps we used to do on your blown-out, core-shotted, tattered, thow-it-in-the-back-of-the-Lemans-where-you'd-repair-all-the-dirtbags-batteries-and-other-junk 7mm cord, I still cringe!
WBraun

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 04:49pm PT
Ducey

How the hell did we ever survive????
WTF

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 05:06pm PT
I bet that Werner upgrades more than you think. He's picked up enough carcasses to know better than to use heavily used and worn gear.

Or not!

Just curious Duece and Werner.

Was it money or just the fact you thought it was still functioning and why replace it.

FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Feb 28, 2014 - 05:08pm PT
From Labrat's link:

~75% cut through—both sides (not the best photo)—2918 lbf:


~ 90% cut through—one side—777 lbf:
WBraun

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 05:15pm PT
Was it money or just the fact you thought it was still functioning and why replace it.

When you have core shots and only the sheath is damaged why worry? :-)

The core is strong enough? :-)

I once jugged the core because the sheath failed.

Nothing happened ... I'm still here :-)
crunch

Social climber
CO
Feb 28, 2014 - 05:25pm PT
Back in the day, when my belay loop began to look worn I'd tie a short loop to be used in tandem with the original, frayed, belay loop. Kinda clunky but provided effective redundancy till the day I got around to buying a new harness.

Misty Mountain's recently redesigned Titan harness has a similar and much neater feature built in: two separate belay loops. One is neatly, snugly nested tight inside the other. They are both burly, rated to 6000 lbs.

Redundancy, built right in.

In use I just clip in my belay/rappel biner to both, never notice any difference. Only reason I even noticed this was that they use different colored webbing for both.

I think this was done in response to Todd's accident. Clever idea; almost Todd-proof
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 08:15pm PT
"stop your sad little smear campaign"

Coz,
It's not me that has a problem. If harnesses are mentioned you bash BD. I get it.

It would be cool if you could demonstrate with data, demonstration, list of accidents, near accidents, pictures, or a picture of a diagram drawn on a well used napkin. Something!

You cannot. I get it.

I also use and own a bunch of BD gear. Do I own or use BD harnesses? No. Misty Mountain and Petzl harnesses? Yes, I just like them better because they suit my purposes.

Erik
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Feb 28, 2014 - 11:18pm PT
Credit: Rankin
Credit: Rankin
Credit: Rankin


Coz is correct. Black Diamond only bar tacks through two of the three loops. No argument to be made here. This is a fact.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Mar 1, 2014 - 02:38am PT
Rankin,
I never argued if the belay loop is double or triple. What I took issue with was the strength statements he made. Good job being distracted by coz's misdirection. I've read that BD has reasons for how they construct the belay loops. I believe the extra unbartacked wrap actually protects the bartack from abrasion. Please note the belay loop strengths noted in BD'a report compared to Coz's statements.
Erik
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 1, 2014 - 12:01pm PT
Interesting data from the BD site linked to above:

How strong is a belay loop?
From the Black Diamond Harness Instructions: A Black Diamond harness belay loop can withstand 15 kN (3372 lbf) of force.

CE requirements: The CE required testing is a bit difficult to describe, but basically, the belay loop must withstand 15 kN for a period of 3 minutes.

Actual Black Diamond test data: Though our inline batch test rating is 3372 lbf, we regularly see belay loops test to over 6000 lbf, with a historical average of over 5000 lbf.

** Note: I've tested several other manufacturers' belay loops and they all are in the same ballpark for ultimate strength.


Coz, do you have a bone to pick with BD harnesses because you worked with their harness team and they didn't take your advice? Seems to me that BD harnesses are in line with other manufactures.

Also, bar-tacks through two of three layers of webbing seems fine to me. Perhaps a more important question is how many bar tacks does each manufacture use?


Still, the debate is moot--gear wears out and the longer you use old and worn gear, the higher the chance is the gear will fail due to wear. I hate throwing out ropes just because they are old. I had a rap line (a half line) that I rarely used for leading (love to double up that thing for simul-climbing). The thing was over 15 years old, and looked fine to me. Shucks, just a little more than body weight while rapping, right?

I got a new one, just because.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Mar 1, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Talk about having an axe to grind. And I'm not talking about Coz either. Some of you need to quit looking for slights where there is none.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Mar 1, 2014 - 01:52pm PT
Black Diamond Equipment’s history dates back to the late 1950s, when climber Yvon Chouinard began hand-forging pitons and selling them from the trunk of his car in Yosemite Valley. Chouinard’s pitons quickly gained a reputation for quality, and Chouinard Equipment was born soon after in Ventura, California.[2]
In early 1989, after several product-liability lawsuits and a continued lack of profitability, Yvon Chouinard placed the company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Black Diamond was founded on December 1, 1989, when the assets of Chouinard Equipment Ltd. were purchased by a group of former company employees led by current Black Diamond Equipment CEO Peter Metcalf, and a few outside investors. Peter Metcalf moved the company and its 45 employees from Ventura, California to the Salt Lake City, Utah area in September 1991 to be closer to the climbing and skiing opportunities provided by the Wasatch Mountains.
In 1996, Black Diamond Equipment Europe was established in Reinach, Switzerland, making Black Diamond products widely available throughout Europe. In 2006, Black Diamond Equipment Asia was established in Zhuhai, China to serve as both a secondary manufacturing facility as well as a global distribution hub.[3] In May 2010, Black Diamond Equipment was acquired for $90 million by Clarus Corporation which owns Armor inc, a military defense contractor. The resulting corporation was renamed and is now publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the name Black Diamond, Inc. (BDE)





Originally all Black Diamond equipment was produced in the United States by American workers. In order to save money by laying off US workers, much of the manufacturing was moved offshore. Black Diamond Equipment Asia located in Zhuhai, China produces most of the company’s products including backpacks, tents, clothing, cams and ice tools. Some carabiners, crampons, climbing skins, and Stoppers are made in its Utah factory.[8] Black Diamond also maintains an in-house Quality Assurance lab staffed by a team of engineers responsible for performing batch testing, stress analysis and quality control on all Black Diamond products.[9] Batch testing refers to testing a few products from each production run. Not all products are tested. Usually, the first item produced, some items from the middle production and the last are pulled and tested.




And so it seems from the above^^^^ Black Diamond is another GE. Moving its manufacturing to CHINA. Its a corporation and all about the $$$$ while forsaking its originator and country. Sort of doubt it was the direction Yvon Chouinard would have preferred for his sold off company.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Mar 1, 2014 - 02:05pm PT
My partner and I climbed for a season in Yosemite on a rope that had multiple core shots. We just put adhesive tape over the worn spots on the sheath. Most of the strength of the rope is in the core. Anyone know of any tests on the strength of a rope with just the core versus core + sheath?
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 1, 2014 - 02:40pm PT
Bruce, a buddy of mine used to say something like 25% of a rope's strength was in the sheath. I never saw any stats to back that up.


Who had the story of climbing on a harness made of 2" webbing, the original "swami belt", that had a taped section in the middle. Then, after some time using this "harness" realized that the tape in the middle was actually holding together the ends of two different sections of webbing??


Fantastico!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 2, 2014 - 07:34am PT
The taped swami belt story is TM Herbert's, I think. May have been on an El Cap FA.
kennyt

Trad climber
Oregon
Mar 2, 2014 - 11:40am PT
And so it seems from the above^^^^ Black Diamond is another GE. Moving its manufacturing to CHINA. Its a corporation and all about the $$$$ while forsaking its originator and country. Sort of doubt it was the direction Yvon Chouinard would have preferred for his sold off company.

Take a look at where Patagonia clothing is made.
WBraun

climber
Mar 2, 2014 - 11:42am PT
The taped swami belt story is TM Herbert's,

Yes .... I believe it was on Sentinel and not El Cap ....
life is a bivouac

Trad climber
Mar 2, 2014 - 12:04pm PT
I believe the taped swami story could be cleared up by Don Lauria; I believe he was there when it happened...
WBraun

climber
Mar 2, 2014 - 12:06pm PT
I heard the story from TM himself but the route it happened on I forgot but pretty sure it was not El Cap ....
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 2, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Many years ago I was told by Dave Lane ( the principal genius behind Archteryx) that "in line" stitching ( my term... no idea what its called) is much superior per stitch or whatever, than the ubiquitous bar tack.

Thats what I heard, beats hell out of me. I figure if its tested and rated then you'd think its good to go, bar tack or otherwise. You'd have to be nuts to cheap out or whatever on such a simple and crirtical feature.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Mar 2, 2014 - 12:26pm PT
Once again, on all harnesses except Black Diamond the belay loop is the strongest part of the harness.

That's interesting, the harness in the image below is an old BD harness from 1996 which is still in use. And, yes, the belay loop does seem a bit light. With that said, I always back up the belay loop with a loop of cord. In the case below, it is 5.5mm Spectra. I also put a light swami belt/chalk bag holder loop of 1" tube webbing around my waist, tied in a water knot, and loop the climbing rope tie-in through that as an ultimate back-up.

A little extra weight is not going to effect my 5.9c- climbing abilities too much.

** I know the buckle is not buckled properly. But it's just holding air.

Old BD harness w/belay loop backup
Old BD harness w/belay loop backup
Credit: Gunkie
wivanoff

Trad climber
CT
Mar 2, 2014 - 01:08pm PT
Bruce Kay wrote:
Many years ago I was told by Dave Lane ( the principal genius behind Archteryx) that "in line" stitching ( my term... no idea what its called) is much superior per stitch or whatever, than the ubiquitous bar tack.


I think that's true.

"Off Belay" magazine had an article about sewing your own slings. They showed stitching patterns (multiple rows parallel to the length of the sling), type of thread, stitches per inch, length of splice, etc.

Looks like the same article was also published by Cal Magnussen here http://www.caves.org/section/vertical/nhback/NH03.pdf see page 11
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Mar 2, 2014 - 01:09pm PT
I always scratch my head when I see the extra homemade belay loop on somebody's harness ... but I must admit that I have my own quirky superstitions.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 2, 2014 - 03:58pm PT
Here's the webbing test mentioned by Vivanoff as given in Nylon Highway.

Note that, forty years since those tests, specialized bar-tacking machines might do better than BITD.

Sewn Webbing Strength---Nylon Highway 3 Dec. 1974
Sewn Webbing Strength---Nylon Highway 3 Dec. 1974
Credit: rgold
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 2, 2014 - 05:11pm PT
I have had many over the years. Misty Mountain is a little heavier, but the quality is great and it is really comfortable.

Good advice Coz.
WBraun

climber
Mar 2, 2014 - 05:13pm PT
What about Tuckers El Cap and free climbing harness BITD?

A single one wrap piece of one inch nylon webbing around his waist with no leg loops.

LOL .... hard core

No one I know has ever done it but him, lol
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 2, 2014 - 06:07pm PT
Yep. He is not like the rest of tho.....

Credit: StahlBro
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Mar 2, 2014 - 09:39pm PT
Yup, Tucker is running my old harness's. I give them to him, he cuts the leg loops off, and away he goes!
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Mar 2, 2014 - 09:55pm PT
Coz is correct in that most people climb on their harnesses for way too long. A couple years can put a lot of damage on a harness if it's the only one you use. Hell, you can get a really good harness for 50-75 bucks these days. Inspect your gear often, and especially with soft gear, err on the side of caution. Period.

rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Mar 2, 2014 - 10:00pm PT
If you are really worried about single points of failures with belay loops etc, the Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe is a good harness. It has two belay loops, and all the gear loops are full strength. Meaning, you could actually tie into them. Why you would do that is not clear to me, but you can. I've been running one for a few years now for guide work.

I'm not worried about the single belay loop model of harness, but some info to pass along.
sowr

Trad climber
CA
Mar 2, 2014 - 10:38pm PT
A tragic accident, I was shocked when I heard the cause of the accident, it was very sobering that this could happen to such an experienced climber. What is the takeaway?

When I'm on a climb I belay through that loop, but because I have tied in through the belt and leg loop, forming a rope loop so to speak I clip that loop too, so my belay biner is clipped into two loops. If I need to rappel I take the belay biner off the belay loop and clip it through the belt and leg loop. I know those belay loops are strong but I've always tried to use redundancy wherever possible, without being ridiculous. The accident would never have happened using this procedure. I try to minimize SPOF (single points of failure).
Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 5, 2014 - 03:33pm PT
Ron Anderson: did you make this BS up yourself, or did someone else post it on the Wikipedia.

"Originally all Black Diamond equipment was produced in the United States by American workers. In order to save money by laying off US workers, much of the manufacturing was moved offshore. Black Diamond Equipment Asia located in Zhuhai, China produces most of the company’s products including backpacks, tents, clothing, cams and ice tools. Some carabiners, crampons, climbing skins, and Stoppers are made in its Utah factory.[8]"

In addition to being slanderous, it also happens to be incorrect.

Tom
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 5, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
Ha!

Ratagonia bring us the TRUTH!!!

Are they, or are they not manufacturing in China?

The move was to save operating cost, or increase quality?

Are the nuts still made in Utah?

Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:02pm PT
CozGrove:

"I work close with BD when they design the belay loop and prior to that with Tom Jones the man who design the current BD belay loop. We disagreed on bar tacking through two or three layers.

So again what I'm saying is a fact and you sir either have an agenda or you are completely stupid and blind."

True dat, the facts at least. But your conclusion...

The belay loop is the strongest part of any (modern) harness, BD's efforts included. Mostly, because it is EASY to make that 5000 lbs. It is also true that using the same webbing, we could have gotten 10,000 lbs out of it by tacking through all 3 layers. So what? Other companies use thinner webbing and tack through all 3 layers - so what?

Lots of shade-tree engineers pontificating about stuff that makes no difference at all. We achieved what we wanted to out of the BD belay loop: robust strength, substantial durability, and a specific stiffness that makes using it easy. As I remember, our main disagreement was that Coz wanted the belay loop a lot softer - the consensus of climbers on the design committee went the other way.

The bartacks go through two layers. The third layer adds stiffness and protection.

Bartacking through three layers would be close to impossible. Certainly it would add considerably to the cost with no benefit to the consumer. Some people will and do prefer a less-stiff belay loop. Twenty-three years on, I'm pretty happy with that decision.

Tom
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:05pm PT
ratatgonia,, answer Mucci's questions please, and cease your slander remarks, they hold nary a drop of water.
Old5Ten

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:08pm PT
from the bd website (http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/sustainability.html);:

The BD Asia global distribution center is a 70,000-square-foot warehouse attached to our BD-operated manufacturing and office facilities, and allows us to aggregate the shipping of all of the BD goods made by or for us throughout Asia. This means fewer shipments, greater efficiency, higher inventory turns and a blessing for our global distributors and key retailers. It also greatly reduces the size of our global shipping energy footprint.

The product manufactured by our subsidiary in China is sea-freighted to our Europe warehouse in Basel. The product is first transported by container ship to Rotterdam and then transferred to canal barges. The CO2 footprint is several times lower than for air-freighted product.
Jim Clipper

climber
from: forests to tree farms
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:09pm PT
Respectful cross post for Mr. Tech.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=408150
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:16pm PT
Are the nuts still made in Utah?
Thousands every year.

oh....wait....you meant climbing hardware! I thought you meant people.

Grigri is obviously unfit for rappelling for the reasons stated earlier. You WANT to reduce the impact force on both the rope and the anchor, not to mention your gonads. That is achieved by gradually reducing your speed.

I always tie into the rope around my leg loops and belt. Not through the belay loop. Consider the proper use of the belay loop: belaying someone. It has no redundancy for anchoring. By the way, the belay loop is a fairly recent invention. Late 80's maybe?

When you arrive at the anchor, things get interesting. Locking 'biner through the belay loop is quick and reasonably safe IF there's no chance of a high fall factor fall. But it's nearly always better to anchor with your "knot of choice" directly in the rope.

I anchor with a girth hitched runner around leg loop and belt loop when I need to untie for some reason. And then I'm very very careful. I will ask my partner to double check if it's dark or nasty weather etc.

As for failed harnesses. I'm afraid that's only a result of overuse or maltreatment.

now back to your usual programming


Edit: "Made in China"?? Meh.....Nearly all of Apple's products are made in China. And they are among the most reliable of their kind. It all depends on HOW the supply chain is managed. Although there are of course many inferior products from China (and the US) when cost becomes more important than quality.
Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:19pm PT
Mucci dit:
"Ha!

Ratagonia bring us the TRUTH!!!

Are they, or are they not manufacturing in China?

The move was to save operating cost, or increase quality?

Are the nuts still made in Utah?"

First of all, in 1990 when BD was born, some products were made in the USA, and some were made in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, etc. Since I was there then, I know as much about the general manufacturing plan as my poor memory allows. Some stuff made in USA, some stuff made elsewhere. Just as you would expect of a $10 million dollar company.

I left BD in 2002 - I like to say we came to a mutual misunderstanding. So I know what the manufacturing plan was then, and less about where each item is placed now, but I can give my best guesses.

Yes, BD is manufacturing in China. But the statement was incorrect. BD also manufactures packs and harnesses in the Philippines, and other stuff in various places around the globe. Simple blanket statements not so useful.

"The move was to save operating cost, or increase quality?" Yes.

It's complicated. Right now my new company is placing my canyoneering packs in a factory in Shanghai. Is it to save cost or to increase quality? Well, yes. I can get finished packs made in China and delivered to my doorstep for approximately what it costs to buy the materials in the USA. I have been shopping my simplest products in the US and continue to find prices that are 50% higher than what I can get from China LDP, PLUS I would have to spend 10 hours a week on production tasks, PLUS I would likely not get the quality I want.

BD had a sewing plant in Utah for harnesses and tents for a long long time, run by Peater W of Gramicci fame. It was a super-efficient operation with steady demand, etc. etc. - everything you could ask for to make a sewing operation efficient. We finally closed that down in 2002 because we could no longer get materials in the USA. When the basic industrial base goes elsewhere, it is then impossible to make the final product.

That's not to say there are not products that can be made successfully in the USA, if done smartly. BD manufactures some products in Utah because it is the smart thing to do, to achieve the quality needed, and the price points desired. I understand the wired nuts are in this category. But there are a LOT of products that just cannot be made competitively here in the USA. Get over it. This is the real world.

Tom
Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 5, 2014 - 04:23pm PT
"I always tie into the rope around my leg loops and belt. Not through the belay loop. Consider the proper use of the belay loop: belaying someone. It has no redundancy for anchoring. By the way, the belay loop is a fairly recent invention. Late 80's maybe?"

About 1984, Bill Forrest

Many would not consider that "recent". I consider it the birth of the modern harness.

Tom
miwuksurfer

Social climber
Mi-Wuk
Mar 5, 2014 - 11:43pm PT
But there are a LOT of products that just cannot be made competitively here in the USA. Get over it. This is the real world.

I got over it a long time ago. That is why I buy Metolius cams, Misty Mountain and Yates harnesses, and Rock Exotica biners.
scooter

climber
fist clamp
Mar 6, 2014 - 04:28am PT
Buying gear that is not made in the USA for a completely useless and selfish sport is REALLY stupid and wasteful. Can't believe climbers buy BD crap anymore. If one has a choice between having gear made with poor ethics and zero regard for the environment (BD) or lets say gear produced to the US EPA standards by people who live in the USA and need the work (metolius)....I would say the choice is pretty clear.
squishy

Mountain climber
Mar 6, 2014 - 12:12pm PT
Buying gear that is not made in the USA for a completely useless and selfish sport is REALLY stupid and wasteful. Can't believe climbers buy BD crap anymore. If one has a choice between having gear made with poor ethics and zero regard for the environment (BD) or lets say gear produced to the US EPA standards by people who live in the USA and need the work (metolius)....I would say the choice is pretty clear.

Tru dat!
overwatch

climber
Mar 6, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
Ratagonia


We don't need to get over anything...just don't buy black diamond
AlanDoak

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 6, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
One afternoon I was slacklining with my buddies on 1" tubular webbing that had a ~10% nick in it. Over the course of the session, we abused that line: bouncing, jumping, surfing, retensioning, 2-3 slackers at once.... The nick slowly grew and frayed way out and eventually broke. It was not a sudden catastrophic failure, we watched it slowly get worse and worse while amazed that the line was still holding. The 777lbf capacity of the 90% cut loop doesn't surprise me all that much.

The forces on our slackline were way higher than you could ever generate in a rappeling event. Even with a factor 2 fall on a spectra runner, your spine and giblets would compress before reaching those forces.

Excluding UV and chemical damage, it's hard for me to imagine a belay loop breaking that looks even remotely ok. I guess we'll never know exactly why it broke.

Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 6, 2014 - 06:09pm PT
CraZY StufF.

Does anyone have an example of another belay loop breaking in the field? The reason we talk about this accident is because it was unique, or practically so.

As a person who knew Todd, I was greatly saddened, but not greatly surprised. I've known quite a few dirt-bag climbers who "got the most" out of their gear. But Todd took that way way way past "reasonable".

I thought it was also clear that the way he rigged his jugs locked the belay loop into a specific location. And then he did a bunch of jugging, which saws across that point. All these factors combined = not a huge surprise.

Tom
jstan

climber
Mar 6, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
In the early 70's I tested overlaps sewed with a speedy stitcher. The sewing causes the sling material to be compressed and hard as iron. I would think sewing through three webbing thicknesses would result in the needle doing more damage to the sling material and might actually result in lower strength. It is a tradeoff. The sling material is not the weak point in an overlap after all.

I used a stitch in a box pattern. When I pulled simple overlaps, failure occurred slowly and the ends of the overlap raised up. Leading me to believe the elastic stretch in the overlap length added to the elongation of the sewn thread and progressive failure of the thread starting at the overlap ends. I got considerably stronger overlaps when I inserted one tubular sling inside of the other before sewing. It was quite striking.

What I observed led me to believe bar tacks would be better.

The waist loop of a harness is mechanically simple. The rest of the harness is not simple. If you want to be sure there will be no failure you rely on simple components. Based on simplicity, I never made something like a belay loop essential to my safety or the safety of anyone else.

Lester Germer refused to retire his thirty year old rope because it had never failed him. A new rope is untested and may fail. Todd's harness had never failed him, after all the punishment he gave it.
Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:40pm PT
Coz:

"Hope ur well, good to see you chiming in here. Maybe you can put Labrat at ease.

A. I feel a 5000 lb test belay loop break down far quicker than 10000 lb test belay loop. Seeing as Todd broke the strongest belay loop on the market Arteryx, my argument seems to hold some water. Can't even remember the hard soft issue, LOL...

B. Perhaps you would like to address why you split the overlay at the tie in point?"

Thanks Coz. You can see why I rarely chime in here. I got enough haters to deal with over on the canyoneering forums...

A. The expected normal load on a belay loop is gonna be mostly 200 lbs, with occasional forays into the 600 lb arena. This is well below what I would consider the "fatigue limit" of the 5000 lb belay loop, thus I don't think doubling the strength really effects the durability. I think they are independent properties.

The ONLY belay loop that we know of that has broken in the field is one that had an original rating of 10k lbs - so the ONLY data point we have tends to make your argument suspicious. It is not a good idea to draw conclusions from exactly ONE data point.

B. I'm unclear on what design detail you are talking about here, so if you'd like to clarify what it is you're talking about, I'd be glad to respond. (Heading out the door for a week, 4 hours ago!)

Tom
Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:46pm PT
Coz: "Also, Todd like many Wyoming boys was no dirt bag, he had money and sponsors it is beyond the pale, that he was using that harness when he had a wife and kids."

A sad deal. He had a HABIT of being a dirtbag climber. Habits are hard to break. I remember when he would come into the shop in the old Jrat Boulder days, I'd ask to see his harness, and immediately give him a new one and take the old one away. If you didn't take the old one away, he would continue to climb on it.

Tom
WBraun

climber
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:52pm PT
Ratagonia

Everything you say is so true .....
AE

climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 10, 2014 - 02:11pm PT
Interesting capsule history of harnesses, seasoned with light flaming. Forrest used bartacks, likely as that machine was available; seems there was a famous incident which revealed an inherent weakness in bar tacks, when a biner clipped into a leg loop for a belay (maybe the CMC belay tower?) ripped the thing apart. Turned out the bar tack was fine in-line, but awful when pulled to separate two layers. Of course, making micro-light harnesses has the advantage that no one would trust a leg loop for an anchor point, now?
I used 2" tubular web, wrapped twice, tied with water knot, for a swami - would have likely broken most test machines of that era. Point missed by many here is safe equipment outside the climbing bubble specifies "safe working load" which typically is no more than 10 - 20% of the maximum test. Climbing gear generally leaves much narrower margins, especially when worst-case scenarios add multiple factors all conspiring to weaken the critical link further. Wet/frozen ropes are weaker than clean dry ones, then run it across a sharp edge, then drag it sideways, under factor 1 fall load, on the one occasion in your life when you have one second to think gee, maybe this rope should have been replaced 5 years ago. . .
In regard to harness design, one gripe I have is, why is the actual final waist webbing a single flat piece usually only 1", weakened further by a tight buckle pass? Where's the redundancy there? Suppose one is belaying off the discussed belay loop directly, the leader climbs ten feet above your belay without clipping anything first, then falls, that is a factor 2 fall directly onto same belay loop and lonely 1" waist web. Amazing more incidents like this don't occur with disastrous results.
Most climbers don't think like scientists, and the few who do behave as everyone else, i.e. familiarity breeds contempt - this marginal jury-rigged system worked last week, or last year, so it most likely will work one more time. Until it doesn't.
Ratagonia

Social climber
Mt Carmel, Utah
Mar 31, 2014 - 12:39pm PT
Werner - I am honored to be spoken of well by you.

AE: Forrest used bartacks, likely as that machine was available;

Tom: Forrest used Box-Xs, as that was the cam on his 'bartacking machine'. That machine then went to the Boulder Mountaineer and got a bartack cam, then came to Jrat under the watchful eye of person-extraodinaire Kyle Copeland.

AE: seems there was a famous incident which revealed an inherent weakness in bar tacks, when a biner clipped into a leg loop for a belay (maybe the CMC belay tower?) ripped the thing apart. Turned out the bar tack was fine in-line, but awful when pulled to separate two layers.

TOM: speaking as a scientist, I think you are drawing the wrong conclusion. The problem is not with the bartack, per se, but with pulling on ANY assemblage with big forces in an unanticipated way. Are you talking the REI-harness blowout under a bridge in Oregon? Tied off to one ear of a two-ear type harness? Sad case but...

AE: Of course, making micro-light harnesses has the advantage that no one would trust a leg loop for an anchor point, now?

TOM: Good. On any harness, you should not trust the leg loop as an anchor point, period.

AE: I used 2" tubular web, wrapped twice, tied with water knot, for a swami - would have likely broken most test machines of that era.

TOM: do you have the disc and back problems that many experienced as a result of taking falls on a swami? A very dangerous way of attaching a human body to a rope!

TOM: (snarky) - Tensile Test machines come in many different flavors, from ones designed to test thread (max = 20 lbsf) to ones designed to test crane parts (max = 100,000 lbsf). Since the human body is capable of taking about 10kN max (2250 lbs), that your swami can take 15,000 lbsf is rather a non-sequitor. Thinking like a scientist includes identifying what is important and what is irrelevant. (/snark)

AE: Point missed by many here is safety equipment outside the climbing bubble specifies "safe working load" which typically is no more than 10 - 20% of the maximum test.

TOM: SWL / Safe Working Load is a different system for stating the same thing - how strong something is. It is a system used in construction based on protocols for how cranes n sh#t are used. The SWL is calculated by taking the minimum breaking strength and dividing by 5 (though the factor might vary for different pieces of equipment). In climbing we use a different system where we just report the minimum breaking strength. Your point shows a misunderstanding of what SWL means.

AE: Climbing gear generally leaves much narrower margins, especially when worst-case scenarios add multiple factors all conspiring to weaken the critical link further. Wet/frozen ropes are weaker than clean dry ones, then run it across a sharp edge, then drag it sideways, under factor 1 fall load, on the one occasion in your life when you have one second to think gee, maybe this rope should have been replaced 5 years ago. . .

TOM: not really. For evidence I provide ANAM which shows many people dying from many factors, but equipment failure is extremely rare. My climbing system is good for 2500 lbs, yet, even if I have that fourth doublebock and balloon up to 250 lbs, I still have a 10:1 safety margin. The safety margin in climbing and in the SWL system ACCOUNTS for all those crazy normal things that happen - that why both systems HAVE a safety margin built in.

But at least we agree that that rope should have been tossed out 5 years ago!

AE: In regard to harness design, one gripe I have is, why is the actual final waist webbing a single flat piece usually only 1", weakened further by a tight buckle pass? Where's the redundancy there? Suppose one is belaying off the discussed belay loop directly, the leader climbs ten feet above your belay without clipping anything first, then falls, that is a factor 2 fall directly onto same belay loop and lonely 1" waist web.

TOM: Because it works?

AE: Amazing more incidents like this don't occur with disastrous results.

TOM: Can you pull out ANAM and point to a single incident??? This is the data that shows that it works.

AE: Most climbers don't think like scientists,

TOM: perhaps I think more like an engineer. We have a huge supply of data that shows that this system works quite well; therefore we have proved scientifically that your hypothesis is not true. Publish, go find another grant...

AE: and the few who do behave as everyone else, i.e. familiarity breeds contempt - this marginal jury-rigged system worked last week, or last year, so it most likely will work one more time. Until it doesn't.

TOM: "jury-rigged" - You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Yes, it is good for people to think and understand about the systems that protect their lives when we go climbing. But, quite frankly, the UIAA and climbing manufacturers recognized, quite some time ago, that having everyone jury-rig their own systems, everyone be their own engineer, was not a good idea. The ultimate end of this is Sport Climbing, of course, but that is not my point. The point is that the system of engineering and standards (with the help of Zeus and Ba'al looking after fools and drunks) has been successful at creating a gear system that is pretty darn safe!

Despite the tendency of the climbing community to cling to 'it worked before' thinking, and to latch onto erroneous rumors about how to use gear, such as the one about not trusting your belay loop. So please, stop promoting rumors. Please, promote understanding and knowledge based in actual testing and engineering.

Thanks for the soapbox. Back to you, Coz...
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