Todd Skinners failed harness - update

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Messages 61 - 80 of total 141 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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.
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.

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