Subject: Low-Load Climbing-Gym Fall Results In Rope Rupture

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fallenclimber

Trad climber
Davis, California
Topic Author's Original Post - May 21, 2006 - 10:57am PT
At approximately 1:15 pm, Saturday, May 20, 2006, at an indoor climbing gym in California, a climber was taking his "lead" test, which consisted of lead-climbing an indoor, slightly overhanging route of about 35 or so feet, clipping the pre-placed quickdraws, and then, taking a short fall from the top of the climb.

The climber, a young male, in the vicinity of 6 feet tall, of relatively thin build (weighing an estimated 155 lbs), had successfully climbed the route to its top, and had his hands on the top hold of the climb. His rope was clipped through a steel, key lock carabiner approximately 3.5 to 4 feet below his waist tie in point. The rope appeared to be properly clipped. The quick draw, and the clipped carabiner (that was about to take the load from his fall) hung out from the gently overhanging wall so that the carabiner did not come into contact with the wall. The climber, and his partner, were being observed by a gym staff-person who was evaluating the climber to determine whether the climber would pass his lead-test. In addition, several other climbers had gathered to observe the test.

Pursuant to the requirements of the lead test, the climber intentionally let go of his holds and proceeded to fall. It was not clear from my vantage point exactly how much slack the belayer had fed out at the time of the fall, but it appeared the climber fell perhaps 6-7 plus feet before the rope tightened and began to catch his fall. The climber had fallen approximately 2 clip points (perhaps approxiately 10 or so feet) below the loaded carabiner, and his fall appeared to be substantially arrested, when the rope ruptured, and the climber plummeted to the deck. From a (very rough calculation), this appeared to be a very "low-load" fall. With the climber falling (including rope stretch before the break) about 10 feet (and perhaps up to 12 feet), before the break, it would appear that by an equally rough estimate that this 10-12 foot fall occurred on about 35 feet of rope (between the belay and climber). This fall would appear to produce a modest "fall factor" of say, around .333 (compared to the UIAA fall test of "fall factor" 2.)

The rope broke at the loaded carabiner. It was obvious from the pattern of the break that the rope broke in an "exfoliation" pattern, with the nylon strands on the outside of the bend breaking first, and then the strands immediately underneath them, and so on. To repeat, the rope appeared to feed through the loaded carabiner properly, and so the whole length of the "active rope" appeared to be available to take up the energy of the fall. The carabiner had no sharp points, or edges, and was of standard diameter. The rope was not pinned against the wall by the carabiner.

I performed (an exceedlingly) informal examination of the severed rope. According to the rope's owner, who was the partner, and belayer of the climber who fell, his rope was about three years old. He reported the the rope had previously experienced several "light" falls, and, additionally, one 20 foot fall, which, according to the rope's owner, had occurred with much of the rope "out" to absorb the shock of the fall.

The rope appeared to be in good shape. The rope's sheath had almost no wear. I pulled the length of the rope through my hands: no obvious core irregularities were detectable. There were no detectable stains or other markings on the rope. In short, if the information reported from the rope owner was true, and there were no significant omissions, this appeared to be a rope that many climbers, including myself, would lead on, and indeed, had experienced less wear and tear than many gym lead ropes that I see employed on a daily basis. Of course, clearly, I am not in a position to know the whether the history of this rope was accurately reported.

I have never heard of a rope breaking from a low-load gym fall, nor, in fact, from any gym fall. Unlike outdoor falls, all the factors in this fall were controlled, and visible. It does appear very unlikely that there were any "external" fall factors that exacerbated the typical loading force on this rope where is passed over the loaded carabiner.

It is the fervent hope of everyone who observed this incident that the rope will be examined and perhaps some conclusions from such examination shared with the climbing community.

Until then, although I have been climbing for several decades, and have heretofore cleaved to the popular belief that unabused ropes don't break extreme under extreme duress, until someone examines this rope and provides an explanation for the failure which suggests an external weakening agent, I am re-evaluating my faith in the popular opinion regarding the reliability of ropes.

Beware.
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
May 21, 2006 - 11:09am PT
What was the weight of the belayer? Was belayer lifted into the air? What type of belay device was used?
bleedr

climber
May 21, 2006 - 11:15am PT
condition of rope? brand? i bet the folks at the QA lab at black diamond would love to see the severed cord.

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 21, 2006 - 11:39am PT
Nothing can be manufactured with zero defects over years of production. Sooner or later, some company, sometime, will screw something up. I'm guessing that's likely to be the case here.

Either that or the rope was subject to accidental exposure to some chemical over it's lifespan.

There have been several cases where tubular webbing failed at low loads. Later it was discovered that the webbing failed where one run of production stopped and was basically taped to the next batch and nobody noticed the splice in the climbing shop where it was purchased off the roll.

That's just one example of how wierd stuff happens

getting the name of the maker of the rope would be a great idea. The question is where to get the rope professionally examined and tested. The maker might want to test the rope and examine the failure but can they be trusted not to coverup?

peace

Karl
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 21, 2006 - 12:17pm PT
I've heard of one other incident like this, in fact even worse---the rope broke on an upper-belayed fall. I heard that the rope was examined by the manufacturer and determined to have suffered chemical damage. Since then I've been extremely careful about how and where I stow my ropes. In particular, I try to never let them come into direct contact with someone's trunk or pickup truck bed. Of course, many people now use rope bags and this should alleviate the contact problem.
pc

climber
East of Seattle
May 21, 2006 - 12:30pm PT
What happened to the guy who fell? Is he okay?

Amazing about the rope, Never heard anything like it. Would be interesting to get a full report after the rope's been tested.

pc
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 21, 2006 - 12:51pm PT
So much for my "ropes don't just break" mantra. Is the climber OK?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 21, 2006 - 01:18pm PT
Ditto,
Ever since the Diving board jump, I've pretty much believed that ropes don't break though they do get cut.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.

I have broken ropes pulling cars.
JAK

Sport climber
Central NC
May 21, 2006 - 01:24pm PT
Generally, I think it's safe to say that properly manufactured and cared-for ropes don't "just break". If this thing snapped in such a manner, I'd be suspicious about its history. There are a lot of things that can do unseen damage to a rope.
Professor Fate

Big Wall climber
Vulgaria
May 21, 2006 - 01:59pm PT
Cat urine can cause such a situation. I would bet there was chemical damage.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 21, 2006 - 02:39pm PT
Areas like from one end to the other?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 21, 2006 - 02:51pm PT
Hmmm, first post a lu-lu, no real supporting details that can be checked out, no info about this anywhere else I can find, how about a little proof that this is not just a hoax?
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada
May 21, 2006 - 03:23pm PT
The starting post is spot on of what happened. I was watching the lead test from the start. A few more details. Belayer was using an ATC. The climber was taken to hospital with back and hip pain. Have not heard how he is doing. He fell right on his back. I strongly suggested to rope owner that it be sent to the rope maker/ supplier for testing.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 21, 2006 - 03:35pm PT
How much info would you expect to find on the internet about an accident that happened yesterday?
Russ Walling

Social climber
Same place as you, man...... (WB)
May 21, 2006 - 04:16pm PT
troll or sulfer tri-oxide damage. rope and car batteries = LEB. If real... wow and recover soon.
Majid_S

Mountain climber
Bay Area
May 21, 2006 - 04:21pm PT
RajMix
I need to do some testing with ropes, when are you coming to Cali, I could surely use you as dead weight
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 21, 2006 - 04:25pm PT
fallen/Rat
which gym?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 21, 2006 - 04:41pm PT
I would expect posts on rc.com, and other sites, and the name of the gym, and possibly the brand of the rope, maybe a name or two of the posters at least, and some other verifiable facts.

Why would someone ONLY post on ST about this?

Ragmeat might not weigh enough, you might have to fatten him up a little.
wootles

climber
Gamma Quadrant
May 21, 2006 - 05:14pm PT
As an engineer for one of the major climbing rope manufacturers I can say with absolute certainty that this is not a case of manufacturer defect. The average 10mm rope is made up of more than 300 individual strands of nylon yarn. It is statistically impossible for enough of the fibers to be defective in precisely the same spot to cause the failure described. The rope was either cut or was previously damaged in some way.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 21, 2006 - 10:09pm PT
Impossible for a three-year-old rope to have failed under those conditions!

The rope was either damaged somehow, or it was an incredible manufacturing defect. The latter is unlikely, since it sustained several other falls.

I repeat - IMPOSSIBLE.

But it happened.

How?
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
May 21, 2006 - 10:22pm PT
Locking carabiner? Seems odd.

Anyway, suppose the rope was caught between the gate and the biner. If he "clipped" from below then climbed same distance above, the climber would never feel the friction. And if the belayer does not take in, then let out, perhaps he does not either.

Maybe with the rope pinned on a sharp edge it fails. Even this scenario seems unlikely.

Of course, a lower biner could have pinned the rope and turned it into a factor oneish fall.

Finally, while it seems likely that the rope broke at the biner, I doubt that this was actually "observed". (If it was, then the rope must have been clipped into the biner after the climber hit the ground, other wise the rope falls through the biners to the ground with nobody knowing exactly what the point of failure was.) More than likely it was estimated to be the case post fall.
e$

Mountain climber
jackson, wy
May 21, 2006 - 10:34pm PT
Sounds like a Touchstone gym.... Based on the poster's location I'm guessing the one in Sacramento.

They may you climb the route, hang from the last hold and take a fall.

This is a terrible incident and I hope that the climber is not seriously injured (and/or heals quickly).

Touchstone, from my experience, wants to discourage lead climbing as much as possible. It's the only gym where I've had to take a fall as part of the lead test (which is not altogether bad).

Maybe this is going to make them clamp down further on leading, or redesign their test.

I know of one gym that makes you lead on their ropes.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 21, 2006 - 10:41pm PT
Has the carabiner on the wall been checked? Maybe there is a burr in it or something that cut the rope?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 21, 2006 - 10:45pm PT
So far you are basing your analysis on the word of two first time posters, both fortunately at the same place at the same time to see the accident, but living in different states.

NO corroboration outside these two.

SueV PHD

climber
San Diego
May 21, 2006 - 10:54pm PT
Has the makings of an outstanding troll. Been quite a few nibbles and outright bites. But yet, no specific names, locations. Plus the odds are a bit against a rope flat out breaking under such weak sauce circumstances, eh?

Wonder if the thing will take on a life of it's own and spread like the Ebola virus to rc.n00b and beyond? Hope not. When those Aliens first started to fail, the manuf blaimed the inital posts as trolls....
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 21, 2006 - 11:20pm PT
I have to admit my suspicion of the post, lacking any specific information that could be checked.

But also because the result does not fit the facts. There are a number of factors that can significantly reduce the strength of rope....most notably using the rope for top-roping:
http://www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/services/safety/forms/Vogel1.doc

Also, marking the center of the rope with an unapproved marker:
http://www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/services/safety/forms/Marking%20of%20Ropes.doc

urine can reduce a rope's strength, up to 30%. This and a series of rope comments from UIAA, including the comment that no rope has been known to fail sport climbing.....perhaps that is different, now.
http://www.pete-smith.co.uk/ropewear.htm

So, for the rope to have failed in the manner described, with the world history of lack of such failures, it STRONGLY suggests that something damaged this rope. It would certainly be important for the rope to be examined by the manufacturer, or a reputable lab, along with the 'biner.

The use of a steel carabiner seems odd, most used in climbing these days are aluminum.
WBraun

climber
May 21, 2006 - 11:41pm PT
Post up OP of the Gym name/location and the real name of the person that fell.

We will call the gym to confirm the story.

Otherwise, this equals a bullshits troll!
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
May 21, 2006 - 11:52pm PT
Impossible!
dougs510

Social climber
down south
May 21, 2006 - 11:54pm PT
I Agree... would be a great troll. I ain't buyin' it, otherwise, I'd have to quit climbing, well, I guess I'd have to start back first :)

Seriously, if you can't trust your rope, well, need I say more?

Post up the gym name and dude that fell, or I'm with Braun.
e$

Mountain climber
wilson, wyo.
May 22, 2006 - 12:14am PT
My bet is on Sac'to Pipeworks, as the scenario he described matches the Touchstone style of lead test to a tee.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada
May 22, 2006 - 12:34am PT
The maker of the rope (which the owner of the rope told me at the time of the accident)has been notified and has the contact information for the gym involved and people that saw the accident(me and others). I hope the rope gets tested and the guy recovers. I like it better when names are kept out of things like this. Just like all the posts, I want more information. Just have to wait.
WBraun

climber
May 22, 2006 - 12:36am PT
Labrat

What gym? Why so secretive about the gym? Common man spit it out.
Chaz

Trad climber
So. Cal.
May 22, 2006 - 01:53am PT
Difference between a "Ruptured" Rope, and a "Broken" Rope?

The Manufacturer says the rope "ruptured".

The guy whose ass hit the deck says it broke.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 22, 2006 - 12:04pm PT
One of my partners was at the gym and told me about this accident.

It is indeed Pipeworks in Sacramento. Call them up.
DavisGunkie

Trad climber
Davis, CA
May 22, 2006 - 12:17pm PT
my initial though in reading this was that it was rocknasium sincew the ropes they use are old and they don't let you lead on your own ropes. plu si have seen some shitty techniques there from lead belayers.

my guess is the climber was fallen, having taken the lead test at pipeworks, they usually only have you go 3-4 clips up or so before they tell you to take the fall., and the floor they have is pretty cushy. but that is purely speculative.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 22, 2006 - 12:34pm PT
There's a whole bunch of factors that would keep the impact of this fall somewhat low. Also, because (as was pointed out earlier) so many threads are involved in the inner guts of a rope, the idea that all the threads were incorrectly manufactured at exactly the same point is highly unlikely, if not impossible. If this isn't a troll (probable), everything points to the rope being previously damaged in the place where it broke. Send the broken shank to Kolin at BD and have him give it the once over.

Ropes don't break in the way described unless they have been previously damaged by SOMETHING above and beyond this little piss ant fall. The fall described is taken tens of thousands of times every day at sport crags and gyms all over the world.

JL
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 22, 2006 - 12:39pm PT
My bet was on Rocknasium too. I didn't realize that they insisted that you use their gnarly ropes. I just knew that you could lead on their loners...and thought it was kind of a big liability for them.
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
May 22, 2006 - 12:49pm PT
To the best of my knowledge, no one manufactures a "keylock steel 'biner" steel is too hard to get a good nose "bulb" geometry. i'm guessing the OP meant a steel locking carabiner. if this is the case, the tangs on those gates are easily sharp enough to cut a rope if improperly clipped.

i know the OP said everything was clipped properly, but this would be hard to verify from the ground.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 22, 2006 - 01:31pm PT
My partner said that he also looked at the biner. He also described it as a steel "keylock" biner. Pipeworks doesn't use locking biners on the lead walls. My partner also said the biner was in good shape (no burs, sharp edges etc.)

If the rope was "caught" on the gate or pinched on the wall while the climber was falling and the climber slowed down appreciably (according to the people there), then it would seem like there would probably be sheath damage over several feet of the rope. This doesn't appear to be the case.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
May 22, 2006 - 01:34pm PT
Troll? Back in the late 70's I threw my rope into a friends trunk. Got home and the next day I was going to go climbing. My friend had at some point transported a car battery (sulfuric acid) and my rope was eaten through the sheath and some of the fibers.

My guess is that if chemicals damaged this rope then it would most likely leave visible signs of damage. If the sheath is chemically the same as the core (polyurethane) then it would also eat the sheath. I suppose there cold be some solvents that may weaken a rope and not cause visible signs of damage.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
May 22, 2006 - 01:34pm PT
Pipeworks has a number of steel omega biners on the rope ends of their quickdraws, but I think they're like the omegalite 4.0 wiregates, not keylocks.

And hey, I won't hear of this ragging on the Rocknasium! That place is great! Way chill vibe, as opposed to a few of the other local gyms...
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
May 22, 2006 - 02:01pm PT
It's a Troll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A three year old rope doesn't just break. Very few Gyms let you use your own rope!!!rg
Ain't no flatlander

climber
May 22, 2006 - 02:26pm PT
Almost certainly acid fumes if this isn't a troll. A close look at the fibers will reveal all. There are at least a half dozen known cases of ropes breaking due to exposure to acid so it is very plausible. Generally requires very close proximity to high concentrations of fumes. There is no visible indication of exposure prior to rupture. But you can easily spot the difference between a rope that has broken from high forces.
Tradboy

Social climber
Valley
May 22, 2006 - 02:34pm PT
A three year old rope doesn't just break.

I can't believe you just made this statement having no knowledge of its usage, fall history, and care.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 22, 2006 - 02:43pm PT
"Happpens all the time [ropes] just explode, natural causes." HaHa & apologies to the repoman script writers.

But really, the OP's scenario is the touchstone franchise lead test, described to a T. I thought it was lame that they didn't even look at the rope you use for the test (in my case a 20 yr old MSR that Might not have any crampon punctures) but WTF; their lawyers, their rules. BTW the landings in a worst case scenario are everything you could want.

They definitely encourage you to lead on your own ropes.


What Caught said about Rocknasium! Has cracks and allows dogs. Support your local non-generic climbing outlet!

Touchstone Concord has NO cracks! What were they thinking?

My vote is for evil chemicals surrounding the rope, in a car trunk. Since outright fabrication sounds less likely than it did.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 22, 2006 - 02:57pm PT
I always thought it was crazy that Rocknasium provided lead ropes. That gives them all the liability.

If Pipeworks inspected your ropes, then suddenly their liability would also go up. "Hands off" (just like the NPS doesn't inspect bolts on walls) is legally safer.
Professor Fate

Big Wall climber
Vulgaria
May 22, 2006 - 03:00pm PT
One of the gyms here in Vegas MAKES you use your own rope if you want to lead. It is their policy. I do not know about other areas.

I believe the story. I also think the rope had damage that was unknown.

Many things are possible that we do not realize.

Gotta roll!



wootles

climber
Gamma Quadrant
May 22, 2006 - 03:09pm PT
Would it be bad form to ask if he passed the test?
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 22, 2006 - 03:15pm PT
No ill will meant towards Rocknasium. I took a self-rescue class there when I was first starting to climb, and it was absolutely the best. I just remember being shocked at the icky ropes that the instructors were taking off the pile for lead-climbin'.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
May 22, 2006 - 03:17pm PT
Cool. Just think of how many mouths have bitten those ratty old things before a clip! hahaha

(you can count me in that group.)
rocketsocks

climber
Bellevue, WA
May 22, 2006 - 03:44pm PT
This story seems questionable. Very few details in the original post, no name, no gym name, no location other than "a climbing gym in California" (that narrows it down a lot). And no mentions anywhere else, including rc.com and google news.
paganmonkeyboy

Trad climber
the blighted lands of hatu
May 22, 2006 - 04:05pm PT
i've been to a couple gyms that make you take a fall like this for the lead wall. both provided their own lead ropes, and rotated them frequently, though they would let you lead on your own rope no problem...and it always seemed to me that the lead ropes were in better shape than the TRs they leave up...

curious to see what some testing on this rope will show...it's been a long time since I have heard of a rope failure that didn't involve a cut of some sort, and never one such as this one is described...
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 22, 2006 - 04:12pm PT
"This story seems questionable. Very few details in the original post, no name, no gym name, no location other than "a climbing gym in California" (that narrows it down a lot). And no mentions anywhere else, including rc.com and google news."

I don't know why the original poster was so skimpy details.

However, it happened at Pipeworks in Sacramento.

Give them a call and report back on this forum.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Trad climber
SF bay area
May 22, 2006 - 06:50pm PT
I'm amazed that no one else was hurt... If it had been at my gym in the evening, there's a good chance someone would have been under the climber.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 22, 2006 - 07:10pm PT
I thought the OP put in all the right details and none of the wrong ones.

When an accident like this happens, the gym might suffer even if not at fault, and other people and manufacterers get blamed out of assumption.

best to get some facts first and then have the witchhunt

peace

Karl
Apocalypsenow

Trad climber
Cali
May 22, 2006 - 07:21pm PT
Having had the opportunity to take a day long tour of a rope manufacturer company, I remain completely confident in climbing ropes. THEY know the risk involved, should one cord come out of their shop that has the slightest defect.

I say the “gym climber” that owned the rope was not giving the correct history. Did he often throw his rope on the pavement of the parking lot? Parking lots have acid on them from batteries. One thing to consider...

Also, steel carabiners do not disappate heat as well as aluminum does. Sounds like the rope ran through the biner, for enough of a distance to create heat…
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 22, 2006 - 07:50pm PT
yes, a day long trip to a rope maker would certainly satify ME, except that I have been sent a faulty rope from a manufacturer before.

when I told em, they said, Keep it, cut out the bad parts, use as you wish, we will replace no charge. ANd they did.

Now, that rope PROBABLY would not have killed me, but it was NOT up to snuff, and it got though hand selection, eyeballs right on it.

But at any rate, if this story is true, someone will have to test the rope remnants and see what happened. I would bet the sheath alone would hold the fall they claim happened, so severe damage of some sort seems indicated.

Maybe we should start a few wagers?

Hoax/no hoax, 5 to one on hoax

Acid damage, even money.

Cut by evil partner, 10 to one.

Kodos did it, 100 to 1 (he can't be everywhere).

Karl did it, 50 to 1 (Karl is awfully sure about this though).

Werner did it, 1000 to one.

Tuolumne rainbow did it, are you kidding? Astronomical odds.

Your pick here:

Someone in Vegas go get these lined up!



Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
May 22, 2006 - 09:16pm PT
This is almost certainly a hoax. The only other report that I have ever heard of involving a rope actually breaking in use (the one mentioned by rgold) involved a rope that had been exposed to battery acid.

Curt
sharpendphoto

Sport climber
berkeley
May 22, 2006 - 09:16pm PT
i can also confirm that this post is not a hoax... but i too would find it hard to believe if my partner (who was at pipeworks on saturday) hadn't recounted the identical story to me saturday night by e-mail. scary. after talking this over with other climbers, our speculative consensus is that there must have been some damage to the rope... i sure hope the climber isn't seriously injured and can get back to leading on a new rope soon. here's a snippet of our exchange from saturday...

first e-mail:
... anyhow, the disturbing part is i saw another guy fall. he was taking his lead test and at the top wanting to take the intentional fall, and when he did his rope SNAPPED and he fell. holy sh#t. i'll have to recount it to you later. again, i saw him hit the ground. ugh.

my reply:
wow. i can't believe that. there must have been something wrong with his rope... they just don't break like that. maybe manufacturing flaw? glad to hear he was ok. that would have been really scary to see, especially since you were probably watching anyway to see his lead fall.

her reply:
the rope just snapped. not caught on a bolt, not frayed at all before the fall. the rope looked old but less frayed than any of ours, and what is surprising is that the entire thing just ripped in half. core and all. everyone was checking their ropes after that. the other guy (the partner) was saying that they had only taken a couple falls on it. the dude fell much better than the other one at MC. i saw him land on his feet/ankles and roll onto his side/back so im sure some of the impact was transferred so thats why he didnt break anything but he was in major shock--his eyes were huge and glassy and he just lay there.


(she also mentioned that there was quite a bit of confusion about how to handle the situation on the part of the touchstone employees. i find this pretty scary and frankly surprising given the number accidents that have happened recently at the touchstone gyms.)
ctardi

Trad climber
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
May 22, 2006 - 09:26pm PT
I'd kinda think troll on this one...has anyone contacted any of the gyms?
ladd

Trad climber
land of fruits, nuts and flakes
May 22, 2006 - 11:17pm PT
either a poorly respected life line or just another boring troll.......

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 22, 2006 - 11:28pm PT
Jesus. People buy the government lies all day long but nobody can buy that a rope might break!

It would be a pretty boring troll to be worth getting all these collaborators involved it convincing us that some guy fell in a gym.

You want to suspect a conspiracy, maybe some chemistry geek sabotaged the rope cause the climber was his enemy or he was just twisted.

My money is on real accident, chemical damage

peace and hope the guy is OK. He should be posting up anytime now (if he exists)

Karl
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 22, 2006 - 11:38pm PT
I love you too Karl, but no tongues!

And so far, three first time posters to ST, with a really odd story, nothing to support it-- any other time that would scream and shout, "HOAX!".
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
May 22, 2006 - 11:44pm PT
Like Puppets on a string!

Dance
Shack

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
May 22, 2006 - 11:50pm PT
I smell a conspiracy and subsequent cover up....
probably goes to the highest levels of government.
Rope manufacturers = Big Business!
They can't afford to let the facts out.
I'm sure the rope in question has been "misplaced" and we'll never know the truth!
All eyewitnesses have been silenced and the video tape that would show what really happened will never see the light of day!

Come on Karl!, you of all people should see through the misinformation and lies!

Obviously a conspiracy.
Trust no one.
ladd

Trad climber
land of fruits, nuts and flakes
May 23, 2006 - 12:01am PT
not even your rope...

if its real, i'd expect an inspection would easily reveal the demon.. bring it on
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 23, 2006 - 12:18am PT
I am the one that fell. It was at Pipeworks. The rope was flaked out twice before we began. The above story is correct. The rope was not caught in the gate of the caribeaner. I saw it break as I fell. I was taken to UC Davis med center. After several test I was released. I am sore but ok. Link to a picture of the rope is below.

http://brvoyles.smugmug.com/photos/71067899-L.jpg
Shack

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
May 23, 2006 - 12:24am PT
Obviously a CIA operative working DEEP undercover...
trying to muddy the waters with facts.

Seriously though...that's kinda scary.
Shack

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
May 23, 2006 - 12:26am PT
Hey BVoyles... is anyone like BD gonna test that rope?
What's the deal?

And glad your OK.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2006 - 12:35am PT
Much better.

Good for you for posting and settling things.

Hope you are OK.


Care to give some history of the rope?

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 23, 2006 - 12:37am PT
In your face Taco Eaters!

Did I call it or what? The guy posts up within a half hour of my post. I swear I don't know him. (glad you are OK Man)

Of course new people posted about the accident. It happens when there is an accident and folks who don't post just to read themselves type have a reason to share info.

Thanks everyone.

PEace

karl

TR..Very Tempting but I didn't make to middle age unmarried without an unhealthy fear of commitment. You're not inheriting big bucks soon are you?

;-)
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 23, 2006 - 12:43am PT
Yow!
what Shack™ said.
Glad you're okay!










Did you pass?






Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 23, 2006 - 12:53am PT
Just for the record, when SHARPENDPHOTO says:

"i can also confirm that this post is not a hoax... but i too would find it hard to believe if my partner (who was at pipeworks on saturday) hadn't recounted the identical story to me saturday night by e-mail. scary."

Actually, you CANNOT confirm this. You can only confirm that you also HEARD about it. You weren't there, you didn't see it.

When folks give testimony about something, you can only do that when you saw it with your own eyes.
WBraun

climber
May 23, 2006 - 12:56am PT
Some of the threads in that rope look stained yellow????

etreez

Trad climber
Juneau, AK
May 23, 2006 - 01:07am PT
HaHaHa. A guy sliced a QD in MI last year on an edge next to a poorly placed bolt. I called BS and ended up with my foot in my mouth which is why I kept silent here. Definately hard to believe. Please post any test results.
Glad you're OK. I new I should have fallen in a gym instead of on that damn frozen waterfall.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 23, 2006 - 01:07am PT
The rope belongs to my partner. I believe the history in the first post is correct. I will add that the rope was stored inside and he does not have pets that could have pissed on it. Furthermore, he has a lot of climbing experience, is a friend, and is someone I trust. The rope looks a lot better than most gym ropes. There is no damage anywhere to it except at the break. I believe it is going to be sent back to BD.

And I think they are going to make me take the test again.hahahaha.
sharpendphoto

Sport climber
berkeley
May 23, 2006 - 01:35am PT
"Actually, you CANNOT confirm this. You can only confirm that you also HEARD about it. You weren't there, you didn't see it. "

exceptionally germane point, ken; thanks for keeping me honest. but isn't it also true that you CANNOT confirm that i confirmed previous confirmations of the originally unconfirmed post, given that you weren't present when i did the confirming in question? please clarify... it will really refocus this thread on the key unaddressed questions of the accident.

good to see most people here are interested in understanding the cause of the break and the climber's well being. bvoyles, good instincts on your fall. i witnessed a similar accident (untied rope, fall from ~35 feet) at mission cliffs several months back and the guy landed with straight legs and the outcome was not pretty.
Gabe

climber
San Clemente, CA
May 23, 2006 - 01:49am PT
Looks to me like it was hit with the magic bullet after it exited JFK's leg. Can that happen?

Thanks for posting BVoyles. Man what a bad lottery ticket you bought. It will be interesting to see what the test results are.
Sure glad your OK! Get back on that horse dude. What are the chances of it ever happening again? Cheers! Gabe



WBraun

climber
May 23, 2006 - 01:54am PT
Man all I can say here is I've seen ropes break during testing and that was thousands of pounds.

Wow! something really weird happened here.
Shack

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
May 23, 2006 - 02:00am PT
Were there any Middle Eastern men between the ages of
18 and 35, anywhere near that rope since 9-11-01?
Could be terrorism.
Just a theory.
ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
May 23, 2006 - 02:40am PT
Hoow old is that rope? i dont rememeber that pattern in a long long time.
ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
May 23, 2006 - 02:40am PT
Hoow old is that rope? i dont rememeber that pattern in a long long time.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada
May 23, 2006 - 02:46am PT
BVoyles, I was very glad to hear that you are ok (heard it at the gym). Hope you are climbing again soon. No way you have to climb again for your card! You should only have to test for belaying since you did not get that far. Better to find out there was a problem with rope inside that outside!
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 23, 2006 - 02:52am PT
I had those same thoughts about that rope pattern, but I don't look at new ropes except when I need one.

Something weird really did happen.


The way the ends look is exactly like the way the ends looked an a rope I broke pulling a a superbeetle out of a ditch with a suburban, For whatever that's worth.

still leaning toward some chemical involvement.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 23, 2006 - 02:55am PT
Knowing how much I have depended on a rope lately in my climbing, this is really scary sh#t... hopefully BD can put it together and determine what happened.

The development of high integrity ropes for climbing has been a hallmark of these last few decades. We take it so much for granted that it is hard to believe what we see in that picture and hear in that story.

Glad you escaped with just a bit of soreness BVoyles.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Trad climber
SF bay area
May 23, 2006 - 03:03am PT
Sharpenedphoto,

Was that Roy's fall at MC?
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
May 23, 2006 - 03:03am PT
BVoyles, you said "I believe it [the broken rope] is going to be sent back to BD."

Is this a BD (Beal) rope? Very odd indeed.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 23, 2006 - 03:55am PT
WOW, you guys are hard to please. I think some kid was having his birthday party at the time; maybe there are some five year olds we can interrogate??? haha.

Anyways, here is some final proof.

http://brvoyles.smugmug.com/photos/71106760-L.jpg
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 23, 2006 - 03:58am PT
It is a BD rope.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
May 23, 2006 - 06:02am PT
BVoyles, How's the Vicodan holding up?

If this is a true story, that is scary. Maybe free soloing ain't that bad after all.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2006 - 09:06am PT
Radical, that is not true.

IF a rope were exposed to an acid, then it could appear normal at a glance, but all the fibers in the acid treated cross section might be as mush, just waiting for any load to pull them all apart at once.

Physical structural damage such as cutting or abrasion is much easier to spot.

It seems fairly clear that something happened to this rope that the owner is not aware of, but that is just my speculation.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
May 23, 2006 - 09:21am PT
Is it possible it was caused by the Solar Flares we had a while back?

Juan
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
May 23, 2006 - 09:48am PT
Maybe the gym dog or cat pissed on it. Odd looking break, I think your buddy forgot to tell you he used that rope to pull out his buddies truck.rg
nickh

climber
St. Louis, MO
May 23, 2006 - 09:49am PT
The doctor said you had an unremarkable pelvis. HaHa.

Glad your OK.

NickH
Hootervillian

climber
the Hooterville World-Guardian
May 23, 2006 - 10:46am PT
one thing is for sure. that is the most legible 'half of' a release form that i have ever seen.


mike hartley

climber
May 23, 2006 - 11:16am PT
FYI - While rope manufacturers do have a great safety record, its just not accurate to think that there is a zero chance of a manufacturing defect. In the outdoor education/ropes course world there was a very well known case of a brand new French rope (I’ll leave the name anon) with a defect where the core would rupture at ~1000 lbs (happened around 1995). I know the program and staff who discovered it first hand and they were both professional and very experienced.

The ropes were new, cut from the same 1000’ spool, and used in a double rope system on a ropes course element with very low impact force. The ropes did not actually part but the core of one rope ruptured in 5 places and the other rope in a couple. If it hadn’t been a double rope system the rope most likely would have broken. There were no storage or chemical exposure issues. I saw them and the sheaths looked squeaky clean and new.

What came out during the investigation (several rope manufacturers and an independent lab were involved) is that something went wrong during the heat-treating process. Wottles can speak to this much better than I but, as I understand it, some manufacturers use a very controlled autoclave process. Some use a steam system where the rope fibers pass before a jet of steam. If the “conveyor” controlling the travel speed has a voltage drop the rope may travel slower yet the steam temp remains the same and the fibers can get cooked. I’m working on an old memory here but this was the suspected culprit.

Whether or not the details of the cause are completely accurate, the fact that there is at least one well documented case of a defective rope being made that wasn’t subjected to abuse, age, or ignorance is fact.

I still rely on the odds of getting a bad rope being so low that I’m way more worried about me screwing up than the rope breaking.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 23, 2006 - 11:42am PT
"What's with all the anonomous posters???? "

I've been posting on this site for years. And I'm still anonomous? SHHhhheeeezzzz. I guess I need to start some bloody flame wars or something.

And if anybody still wants to bet on it being a hoax, I'm all-in.

Ain't no flatlander

climber
May 23, 2006 - 12:59pm PT
Mike, IIRC and we're thinking about the same incident, those ropes had also been shipped back and forth across the Atlantic a couple times on container ships. So there were also unanswered questions about storage conditions.
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
May 23, 2006 - 01:26pm PT
I am with hoax, or rope history understated. Like just a few short *factor 1* falls. And 3-5 years old, with maybe a lots of trips and plenty of top-roping. Rope might have looked "better than the gym" top-ropes, but who in his right mind would lead on one of them - we do not let them go a full year do we?. I thought the partial form was interesting too.

Cooperative trolling is usually more convincing than single efforts. I guess folks consider it less probable.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 23, 2006 - 01:36pm PT
One more thing. Someone mentioned the touchstone employees being 'confused'. I landed on my back and then proceeded to roll onto my left side as I could not breathe. The employee (I'll leave his name out of this) who was watching the test immediatly grabbed me and held down to keep me from moving more while I regained my breathing. He supported my back which caused a noticable drop in pain. He talked me down, which was a great help as I was pretty freaked. I do not know what went on elsewhere, but the ambulance was there within 5 minutes of me hitting the ground. I am pleased with the response from pipeworks, ambulance, and hospital. The manager of pipeworks called me yesterday and had a lot of kind things to say. I am planning on going back to the gym this week so I can thank the employee that was watching the test.

I have to thank the experienced climbers at the gym as well as the members of this site. The concern and interest means a lot. Feel free to say hello if you see me at the gym.

This is starting to sound like an awards speech, but I just wanna say how great my friends are as well. My sister, two roomates, and climbing partner all waited at the hospital for me and it meant a lot when I was released and saw them all there.

OK, enough sappiness. I'll let you all know what I hear about the rope.

Brian


sean stitt

Sport climber
sacramento
May 23, 2006 - 01:38pm PT
I am as close to an "official" as you will probably hear from on this forum. I have worked for Touchstone for ten years and I am personally responsible for setting up a lot of the systems we currently use.

This accident did happen in Pipeworks in Sacramento.
I have personally inspected all of the gear EXCEPT the rope and read all of the witness statements.

This is a unique accident because it was a lead test. So there was an unusual amount of focus on the climber by multiple sets of eyes.

For the record - there was absolutely nothing wrong with the carabiner. It is a DMM keylock steel bent-gate carabiner. The keylock means that the rope was very unlikely stuck in the gate. That is exactly what keylocks are designed to prevent. And we only use steel biners in our gyms because our routes simply receive too much traffic for aluminum. I have personally seen an aluminum biner over half way worn through after only a month of use. There were no burrs, or sharp edges and there was minimal wear to the biner.

Furthermore, the gear on the route did not "pin" the rope down anywhere creating a higher fall factor. All witnesses reported seeing the rope break over the final carabiner as the rope came taught and then watched the rope fall down the wall through the gear with the severed 6 feet still attached to the climber. The route is overhanging throughout and it would be nearly physically impossible for a draw lower on the route to have pinned the rope.

ROPES DON'T BREAK. Once you store or handle your rope improperly, which is my opinion of what happened here, you no longer have a rope, you have a weapon. Use a rope bag. Store your rope properly. Don't wash your rope with anything more than a mild soap - no detergents!

We will all have to wait for BD's analysis but I would bet the farm that they will find chemical degradation of some kind.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2006 - 01:40pm PT
Well several serious players in the rope industry have an interest since the pic was posted, one has written me about it, and the rope is going to it's maker eventually, and the faller has posted his name, so, if it is a hoax, there will be hell to pay for someone.

I just feel that this is for real now that there is a rope, it is being tested, and someone came forward and said here I am, I fell on it, it broke.

That is a credible scenario.

Incidentally, I have heard from a small bird that the rope APPEARS to be cut, from the photo. This small bird is an expert who wishes to remain anon, and further expressed that to be certain they woud have to see the actual rope.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
May 23, 2006 - 01:40pm PT


Its a fact that most climbing ropes manufactured today are made in third world countries such as China.

Juan
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
May 23, 2006 - 01:59pm PT

Little does this climber know that his partners cat took a leak on the rope a few weeks before, and he is about to die.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2006 - 02:06pm PT
Yer scarin me juan.

I may never climb again.
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
May 23, 2006 - 02:13pm PT
The leader should not fall.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2006 - 03:00pm PT
Psst, Psst, hey TR, they are joking!!! Really!
Dr.Kodos

Trad climber
Tennessee
May 23, 2006 - 03:50pm PT
bullsh*t. i know that in SOME situations, it's true the leader must not fall, but on a route with good gear, that's horsesh*t. if you arn't willing to fall you shouldn't be climbing. even if gear is harder to clean after it has been fallen on.


Respectfully disagree 100 percent.


Climbing is INHERENTLY dangerous and lives could be lost even when things go correctly. Too many people have come to believe this can be a safe sport.

It is not.

Nor should it be.


In any fall, it is impossible to accurately predict with 100 percent efficacy what will happen. Therefore: all falls have the potential to be fatal and really should be avoided whenever possible.

It is the best way to ensure safety (or something close to it).


The old sKoOLeRs knew a little sumptin-sumptin.
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
May 23, 2006 - 04:00pm PT
Quote: The old sKoOLeRs knew a little sumptin-sumptin.

. . . about their antiquated gear. it's a brave new world out there old man. we're not using goldline, tied hexes, tube chocks, swamis and early generation stopppers. gear manufacturing has come a long way.

it's still easy to remove yourself from the world if you're determined, but chance plays a much smaller role in the modern climbing world.
Dr.Kodos

Trad climber
Tennessee
May 23, 2006 - 04:09pm PT
Trashman: I have taken hundreds, NO THOUSANDS of falls. 5 of them over 100 feet. Too many to count over 40 feet. When I fall, it is rarely less than 20 feet.

Each and every time I fall, I never know I will be safe until I feel the "pick-up" on the rope and come to a rest without hitting something.

All I am trying to convey is the notion that falls could precipitate injury or worse REGARDLESS OF SITUATION (even if bolts are three inches apart safety is not ensured. It is always safer to not fall. PERIOD.

If one wants to avoid the possibility of a climbing injury or fatality I suggest either not falling or even worse, not climbing.

Anything else is a risk.


Old shool guys (like me) understand this is always in effect. New schoolers have been taught the sport is safe (or it can be).

It is not.

That is all.
organism

Trad climber
san diego, california
May 23, 2006 - 04:28pm PT
you must be a terrible climber.
G_Gnome

Social climber
Tendonitis City
May 23, 2006 - 04:31pm PT
Spot on Kodos. Just look at the recent history at Joshua Tree. What's more, if you only consider injuries and not deaths, falling is almost always the cause. How many people have climbed more than 5 years and not hurt something? Falling is risky. Not falling is safer. Do I still fall off leading? Yeap. Would I rather not. Yeap.
Dr.Kodos

Trad climber
Tennessee
May 23, 2006 - 04:36pm PT
you must be a terrible climber.

To some, I would think so. I wish I was better, that is certain.


Then again, I'm still alive after 35 years and thousands of ascents.

And rapid descents, so......


Very few people push themselves the way I do. Yes, I suck, but I have.....SPUNK. Unless you are Lou Grant and hate spunk, we have no issue.

Anyone that has ever climbed with me will tell you that. I live to go for it and suffer the consequences. If that makes me a poor climber, I can live with your judgement. I like it unsafe and dangerous.


Especially since only my judgement is what counts (That's a joke folks).




If there is no chance of getting hurt, I am usually not interested in the route. I abhor safety and over concern with it....Tha being said I never put others in a risky situation. I do it for myself. I free solo a lot.

When I was in J tree with Terrie, I soloed 34 routes in one day. Best day ever. Scared myself so that I didn't poop for three weeks. I like it that way.


Let me use a smiley to make sure you realize I am not hostile here, mmmmkay?

sean stitt

Sport climber
sacramento
May 23, 2006 - 06:33pm PT
Dr KODOS,
I know a climber who climbed an 80 foot route, didn't fall, took at the top when he realized he wasn't tied in. He decked and took two years to recover. My bet is that he wishes he fell at the first bolt. Moreover, it would have been safer in these conditions.

Not falling is NOT always safer than falling. Sometimes falling is the best and safest thing to do. How many of us have been at that moment of "should I keep going and risk a bigger fall or just take the whipper now". I've done both and more often than not I've wished I had done the latter.

Old timers, youngsters whatever. All of our comfort thresholds are different. If you're one of those old dogs who think your own placed gear is "safer than most bolts" and you came up in the bowline around the waist and hip belay school - I think we can all understand why you don't want to fall.

Those of us brought up in gyms and on bolts know that "if you are not flying you are not trying". Who thinks the grade of 5.15A would have ever been attained with out the sport climbers approach to falling. How hard would the cutting edge be if everyone was still being forced to utilize the old ground-up ethic of the Valley. I took easily over 1000 falls LAST YEAR alone - no injuries. Multiply this by about 12 to get my total career falls. This was this guys FIRST lead fall and his rope breaks and he decks.

There are no absolutes except death and taxes - and even taxes are negotiable if you have enough money.

The important thing is a rope broke, a climber cratered, and he is ALIVE and OK and wants to climb again. The rope will be tested and we will all know the culprit. As I said before, I'm betting on chemical degradation - in fact, I'll go out on a limb and say this rope got pissed on - person or animal it doesn't really matter- but I say urine.

P.S. - Not that this is a "lucky" situation but, fortunate for the climber that this did happen in a nice padded gym and not in the El Cap tallus or worse. We could be reading about this in "Passages". Thank god and padding that we are not.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 23, 2006 - 07:16pm PT
BVoyles old boy, you're both tough and lucky.

By the looks of how uniformally that rope "ruptured," it looks cut, but I have no idea how a chemically damaged rope would come apart so I'm just guessing.

Either way, till the test results come back we're all just talking out of our asses.

JL
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 23, 2006 - 09:00pm PT
Riley,

well, acid damage still might not be as noticable as a cut or core shot, it would depend on the extent. But what the guy whose opinion I trust most, since he is a big deal at a rope company, told me is, that he feels from looking at the pic that the rope was cut.

He also said that he can't be certain without seeing the rope.

But that goes along more with your idea than acid or other chemical damage.

Your idea about why the damage might not be noticed seems plausible too.

Betcha the testing will tell most of the tale, if not all.

I'm still waiting to hear from my acquaintance about the chance of some sort of damage at a factory that could affect both sheath and core at the same point.
David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
May 23, 2006 - 10:38pm PT
Sean or BVoyles: can anyone confirm that the rope was sent to BD? It is important that no one guess.

Who had the rope after the accident? Has that person confirmed that they sent the rope in? Date? Has anyone called to confirm that the rope was received? I am not hassling anyone, it is just that we all are VERY interested in their report. We all have trusted our lives to ropes hundreds/thousands of times in the past, will do so in the future. Ya got to trust your buddy, ya got to trust your rope.

As with all the others, glad to hear you are relatively OK (I am a doc, I have seen people die from falls much less than 25 feet), and both of you: thanks for posting. Some may still say HOAX, but I think most of us agree the story is real.

(Ain't ST great for being the forum where we can learn all this? Helps me to relax after a day seeing patients. Congrats to Chris Mac!)
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 23, 2006 - 11:33pm PT
I agree that this has to be handled by folks who can determine what the heck happened. The dclimbing community needs to know about the outcome and the causes for such an unusual and terrifying accident.

My guess is that a rope manufacturer will not be set up to do a spectragraph (or whatever) test to determine chemical contamination, and a special lab will have to have a look at it to this end. If nobody wants to see this through send me the line and I'll get it done. I have plenty of friends over at CalTec who can do up that cord in no time.

JL
Professor Fate

Big Wall climber
Vulgaria
May 23, 2006 - 11:44pm PT
Yes. I agree a climbing company like BD has no way of testing the rope. You need chemical engineers and forensic people that have the equipment. Someone smart should take up Mr Largo on that offer. Nothing like that here in Vegas, that's for darn shootin. It is one accident with the furthest reaching consequences I have heard of in 15 years of climbing.
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
May 24, 2006 - 12:13am PT
to borrow a phrase from click and clack; do you have any jilted ex-girlfriends around?

I once changed an auto battery while wearing new Levis. I didn't see any change in Levis, didn't even know I had gotten acid on them, until I washed them. They came out of machine with two huge holes across the front. Acid can be strong stuff but I don't think acid necessarily shows or changes the color.

Maybe time to reconsider twin rope techniques?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 24, 2006 - 12:30am PT
My pal who is at a major rope company says beal made it and they will test it.

Betcha they know what needs to be done, and I'll also betcha they know more specifically about rope polymers than the gusy at university






Professor Fate

Big Wall climber
Vulgaria
May 24, 2006 - 12:43am PT
I agree with dirtyeyes that getting it to a real rope company makes more sense than sending it to Black Diamond. I think this is very alarming and needs figuring out pronto. A company that made the rope would be able to determine quickly what happened, I think. But I also think chem engineers that work with all sorts of polymers would also be a good choice. Even better would be multiple testings by seperate labs that have no vested interest in the results. Just my two cents.
JIMB

Trad climber
May 24, 2006 - 12:48am PT
"I once changed an auto battery while wearing new Levis. I didn't see any change in Levis, didn't even know I had gotten acid on them, until I washed them. They came out of machine with two huge holes across the front. Acid can be strong stuff but I don't think acid necessarily shows or changes the color."

Rocker - Identical thing happened to me with used Levis. Wore the Levis for approx 4-5 days, then tossed them in a pile for about a week before they got washed. Din't notice the holes til later. Didn't see any battery acid while changing the battery either.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 24, 2006 - 01:21am PT
The rope ended up in my apartment after the accident. Its owner had a meeting today with some big shot at touchstone and took the rope with him. I know pipeworks wanted the rope from him to photograph and send off to be tested, but I am not sure if he gave it to them or not. I will ask him the next time I see him. It will get where it needs to go. I am as interested as all of you.
WBraun

climber
May 24, 2006 - 01:22am PT
You should give the rope to Largo for testing.
JAK

Sport climber
Central NC
May 24, 2006 - 12:30pm PT
" . . . about their antiquated gear. it's a brave new world out there old man. we're not using goldline, tied hexes, tube chocks, swamis and early generation stopppers. gear manufacturing has come a long way.

it's still easy to remove yourself from the world if you're determined, but chance plays a much smaller role in the modern climbing world.



You don't fall, you don't die, regardless of what gear is or isn't attached.

I stand by the "old skool" notion that you don't come off the rock on purpose. You don't hangdog, you don't try and pull a full rating above your grade because you've got bolts and draws. You should only ever come off completely against your will and to your complete surprise. That simple.

Your gear is not your parachute - it's your backup chute. Staying pasted to the rock is your primary defense.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
May 24, 2006 - 02:08pm PT
The rope has been sent via overnight mail to BD.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
May 24, 2006 - 02:16pm PT
By the looks of how uniformally that rope "ruptured," it looks cut, but I have no idea how a chemically damaged rope would come apart so I'm just guessing.

That's my guess too.

Chemical damage...probably depends on the type of damage, but, wouldn't be such a uniform cutting of both the sheath and innerds at one spot, methinks. And, really, a single strand of innerds would probably hold body weight.

Maybe I'll get to see it...(some ultra high res high mag photo's might be nice...I can offer that up...). SEM and contamination anal? Might could swing that too.

-Brian in SLC
fallenclimber

Trad climber
Davis, California
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2006 - 04:30am PT
To BVoyles:

Thanks for the update on the status of the rope: that it has been sent to Black Diamond. I started this thread with the hope that you, or your partner, would see it and post regarding the status of the ruptured rope. Thank you so much for posting. There has been a lot of "white noise" on this thread, but several individuals, including yourself, have stepped up with substantive contributions.

Probably no one will be better positioned to post the final analysis and conclusions regarding the ruptured rope after the completion of its inspection than you.

Notwithstanding the fervent opinions of many on this thread regarding chemical damage, and prior "cutting", after inspecting the rope after your fall, and talking to your partner, it sure appeared to me that if ever there was a chance that a rope might be "defective", this might be such.

I am so glad you are okay. I appears that you have made history with respect to being on the wrong end of the first rope ever to break gym-climbing, if not the first rope to break under such a low-load, ever. Probably not the way you would have chosen to enter the history books.

Hope to see you climbing again at Pipeworks. Please accept my regards and best wishes, and please convey the same to your partner, and thank him for sending the rope back to Black Diamond. Both you and he are class acts: best of wishes and good luck, ... and may all of your ropes (and the ones you are tied into) hence forth never dividith.



Matt M

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 25, 2006 - 01:24pm PT
Will be waiting for the BD results as well....

I know the carabiner has been looked at for sharp edges but has the route been looked at for sharp holds? What I mean is when I route set, occasionally you'll get an older hold that has chipped creating an extremely sharp (blade like you may argue) edge. No biggie if the hold is flush to the wall but if it's placed near an angle change in the wall that edge may become exposed. It's also near these angle changes that ropes often catch on or rub against holds. How many of you have seen a hold get a groove from people lowering off and the rope catching on a hold? VERY UNLIKELY but worth a look at the route for sharp hold edges perhaps?

NOTE: THE ABOVE IS PURELY SPECULATION AND NOT BASED ON FACT AND/OR ANY EYEWITNESS REPORTS REGARDING THE INCIDENT. IT IS MEARLY A SUGGESTED MODE OF FAILURE THAT HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM (that should cover the internet rumor-mill a little)
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
May 25, 2006 - 01:27pm PT
BD does not make ropes. I am told they will send it to Beal, who makes the ropes for BD.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
May 25, 2006 - 02:49pm PT
Having known several successive managers of the QA dept at BD, I'm sure they're pretty capable in this regard. They are experienced engineers with some pretty sophisticated equipment. I'd guess it wouldn't take much more than an examination through a good microscope to see if it was chemically damaged or cut. They look at alot of different failure methods when testing their gear.
Now if it was chemically damaged, determining exactly what chemical would probably take a spectrometer or chromatograph, but that's a different story.
Touchstone Climbing

climber
San Francisco
May 25, 2006 - 08:00pm PT
We have posted a response from Mark Mevlin, CEO of Touchstone Climbing on our web site.


http://touchstoneclimbing.com/board/viewtopic.php?p=528#528
Tradboy

Social climber
Valley
May 25, 2006 - 08:57pm PT
Has anyone tried to recreate this fall using several different ropes? Any takers? How about trying it with a pig? oink. oink.
David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
May 25, 2006 - 10:14pm PT
I know Mark Melvin, he is a class act, I am sure that he is as interested as any of us in getting to the truth. Thanks for that post, Mark.

We all stand by.....
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
May 26, 2006 - 04:52pm PT
Wow, this reminds me of a case a few years ago where a rope snapped when someone
was being lowered off of a top-rope climb outside. The guy was a few feet short of the ground when
the rope snapped. If I remember correctly, the rope was possibly contaminated by
being stored in a trunk which had or had had a battery in it, either at the same time or before.
Does anyone else remember this? Anyway, although my ropes are fairly old,
I have knott worried much about them––until now. Very scary stuff.

Here is the photo from above with a simple Levels adjustment and a wee bit of sharpening;
you can see how the core strands are yellow––contrasting to the (now correct) white paper:



As a Touchstone customer, I can attest that they take safety very seriously.
Also, an incident sticks out in my mind which left a really good impression:
One time me and a friend were about to walk into Ironworks in Berkeley when
we ran into another friend, and so we chatted for a minute or 2 before going in.
Had we not spent this time outside we would have witnessed what happened.
As we walked in the door I saw 2 employees take off from behind the counter
and run toward the back left side of the gym. A guy was lying flat on his back
and a Touchstone employee had just reached him. The guy had just decked
from the top of the 35 foot wall and landed flat on his back. He had not tied
his knot correctly––and importantly, didn't verify is tie-in before letting go of the wall.(?!?)
(which is something I've always done obsessively––each and every time, whether climbing or rappelling)
The guy was trying to get up and was saying "I'm alright", but the employee told
him not to move until the paramedics arrived––excellent advice.. Soon the paramedics arrived and
carefully checked the guy out, and finally let him get up and walk away. The guy was
in somewhat of a daze, but he was OK. You gotta love that 18" thick foam they use!

Every gym accident I've ever heard of or witnessed was caused by user error,
so this rope-break incident has been quite sobering to say the least.
I think I'll be getting a new rope! ;-)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 1, 2006 - 12:42am PT
any word on this?
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Jun 1, 2006 - 02:10pm PT
Hi folks,

Can anyone from the gym confirm that the biner in question was this one:



It's what DMM calls their "Gym Draw".

Thanks!

GO
Colt45

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 2, 2006 - 03:53am PT
I'm looking forward to hearing what happens with the lab testing, but in the meantime here's an interesting website I found on rope failure:

http://www.uiaa.ch/article.aspx?c=231&a=147

In the photo of the rope, parts of the sheath and some of the broken core strands seem to have an extremely clean and well-defined break point. It looks more like figure 2 in the article (sharp edge cutting), rather than figure 1 (acid damage).
rocketsocks

climber
Bellevue, WA
Jun 2, 2006 - 04:05am PT
I dunno, it looks a lot more like the acid damage example to me. The sharp edge cut rope has a huge section of sheath, exposing the core, ripped off and then the core is cut. Which lines up with every story of core shots I've read. The rope will continue to stretch and run even as it is being cut on the edge, so the cut will be "long". But it looks like with severely weakened, e.g. acid damaged, ropes it just snaps at the point of greatest force (i.e. biner at the highest piece of pro).

Anyway, I don't want to speculate too much, we should wait for BD's analysis.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 2, 2006 - 04:23am PT
People who KNOW and have seen hte rope do not think it is acid damaged, they are fairly certain it is cut.
Eddie

Trad climber
Boston
Jun 6, 2006 - 02:53pm PT
any news?

I'm trying to decide whether to quit climbing or not.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
Jun 6, 2006 - 03:33pm PT
As of Friday the owner of the rope had not heard anything back on it. I see him a couple times a week so I will share as soon as I get some info.

As for the draw, Pipeworks has a variety hanging on the walls. I never saw the draw afterword so I cannot say with 100% certainty what it was. Don't quit climbing over this.

Brian
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada
Jun 7, 2006 - 09:25pm PT
Waiting. Still climbing.
BVoyles

climber
Davis, CA
Jun 10, 2006 - 02:23am PT
I talked with the manager of the gym tonight. I guess the rope really has not been looked at yet because the person at BD has been sick. However, someone from BD is coming out to the gym to see the route and caribiner early next week. Hopefully it will not be too much longer...

B
MZiebell

Social climber
Prescott, AZ
Jun 12, 2006 - 07:54pm PT
Update?
sean stitt

Sport climber
sacramento
Jun 12, 2006 - 08:15pm PT
I am not sure who these people are who "inspected" the rope and determined that it looked cut. I was there the day the rope was brought back into Pipeworks. Other than Touchstone officials, the rope owner and myself, nobody else examined the rope. This rope was NOT cut in the Touchstone gym and I doubt ever. There are no sharp edges on any holds or terrain anywhere near where the rope could have been. And, as I said, the wall is steadily overhanging with all of the draws longer than the highest profile hold on the wall. This is not a complicated issue. The rope was mishandled/misstored and it was faulty because of it. I have held thousands of ropes and have participated in rope testing for a rope manufacturer and this was by far the stiffest, most degraded rope I have ever seen someone tie in to lead on. This rope probably broke because of the fact that it was less supple than most steel cables.

I suggest rather than speculating about all the possible permutations here, we all just wait to hear from Beal/BD. What they discover will undoubtedly put this thread to rest.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jun 12, 2006 - 08:29pm PT
Someone wrote: "I suggest rather than speculating about all the possible permutations here, we all just wait to hear from Beal/BD. What they discover will undoubtedly put this thread to rest."

Are you kidding me--no one has looked into this thing yet???

That's gonna put their business to rest if they don't get on this. At the very least they could have had an outfit test for chemical contamination while their in-house boy was out sick or whatever. I'm totally amazed that this was not given some priority and addressed in a timely manner.

JL



dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 12, 2006 - 08:30pm PT
LOL, chill, you made you point, one post will do.

Other people have indeed inspected the rope, you are certainly wrong about that.

Your claim that it was never cut is not so clear, but the fact that you notice that the rope was not in, shall we say good condition, should alert you to the idea that cutting or something very similar could occur over edges that normally would not cut a rope in good shape.

That the rope was not cut before the fall seems to be understood by everyone.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 12, 2006 - 10:10pm PT
Dude, would you believe that the rope HAS been seen, and that just maybe the dry rope theory might be the whole enchilada?

IT's not nearly as sexy as acid or defects, but most likely, that rope was ready to go at any time.

IF you want to look on rc.com, a noted rope expert did some tests that recreate the separation in the questionable rope fairly accurately.


There must be a good reason for the delay, but speculating about people being sick or lazy or playing tiddly winks does not really help.

My guess is that a few other bases are being covered, but that part of the issue is that, as this recent poster says, the rope was not in very good condition.

Possibly the delay has to do with figuring out HOW a rope can get so dry, so that there will be a good explanation of what to avoid when we store our ropes.

One more time, think about how a brittle dry rope might act over a biner. That's probably what happened.





Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jun 12, 2006 - 11:06pm PT
"There must be a good reason for the delay, but speculating about people being sick or lazy or playing tiddly winks does not really help."

I say baloney to that. It's called "response time," and it's the professional and ethical thing to do when an accident of this gravity happens to investigate, update and inform folks in a timely manner. And I wouldn't call chemical damage sexy, nor is an exceedingly dry rope a very convincing answer. Nylon doesn't turn to dust. Kolin P. at BD did a bunch of tests on very old and very dry rope and cordage -- often left fixed on routes for years --and they didn't simply come apart without significant forces added.

Perhaps Dirtineye is right--my curiosity has gotten the better of me, but I'd like to get some kind of official test results, or at any trate an update on progress, sooner than later.

JL


Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Jun 12, 2006 - 11:21pm PT
Are people blaming the gym for this incident? If so that really concerns me, being a fellow gym owner.

we also allow/enforce that our customers use their own ropes when leading. My take is that if something bad should happen (i.e. the rope breaking), I'd rather it happen on their gear then mine...from a liability standpoint anyway.

pretty scary accident, that just shows that gym climbing is "real climbing" where you can deck out and the consequences for failure can be just as high. glad no one was seriously injured.

Shack

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Jun 12, 2006 - 11:51pm PT
What the hell is wrong with a "dry" rope anyways?
They should be dry.
Do you mean "sunbaked" or "just really old" or what?

please advise.

and Lambone...this incident in no way legitimizes gym climbing as "real" climbing..
not with 2 feet of foam at the base.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 13, 2006 - 01:00am PT
"And I wouldn't call chemical damage sexy, nor is an exceedingly dry rope a very convincing answer. Nylon doesn't turn to dust. Kolin P. at BD did a bunch of tests on very old and very dry rope and cordage -- often left fixed on routes for years --and they didn't simply come apart without significant forces added."

Nylon and other polymers will do something similar to turning to dust (crumble or get brittle and break in fact) with enough UV exposure. IT can take a long time though.

"Dried out", is not exactly a technical term, but ropes do lose their flex over time, and common dirt is one of the things that helps "dry out" rope. That's straight from an expert.

This is not hard to accept, since you know very well what happens to the nice, soft, sticky rubber on your climbing shoes when it gets dirty-- the outer layer dries out, and won't stick or flex as well.

Funny you mention a person doing tests, on ropes, and from what you say I think you will have to assume that this particular rope is also being tested, and the results will be forthcoming.

Clearly, if the old fixed ropes did not come apart under certain tests, and this one does, then something is to blame.

That the rope in question was NOT in good condition is a fact.

That whatever made this rope prone to failure is important to understand is meaningful and deserving of a full investigation which might take a while should be obvious, even if uncomfortable.

Nobody is blaming gyms in general or that gym for the rope failure, but apparently something did weaken the rope, and apparently something cut it during the fall.

The professionals will figure it out, and tell us all, you can bet on that. IF they want to keep on making ropes, and having climbers trust them, they will have to, LOL.

Plus, I think they are enjoying the task.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Jun 13, 2006 - 01:09am PT
sometimes gym biners can get worn and become sort of sharp after lots of repeated lowering off the biner. the rope groves out the biner so-to-speak. I have seen it pretty bad in some gyms. I am sure Touchstone does regular checks on their gear though.

we use steel biners on our draws which goove out less then aluminum...
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 13, 2006 - 09:58am PT
Lambykins,

In this case, it would seem that the biner is not out of the ordinary.

That is my GUESS, based on what people who saw the biner have reported in the threads here and on RC.com.

In truth, most worn biners I have seen, if not all in fact, have a rounded surface. But cold shuts, as in sport anchors, sometimes get a little edge, when they are quite worn, asn in, half in two.

BTW, nylon WILL cut or wear into nickel silver, believe it or not! Just look at a classical guitar fingerboard (in particular the frets) that has been played a lot. Kinda bizarre in a way.
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Jun 13, 2006 - 10:18am PT
It's a cover up. Way too long for an answer.rg
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Jun 13, 2006 - 10:40am PT
Radical, I don't think B.D. makes ropes. I'm sure they just put their name on them & call it good. They are sitting in Saltlake right now trying to figure out who has the liability. If were a chemical problem it would have been announced ASAP.You hit on the head "they are lazy".rg
dufas

Trad climber
san francisco
Jun 13, 2006 - 12:08pm PT
It is hard to believe that rope manufacturers don't have some type of process/product integrity certifications, something like ISO 9002? Certification doesn't exclude the lone maniac doing something homicidal, but those processes should be airtight (at least I hope so!)

Lack of response if they didn't find anything obviously wrong is expected. imagine if word gets out that a good rope failed without reason. yikes. BD just had some scrapes with bad publicity, so their reticence is kind of justified if this is the case.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 13, 2006 - 12:44pm PT
You idiots should be ASHAMED.

So, it is lazy to take your time and cover every base, and work to find the real mechanism of failure?

I suppose many of you would be in a lynch mob, never mind of the lynchee were guilty or not, if you could find one.

So many scenarios are being explored, you have no idea, you are clueless for the most part, and yet you feel justified to vilify people and companies that are doing a good and thourough job to find the truth.

Wnat a bunch of WANKERS.

I wish rope companies would refuse to sell you guys climbing rope, and let you make your own.

The company that makes rope for BD is one of the TOP in research and publications about rope, and they make some of the most innovative ropes on the market.

I'll be buying a set of their doubles as soon as I need another, and I will gladly climb on thier products.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Jun 13, 2006 - 12:51pm PT
Beal makes ropes for BD.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jun 13, 2006 - 12:55pm PT
i'm pretty certain they could give a rat's ass if one guy who can't just sit tight and wait for the testing results ever buys one of their ropes again.



oh, and by the way, sh#t happens.

if you tell yourself, and your family, that you always climb safely and nothing will ever happen to you, you are not telling the whole truth. once in a while something fails when you least expect it. it may not be likely, but it does happen. so one kid's rope broke, big deal! sure i'd like to know why, but if that happened more often i'd pay more attention. experience tells me that in general, unexplainable spontaneous rope failure is not one of my primary safety concerns.
Ain't no flatlander

climber
Jun 13, 2006 - 01:45pm PT
"Beal makes ropes for BD."

Currently. But not when that one was made. There haven't been any BD-labelled ropes sold for a couple years now.
Moof

Trad climber
A cube at my soul sucking job in Nor. CA
Jun 13, 2006 - 01:46pm PT
"It is hard to believe that rope manufacturers don't have some type of process/product integrity certifications, something like ISO 9002? Certification doesn't exclude the lone maniac doing something homicidal, but those processes should be airtight (at least I hope so!)"

I'm in aerospace/defense. We build parts for some pretty serious weapon systems, sh#t you don't breaking. We are ISO9000 certified and all that jazz. We pass our audits with flying colors twice every year. I shake my head often at the things we ship. Our design guides are out of date and often innaccurate, not that anyone follows them anyway. Many procedures meant to assure quality are followed loosely.

ISO 9000 and it's kin are little more than lipstick on a pig. You need a culture of quality and accountability, not some fancy sounding program to assure quality.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jun 13, 2006 - 02:13pm PT
i din't say i wanted it to happen-
i said i am not concerned about it happening
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Jun 13, 2006 - 02:17pm PT
to put it in terms of your career, you're advocating that somebody attack the first major symptom they see, rather than check every possible scenario before moving on. this is how you end up w/ corpses w/ pretty bandages on the chest and arm.(patient bleed out through the femoral you didn't see while you were "attacking the big issues")

i'd assume the gym owners, hold manufactures, carabiner makers, as well as the rope manufacturer are happy that the guys at the lab aren't jumping to conclusions on this one.
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Jun 13, 2006 - 05:26pm PT
so where in the line up is family notification, or CDC if it's something communicable?

that's basically your place on the totem pole. i know you want answers quick, but i'd much rather they fix the issue first with whichever manufacturer is to blame. if that means you're not notified "in a timely manner" i'm fine with that.

let's say it's not the rope to blame. do you think they'd even be legally allowed to make a statement?

edit: removed dumb ad hominem crap, plenty of that on the board arleady
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Jun 13, 2006 - 06:02pm PT
Maybe this is a stupid question, but were the belay devices of the belayer and the climber looked at? I don't know what they were using but ATCs can develop some pretty sharp edges. Sorry if this was covered before I haven't had time to go back and read all the posts and was wondering.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jun 13, 2006 - 06:05pm PT
rather than babble and speculate all about their testing procees (that you don't even pretend to be familiar with, am i right?) why don't you burn some of that energy and call them up on the damn phone? looks from here like you would rather scream "fire" than ask what the funny smell is.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 13, 2006 - 06:13pm PT
Riley, LOL, CHILL!!!!

This rope thing is NOTHING like emergency medical. You know
that.

Look, IF the rope that broke had been in new, or even just normal use but apparently good condition, the responses from the companies involved would have been much different.

BUT, the rope was NOT in anything like good condition!!! People who have seen it, and posted RIGHT HERE about seeing it, said they would not feel good about using that rope.

First and formost, I want to know HOW the rope got the way it is now. Hell we all do. But that will take time.

The problem is further complicated by the lack of an obvious cutting mechanism. That must also be identified.



In the meanwhile, climb on ropes in good condition, that meet manufatureres specs for allowable age, and have taken a good bit fewer than the limit on falls.

Is that so much to ask, until we can get ALL the answers?

heidi

Ice climber
cham / UK
Jun 13, 2006 - 07:13pm PT
...I have to admit, it seems weird and scary, and I would like to believe that the rope was crappy in some way other than by manufacture. Otherwise, it's going to be hard/impossible to go for that move that I might take a whipper on, 15 pitches up. I had a beal rope with loads of sudden soft spots and a loose sheath after only a couple reasonable sport falls (over no edges) and they were really helpful and professional. The beal dude (whoever the ropes are named after...mr. Beal? no really!), wrote me a letter and my rope was apparently ok. (Don't use it anymore though, creeps me out.) I'm sure they will let us all know asap, and if not, I will call that Mr Beal guy here in France, and send him a link to this thread, so he knows we're all waiting! : )
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada
Jun 14, 2006 - 02:26am PT
dufas wrote "It is hard to believe that rope manufacturers don't have some type of process/product integrity certifications, something like ISO 9002? Certification doesn't exclude the lone maniac doing something homicidal, but those processes should be airtight (at least I hope so!)"

dufas. Try going to Beal's website. http://bealplanet.com Wow! Look it's amasing! They have a ISO-9001 logo / cert. What does ISO-9001 mean? Try going to this website. http://praxiom.com/

I am not saying that this is a perfect QA system. I do not know for a fact who was making the ropes that BD was selling three years ago (the rope that failed is supposed to be three years old). I am climbing on a Beal rope that I bought two years ago from BD. I am hoping for a comprehensive response from BD or the rope maker. Still waiting.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada
Jun 15, 2006 - 12:17am PT
Update link to message posted by Largo. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=208532&f=0&b=0
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