Fixed Quickdraw Problems (Mammut)

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Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 13, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
Mammut has posted a strong warning against "fixed" quickdraws and carabiners to its website. Here's the first part, but there's more at the link:

Urgent warning about permanently installed quick draws and carabiners in climbing areas

Mammut is urgently calling for the immediate discontinuation of use and removal of permanently installed quick draws and carabiners in climbing areas. Irrespective of the manufacturer of such equipment, repeated wear can result in the formation of sharp edges capable of damaging or completely severing ropes, even in relatively small falls. Investigations by Mammut have shown that this known problem is actually far more dramatic than previously assumed and represents a very high risk for climbers.

In recent years, it has become increasingly common to install quick draws on overhanging routes in climbing areas. On the one hand, this is intended to make it easier to clip the rope and, on the other hand, to prevent the sometimes laborious removal of the quick draws.

Depending on their position, as a result of friction from climbing ropes when lowering climbers, these quick draws can be worn to a blunt angle resulting in the formation of very sharp edges (see figure 1). The following positions are particularly affected:

the first belay point (where the belayer stands away from the wall when lowering)

belay points under a roof/overhang

off line belay points

Wear is increased by the presence of dirt or sand on the rope. Extremely sharp edges form on carabiners which almost never bear the load of a fall and are rarely used as a turning point. This means that they are never "deburred" (worn to a rounded shape) and razor-sharp edges can develop. Carabiners with a T-profile tend to be more prone to the formation of sharp edges in comparison with round profiles.

In tests in the Mammut standard fall facility on the carabiner shown in figure 1, it was found that a 9.5 mm rope with fall mass of 80 kg severed at a fall height of just 2.7 meters/fall factor of 1.0. The carabiner used had an extremely sharp edge. Previous investigations have also shown that, in practice, friction in the safety chain can result in a fall factor that is significantly higher than the calculated value. In combination with a very sharp carabiner, even very small falls with a fall height of less than a meter can be critical. Several cases of cut ropes without grave consequences are known. Presently this is being researched as a possible reason for a fatal climbing accident in Switzerland.


http://www.mammut.ch/ropes_handling_note.html?utm_source=presse_newsletter_Warnung&utm_medium=E-Mail&utm_campaign=presse_newsletter_Warnung_EN

It'll be interesting to see what the UIAA and CE, and other manufacturers, say about this.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Nov 13, 2012 - 05:19pm PT
I think corrective action will be to use steel for fixed draws.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2012 - 05:21pm PT
Will that just boot the ball down the road, in that steels used for climbing are more durable than say 7000 series aluminum, but not infinitely so? Steel also will abrade and develop edges, especially from ropes with lots of dust/grit in them.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Nov 13, 2012 - 05:27pm PT
Yes it will but I think the steel road is much longer. The next problem is how to set up systems and schedules for inspection.

I can hardly climb a roof when I'm in the best shape. No way I can check the edges of a carabiner while climbing.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 13, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
You mean I'll have to start bringing my own draws, clip the bolts and clean them when I'm done? I'm taking up golf
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2012 - 05:34pm PT
Well, as with labrat, the risk to me may be somewhat hypothetical, although not entirely academic. Still, this is simply a generalization of the worn chains/worn links/worn coldshuts problem that is so common, and so commonly disregarded, even if it's so easily avoided.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Nov 13, 2012 - 05:37pm PT
They're gonna die.
It's a manufactured "problem". The solution is obvious.
What's our Tee time, Kenny?
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 13, 2012 - 06:12pm PT
Even steel 'biners wear out in the gym. Where they're not subjected to weather and grit.
They'll certainly last longer but that also could revive the false belief they won't cut YOUR rope when YOU fall.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 13, 2012 - 06:40pm PT
The solution is obvious.


Yup...

Credit: justthemaid


Who's with me? I hate those friggin' eyesores.


Edit to add: It's just sad that a talented climber died from a stupid worn carabiner.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Nov 13, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Not I........
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Nov 13, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
"Who's with me? I hate those friggin' eyesores."

I'm with ya. I'd booty the suckers if I had a shot at 'em.

Clean up your shite. It ain't your crag.

(Got that, halesderrick?)
crasic

climber
Nov 13, 2012 - 07:44pm PT
New mandatory sport climbing equipment?

Like the ubiquitous boulderer tooth brush.

Credit: crasic
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Nov 13, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
Here is an area where the lightweight can agree completely - place the draws, take the draws. Eliminate the potential problem. If you can't climb like that, join the vast majority of spectators.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 13, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
MmmmmmHmmmm, old skool worry about all that fixed BS seems to be right....
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 13, 2012 - 08:08pm PT
Fixed draws are WAY HOMO.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2012 - 08:12pm PT
Well, where you climb, the draw may be fixed - but the rock isn't.
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 13, 2012 - 08:25pm PT
You are correct Anders!


photo not found
Missing photo ID#273610

JA
JimT

climber
Munich
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:28am PT
"It'll be interesting to see what the UIAA and CE, and other manufacturers, say about this."

The standards only cover personal equipment carried and placed by the user where inspection and maintenance is their responsibility of the. Fixed equipment is not included.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 15, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
Bump just in case someone missed this one.

Anymore commentary?
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Feb 18, 2013 - 01:30am PT
No problem here: I can't afford to leave draws behind, and I can't climb anything that's so hard that it can't be cleaned anyways.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 18, 2013 - 01:57am PT
^^^^^My experience too!
dave

climber
Earth
Feb 18, 2013 - 11:24am PT
Honks, face the facts!
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 18, 2013 - 11:33am PT
This is as idiotic as warming about tattered webbing at rap stations. Grow up and learn how to deal. If it is fixed, just inspect the equipment as you climb.

I've come across a biner worn through enough that I broke it with one hand while inspecting it. A guy had lowered off it not 10 minutes before. And a draw everyone was taking whippers on with the nylon worn 3/4 of the way through.

Or, just fix the crag with these. They are sure to last.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 18, 2013 - 11:47am PT
What "sports" the sport climbers be,
Leaving eyesores for you and for me.

Eventually they may all die off if we leave the problem alone.

Hey, you want to mess with evolution, MH, go ahead. It's on you. LOL
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 18, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
You ever see El Cap lit up at night like a friggin sky scraper? Talk about an eyesore. At least spurt climbers do their work in dark, dank caves that nobody else ever visits... instead of all over one of the most scenic monoliths in the world where everyone else has to suffer their bright colored portathingies and widgemegadgets.


yak!



NOT spurt climbers
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