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Category Archives: Hardware
The Black Diamond Journal recently posted an excellent article that discusses some of the characteristics of various types of carabiners. It’s an excellent overview of carabiners in general, but also contains some details of interest to seasoned climbers. I’ll post an excerpt here- for the rest, check out the original post on Black Diamond’s blog.
QC LAB: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job – Carabiners
By Kolin Powick
With dozens of companies making untold numbers of carabiners these days, it can be a real chore to navigate through countless different models to choose the one that’s right for your type of climbing. Wiregate vs. standard gate. AutoLock vs. screwgate. Ultralight vs. heavy. What biners should I use on my slimmed-down alpine rack as opposed to my daily sport cragging kit? As with most pieces of climbing gear, there is a certain amount of inherent versatility, but often certain products are better suited, and more often than not designed specifically for certain applications. As with almost anything, it’s always prudent to select the right tool for the job. This month we’ll attempt to distill the basics of carabiner usage to help you figure out what’s the right choice for your type of climbing.
Differences between Industrial and Recreational Carabiners
We’ll start off with a quick word on basic carabiner use because we get this question all the time.
I get lots of random calls from arborists, fire departments, rescue workers, marinas, yachting folks, Jeep guys and warehouse personnel wanting to know if it’s okay to use our carabiners for their particular application. The official answer is always no, not recommended. Just as all of our instructions say, our gear is “For Climbing and Mountaineering Only.” But why?
The simple answer is that we are climbers and mountaineers, we know climbing and mountaineering, and we design, test and certify our gear for climbing and mountaineering. We’re not as intimate with the loads, the uses, misuses and abuses of these other applications.
What many people may not realize is the different ways that recreational gear is designed, tested and rated compared to industrial equipment. Industrial carabiners are usually made of steel, are much heavier, are much stronger, and rated differently than aluminum climbing carabiners.
An industrial carabiner is usually rated to a SWL (safe working load, or safe working limit)- of let’s say 30kN. This means that you can load the carabiner safely to 30kN. And in industrial applications there is almost always some kind of safety factor say of 2 or greater, which means that the carabiner won’t actually break until around 60kN. However, climbing gear is rated to the load at which it will actually break. So a 20kN carabiner actually breaks at that load. There’s a big difference.
Bottom line: Climbing gear shouldn’t be used in industrial applications—it just isn’t designed and rated for those types of loads and situations.
This is only a small excerpt of the complete article- to see the rest, visit Black Diamond’s Journal here.
The climbing rope is responsible for saving thousands of climbers’ lives every single day. No piece of gear more important than the rope. It’s not only your lifeline, but a link to your partner—and your ticket to a wild, high place. It’s a metaphor for everything that is truly meaningful in this vertical sport. It’s also a pretty cool piece of gear.
Andrew Bisharat is a prominent climbing blogger, publishing at his site Evening Sends. A few weeks back he published How to Choose a Climbing Rope, which contained a good bit of information for people looking to purchase a rope or simply desiring to know a bit more about them. The paragraph before the break above is from his article, as is the excerpt below. To see the rest, visit his blog.
Early climbing ropes (from the 1700s up to the 1930s) appeared around alpine villages like Zermatt, Switzerland, and were made of braided hemp, flax, manila, cotton or horsehair. These early experiments resulted in climbing cords with terrible strength-to-weight ratios, poor durability and low elasticity. They snapped in falls easily, often resulting in tragedy. The mantra of the era, “The leader must not fall,” wasn’t just a catchy phrase.
World War II was a catalyst for innovation in the climbing world, with advances made in carabiners and pitons. However, nothing revolutionized climbing as greatly as the introduction of ropes made of nylon, a material Arnold Wexler of the U.S. Bureau of Standards concluded, in 1945, was superior to all other materials for this application. In 1953, the German rope manufactuer Edelrid introduced the kernmantle rope, an even bigger innovation that resulted in extremely durable ropes that didn’t kink or twist—and best of all, they could handle repeated lead falls. A kernmantle rope has a strong braided-nylon “core” of strands (the kern) that are encased within an abrasion-resistant sheath (the mantle). All modern climbing ropes now use the kernmantle design.
Today, climbing ropes are extremely reliable. “The leader must not fall” has been replaced with “If you don’t fall, you’re not trying hard enough!” There are over 100 different climbing ropes on the market, all of which come in various lengths, diameters, and categories. It’s important to understand how ropes are classified before making a purchase. Here is a basic primer for getting onto the sharp end.
Static vs. Dynamic: This is the most general categorization of ropes, but also the most important to not confuse. Static ropes do not stretch. Dynamic ropes stretch a lot. Static ropes are not for lead climbing! Because static ropes don’t stretch, climbers typically use them for hauling loads on big-walls, or fixing lines on new routes. Static ropes can be used for top-roping, but, again, never for leading. The elastic qualities of a dynamic rope are what make falling on lead safe because, with rope stretch, the forces on the gear, belayer and climber go way down. Dynamic ropes are what you will use 99 percent of the time.
There’s more to this story! Visit Andrew’s blog here to read the rest of this article.
You know the nifty little instruction and warning labels that are usually attached to new climbing hardware? You know, the ones that are usually printed in microtext and folded into a tiny, dense pellet? The good folks at Petzl have decided that it’s best to ensure the safety of old Saint Nick, and have designed a special version just for his use. Enjoy- and Happy Holidays from all of us at Nomad Ventures!
(click to enlarge)
The Black Diamond ATC-Guide is an excellent device for belaying and rappelling and has features like a high-friction mode that make it a very good choice for users of all ability levels. However, with a little training the device can be used in “Guide mode” which allows the belayer to belay or lower two seconding climbers simultaneously. Check the video for details!
From September 15-25, all C.A.M.P. Photon carabiners and quickdraws are 25% off. If you need to add to your rack, replace old gear, or just like shiny new hardware, this is an awesome time to do it!
Coming July 2012 from Black Diamond– the Magnetron!
You can read the entire post about the Magnetron at Black Diamond’s Journal.
Petzl has recalled all GRIGRI 2’s (D14 2O, D14 2G, D14 2B ) with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136.
Petzl’s website has been down much of the day, so I’ve copied the information here to help get the word out.
Note: in lieu of returning your GriGri 2 to the store, Petzl has requested that all customers contact them directly.
Remainder of post is via Petzl:
Recall for replacement: GRIGRI 2
Concerns all GRIGRI 2’s (D14 2O, D14 2G, D14 2B ) with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136.
Petzl has discovered that exertingexcessive force on the fully extended handle of the GRIGRI 2 can cause internal damage, such that the GRIGRI 2 handle may become stuck in the open position.
When the handle is stuck in this position the assisted braking function is disabled. A damaged GRIGRI 2 in this configuration will function similarly to a manual belay device (e.g. tube style device).
When using a damaged GRIGRI 2 with the handle stuck in the position as shown in Figure 1, failure to control the braking side of the rope will increase the risk of an uncontrolled descent. A GRIGRI 2 with a damaged handle must be immediately retired from service.
It is important to note that failure to control the braking side of the rope is a misuse of the GRIGRI 2 under any circumstance (See GRIGRI 2 Technical Notice – pdf file, 2,5Mo).
As of June 20, 2011, seven damaged products have been returned to Petzl through our worldwide distribution network. Petzl has no knowledge of any accidents resulting from a damaged GRIGRI 2 handle.
Because the safety of our users is our primary concern, as a measure of precaution Petzl has decided to take the following actions:
- increase the mechanical strength of the handle on all GRIGRI 2’s since serial number 11137.
- recall all GRIGRI 2’s with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136, and replace with a new revised GRIGRI 2.
Petzl will pay for all shipping costs to complete this replacement.
If you have a GRIGRI 2 (D14 2O, D14 2G, D14 2B) with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136, stop use immediately and contact Petzl America to initiate an exchange.
Contact Petzl America in one of two ways:
– By phone: 1 (800) 932-2978 (toll free)
– By email: email@example.com
“While the potential risk of damaging the GRIGRI 2’s handle is very small, our total commitment to the safety of our users has led us to make this decision. With the summer climbing season just beginning, Petzl understands that this recall comes at an inconvenient time and we are working hard to ensure that everyone receives their replacement GRIGRI 2 as quickly as possible. Everyone at Petzl is committed to resolving this issue. We thank you for your continued support.”
Petzl General Director
|Country / Pays||Distributor / Distributeur||email adress / Adresse email||Phone number / Téléphone|
|AUSTRALIA||SPELEAN PTY LTDfirstname.lastname@example.org||+61 2 9966 9800|
|BENELUX||ALPITEC SNCemail@example.com||+32 85 31 43 85|
|BRAZIL||SPELAIONfirstname.lastname@example.org||0055 19 34340535|
|BULGARIA||PIK 3000 LTDemail@example.com||+359 (2) 8432 943|
|CHILE||OUT CHILE S.Afirstname.lastname@example.org||00562 8955094|
|CHINA||BEIJING SNOWBIRD OUTDOORemail@example.com||00861080118873|
|CZECH REPUBLIC||VERTICAL SPORTfirstname.lastname@example.org||00420 483 711 456|
|DENMARK||SCANLICO DENMARK A/Semail@example.com||004538716959|
|ECUADOR||ANGEL ROBERTO GUTIERREZfirstname.lastname@example.org||005922237601|
|FRANCE||PETZLemail@example.com||0811 46 10 50|
|GERMANY||C & M KRAH GmbHfirstname.lastname@example.org||0049 8008888104|
|GREECE||DIMKA LTDemail@example.com||0030 22950 231110|
|HONG KONG||MOUNTAIN SERVICES INT LTDfirstname.lastname@example.org||0085225418876|
|HUNGARY||GRANIT DESIGN KFTemail@example.com||0036 99 523 294|
|INDIA||ALLIED SAFETY EQUIPMENTSfirstname.lastname@example.org||+91-22-28454274 / 75|
|IRAN||KOOH VEISI TRADING CO.||email@example.com||009821 7533 173|
|ISRAEL||LAPIDOT OUTDOOR EQUIP LTDfirstname.lastname@example.org||0097289797040|
|ITALIA||DINAMICHE VERTICALIemail@example.com||0039 0112732500|
|JAPAN||ALTERIA CO., LTDfirstname.lastname@example.org||0081429691717|
|KORE, REPUBLIC OF||ANNAPURNA CORPORATIONemail@example.com||0082220828450|
|MEXICO||ALTA VERTICAL sa de firstname.lastname@example.org||00 52 5555621602|
|NEW ZEALAND||SPELEAN (NZ) LTDemail@example.com||+64 3 434 9535|
|NORWAY||VARRI ASfirstname.lastname@example.org||0047 2271 9200|
|PERU||MON VERTICAL SACemail@example.com||0051 957 771 979|
|POLOGNE||PHU AMC firstname.lastname@example.org||0048 12 656 70 88|
|PORTUGAL||SUBMATE LDAemail@example.com||+351 218 471 269|
|ROMANIA||GD ESCAPADE SRLfirstname.lastname@example.org||0040213144071|
|RUSSIE||ALPINE TRADEemail@example.com||007 495 225 73 43|
|SLOVENIE||TREKING SPORT D.O.Ofirstname.lastname@example.org||00386 12 562 501|
|SOUTH AFRICA||EIGER EQUIPMENT LTDemail@example.com||002721 555 0363|
|SPAIN||VERTICAL SPORTS, SLfirstname.lastname@example.org||0034 933 091 091|
|SWEDEN||C2 VERTICAL SAFETY ABemail@example.com||0046 18 677990|
|SWITZERLAND||ALTIMUM SAfirstname.lastname@example.org||0041 21 947 46 66|
|TAIWAN REP CHINA||FUTAI COMPANY LTDemail@example.com||00886227967373|
|THAILAND||ROCKCAMP INTERNAT. CO LTDfirstname.lastname@example.org||006624346100|
|TURKEY||TOROS TURIZM HIZMETLERIemail@example.com||00902164122127|
|UKRAINE||VYSOTAfirstname.lastname@example.org||0038 044 417 33 86|
|UNITED ARAB EMIRATES||TRAKSemail@example.com||0097150 550 3430|
|UNITED KINGDOM||LYON EQUIPMENT LIMITEDfirstname.lastname@example.org||0044 15 396 25 493|
|UNITED STATES||PETZL AMERICAemail@example.com||(801) 926-1500|
|URUGUAY||VERANEXfirstname.lastname@example.org||0054 11 47921935|
|VENEZUELA||UAIKINIMA 5X C.Aemail@example.com||0058 212 762 3923|
|OTHER COUNTRIES : please use the contact form|
- How do you tell the difference between a GRIGRI and a GRIGRI 2?
The GRIGRI² has been available on the market since January 2011.
If you purchased your device before 1st January 2011, then it isn’t a GRIGRI² and so is not affected by this recall for exchange.
If you purchased your device after the 1st of January 2011, then compare it with the images published in our announcements for this recall for exchange.
- How can I tell if a GRIGRI 2 is included in this recall for exchange?
GRIGRI²s with serial numbers from 10326 to 11136 are included in this exchange.
- Where do you find the serial number of the GRIGRI 2?
The serial number is laser engraved on the body of the product underneath and protected by the folded handle.
- What should I do with my GRIGRI 2 when it is included in the recall for exchange?
Contact your national distributor by email, providing your postal address in order to begin the exchange process.
- Apart from the serial number, how can I tell the difference between a GRIGRI 2 with a reinforced handle and a GRIGRI 2 concerned by the recall for exchange?
A GRIGRI² with a reinforced handle is only recognisable by a serial number after 11136.
- How do I know whether a new GRIGRI 2 for sale in a shop has the reinforced handle?
The first five numbers of the serial number are after 11136.
To help our retailers in replacing their stocks, we have temporarily added a green sticker to the product.
- How long will the exchange take?
Petzl and our distribution network have everything in place to facilitate the exchange within 2 working days, excluding transport.
- Will I receive the same colour GRIGRI 2 ?
- Can I change the colour?
- Can I replace my GRIGRI 2 with a GRIGRI?
- Where is the GRIGRI 2 manufactured?
In France, in Petzl’s production unit in Crolles (Isère region).
- Where have these GRIGRI 2 been sold?
Throughout our global distribution network.
- What is the guarantee of a Petzl product?
A Petzl product is covered by a 3-year guarantee against all material or manufacturing defect. Exclusions: normal wear and tear, oxidation, modifications or alterations, incorrect storage, poor maintenance, negligence, uses for which this product is not designed.
- What is the lifetime of a Petzl product?
Lifetime / When to retire your equipment for Petzl’s plastic and textile products, the maximum lifetime is 10 years from the date of manufacture. It is indefinite for metallic products.– ATTENTION: an exceptional event can lead you to retire a product after only one use, depending on the type and intensity of usage and the environment of usage (harsh environments, marine environment, sharp edges, extreme temperatures, chemical products, etc.).
– A product must be retired when:
It is over 10 years old and made of plastic or textiles.
It has been subjected to a major fall (or load).
It fails to pass inspection. You have any doubt as to its reliability.
You do not know its full usage history.
When it becomes obsolete due to changes in legislation, standards, technique
or incompatibility with other equipment, etc.
Destroy retired equipment to prevent further use.
Check out this video that Black Diamond recently posted that shows how they make the GridLock belay carabiner that is new for 2011.