By JJ Schlick Administrator From: Flagstaff, AZ Jul 30, 2013
It does seem unlikely that the local route developers are the only people with biners to spare. I'm always impressed when I come across a freshy on an anchor because it means someone actually gave a shit, or were at least concerned about their own safety enough to swap them out. Being able to clip and lower at the anchors is not only quicker than clipping direct and threading chain or rings, it's also 99% safer than going through the threading process. It's a convienance for sure, but the system only works well if folks can cough up a 5$ biner now and again. I usually just keep a couple extra biners on my rack of draws for such occasions.
And thanks to all of you who are in the know and do contribute to the community in this way. It makes all of us safer, and faster to get off of routes and on to the next one.
i have seen tests like those too, Eric. Though comforting, the hazard is not in the biner breaking, but rather the sharp edges that can cut the rope. On two occasions, I have had the sheath of my rope cut and even some of the core from falling on a grooved biner. However, this is more common on fixed draws rather than lower-off biners.
These puppies were a bit overdue for replacement. It wouldn't have been long before they became dangerously sharp. If you enjoy these routes a cool thing to do is swap out the grooved anchor biners with some freshies. If everyone thinks that someone else will maintain them, no one will. Thanks fellow hobos!