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Jan 27, 2011
Cham '11
I really rely on my umbilicals. As much as they are a moving belay for me I also have come to rely on them to retain my tools while climbing leashless. On the occasions I do climb without umbilicals I am very careful to watch where my tools are all the time and that they are securely placed. And I don't worry about my partners kicking or bumping them off the climb. May be I should be more concerned all the time..

more here:
coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/...
Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Jan 27, 2011
preparing to rap over a crevasse; Mt. Waddington, ...
Nice article. I'm curious though: Do you know folk who have actually fallen onto their umbilicals? Granted, the FF will be low, but it's still static webbing. It seems like it would be really easy to generate forces that would rip out most placements. Might adding a screamer between your harness and the umbilical tie in be a good solution?

I've always thought of umbilicals as no-drop insurance, with the disadvantage that if you do fall they will probably rip your tools and cause them to rebound into your face...
OReid
From Denver, CO
Joined Nov 23, 2010
40 points
Jan 27, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
I saw one guy fall on his on mixed. We were all surprised it held and then were just waiting for him to get hit in the face with the tool. It worked out okay but it was pretty interesting to watch. Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2007
560 points
Jan 27, 2011
Cham '11
OReid wrote:
Do you know folk who have actually fallen onto their umbilicals? Granted, the FF will be low...


Actually the fall factor can get pretty high on umblicals. And none of them are rated to take a fall. But yes I know and have seen reports of a number of folks falling on their umbilicals. To date not heard of a umbilical failing and on what other wise would have been some big tumbles...stopped. But just a matter of time is my take on that one.

Screamers? Good idea and you aren't the first to suggest it. Just too much rubbish at my crotch was my take on it. Likely the tie in loop will blow before the commercial umbilicals will.
Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Jan 27, 2011
alpinedave.com/leashless_rig.h...

For those who like to make there own gear...
Jeff J
From Bozeman
Joined Sep 15, 2010
108 points
Jan 27, 2011
Cham '11
More on umbilicals in general:

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/...
Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Jan 27, 2011
Chuck Norris can Divide by Zero
I made my own as well and looped my nomics like Dane. Then I bought a BD umbilical last year that is pretty nice. The BD biners could be nicer (as in stronger), but it is much better than my homemade setup.

It takes a lot of the nagging stress of dropping a tool out of leashless climbing. They can be a little annoying during a lead swap at the belays, but I wouldn't give them up for anything on alpine/mulitpitch ice.

PT
paintrain
Joined Jan 22, 2007
86 points
Jan 29, 2011
Cham '11
Typical commercial umbilical biners are a good bit stronger than the webbing they are sewn to. Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Jan 30, 2011
0
Well I have a pair of the grivels and played with them twice I really thought I needed em but sofar they spend all there time in my pack.

In three years of leashless climbing I've never dropped a tool I think for me anyway it's a subconscious process that I just automatically place them deeper when I know my hand will be off the tool to place pro or whatever. But than again that's just me ....

Just a thought for anyone who thinks the biners that come with the commercial leashes are cheap( BD comes to mind) the Grivels have a way cool no snag locker that is superior IMHO . Just get a couple Metolius FS mini biners ...

I suppose it will happen that someday I will drop a tool and it will prolly be while climbing mixed after bashing myself in the head ,well that's if I don't get pissed and throw the tool first.

Cheers
iceman777
From Colorado Springs
Joined Oct 19, 2007
65 points
Jan 30, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
The gate on the BD biners reversing is a pretty common issue. They had to have experienced it in testing?? It's the only thing that bugs me about them.

I've only dropped a tool on mixed, or rather left it above me when I pumped out (twice). I've got a funny video to post today though just on this topic.
Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2007
560 points
Jan 30, 2011
Cham '11
more:

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/...
Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Jan 31, 2011
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
I replaced the stock 'biners on my BD spinner tether with the Metolius FS mini-biners. I have not had any trouble with them spontaneously un-clipping.

Though I climbed the last 2 seasons mostly with tethers, I started this year without, and generally like without better though I will continue to use them on long, remote routes and in the alpine. Tethers also make it a bit of a pain to rack your tools to ice clippers on your harness.
Kevin Craig
Joined Mar 20, 2002
448 points
Jan 31, 2011
just Jong it!
oops!
oops!
Tea
Joined Feb 10, 2006
444 points
Jan 31, 2011
Indian Creek Climbing
So BD or Grivel? coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Joined Jan 25, 2005
545 points
Jan 31, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
Kevin Craig wrote:
I replaced the stock 'biners on my BD spinner tether with the Metolius FS mini-biners.


I have a FS mini, i'll have to try it out. Thanks. I generally like climbing w/o the tethers too but leading hard (for me) or long routes I need the piece of mind still.
Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2007
560 points
Jan 31, 2011
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
Chris Plesko wrote:
I have a FS mini, i'll have to try it out. Thanks. I generally like climbing w/o the tethers too but leading hard (for me) or long routes I need the piece of mind still.


OK, so here's the trick. Unless you have a lot of patience, you'll need to cut just a little bit of the bar tacking to fit the Metolius biners through the webbing (and use a Dremel to cut off the stock biners). I was a tiny bit concerned about this, but the tethers are only supposed to be body weight anyway, I was very careful to cut the least amount possible and haven't experienced any additional fraying or anything (and I mainly just rely on them to keep my tools with me).

Your choice if you want to make the same trade-offs.
Kevin Craig
Joined Mar 20, 2002
448 points
Feb 1, 2011
PS
For a little info on the BD Spinner Leash, and good info on umbilicals in general check out:

blackdiamondequipment.com/en-u...
SeanKuus
From Steamboat Springs
Joined Sep 30, 2007
565 points
Feb 14, 2011
Cham '11
Kevin Craig wrote:
I replaced the stock 'biners on my BD spinner tether with the Metolius FS mini-biners.



Hey Kevin. Mind sharing why you changed to the Metious mini biner?

umbilical biners
umbilical biners


left to right

BD flat steel biner is labeled 2Kn (450#) rated on 13mm (1/2"?) tube webbing. (1/2" nylon tube was rated @ 1800# in the old Chouinard catalog) But the system will hold 1500# with the webbing always failing first.

Grivel flat alumnum biner is 3Kn (675#) on 16mm (9/16"?) tube webbing (9/16" tube was rated @ 2800# in the old Chouinard catalog) No clue what teh Grivel system will actually hold.

Metolius mini is 22Kn (4950#) and a good bit bigger physically in every way as well.

By the "feel" of it the Grivel biner has at least twice the gate opening resistance as the BD and easily 3 times the opening resistance of the Metolius mini biner.
Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Feb 14, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
I don't know about Kevin but I've seen the BD biner's gate reverse at least half a dozen times. A couple on my spinners and also on multiple partners' leashes. Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2007
560 points
Feb 27, 2011
Post- Greenwood/Locke, Mt Temple, Canda
I like the BD spinner leashes, but the poor biner design seems like an extremely large oversight. Any speculation on why it wasn't designed with a key lock of some sort? I'm guessing the biner is designed to fail if someone falls on it (even if they don't say so). Scotty Nelson
From Boulder
Joined Jan 1, 2002
932 points
Feb 27, 2011
bud
just figured I'd mention that the grivel umbilicals available today come with mini-locking biners, rated to 750kg (1650 lbs), which is way different than the old grivel biner attachment that keeps getting mentioned and shown in this thread. it's about the same size as the metolius fs that kevin said he's attached to his spinner (but, of course, not as strong), with the + or - (different strokes for different folks) of the locking aspect.

I love mine. I don't miss the swivel that's included on a spinner. YMMV.
bjp
From durango
Joined Feb 6, 2010
10 points
Feb 28, 2011
Post- Greenwood/Locke, Mt Temple, Canda
Grivel leash
Grivel leash
Scotty Nelson
From Boulder
Joined Jan 1, 2002
932 points
Feb 28, 2011
just Jong it!
just curious...what is the point of replacing the clips, with a bulkier yet stronger rated biner, when these are not even intended to hold body weight? Tea
Joined Feb 10, 2006
444 points
Feb 28, 2011
Post- Greenwood/Locke, Mt Temple, Canda
1. Functionality - the BD biner is a POS and the gate gets inverted easily. Haven't lost a tool due to this yet, but I can see how it could happen easily.

2. Strength. Not sure, but I believe the webbing is rated to stronger than the biner, so if you replace the biner you have a well rated setup.

I'm not sure why BD feels the need to make the spinner setup "not full strength". If someone wants to fall/ shockload their tool and take a stick to their head, that's their business. BD does also sell daisy chains for aid climbing with the requisite warnings, after all.
Scotty Nelson
From Boulder
Joined Jan 1, 2002
932 points
Dec 30, 2011
Cham '11
None of the commercial umbilicals are made to take weight on a belay or in a fall.

Blue Ice has the strongest system (nylon only system) but the nylon breaks on all of the commercial systems in testing before the biners or swivel. The nylon is only good for around 800# on a single strand.

BD's biner is notorious for opening when it shouldn't. The flat biner which Grivel used in the FIRST commercial umbilicals was ditched early on because it wasn't reliable enough. Leave it to BD to copy it and come up with an even weaker version.

Grivel's obvious answer was the mini locker. Now many of us know why they changed. BD's answer has been to up the strength on the gate which has yet to work with any reliability when clipping metal to metal.
Dane
Joined Jun 18, 2008
580 points
Dec 30, 2011
0
NOOOOOOOOOOO

Not Black Garbage making a bigger POS . Dane is spot on w/this one.

the Grivel leash is so much better, if ya feel you need a leash and for the folks who need to replace the grivel locker w/ a FS mini its a simple swap.

I betcha the swivel in the Black Garbage leash IS the weakest link.
iceman777
From Colorado Springs
Joined Oct 19, 2007
65 points


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