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QC Lab—The Dangers Of Modifying Your Gear
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By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Mar 27, 2013
Thanks Hank Caylor!

www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/all/qc-lab>>>


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 27, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Half of that sounds like it came in response to CT.


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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Mar 27, 2013

Which half?


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 27, 2013
Cleo's Needle

The various crampon issues and ice tool leashes.


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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Mar 27, 2013
Props to my home state show

Pretty good article but I think the doubling up the belay loop on your harness is a bunch of crap. They didn't even give a good reason not to do it other than it adds clutter. I always add another loop on my harness.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 27, 2013

Matt Toensing wrote:
I always add another loop on my harness.


Why? Unless you're doing walls and aiding a ton, it serves no purpose.


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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Mar 27, 2013
Props to my home state show

I guess it started when one of my belay loops got frayed in a squeeze and I've done so since then.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 27, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

If you're tied in, you automatically have a second belay loop


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By bearbreeder
Mar 27, 2013

Ben Brotelho wrote:
If you're tied in, you automatically have a second belay loop


exactomundo ;)


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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Mar 27, 2013
Props to my home state show

I have frayed harnesses and core shot ropes at the knot from heinous squeeze before so the backup is just a little something extra. I am not advocating its use, I just like it.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 27, 2013

Ben Brotelho wrote:
If you're tied in, you automatically have a second belay loop


Um, not so much. Loading the interior of your knot by itself is a bad idea for the same reason we dont use a fig-8 as a rappel knot- the knot can capsize under relatively low loads.

Even frayed, a belay loop is stronger than most points on your harness. But if you like it, hey, be my guest.


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By bearbreeder
Mar 27, 2013

John Wilder wrote:
Um, not so much. Loading the interior of your knot by itself is a bad idea for the same reason we dont use a fig-8 as a rappel knot- the knot can capsize under relatively low loads. Even frayed, a belay loop is stronger than most points on your harness. But if you like it, hey, be my guest.


the brits do it all the time ... the BMC/UKCLimbing has recommended it

they dont die in droves from it ... except on the intrawebs

www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1129


www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=17


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 27, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

John Wilder wrote:
Um, not so much. Loading the interior of your knot by itself is a bad idea for the same reason we dont use a fig-8 as a rappel knot- the knot can capsize under relatively low loads. Even frayed, a belay loop is stronger than most points on your harness. But if you like it, hey, be my guest.


Didn't even consider this...

I have never used the rope as a belay loop, but you're right.

cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/32220/

A good study of capsizing of different knots is somewhere on the page, Fig 8's capsize at a crazy amount lower force than the overhand which is what I use to join ropes (and most people do, right??)


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By Ian Stewart
Mar 27, 2013

bearbreeder wrote:
the brits do it all the time ... the BMC/UKCLimbing has recommended it


Both of those articles suggest belaying off the rope loop when you're tied into an anchor with the rope and belaying a second such that the force of a fall would be directly on the rope/anchor instead of being transferred through your harness (and body) to your belay loop. I don't think that qualifies as the "loading the interior of your knot" that John was talking about, which would mean non-parallel forces on the knot itself.

Either way, backing up a belay loop even when every harness manufacturer would tell you it's a waste seems pretty silly to me. Belay loops are uber strong, and the reality is that your body is going to break in half before your belay loop does.


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By bearbreeder
Mar 27, 2013

Ian Stewart wrote:
Both of those articles suggest belaying off the rope loop when you're tied into an anchor with the rope and belaying a second such that the force of a fall would be directly on the rope/anchor instead of being transferred through your harness (and body) to your belay loop. I don't think that qualifies as the "loading the interior of your knot" that John was talking about, which would mean non-parallel forces on the knot itself. Either way, backing up a belay loop even when every harness manufacturer would tell you it's a waste seems pretty silly to me. Belay loops are uber strong, and the reality is that your body is going to break in half before your belay loop does.



i use the belay loop generally

but those crazy brits have been belaying off the rope loop for decades ... im not aware of people dying because of it ... perhaps there is a real life failure people talk about?

just tie a fig 8, no yos finish, with a stopper knot if yr worried (it wont invert with a stopper)

i suspect its more along the lines of those deadly crossloading belay biners and other such intrawebs errata ....

there are other real things that kill people ... worry about those

;)


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By Ian Stewart
Mar 27, 2013

bearbreeder wrote:
i use the belay loop generally but those crazy brits have been belaying off the rope loop for decades ... im not aware of people dying because of it ... perhaps there is a real life failure people talk about? just tie a fig 8, no yos finish, with a stopper knot if yr worried (it wont invert with a stopper) i suspect its more along the lines of those deadly crossloading belay biners and other such intrawebs errata .... there are other real things that kill people ... worry about those ;)


I didn't mean to say it's dangerous, I was just pointing out the difference between the suggested use of the rope as an anchor (that just happens to also be tied to you) vs using the rope as a belay loop (not attached to an anchor). I actually agree with you for a change! I'm not at all worried about my backed-up figure 8 or my belay loop failing.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 28, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

bearbreeder wrote:
the brits do it all the time ... the BMC/UKCLimbing has recommended it they dont die in droves from it ...


I've been using the rope loop for many years, after I saw the recommendation and analysis of Chris Harmston, who was then the technical guy at BD. I use it with another of those yer gonna die features, the much maligned bowline (with Yosemite finish and barrel knot backup). But note that in the BMC pictures, the figure-8 is backed up with a barrel knot (half a double fisherman's) to make sure the figure-8 can't capsize. In any case, with the rope snugged up to the anchor, ring loading will not occur except possibly at low loads where it doesn't matter.

Taking all these things together, I don't think there's any reason to worry about using the rope loop rather than the belay loop.

I must admit, the account of abrading the rope and belay loop in squeeze chimneys made me smile. BITD, swami belts allowed you to spin the rope to the side so you got neither abrasion nor resistance from it. Sometimes, newer isn't always better.


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Mar 28, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

Matt Toensing wrote:
Pretty good article but I think the doubling up the belay loop on your harness is a bunch of crap. They didn't even give a good reason not to do it other than it adds clutter. I always add another loop on my harness.


Have you seen BD's testing of belay loops?

www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/all/qc-lab>>>

Even when cut 90%, it still holds more than 3Kn, at 50% cut, it still holds over 10Kn. Stupid strong, don't worry about it ;)

Conisdering a back up belay loop would be at most, 80% of 24Kn, and much more likely to decay than a belay loop, BD is right in saying it's unnecessary clutter.


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Mar 28, 2013
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

I never use the loop and only have it to keep my leg loops and belt attached. I use my carabiner to connect the Leg Loops and Belt. It allows me to give out a little more rope and My Gri Gri/Cinch don't flop around and cross load. I know, I know, the manufacturers all tell us not to do this, but I almost never get a cross loaded biner with my system. Always cross loading when I use my loop.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 28, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

On a semi-related note: I almost never extend my rappel, despite various arguments by my friends how it is a "better" way to rap. I think it sucks for going over overhangs and bulges! I like to extend and put a backup prussik on my rappel when it is overhanging almost the whole way (like the Madame G rappel at the Gunks....) mostly because I like to hang there with no hands on the brake, and because it still freaks me out haha


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By EricSchmidt
Mar 28, 2013

rgold wrote:
BITD, swami belts allowed you to spin the rope to the side so you got neither abrasion nor resistance from it. Sometimes, newer isn't always better.


Nope, harnesses are still better than swami belts. Always. Why don't you go wear a swami belt if you are so stuck in the old days then?


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Mar 28, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

1Eric Rhicard wrote:
I never use the loop and only have it to keep my leg loops and belt attached. I use my carabiner to connect the Leg Loops and Belt. It allows me to give out a little more rope and My Gri Gri/Cinch don't flop around and cross load. I know, I know, the manufacturers all tell us not to do this, but I almost never get a cross loaded biner with my system. Always cross loading when I use my loop.


Granted, having the device stay in place is probably nice, but wouldn't clipping through the two loops actually orientate the grigri/cinch sideways, making it twist the loops/biner when loaded?

That's one of the greatest benefits to a belay loop for tube-style devices is that it orientates it up/down instead of somewhat sideways.


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Mar 28, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

1Eric Rhicard wrote:
I never use the loop and only have it to keep my leg loops and belt attached. I use my carabiner to connect the Leg Loops and Belt. It allows me to give out a little more rope and My Gri Gri/Cinch don't flop around and cross load. I know, I know, the manufacturers all tell us not to do this, but I almost never get a cross loaded biner with my system. Always cross loading when I use my loop.


No cross loading, perhaps. But, how do you prevent triaxial loading?


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By Khoi
From Vancouver, BC
Mar 28, 2013

Crag Dweller wrote:
No cross loading, perhaps. But, how do you prevent triaxial loading?


Exactly.

Cross loading of belay biners do not worry me one iota. However, being the control freak that I am, I do find it really annoying.

Triaxial loading of belay biners do worry me.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Mar 28, 2013
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

but those crazy brits have been belaying off the rope loop for decades ... im not aware of people dying because of it ... perhaps there is a real life failure people talk about?

I know of a fatility, at the Needles, cause of tying into the rope loop. I guess this poor fellow was in the habit of using the rope loop and belay loop sort of interchangebly. He was "anchored in" throgh the rope loop this time. A sudden storm started to hit... as is common... he tossed on his jacket and lowered his partner to him and they started to set up a Rap. When he untied the rope from his harness he was gone. His PAS was only clipped into the rope loop...

Sad turn of events. RIP

Personally I like to keep everything simple... the belay loop is for belaying and rappelling only.
Figure Eight tie in knott
EKD to join ropes for the decent.

If my belay loop is frayed... time for a new harness.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Mar 28, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Crag Dweller wrote:
No cross loading, perhaps. But, how do you prevent triaxial loading?

Tri-axial loading of a belay biner through the tie-in points is such made up interweb paranoia. What about all those harnesses without belay loops? They work just fine and always have. If I take my harness and put the biner through the tie-in points and weight the rope, both the waist and the leg end up on the same end of the biner while the belay device ends up on the other. They do not load in three directions. I suppose if you had a very large harness and the distance between the two tie-in points was far, maybe. But even then I seriously doubt the load could get high enough to have any consequence. If it was a concern, there would have been an accident by now. I don't know why people choose to not use their belay loop, but if they use their tie-in points to belay off, they're not going to kill anyone (at least because of that).


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