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Thread on belay loop coming loose. Time to replace?


Original Post
Rich zz · · california · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 180
clint helander · · anchorage, alaska · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 613

When in doubt...

Climb Germany · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 2,525

Yeah, I'd replace that mofo.

Sure it'd probably work awhile longer, but there's no way to know exactly and you have clear evidence that it needs replacing sooner rather than later.

Rich zz · · california · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 180
SwabianAmi wrote:Yeah, I'd replace that mofo. Sure it'd probably work awhile longer, but there's no way to know exactly and you have clear evidence that it needs replacing sooner rather than later.
well the thing is, the belay loop goes around the buckle. so even if all the stitches came out, it would actually still hold. either way i emailed petzl. i hope they email back.
Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125
Rich zz wrote: well the thing is, the belay loop goes around the buckle. so even if all the stitches came out, it would actually still hold. either way i emailed petzl. i hope they email back.
You would need to show the photo head on as well, but it does not look like that stitching is load rated, so it is not key to the strength of the harness. But I would contact the manufacturer and also check out the rest of the stitching.
Rich zz · · california · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 180
Matt Himmelstein wrote: You would need to show the photo head on as well, but it does not look like that stitching is load rated, so it is not key to the strength of the harness. But I would contact the manufacturer and also check out the rest of the stitching.
http://imgur.com/a/wmDij
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135
Matt Himmelstein wrote: You would need to show the photo head on as well, but it does not look like that stitching is load rated, so it is not key to the strength of the harness. But I would contact the manufacturer and also check out the rest of the stitching.
This.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Think of Todd Skinner,,then go get another harness

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 755
john strand wrote:Think of Todd Skinner,,then go get another harness
No, that's right to say,,, T Skinner had girth -hitched his belay loop with two slings
that caused the process of (physical) 'work' to degrade the loops' strength & integrity.
The Belay Loop was already in a questionable condition.
Then, he was rapping off, just the over-worked belay loop.when it failed.

Your harness shows a similar application of a sling,( not two slings working against each other) applied as a PAS(?) that may have pulled the tie in point in a direction that then worked the stitching.(?)

As everyone has said if you have to ask - you have doubts of the condition./integrity
That is reason enough to not lead climb in that rig.

You know how you hung on it and if you pulled it in a way that deformed the structure enough to rupture the edge stitching of the tie in point.
Rich zz · · california · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 180
Michael Schneider wrote: No, that is completely wrong, T Skinner had girth -hitched his belay loop.with two slings that caused the process of physical work to degrade the loops' strength & integrity. That was already in a questionable condition. Then, he was rapping off the over worked belay loop.when it failed. Your harness shows a similar application of a sling,( not two slings working against each other) applied as a PAS(?) that may have pulled the tie in point in a direction that then worked the stitching.(?) As everyone has said if you have to ask - you have doubts of the condition./integrity That is reason enough to not lead climb in that rig. You know how you hung on it and if you pulled it in a way that deformed the structure enough to rupture the edge stitching of the tie in point.
My PAS is always on the right side of the belay loop even though the photo shows it on the left. I always tie in from the left side. So it could have been anything really. I believe that since the top belay loop is continuous and goes around the buckle and is stitched properly on the right side it should hold me just find even if all the stitches come out. Either way Petzl emailed me and said I could send it in which I shall in the coming weeks.

Be safe everyone and take this time to check your gear.
NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
clint helander wrote:When in doubt...
+1 Harnesses are cheap for a peace of mind
grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Looks fine on the ground. But, ever been at a hanging belay hundreds of feet up?...Fraying on your harness does not make you feel safe.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 290

Of things that will injure, maim or kill you the next time ten times you go climbing I'd rate that around 99 on a scale of 1 (likely) to 100 (unlikely). You're more likely to forget to buckle it than it failing. So sure, replace it - but be aware it's likely the least of your worries when it comes down to it when you're talking risk and risk management in climbing.

Marcus Russi · · New Haven, CT · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 15

^ I think that is a great comment that needs to show up more in forum threads about stuff like this

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45
Marcus Russi wrote:^ I think that is a great comment that needs to show up more in forum threads about stuff like this
Agreed.

I do worry about the proliferation of "If you have any doubts, then you should retire it" advice given out to newbies.

Climbing has hit the mainstream and more and more people are taking up climbing.

As we all were at first, these new climbers are low-information climbers who don't know a lot, which sometimes leads to wrong ideas getting in their heads.

"I've fallen on my rope (while top-roping) 6 times. This rope is rated to 8 falls. So I have 2 more falls before I have to retire it"

"We can't set up another top rope for that climb because all we have left are quickdraws, slings, and non-locking biners. It's not safe to build a top rope anchor without lockers."

"He's using his ATC-XP backwards! He's not braking the rope off of the side with the teeth! He doesn't know how to use that belay device!"

"You dropped your ___________. You now have to retire it because there could be microfractures/stress fractures/hairline cracks/cracks that you can only see with an x-ray"

"That Black Diamond sling isn't safe! Didn't you hear about the recall?!" [there is no masking tape on said sling]

These are all scenarios I have dealt with, some numerous times.

I would prefer to see climbers encouraged to exercise critical thinking more often over defaulting to blunt mottos.
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

I'm also squarely in the "Learn about your gear, and worry about real dangers" camp. I love your post, Khoi. Some of your examples might seem hyperbolic, but I think we've seen all those concerns surface on MP.

I try not to respond to all the crazy paranoia inquiries, or counter the chorus of "what's your life worth" replies, but occasionally my inner sense of rationality gets the better of me. I do have to accept that there are many things I've learned in 40+ years of climbing that I take your granted that newbies just don't have access to; things like replacing a cam's sewn sling with a knotted loop of cord (GASP! "Yer Gonna Die...your life is worth $5 for reslinging!!"). Yea, I've done that with no concern for my safety.

At the end of the day it doesn't affect me personally if folks what to retire something that has 90% of its useful life remaining. It keeps the manufacturers and retailers busy, which does benefit me in some small way (more volume = marginally lower prices). And sometimes it creates a bargain or two in the used gear market (GASP!).

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Not exactly the same spot on the harness but when you are looking at stitching I like to use this as a reference.

blackdiamondequipment.com/e…

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640
Michael Schneider wrote: No, that is completely wrong, T Skinner had girth -hitched his belay loop.with two slings that caused the process of physical work to degrade the loops' strength & integrity. That was already in a questionable condition. Then, he was rapping off the over worked belay loop.when it failed. Your harness shows a similar application of a sling,( not two slings working against each other) applied as a PAS(?) that may have pulled the tie in point in a direction that then worked the stitching.(?) As everyone has said if you have to ask - you have doubts of the condition./integrity That is reason enough to not lead climb in that rig. You know how you hung on it and if you pulled it in a way that deformed the structure enough to rupture the edge stitching of the tie in point.
he died because a part of the harness failed and should have been replaced sooner.
Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125
Rich zz wrote: imgur.com/a/wmDij
I would need to look at the harness to be sure, but it appears that there is a reinforcing webbing that goes over/around the structural webbing and the stitching that is coming loose is what holds that reinforcement in place. It is probably to prevent abrasion.

Sending it back to Petzl for a look is the best option, which you said you would do, but I would not worry about climbing on it for the mean time.
Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 585
Rich zz wrote: I believe that since the top belay loop...
A minor clarification about harness anatomy: there is only one belay loop on the harness in question, and it is the loop of gray material that runs parallel to the blue sling that is in the photo. The area circled in yellow is the top "tie-in point" or "hard point."
Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 290
john strand wrote: he died because a part of the harness failed and should have been replaced sooner.
No doubt he should have replaced his ultra-lite harness sooner and was going to when they finished the route, but the specific cause of the accident was the girth-hitching of his leash to the belay loop which focused abrading wear on a single spot on the loop.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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