Reason to "Chain" Lockers Together?


Original Post
Brandon12151 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

In the above video at about 4:25, Arnaud uses a pair of stoppers linked by two locking carabiners chained together. Any idea why he would need to do this? It seems like just one would have sufficed. It doesn't look like he needed to extend the placement or anything like that, and traditional wisdom says that linking carabiners like that isn't a good idea.

PatMas · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

My best guess would be wanting the wider basket on both the nut and the rope side. Or maybe with the weird rope switch that way he never came off belay.

Jonathan Croom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 180

Cool vid, thanks for sharing. Looks to me that there are two lockers to get the correct orientation for the rope; old pictures of pitons clipped with two ovals illustrate this well.

My question is whats going on with the slings on some of the doubled up placements? It looks like there are open dyneema runners tied directly to the slings on the cams. The direct connection looks sensible to keep carabiners from being loaded over rock edges. But my understanding is that most knots don't hold well in dyneema, and it looks like a single strand of sling running to each cam. This is visible at the beginning while he's racking up as well as when he places some of the gear.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 115

As for the nuts, he is using it as an anchor of sorts when he brings up the other gear, so he may want the pear shaped biner to have more room in it for the second rope.  The chained cams are to keep the nuts oriented properly and kill any potential rotation.  He could do it with a sling, but it looks like he wants to keep everything short there.

For the cams at the 8:10 mark (or so), it looks like he has a runner girth hitched around the slings of the 2 biners, and the other end terminates in a biner that he both uses for racking and clipping the rope.

He certainly has all the placements mapped out, so he knows exactly what to use, how to use it, and when to place it.

Andy Nelson · · Fort Collins, Colorado · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 343
traditional wisdom says that linking carabiners like that isn't a good idea.

I link locking carabiners together all the time - mostly in anchor situations where I need to change the orientation of something, add room for clipping in, etc.

Brandon12151 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Looks to me that there are two lockers to get the correct orientation for the rope; old pictures of pitons clipped with two ovals illustrate this well.

As for the nuts, he is using it as an anchor of sorts when he brings up the other gear, so he may want the pear shaped biner to have more room in it for the second rope.  The chained cams are to keep the nuts oriented properly and kill any potential rotation.  He could do it with a sling, but it looks like he wants to keep everything short there.

Alright, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing this up. (Shout out to Patrick and Jonathan as well).

@Jonathan--I hadn't noticed that before. That is pretty weird. (You can see it really well at 0:40 or so).

@Andy--Hmmm, maybe it's regional/ generational thing. I was taught always to put a soft link between two carabiners. This forum seems to say it's alright in many cases where big dynamic loads aren't an issue, but it doesn't really address other concerns like torque loading.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
Brandon12151 wrote:

Alright, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing this up. (Shout out to Patrick and Jonathan as well).

@Jonathan--I hadn't noticed that before. That is pretty weird. (You can see it really well at 0:40 or so).

@Andy--Hmmm, maybe it's regional/ generational thing. I was taught always to put a soft link between two carabiners. This forum seems to say it's alright in many cases where big dynamic loads aren't an issue, but it doesn't really address other concerns like torque loading.

If you understand WHY biner-to-biner can be bad (the genesis of the common but erroneous "never go metal-to-metal" rule), then you should understand why locker on locker is 100% fine.

spellstrike · · Duluth · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 23

It could be as simple as him not wanting to fiddle with the nuts when unclipping from his harness. Might give a more reliable orientation when pulling off his harness.

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 45

I think Patrick Mason hit the nail on the head with wanting the baskets on both the nut and the rope side. The basket on the nut side spreads the load, mitigating some of the effects of cross-loading there. And if you look at 5:12-ish, when he unclips the first rope from the carabiner, think about the alternative if he only had one carabiner there: he'd have to have clipped the carabiner to the nuts with the basket down, then unclipped the rope, then reoriented the carabiner--this could easily add 15 seconds to fiddling with gear there. Time savings makes a big difference, given the route looks to be >30m so endurance is a big factor.

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 45
Gunkiemike wrote:

If you understand WHY biner-to-biner can be bad (the genesis of the common but erroneous "never go metal-to-metal" rule), then you should understand why locker on locker is 100% fine.

Why is that?

I was taught metal-on-metal is bad because it causes burrs, which can damage rope and webbing, i.e. this is why it's okay to put quickdraw carabiners (metal) on bolts (metal) as long as you differentiate the bolt-side carabiner so that you don't run rope through it. With this logic, the locker on locker is fine as long as the narrow sides of the lockers remain in contact and the rope stays on the wide side of the locker where it won't be damaged by burrs.

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an... · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

Metal to metal in this case is fine. Bolt hangers are stamped sheet steel. Carabiners lack sharp edges. It's fine, you do this all the time on big walls. People have been going non locker to non locker for orientation reasons for a long time. It's situational 

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
David Kerkeslager wrote:

Why is that?

I was taught metal-on-metal is bad because it causes burrs, which can damage rope and webbing, i.e. this is why it's okay to put quickdraw carabiners (metal) on bolts (metal) as long as you differentiate the bolt-side carabiner so that you don't run rope through it. With this logic, the locker on locker is fine as long as the narrow sides of the lockers remain in contact and the rope stays on the wide side of the locker where it won't be damaged by burrs.

You were taught wrong.  Burrs from square-edged bolt hangers are a RELATIVELY recent issue.  Metal-to-metal in other settings has been going on for 50+ years without any problems.

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 45

Okay, but you said:

Gunkiemike wrote:

If you understand WHY biner-to-biner can be bad (the genesis of the common but erroneous "never go metal-to-metal" rule), then you should understand why locker on locker is 100% fine.

Why can biner-to-biner be bad?

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 509

If you clip too many things to a carabiner you could magnify the forces on the nose. A big FF2 for instance on a small carabiner which was used for the first piece.

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an... · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115
Firestone wrote:

If you clip too many things to a carabiner you could magnify the forces on the nose. A big FF2 for instance on a small carabiner which was used for the first piece.

No, chained nonlocking biners can rotate against the gate and unclip. Locked gates negate this. It's true that three way loading can significantly decrease the strength of carabiners

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
Rob Warden...Space Lizard wrote:

No, chained nonlocking biners can rotate against the gate and unclip. Locked gates negate this. It's true that three way loading can significantly decrease the strength of carabiners

This ^.  It's not 3-way loading, or the possibility that the load gets away from the spine.  It's that multiple (minimum of 3 IME) biners can rotate against each other and eventually open up.  It's a bit contrived, but something to be avoided.

Sorry for being a dick on this point, but "never metal-on-metal" is one of several "rules" getting traction these days that have no legitimate basis.  Kinda like microfractures, damage from petroleum products and DEET insect repellants, and clipping the belay carabiner through the harness (i.e. bypassing the belay loop).  I TRY TO understand that it takes a while for new climbers to get their facts straight on these issues, but they still bring out the jerk in me.  Knee jerk, specifically.

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

This ^.  It's not 3-way loading, or the possibility that the load gets away from the spine.  It's that multiple (minimum of 3 IME) biners can rotate against each other and eventually open up.  It's a bit contrived, but something to be avoided.

Sorry for being a dick on this point, but "never metal-on-metal" is one of several "rules" getting traction these days that have no legitimate basis.  Kinda like microfractures, damage from petroleum products and DEET insect repellants, and clipping the belay carabiner through the harness (i.e. bypassing the belay loop).  I TRY TO understand that it takes a while for new climbers to get their facts straight on these issues, but they still bring out the jerk in me.  Knee jerk, specifically.

Metal on metal is only to be avoided if you plan on putting them on textiles since it can scar the biners. I always find the no metal on metal funny because people clip draws to metal bolts all the time. It is still best to avoid clipping metal to metal if you can since it can scar the metal and cause it to cut textiles though.

I do use my sport draws when climbing trad but I always double check the bolt side biner and only pick a few that are smooth (some of them do have some edges that likely would not cut but could cause some damage) and don't have sharp edges since when climbing trad they are going from webbing to rope.

Either way this is still something that is extremely unlikely to happen,  damage to the biners from clipping metal to metal is extremely minor and only likely to do minor damage to your textiles. It would take tons of falls on it before it would really cut but could decrease the lifespan on your rope / webbing by some degree. I have only seen webbing take a minor damage from a biner one time and even with the damage it took it wasn't enough for me to stop using it.

Daniel T · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 35

Can one of you guys post a picture of the metal scaring you are talking about?  I cant seem to picture it in my head.  I feel as long as the biners are free of burrs at the beginning of the climb ill be able to use them on the climb without any issues.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
Daniel T wrote:

Can one of you guys post a picture of the metal scaring you are talking about?  I cant seem to picture it in my head.  I feel as long as the biners are free of burrs at the beginning of the climb ill be able to use them on the climb without any issues.

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an... · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

So that "burring" is totally superficial and does NOT EFFECT the rope bearing surface. 

You can put a hanger gouged biner on a sling, since the sling is stationery. The rope is a different situation entirely since it runs over it. If you have egregiously rough biners,  take a file to them. I have zero problem with them on the bolt end of my draws. My bolt ends are typically rope grooved to help anyway. 

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

A regular quickdraw or trad draw with gates to the right would have been just a good, as would a single locker have in that application - there was no particular need for two.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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