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Black Diamond Aspect Climbing Harness **FAILURE** warning long post
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By Chicagio
Jun 29, 2011
Just checking around the internet for some product reviews of this harness that may mention the loosening of the straps and there is a review for this harness on rei.com that mentions this issue.

I certainly know I cannot, in good conscience, recommend anyone purchase this particular harness anymore. Harness straps simply should not loosen. I will pass on the word to my other friends who also sell climbing gear.

I hope BD addresses this immediately.

(For what it's worth, I have the BD Focus and am a big fan.)

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Jun 29, 2011
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
John Wilder wrote:
And John- i'm not sure why you think i'm an ass, but so be it- if helping the OP get in touch with BD and potentially resolve a safety issue means i'm an ass...then that's fine by me.


Don't sweat it, he's a world class douche bag.

josh

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By JPVallone
Jun 29, 2011
Ryan Williams wrote:
+1 And will everyone stop citing Wikipedia please?! It's not a legitimate source, because it's open source.


And what kind of source is Mountain Project? How legitimate is MP?

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By Dane
Jun 29, 2011
Cham '11
John Wilder wrote:
I'm baffled as to why you think that was speculation.


My point is simple. John Wilder doesn't know how BD will handle this or any other quality control issue, or when. You know what you have been told. A 2 minute search on the Internet should tell you how credible what you have been told actually is.

You wrote on this thread,

"I believe that if anyone has an issue, especially one involving safety, they should contact the manufacturer FIRST. Give them a chance to respond (quickly). Then post to the boards (and preferably let the manufacturer know they are doing this)."

"Thankfully BD has been notified and is investigating this particular issue and if there is a safety issue for a batch of the Aspect harnesses, they'll recall them and fix/replace them quickly."

Obviously the fastest way for climbers to become aware of a safety issue is by using forums and blogs. How long it takes a company to comment publically is anyone's guess.

When they do it is also obvious what the fastest way is to reach their market.

I no longer swallow the line of "we are all climbers and this keeps us up at night." The facts don't bear that comment out. Truth is we are climbers and it is your responsibility to come home at night. It is "their" responsibiity to sell us more gear every year.

Think not? Then why would the policy be, "spoke with someone from Warranty...."return it to REI to get a new Harness"...He re-assured me that their harness have been tested vigorously and that it only fails when not properly used."?



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By Stormeh
Jun 29, 2011
OP? Where did you go?

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By acnthxyl
From Philadelphia, PA
Jun 29, 2011
Hex on P2 of Betty (Gunks).
Stormeh wrote:
OP? Where did you go?


Good question. Would still like to see that video very much.

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By JitsClimber
From Broomfield,Co
Jun 29, 2011
Me doing my Jits thing (what I do when not climbin...
to get a pizza...

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By Jan Tarculas
From Riverside, Ca
Jun 29, 2011
Seconds before onsighting Gun Smoke V3, Joshua Tre...
Stormeh wrote:
OP? Where did you go?


I'm still here. I will post responses to every question and speculation everyone here has soon enough. I was to tired to respond late Monday Night, took an all day bouldering trip yesterday, and was way to exhausted to check my email and post here again.

Can someone tell me how to do multiple "quotes" when replying so I don't have multiple/different replies when I re-post again. Thanks :)

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By matt hallman
Jun 29, 2011
Ok PEOPLE LISTEN STOP QUESTIONING RN CLIMBER I WAS THE CLIMBER WHO TOOK THE FALL AND BEFORE EVERY CLIMB WE CHECK TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS GOOD HE DID NOTHING WRONG THE HARNESS WAS NOT LOOSE!! LETS ME SAY THAT AGAIN THE HARNESS WAS NOT LOOSE AND HE WAS DOUBLE BACKED YES I ALMOST GOT VERY HURT BUT IT WAS NOT HUMAN ERROR IT WAS ALL IN THE HARNESS

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Jun 29, 2011
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
Dane wrote:
My point is simple. John Wilder doesn't know how BD will handle this or any other quality control issue, or when. You know what you have been told. A 2 minute search on the Internet should tell you how credible what you have been told actually is. You wrote on this thread, "I believe that if anyone has an issue, especially one involving safety, they should contact the manufacturer FIRST. Give them a chance to respond (quickly). Then post to the boards (and preferably let the manufacturer know they are doing this)." "Thankfully BD has been notified and is investigating this particular issue and if there is a safety issue for a batch of the Aspect harnesses, they'll recall them and fix/replace them quickly." Obviously the fastest way for climbers to become aware of a safety issue is by using forums and blogs. How long it takes a company to comment publically is anyone's guess. When they do it is also obvious what the fastest way is to reach their market. I no longer swallow the line of "we are all climbers and this keeps us up at night." The facts don't bear that comment out. Truth is we are climbers and it is your responsibility to come home at night. It is "their" responsibiity to sell us more gear every year. Think not? Then why would the policy be, "spoke with someone from Warranty...."return it to REI to get a new Harness"...He re-assured me that their harness have been tested vigorously and that it only fails when not properly used."?



You're right he did speculate that "if there is a safety issue" "they'll recall them and fix/replace them quickly".
So he was giving BD the benefit of the doubt. Which, while I onviously disagree, is the apporpriate thing to do.
I assure you John knows more about how the outdoor industry works than most people.

So, tell me why you felt the need to jump somebody who was purely restating what was said previously, then obviously hoping the company would do the right thing?

josh

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By kurt smith
Jun 29, 2011
i'm still a fan of the old school double back buckle. rope and harness are key safety items, not fashion or hipster light weight part of the system. beef is best and keeps you safe.
i have had these types of buckles slip while gear loops are fully loaded with trad gear, so i have switch to safe tech and no longer worry abut my harness..

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Jun 29, 2011
matt hallman wrote:
Ok PEOPLE LISTEN STOP QUESTIONING RN CLIMBER I WAS THE CLIMBER WHO TOOK THE FALL AND BEFORE EVERY CLIMB WE CHECK TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS GOOD HE DID NOTHING WRONG THE HARNESS WAS NOT LOOSE!! LETS ME SAY THAT AGAIN THE HARNESS WAS NOT LOOSE AND HE WAS DOUBLE BACKED YES I ALMOST GOT VERY HURT BUT IT WAS NOT HUMAN ERROR IT WAS ALL IN THE HARNESS


you missed a letter

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Jun 29, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
matt hallman wrote:
I WAS THE CLIMBER WHO TOOK THE FALL AND BEFORE EVERY CLIMB WE CHECK TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS GOOD


RNclimber wrote:
My buddy first reacted by telling me that my leg loops weren't doubled back


Sounds like you were REALLY SURE!!!

I don't think this incident will be easily replicated in a video, so give the OP a break. Is he not allowed to leave his computer screen for a few hours?

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By Tradoholic
Jun 29, 2011
People, all quick-lock type buckles are known to do this. Do yourself a favor and buy a harness with dbl-back buckles and this wont even possibly be a problem.

This isn't an exclusive issue to BD, how they specifically handle a complaint is the issue specific to them.

matt hallman (if that is your real name), people complain about alot of products on MP and elsewhere but it usually ends up being an user error. Per the comments of RN I and I'm sure others noticed a lack of experience (first catch ever?) that might indicate this to be true. I'm not saying it is but our questions are not attacks, they are simply questions. Screaming that IT WAS NOT LOOSE doesn't prove to me or others that it wasn't but that might not have been the issue anyway.
A harness falling apart is a rare circumstance, these things are tested by machines and athletes before they hit the market and therefore the scenario seems unlikely, although that doesn't mean that it's impossible that BD fucked up, just that it's unlikely.
Look up the real story on BPA, it was a totally blown out of proportion and alot of business suffered because some jack-ass didn't check the facts or the science.

Therefore, before everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and says "fuck Black Diamond" how about a little fact checking first? As Amos Tupper always says "These are just routine questions M'am!"

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By Jan Tarculas
From Riverside, Ca
Jun 29, 2011
Seconds before onsighting Gun Smoke V3, Joshua Tre...
Stormeh wrote:
So where's the video that's been promised? RNclimber made it clear that the problem was easily repeatable and yet we still don't have proof.




Since I still don't know how to quote everyone in just one reply message I will do it individual until I learn how...

Are you talking to me Stormeh? I don't ever recall stating that the problem was easily repeatble and that I will provide a video of repeating the incident...

Mike Bonds wrote:
Post video of recreating it! Seems unbelievable until you do.


And to everyone that wants me or anyone else to try to repeat the incident to show proof, WHAT THE F*CK are you thinking? Do you guys really want me or other people to risk a climbers life again or injure them selves by trying to imitate a failing/failed harness? What IF I did try to do replicate the incident again, with the same exact equipment, same climb, same area of the fall, and instead of 2 loops failing, all three fail and my climber gets injures or DIES!! WTF? Are you guys stupid?

AND do you think my partner would want me to belay him again on that same harness? REALLY? If I came up to you and asked "Hey can you take a fall while I belay you on this Harness. It failed on me before and I want to try to replicate the same incident to see if the harness will fail again. I hope it doesn't because I don't want you to hit the ground or almost hit the ground like my previous partner." I don't even know why you guys would think that would be a smart idea to replicate. AND I don't have the dollar amount or equipment to replicate the incident using dummies, or similar objects to replicate that same scenario, so NO and I repeat NO, I will not try to make a video and try it again.

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By Jan Tarculas
From Riverside, Ca
Jun 29, 2011
Seconds before onsighting Gun Smoke V3, Joshua Tre...
Tico wrote:
So I could see how an improperly sized harness (too big), that was loaded by holding a leader fall, could be pulled into an orientation that would cause buckle slippage. The harness should be cinched down snuggly, not worn loosely around the hips, like I see so many skittle-thugs doing these days.


Mark Nelson wrote:
Tico is getting at what I'm trying to figure out; is this a defect, or a harness that wasn't fitting properly to begin with?


Nick Rhoads wrote:
I think the OP's harness was not tightened down enough, this could cause ANY speed buckle to slip. Usually I use a BS Big Gun (trad buckles) with great success.


And to everyone else that is speculating that my harness is to big or it wasn't tightened enough...Did you guys not read the part that said that I just got done doing a route prior and that we checked each other? First off, why would I ever wear a loose fitting harness and risk my life or my partners life? Second, I did mention that I just did a route and lowered my partner find, was lowered find, and I also cleaned the route prior, weighting the harness. If it wasn't properly fitted prior, wouldn't it have slip then? If you guys are still concerned about it to big or not on right here is a picture of the harness on me..
--- Invalid image id: 107193462 ---


Showing fit
Showing fit



leg loop fit
leg loop fit



View from top
View from top

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By bwalt822
Jun 29, 2011
RNclimber

Someone else volunteered to make some sort of video so I guess everyone got confused with you.

Nobody is asking you to go try to hold a real fall with the harness again. You can simulate it again by fixing the rope to a low bolt or other object, then tie yourself in and take a short fall over a crash pad or something else soft.

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By mike h
From Denver, CO
Jun 29, 2011
vv, laos
RNclimber wrote:
To verify what happened, I put my harness back on the way it was, and sure enough, I tugged on the belay loop and the waist strap came sliding a few inches.


This doesn't sound dangerous to repeat - can you/someone make a video of this? Especially if you mark it with some sort of tape, "a few inches" should be really easy to see. I'm much more concerned/doubtful about inches of slip and complete unbuckling than the more 'minor' loosening that others seem to be commenting on.

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By Stormeh
Jun 29, 2011
RNclimber wrote:
To verify what happened, I put my harness back on the way it was, and sure enough, I tugged on the belay loop and the waist strap came sliding a few inches. ALL THREE straps (waist and 2 leg straps) were all doubled back and the ends were slip through the loops provided on the waist and leg strap.


RNclimber, we're not asking for a video of a fall again, because as stated that would be dangerous. We're asking for a video of the above quote from you in your original post. I think a video of this behavior would be indicative of the more severe problem that occurred in a fall. The waist strap should NOT slide, even a few inches, and especially when tugged on.

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By Jan Tarculas
From Riverside, Ca
Jun 29, 2011
Seconds before onsighting Gun Smoke V3, Joshua Tre...
mike h wrote:
This doesn't sound dangerous to repeat - can you/someone make a video of this? Especially if you mark it with some sort of tape, "a few inches" should be really easy to see. I'm much more concerned/doubtful about inches of slip and complete unbuckling than the more 'minor' loosening that others seem to be commenting on.


This is in NO WAY similar to what happened during the fall/incident. This video is showing ME, with the harness properly fitted RIGHT, with the straps properly placed right through the buckles, and ME pulling on a certain part of the leg loop showing slippage. I am not trying to imitate what happened, but just showing you exactly what I just stated.


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By Stormeh
Jun 29, 2011
RNclimber wrote:
This is in NO WAY similar to what happened during the fall/incident. This video is showing ME, with the harness properly fitted RIGHT, with the straps properly placed right through the buckles, and ME pulling on a certain part of the leg loop showing slippage. I am not trying to imitate what happened, but just showing you exactly what I just stated.


Nice. Can we see a similar video of this happening on the waist loop as you stated happened in your original post?

Thanks for your work on this. It is appreciated by the community as we all depends on these products for our safety.

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By Cultivating Mass
Jun 29, 2011
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Ha ha ha ha!!!!! Velly funny, Docta Jones, velly funny!

LLLLLOOOOOUUUUDDDDD NNNNNOOOOIIIIISSSSEEEEESSSSS!

There is a lot of testosterone in the room, ladies. Maybe the next step is to do a few keg stands and go beat up the Math Club, huh, guys?

Kudos to Kurt Smith for pointing out that Metolius makes bombproof harnesses in the US. So does Misty Mountain Threadworks, so does Yates.

If the $40 cheap “deal” harness that was made overseas is having problems that eventually might lead to someone’s unnecessary death, and Misty makes the most comfortable harnesses in the world (that includes sport models as well-I use a Sonic) for around $60-$80, keeps jobs in America going, and generally keeps people from decking, guess what that makes those who still buy the Filipino model?????????????????????

Pretty fucking stupid.

Take some time to google “rock climbing harnesses made in USA” and find out why everyone has good things to say about tried and true designs versus the cheap Chinese crap that has the lowest sticker price. I’m not a hater of Asian manufacturing-no one in their right mind is choosing a Ranger over a Tacoma (and a lot of those Tacomas are assembled Stateside, providing work for Americans), but the fact remains that the best harnesses available for sale are all produced in North America. I know that Petzl and Mammut, Camp and Wild Country are trying to catch up, but harnesses are not an item to skimp on-your harness fails, you’ll be lucky to get off as easily as the OP. If you haven’t owned a Misty, Metolius, or Yates harness at this point, why not make the internet surf time productive for once and find out what all the talk is about? If you’re not thrilled with a Misty, Metolius, or Yates after climbing in it a few times, you’ll have a spare harness to use for taking out friends and newbies that you won’t have to worry about the buckles failing on! Personally, I don’t know anyone who’s ever had a negative thing to say about a US made harness, other than “my Arc’teryx is lighter”, usually swiftly followed by “aagh-these hanging belays are KILLING me…how long did it take the shop to get that Misty in for you?“

Speed buckles CAN work, but don't always. Think about it, people. Cheap ropes, cheap harnesses, biners so small you can't hardly get a rope in them (those FS biners suck, Metolius)-what is gained by going with cheap and shitty versus solid and user-friendly?

In Darwin's name we pray.

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By Dane
Jun 29, 2011
Cham '11
J. Thompson wrote:
obviously hoping the company would do the right thing?


OK? What is the right thing? Replace one harness? A world wide recall of that harness?

First, better to know what is going on with YOUR gear than wait for the company to tell you.

As I said the track record isn't good, when the repeated answer is, "if it is used right, there is no problem?"

BD's cs response sounded a lot like, "nothing to see here, move along now". Or just drop it off at REI?

In just the last 18 months we've seen 4 or 5 incidents where gear has been faulty, and all of it caught by some poor bloke that didn't get hurt or killed, but thankfully, was able to post it on the Internet first.

BD isn't the first or the last.

"Obviously hoping the company would do the right thing", doesn't help anyone climbing on faulty gear, right NOW. Suggesting anyone wait on the company (any company) to make a personal safety decision for you (like checking/changing your own harness) seems well...rather silly and dangerious if past incidents and the OP is to be believed.

Suggesting in public that the original poster (or anyone) is remiss by not contacting the manufacture first instead of alerting the climbing community first is wrong in my opinion.

We aren't responsible for the R&D or liability issues of the manufactures. I would hope one does feel some small responsibility to those you climb with and our larger community.

It is a mistake imo to think your personal concerns are the same corporate concerns.

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By Cor
Jun 29, 2011
black nasty
JLP,

I don't get what you are saying? The harness is a perfect fit,
with the extra leg loop slack fitting perfectly right beyond the
little catch that holds the extra. Also the waist belt is good.
Meaning look at the padding (not the strap) it comes together
meeting at a perfect point to provide comfort.

The whole thing is pretty weird though, I have the same harness.
Never had that happen, but I do think it is wearing out prematurely.

Maybe I will go back to regular buckles... This is my 1st speed
buckle setup. It makes me rethink things.

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By bearbreeder
Jun 29, 2011
while forum posts are obviously subject to people not using gear properly claiming otherwise or other such mistakes

the consequences of defective climbing equipment are extremely serious

public posts will only help reputable companies ID issues quickly, and demonstrate they have the climbers best interest at heat with a quick and thorough action

companies with recalls and take care of their customers i dont worry about too much ... its the companies that sweep stuff under the rug that you need to look out for

better to know something to look out for than being an ostrich with the head in the sand

edit ...

just to note that the leg buckle coming loose thing was mentioned by the AAI in a recent blog post ... they recommended NOT using the outside leg loops for a prussik backup due to this issue ...

alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/2...

I recently was shocked to find a somewhat major problem with my brand new harness. I bought a harness with "fast-buckle" systems. These systems have been around for five years or so, but are becoming an increasingly popular system on harnesses. The fast-buckle is essentially a system that allows you climb into your harness and tighten it up. You don't need to double it back or anything, once it's been tightened, it's supposedly good.

I've always been concerned that these harnesses might cause people to forget to double themselves back if they use a "normal" harness after using a fast-buckle for a period of time. But such a concern is nowhere near as disturbing as what I found when playing with my new fast-buckle harness.

I discovered that the leg-loop can actually unbuckle itself if you clip your rappel back-up friction-hitch directly into it near the buckle. See the following picture for what not to do with your carabiner on your leg-loop



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