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microascender fails to lock
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By bearbreeder
Feb 28, 2013

warning for those using microascenders ...

even with a DMM belay master it can crossload and the ascender fail to lock up in this position

this happened when i was soloing last week

back it up ;)

microascender + belay master+ galaxy 10mm
microascender + belay master+ galaxy 10mm


the solution other than the back up is to put the ascender through the narrow side of the belaymaster ...


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By Ian Cavanaugh
Feb 28, 2013

flip the biner. use the small end to attach to the ascender.


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By wivanoff
Feb 28, 2013
High Exposure

Use cord to tie it to your belay loop?

I use about a meter of 7mm cord. Three passes through the ascender and belay loop. Tie off with an EDK. Load is divided among 3 strands and no crossloading.


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By bevans
Feb 28, 2013

since i have never used a Microcender...

Based on your pictures it's surprising that the cross-loaded orientation prevented it from locking. It looks like the majority of the weight would have still been directed downward...engaging the cam.

Obviously not.

I like my Micro-traxion....


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

Ian Cavanaugh wrote:
flip the biner. use the small end to attach to the ascender.


Yeah...what was the belaymaster accomplishing like that? Also, keep it on a leash, I can't imagine that being nice to fall on when it locks at waist level. That also makes it more likely to have things jam/push the cam around.

With a 2ft sling, girth hitch the sling to your belay loop. Then clip the belaymaster right, and attach it to the microcender. Keeps it away from your harness, and at eye level should you fall.


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By bearbreeder
Feb 28, 2013

Brendan Blanchard wrote:
Yeah...what was the belaymaster accomplishing like that? Also, keep it on a leash, I can't imagine that being nice to fall on when it locks at waist level. That also makes it more likely to have things jam/push the cam around. .


it is attaching the ascender to the belay loop ;)

you DO know that if you always keep it on a leash, you can increase the fall factor, especially near the top of the climb ...

www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/self-belay-solo-climbing/solution1->>>

as i said the solution is to put the ascender through the narrow end ... and use a backup for unexpected situations like this ...

i dont think ive ever seen this scenario where it slips like this ever mentioned on the intrawebs

bevans wrote:
since i have never used a Microcender... Based on your pictures it's surprising that the cross-loaded orientation prevented it from locking. It looks like the majority of the weight would have still been directed downward...engaging the cam. Obviously not. I like my Micro-traxion....


basically it changed the feed angle through the microascender ... enough weight was loading the ascender sideways that the cam didnt engage enough ...

it wasnt a total failure as the fall rate was slow enough to catch by hand ... though you had to unweight the device to fix it ...

the microascender is the simplest ascender around ... i wouldnt have thought this to be possible prior to it happening


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By wivanoff
Mar 1, 2013
High Exposure

bevans wrote:
... Based on your pictures it's surprising that the cross-loaded orientation prevented it from locking. It looks like the majority of the weight would have still been directed downward...engaging the cam.


It looks to me like the spine of the carabiner torqued the ascender in a counter-clockwise direction and prevented the cam from moving freely. When soloing, I don't use a carabiner to attach my ascender so I've never seen this before. I prefer the direct tie in method I wrote above.

Brendan Blanchard wrote:
Also, keep it on a leash, I can't imagine that being nice to fall on when it locks at waist level.


It's actually really nice to have it lock at waist level. Exactly like having the rope pull at your tie in points in a top rope fall.

Brendan Blanchard wrote:
With a 2ft sling, girth hitch the sling to your belay loop. Then clip the belaymaster right, and attach it to the microcender. Keeps it away from your harness, and at eye level should you fall.


I think that's bad advice, Brendan. You're climbing 2 ft above your ascender. When you fall, you free fall 4 ft before your ascender sees any load at all. I could see a higher risk of crossloading, damaging your rope, hitting something, etc.


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By mattm
From TX
Mar 1, 2013
Grande Grotto

I run a Micro held in place with a chest harness rig such that there is almost no slack in the system. I then run a MiniTrax below it (also off the belay loop) as backup. I prefer the Micro as my main "catch" as I feel it feeds a bit better off the chest rig. I also prefer the non-tooth cam and how it holds a fall. Less wear and tear on your rope etc. Finally, the Micro is easier to unload/disable to provide a bit of slack etc.

I use the MiniTrax in the backup mode because of the spring loaded and toothed cam. I feel it's a better system as a backup AND by having two devices that use different methods of clamping I figure they're not as prone to the same modes of failure.

Glad you're ok. Wonder if the Gridlock would avoid more crossloading than the Belay Master (what I currently run as well)


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By bearbreeder
Mar 1, 2013

mattm wrote:
Wonder if the Gridlock would avoid more crossloading than the Belay Master (what I currently run as well)


im not all that worried about the crossloading ... the petzl link i posted shoes what is likely the "worst case" scenario for using a leash and falling above it near the top for someone my weight .... it doesnt exceed the xloading rating of the biner ... and i also have a backup on an independent strand

its the failure to lock up that surprised me

i doubt the gridlock would have this issue, or many other biners ... the belaymaster has a very straight edge, and the plastic piece locked in the belay loop ... ironically enough a regular biner might not have had this fail to lock issue ...

it also very specific to the microcender IMO due to the thickness of the hole which can lock onto a biner spine ... the ushba didnt have this issue

a friend tried to replicate it with the microcender but with different biner/rope ... and couldnt

the solution as i stated is to use the narrow side of the belay master for the ascender ....


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 1, 2013

Think you might want to replace that Biner anyways with the sizable grove it has in it.


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By bearbreeder
Mar 1, 2013

NorCalNomad wrote:
Think you might want to replace that Biner anyways with the sizable grove it has in it.


not worried ... the edge isnt sharp on that particular biner ... and tests have consistently shown that somewhat worn biners are still near full strength .. stronger than hardware store quicklinks


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By Gunkiemike
Mar 1, 2013

I've never liked the idea of cam-loaded ascenders for self belay. MUCH prefer body-loaded units like the Petzl Basic that has served me well for >10 years.


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By Kirk B.
From Boise, ID
Mar 2, 2013
belay slaving on some route I forgot the name of way right of Bloody Fingers.

I use my microascender a lot...I've never had a problem. I just clip in on a sturdy locker. If it kills me, then I'll die.
Havin' fun, so far. Pull up, if you're sketch. Duh.


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By Timmy Foulkes
Mar 2, 2013
climbing at EA

Regardless of which device you use to rope solo with or how close it is to your harness, try to avoid falling on it. Save just enough strength (if climbing at your limit) to get the device as tight as you can then sit in then there is virtually no risk of shock loading your system and gives you time to correct a cross loaded biner if that has occued which usually does (with a mini traxion). I know not all falls can be anticipated but then maybe one should not be rope soloing if you are assuming you are going to take multiple unplanned falls and save those routes for top roping or leading with a belayer. Word


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By bearbreeder
Mar 2, 2013

Timmy Foulkes wrote:
Regardless of which device you use to rope solo with or how close it is to your harness, try to avoid falling on it. Save just enough strength (if climbing at your limit) to get the device as tight as you can then sit in then there is virtually no risk of shock loading your system and gives you time to correct a cross loaded biner if that has occued which usually does (with a mini traxion). I know not all falls can be anticipated but then maybe one should not be rope soloing if you are assuming you are going to take multiple unplanned falls and save those routes for top roping or leading with a belayer. Word



that makes no sense ... if youre working on projects, which MANY people do TR soloing, youll fall ... period

use a backup and youll be fine

personally i use 2 ascenders on independent lines ...


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 3, 2013
...

"personally i use 2 ascenders on independent lines ..."

Ditto!

Didn't used to and always was a little bugged when I'd get spit on an overhang or in a situation where those teeth might cut in.

Now running two lines, the security it gives makes it much more enjoyable and less of a head fuck.


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By Greg D
From Here
Mar 3, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Bearbreeder, I'm curious what is going on in the background of the photo with the other locker and black and white sling?


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By Timmy Foulkes
Mar 3, 2013
climbing at EA

bearbreeder wrote:
that makes no sense ... if youre working on projects, which MANY people do TR soloing, youll fall ... period use a backup and youll be fine personally i use 2 ascenders on independent lines ...


Good point. The reason for my statement was just because I'm not a fan of shredding my rope sheath in a fall with the teethed device which I use and what you use too.


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By Greg D
From Here
Mar 3, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Timmy Foulkes wrote:
Good point. The reason for my statement was just because I'm not a fan of shredding my rope sheath in a fall with the teethed device which I use and what you use too.




Actually, the microcender doesn't have teeth.


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By bearbreeder
Mar 4, 2013

Greg D wrote:
Bearbreeder, I'm curious what is going on in the background of the photo with the other locker and black and white sling?


its the backup on the second line ... an ushba


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By Greg D
From Here
Mar 4, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

So the Ushba didn't lock either? Maybe you need another thread "Ushba fails to lock". Just curious since I use a microcender.


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By bearbreeder
Mar 4, 2013

Greg D wrote:
So the Ushba didn't lock either? Maybe you need another thread "Ushba fails to lock". Just curious since I use a microcender.


the ushba did lock ... which is why im not MPing from heaven or hell ;)

the ushba is what caught me when the pretzel failed


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By Greg D
From Here
Mar 4, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Ok. Then why did you say "it wasnt a total failure as the fall rate was slow enough to catch by hand". It's a bit confusing.


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By Nick Sandstrom
Mar 4, 2013
spearhead

It looks to me like he had a device on each side of the rope. the micro failed to stop him but the ushba on the other line did catch.


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By bearbreeder
Mar 4, 2013

Greg D wrote:
Ok. Then why did you say "it wasnt a total failure as the fall rate was slow enough to catch by hand". It's a bit confusing.


Because the slide down was slow enough that one could in theory grab the rope

Course this was after i retested the failure mode several times ....

The first time it happened i didnt even realize it until the ushba caught


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