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Petzl Spirit Biner breaks from normal lead fall
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Apr 7, 2013
Whitney Portal
Here's the link for the malfunction:


Broken Biner


Relevant BD biner test page


After reading through these it sounds like the issue was that the biners were facing different directions. Spirit draws are designed to have the biners facing the same direction so that the spines are loaded properly. In this case it sounds like the biner probably loaded on the bolt at an angle. The diagonal load from the opposed biners combined with the diagonal load of the angle of the biner on the bolt might have caused the breakage.

Or maybe this biner just had a manufacturing flaw? Maybe there was random gate flutter and the rope went taught when the gate was slightly open?

The BD page shows how the breaking points on biners vary depending on where the load is applied.

Hopefully a good investigation will happen so we can find out what the issue was.

Takeaway lesson for me is to read the booklet for my gear and use it properly. If the draw is supposed to have the biners facing the same way, then use it that way.

Be safe out there!
Wylie
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Jul 19, 2011
99 points
Apr 7, 2013
Colonel Mustard
Wylie wrote:
After reading through these it sounds like the issue was that the biners were facing different directions. Spirit draws are designed to have the biners facing the same direction so that the spines are loaded properly.


Sweet! So there's actual science behind my dislike of that idiotic practice? BLAM!
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,367 points
Apr 7, 2013
Whitney Portal
Well, that conclusion is just hear say at this point. Personally, I always use draws with biners facing the same way because I like them that way. Also, every draw is designed different. I'm sure many draws are perfectly safe with opposing biners. Wylie
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Jul 19, 2011
99 points
Apr 7, 2013
Colonel Mustard
Wylie wrote:
Well, that conclusion is just hear say at this point. Personally, I always use draws with biners facing the same way because I like them that way. Also, every draw is designed different. I'm sure many draws are perfectly saw with opposing biners.


Oh, come on, don't back away from a perfectly good jab. Science. Blam.

The practice always strikes me as some backwards application of "opposite and opposed".
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,367 points
Apr 7, 2013
Temple crag, dark star
I had the distinct pleasure of being sprayed down a few days ago by a climbing partner who passionately swore opposing gates were preferred because it kept the spine of carabiners in line down the center of the draw? Can't wait for his relpy after he sees this link. David prsn
From Bishop
Joined Oct 17, 2012
100 points
Apr 7, 2013
Whitney Portal
If you look at the 3rd photo in the blog post it's pretty obvious that the opposing biners on a spirit draw will cause a diagonal load on both biners. Wylie
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Jul 19, 2011
99 points
Administrator
Apr 7, 2013
Wylie wrote:
Spirit draws are designed to have the biners facing the same direction so that the spines are loaded properly.

Source?
20 kN
From Hawaii
Joined Feb 2, 2009
665 points
Apr 7, 2013
20 kN wrote:
Source?


for real. there is just no way that could be true.

edited to add: that biner broke because it got "nose hooked" a bit, or because that bolt is in a bad spot at the lip of a roof.
S Denny
From Aspen, CO
Joined Sep 25, 2008
24 points
Apr 7, 2013
Grande Grotto
20 kN wrote:
Source?


While not specific to how the Sprit (or any biner) was designed, Petzl clearly states in several catalogs: " The carabiner gate must be opposite to the direction of movement. "
mattm
From TX
Joined Jun 2, 2006
1,238 points
Apr 7, 2013
that is true. but that is not the OP's claim S Denny
From Aspen, CO
Joined Sep 25, 2008
24 points
Apr 7, 2013
Bucky
Wylie wrote:
If you look at the 3rd photo in the blog post it's pretty obvious that the opposing biners on a spirit draw will cause a diagonal load on both biners.


How is that exactly obvious? Actually, I don't think your right at all and I don't think that the opposite facing gates had anything to do with this biner failing. The biner failed because the biner got "caught" against the hanger and then was loaded. That had zero to do with the bottom biner. Go play around with a hanger and a draw. What you will find is that you can catch the top biner against the hanger in weird ways with the top biner clipped into the hanger from either direction. And if this happens and you fall, it will load the biner in a bad way. I have had this happen to me (with a Spirit in fact), but the hanger bent and the biner was fine.

See for e.g. the bottom biner in this pic:

mountainproject.com/v/10595464...

Again, the orientation of the bottom biner is more or less irrelevant. The minor difference in the angle that the draw transfers the load to the bottom biner is not large enough to cause problems, i.e. the load will still be predominantly along the major axis of the biner. This is one of chief differences between a D shaped biner versus an oval.
J. Albers
From Colorado
Joined Jul 11, 2008
2,223 points
Apr 7, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Wylie wrote:
Here's the link for the malfunction: Broken Biner Relevant BD biner test page After reading through these it sounds like the issue was that the biners were facing different directions. Spirit draws are designed to have the biners facing the same direction so that the spines are loaded properly. In this case it sounds like the biner probably loaded on the bolt at an angle. The diagonal load from the opposed biners combined with the diagonal load of the angle of the biner on the bolt might have caused the breakage. Or maybe this biner just had a manufacturing flaw? Maybe there was random gate flutter and the rope went taught when the gate was slightly open? The BD page shows how the breaking points on biners vary depending on where the load is applied. Hopefully a good investigation will happen so we can find out what the issue was. Takeaway lesson for me is to read the booklet for my gear and use it properly. If the draw is supposed to have the biners facing the same way, then use it that way. Be safe out there!


reading comprehension fail.
kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
1,503 points
Apr 7, 2013
Bucky
kennoyce wrote:
reading comprehension fail.


Exactly.

mattm wrote:
While not specific to how the Sprit (or any biner) was designed, Petzl clearly states in several catalogs: " The carabiner gate must be opposite to the direction of movement. "


Yes, but I think this is addressing the direction the gate itself is facing versus the direction the fall is coming from. Once you are below the biner and the loading process begins, I don't think it makes any difference which direction the biner is facing.
J. Albers
From Colorado
Joined Jul 11, 2008
2,223 points
Apr 7, 2013
Colonel Mustard
Drats! Technical wankery fails to support conclusion! Oh well, I'll just have to rely upon the tried and true maxim of opposite biners just being plain wrong. Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,367 points
Apr 7, 2013
The opposition of the biners did not directly cause the biner to break. If you look at the pictures of the broken biner, the first thing you (should) notice is the gouge above the "key." This clearly indicates the biner rotated and hooked on the bolt in a way similar to that shown in the pictures. Loading the biner in this manner would result in extremely high forces due to leveraging. This is why the biner broke.

Whether the biner rotated into that position as a result of the biners on the draw being opposed is debatable. It may have been a contributing factor, but I suspect this was just a fluke. Either way, to say the opposed biners on the draw caused the accident is at best a poorly supported conclusion and at worst a gross misrepresentation/misunderstanding of the facts.
Derrick W
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Jun 3, 2012
91 points
Apr 7, 2013
S Denny wrote:
edited to add: that biner broke because it got "nose hooked" a bit, or because that bolt is in a bad spot at the lip of a roof.


^^^^ THIS. The climber is a friend of mine, and she thinks she kicked the draw while making a move, thereby catching the nose funny in the hanger.
Aric Datesman
Joined Sep 16, 2008
145 points
Apr 7, 2013
interesting how a notchless biner ... in fact one of the "best" biners in the world ... can still get nosehooked and broken bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
1,931 points
Apr 7, 2013
Whitney Portal
To those who oppose me: You know nothing. Admit it, once I laid these incontestable facts on your weak world of climbing knowledge your primitive faith based techniques were shattered. Fear not my friends. Join me and I will teach you the truth as it was shown to me for I received these premonitions in a divine dream. Accept these truths and you shall climb no less than 4 grades harder. Wylie
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Jul 19, 2011
99 points
Apr 7, 2013
Colonel Mustard
Wylie wrote:
To those who oppose me: You know nothing. Admit it, once I laid these incontestable facts on your weak world of climbing knowledge your primitive faith based techniques were shattered. Fear not my friends. Join me and I will teach you the truth as it was shown to me for I received these premonitions in a divine dream. Accept these truths and you shall climb no less than 4 grades harder.


Can't I just reword the same conclusions others arrived at so I look like a better person than you instead? Much easier.
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,367 points
Apr 7, 2013
I read the original thread over at redriverclimbing.com and have to agree with the suggestion by a few people that the top biner (which snapped) likely got pinned by the hanger and the bolt head when it was loaded during the fall. Current thinking is top and bottom biners on a sport draw should face the same direction, not opposed as many of us had done for many years (~15 in my case). S. Neoh
Joined Oct 4, 2009
481 points
Apr 8, 2013
OTL
Maybe a longer, skinnier dogbone would have made the difference?

Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
368 points
Apr 8, 2013
Middle
bearbreeder wrote:
interesting how a notchless biner ... in fact one of the "best" biners in the world ... can still get nosehooked and broken


Interesting that when a product is misused it will break no matter how good it is.
Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Joined Jul 23, 2010
130 points
Apr 8, 2013
Bucky
S. Neoh wrote:
Current thinking is top and bottom biners on a sport draw should face the same direction, not opposed as many of us had done for many years (~15 in my case).


Who exactly represents "current thinking"? I actually carry draws set in both orientations and I may use one directional setup versus the other if I may be taking a sideways fall etc; this however, has zero to do with the actual strength of the setup during the loading process in a fall. Just curious because from doing a casual free body diagram in my head, I can't see how the direction of the bottom biner makes any difference whatsoever when its loaded (obviously provided it is not cross loaded).
J. Albers
From Colorado
Joined Jul 11, 2008
2,223 points
Apr 8, 2013
...
"Interesting that when a product is misused it will break no matter how good it is."


LOL!
Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,382 points
Apr 8, 2013
...
What does Petzl have to say about it? Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,382 points
Apr 8, 2013
Aiding. Photo by Locker.
This is why I use only lockers. I have a hundred lockers on my rack, I learned this from Locker.

Even my racking draws for my cams are lockers!
teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Joined Dec 16, 2012
636 points


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