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quickdraw unclips from bolt, climber injured (NH)
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By Eric Chabot
From Thetford Ctr, VT
Oct 6, 2013
See comment in route description page. Climber seriously injured his hand and had bumps and bruises befitting a 60 foot fall down slightly less than vertical rock.

bonehead roof, rumney NH

The quickdraw in question was 2 Camp solid gate biners on a 8 inch long petzl dogbone. The top biner, the one on the bolt, was on the loose side of the dogbone and the rubber keeper side was on the rope end biner. The gates on the biners faced the same direction.

Besides being careful to face your biner gates away from the direction you are climbing, is there anything to be done about this short of putting lockers on every bolt?

Any other thoughts from the community?

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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Oct 6, 2013
Mt. Agassiz
Eric Chabot wrote:
Besides being careful to face your biner gates away from the direction you are climbing, is there anything to be done about this short of putting lockers on every bolt?


There's something in climbing we refer to as "redundancy." There is always the possibility of a bolt failing or a draw getting hung up on a bolt and unclipping. In such a case, we have to rely on our next piece of protection. I want to know why the bolt below the point of failure was "backcleaned."

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By marty funkhouser
Oct 6, 2013
Unfortunately, draws CAN unclip especially during roof or mantel moves where the climber might unintentionally jostle the draw with their body or excessive rope drag while moving past. In situations where this would result in a ledge or ground fall then ideally you'd treat this protection point with the same redundancy as you would an anchor. If this isn't possible (no gear nearby) then lockers on both bolt and rope sides of the draw would be the next best solution. So sorry your friend was hurt and I hope he heals quickly.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Oct 6, 2013
Definitely at least put a 2' sling on the slab bolt. I can't remember if i do or not for that route or just use a normal draw. I know i put a long sling on the slab bolt on Lies and Propaganda and Med Dose Madness in that area.

having 1 long sling on your harness in case is a good idea. i usually have it as my "route bolts and anchors + 1" draw.

backcleaning a draw completely with only 1 bolt above a long fall potential is not a good idea.

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By bearbreeder
Oct 7, 2013
2 opposed draws at critical points

Some people use lockers, but honestly on hard redpoints its faster imo just to clip 2 draws ... And "safer" ... Not to mention u might not have lockers for every sport lead ready

Try not to depend on any single bolt as well

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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Oct 7, 2013
Mt. Agassiz
bearbreeder wrote:
2 opposed draws at critical points Some people use lockers, but honestly on hard redpoints its faster imo just to clip 2 draws ... And "safer" ... Not to mention u might not have lockers for every sport lead ready Try not to depend on any single bolt as well


Holy $#it...bearbreeder, you forgot your signature " ;) ". Your advice is no good without it.

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By bearbreeder
Oct 7, 2013
Ryan Nevius wrote:
Holy $#it...bearbreeder, you forgot your signature " ;) ". Your advice is no good without it.


This is a thread about someone getting seriously hurt ....

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By Daniel Winder
Oct 7, 2013
oh no
oh no

this draw came unclipped below me on lead. i recreated the scenario as i lowered. i climbed slightly above the bolt then traversed right. Bolt side gate was facing direction of travel.

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By ABB
Oct 7, 2013
A couple decades or more ago the recommended practice was to flip the hanger-biner upside down after clipping a bolt-hanger, leaving the gate opening downward. This is rarely done today despite the increased safety. An upsidedown hanger-biner should remain the recommended practice, especially in a high-stakes location.

Some dogbones are sewn along their length, giving them a more rigid feel. Some of these are very short bones, making them much more prone to generating enough torque to unclip a biner from a hanger.

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By Ming
Oct 7, 2013
At Railay East Beach in Thailand
I second the flipping over the biner techninque (that is if you are in a stable clipping position and not getting pumped out). It'll make those type of moves much safer.

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By dnoB ekiM
Oct 7, 2013
Wonderstuff
"on a 8 inch long petzl dogbone"

Newer style (all light gray) or older style petzl dogbone?

The new petzl dogbones are stiff (one might even say rigid), and this can make this much more likely.

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By bearbreeder
Oct 7, 2013
John Marsella wrote:
Is this where you should clip "spine to the line [ie, direction of travel]"? Or does this little mantra refer to the rope-side carabiner? It seems traversing right with the spine of the bolt-side carabiner oriented towards the right would have prevented this?



Both spines should generally face the direction of travel ... Petzl recommends this way in their documentation

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By Peter Jackson
From Rumney, NH
Oct 7, 2013
Just in case the two big belay anchors aren't obvious enough for you, here is where to find the belay station.
John Marsella wrote:
Is this where you should clip "spine to the line [ie, direction of travel]"? Or does this little mantra refer to the rope-side carabiner? It seems traversing right with the spine of the bolt-side carabiner oriented towards the right would have prevented this?


EDITED: [ I removed some non-scientific observations that I tested out in my bolt-garden and found to be bullshit. Sorry! I was wrong. ]

Ryan Nevius wrote:
There's something in climbing we refer to as "redundancy." There is always the possibility of a bolt failing or a draw getting hung up on a bolt and unclipping. In such a case, we have to rely on our next piece of protection. I want to know why the bolt below the point of failure was "backcleaned."


Ryan, the draw under the roof causes a lot of excess rope drag, and putting a long sling on the bolt often scares leaders because extending the fall 2 feet puts them into harm's way by way of a ledge. Take a look at the route description: blowing the last clip often results in a ledge fall: a situation many climbers try to mitigate by using too short a sling.

I agree that backcleaning isn't the best answer, but it's become common. The safest among Rumney locals will hang a draw plus a 2 foot sling on that bolt, then backclean only the draw once the next bolt is clipped. leaving a 2-foot sling on the bolt.

Jake D wrote:
Definitely at least put a 2' sling on the slab bolt. I can't remember if i do or not for that route or just use a normal draw. I know i put a long sling on the slab bolt on Lies and Propaganda and Med Dose Madness in that area.


Definitely good advice. Incidentally, an alpine draw (open sling with two biners, preferably wiregates) would have been much less likely to unclip on that top bolt. I like my quickdraws, but I usually carry at least one extra open sling.

Even better, there is the possibility of getting trad gear in the top before you top out. This route calls for extra caution and extra gear.

I hope the injured party recovers fully, and I hope those involved will consider writing a report for the AAC publications next year. This is a topic that isn't discussed enough.

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By S. Neoh
Oct 7, 2013
Often (but not always) I will flip the top biners of draws/slings I place at anchors.

The photo that DW posted is SCARY. I am looking at it and thinking how big is the head of that bolt? It seems that it is so large that it prevents the biner from rotating freely without getting the nose hung up on the hanger.

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By Russ Keane
Dec 13, 2013
Where's Waldo?
So on a quick draw, are you supposed to put the biner with the rubber-stopper on the Bolt side, or the Rope side...? I always put the loosey-goosey one on the bolt side, but maybe I am wrong. Maybe this twisting near the bolt is not good.

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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Dec 13, 2013
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
Russ Keane wrote:
So on a quick draw, are you supposed to put the biner with the rubber-stopper on the Bolt side, or the Rope side...?
The rope end. You're doing it right. You want the bolt-end biner to be able to move more freely. See the diagrams on page 2 of the Petzl Spirt Express guide.

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By Russ Keane
Dec 13, 2013
Where's Waldo?
OK thanks.

I think now I am grasping what "ABB" said, regarding flipping the biner upside-down after clipping. It's on the bolt biner, to turn the biner so the opening action is farthest away from the bolt (where it could come off).

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By ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Dec 13, 2013
ducking ropes at Copper
bearbreeder wrote:
2 opposed draws at critical points Some people use lockers, but honestly on hard redpoints its faster imo just to clip 2 draws ... And "safer" ... Not to mention u might not have lockers for every sport lead ready Try not to depend on any single bolt as well



+1 I am glad I'm not the only one that doubles up on the draws for tough spots/sketchy bolt placements.

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By Syd
Dec 13, 2013
I've never been in this situation, so please excuse my ignorance but would something adjustable like a purcel prusik replacing the dog bone, be a suitable alternative to back cleaning ? It could be lengthened after the higher clip.

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By jeremy long
From BOULDER CO
Dec 29, 2013
zen
Syd wrote:
I've never been in this situation, so please excuse my ignorance but would something adjustable like a purcel prusik replacing the dog bone, be a suitable alternative to back cleaning ? It could be lengthened after the higher clip.


SWEET rockin the purcel's. From the route description this could work, however purcels tend to be a bit lengthy. They are adjustible, however they are only as short as the original configuration which tends to be around 2 feet. I have taken to always having one whether it be climbing on rocks or working in trees. I use it as my main lanyard on rocks, replacing the old dangerous daisychain. While working at RMNP on their high angle rescue team I got exposed to these from a company called rigging for rescue out of ouray. These knots can be used for a variety of situations including escaping belays, transferring tension, ascending fixed ropes, lanyards, clipping pro and a multitude of other uses. They are strong, safe and versitile. All climbers should adopt using these knots for everything but especially lanyards! burn your daisy chains!

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