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Wild Country Krab issue?
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By Aric Datesman
Aug 9, 2012

Personally, I think there's no reason to make a change because it's a non-issue (how many other instances of this have you heard of?) and because the only way it happens is when the gear is mid-used. Ymmv.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Aug 9, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Aric Datesman wrote:
Or better yet, they could design climbers who know not to misuse their gear and end up cross loading their biners. Btw, what ever happened to personal responsibility? Biners have been made this way for decades without much a problem, so why should the manufactures suddenly be responsible for actively preventing you from getting hurt when misusing the gear?


Whether you admit it or not, biners will become crossloaded on occasion. If it hasn't happened to you, you don't climb often enough. Usually it is not a problem and you notice it and flip it and all is ok. If you had the choice between a biner with a sharper edge that was more likely to cause this type of damage when cross-loaded, and one that was not..which would you choose. It's a no-brainer. All things being equal, you'd choose the biner without the sharp edge.


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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Aug 9, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

csproul wrote:
Whether you admit it or not, biners will become crossloaded on occasion. If it hasn't happened to you, you don't climb often enough. Usually it is not a problem and you notice it and flip it and all is ok. If you had the choice between a biner with a sharper edge that was more likely to cause this type of damage when cross-loaded, and one that was not..which would you choose. It's a no-brainer. All things being equal, you'd choose the biner without the sharp edge.


Yes, but removing the sharp edges would increase the manufacturing costs which would increase the cost of the biner, so all things wouldn't be equal. Personally, I'd rather have the less expensive biner since the probability of having this happen is so low (especially if you watch your gear).


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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Aug 9, 2012
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick

Rounding over the sharp edge won't do all that much, would it? That tiny piece of steel could be dull as hell, it is so tiny that it would still cut through the rope, right?

Hell, butter knifes can cut loaded ropes. Easily.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Aug 9, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

People pay higher prices all the time for features they may or may not really need.

Example:

BD Magnetron

I can't say I've used every locking carabiner out there. I have no doubt that there are some biners with sharper edges than others. It's not inconceivable that there'd be some carabiners that I'd prefer not to use given the choice. I'd not be willing to say this is 100% user error until I saw the carabiner in question. Some of y'all act like you be fine and dandy if this happened to you. I'd not blame the manufacturer, but I'd think twice about using that locker again if it had a sharper edge than my other biners.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Aug 9, 2012
Stoked...

I'm just gonna throw this out there... Yes, the dude cross loaded the biner and that's an issue but I'd be willing to bet that ain't the whole issue.

I purchased a Sterling Velocity 9.8 about a year or so ago and the after one fixed line rappel to clean a route on fine grained Gneiss rock my rope was almost entirely cut. I couldn't find anything distinctively sharp enough for me to say, "oh that's what cut it." After a very close inspection I was basically left say WTF, how did this happen, wtf cut this rope?

I've had several other ropes over the years and I've never had a core shot so easily and so quickly and I've been climbing almost 20 years. I was amazed to say the least. A friend who once worked at Sterling thought maybe the sheath had a tight strand and that caused the cutting but Sterling said it would only cut that strand not the rope.

My Maxium 9.8 rope has been in use 7 years now and been over some seriously sharp edges, it's been my workhorse rope, and it has fuzz and a little core shot but basically it's in great shape considering and has been beaten to hell and survived. The Sterling rope almost killed me after maybe two uses and looks almost exactly like the OP's photo. I honestly suspect Sterling has a durability issue with their sheath and the quality of the ropes at this point.

I personally will not be buying another Sterling anytime soon, or cross loading a locker (though I have with my other ropes and never had this issue, luck?).


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By Aric Datesman
Aug 9, 2012

csproul wrote:
Whether you admit it or not, biners will become crossloaded on occasion. If it hasn't happened to you, you don't climb often enough. Usually it is not a problem and you notice it and flip it and all is ok. If you had the choice between a biner with a sharper edge that was more likely to cause this type of damage when cross-loaded, and one that was not..which would you choose. It's a no-brainer. All things being equal, you'd choose the biner without the sharp edge.


As I said, YMMV. But no matter how you look at it, shredding the rope like this is far from a common occurance and only happens when the biner is cross loaded, which is a no-no.


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Aug 9, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

kennoyce wrote:
Yes, but removing the sharp edges would increase the manufacturing costs which would increase the cost of the biner, so all things wouldn't be equal. Personally, I'd rather have the less expensive biner since the probability of having this happen is so low (especially if you watch your gear).

Forget buying a new biner. I have a dozen or so different locking carabiners at home. I have never given any thought as to whether one of them might be more likely to shred a rope if cross loaded. If I found out that one of them was more likely to do so, I'd think hard about using that carabiner for rappelling or belaying. Even so, I'd guess that is a very rare occurrence and probably not at the top of my list of things to worry about.

The real question...why was he rappelling from the anchor?! Lower off that shit!


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By Rick Mix
Aug 9, 2012

The issue here ain't the biner. It's operator error. "failed to notice my biner was cross-loaded..." On your main system? How is that possible?
I'm so over reading about rappelling incidents.

Get a clue and pay fucking attention to what you're doing.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Aug 9, 2012
Imaginate

csproul wrote:
I have no doubt that there are some biners with sharper edges than others. It's not inconceivable that there'd be some carabiners that I'd prefer not to use given the choice. I'd not be willing to say this is 100% user error until I saw the carabiner in question. Some of y'all act like you be fine and dandy if this happened to you. I'd not blame the manufacturer, but I'd think twice about using that locker again if it had a sharper edge than my other biners.


Look at your biners at home before you argue this point further, you might be surprised by how many have similarly "sharp" edges but still haven't killed you. All of my lockers (petzl William, Attache, Am'd, Wild Country Oxygen, BD Rocklock, etc.) have the same "sharp" edge at the gate hinge. So if you think you are not going to use your "sharp" lockers, you are going to be throwing out alot of biners that have been working fine for years.


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By Chad Wagner
Aug 9, 2012
me

Morgan, I'm with you man. I have 2 partners who use this rope and I can honestly say that it sucks. It felt as if it was falling apart after the first weekend. They seem to think the rope is great, untill it core shot on the third weekend. Horrible rope. Not to say that's the problem, but i will personally never buy a Sterling.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 9, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

IF this sharp edge vexes you so much, simply sand it round carefully with some sandpaper.


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Aug 9, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Stich wrote:
IF this sharp edge vexes you so much, simply sand it round carefully with some sandpaper.


But, Black Diamond doesn't have a video that shows me how to do it.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 9, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Crag Dweller wrote:
But, Black Diamond doesn't have a video that shows me how to do it.


Well, then yer just gonna die!!111


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By climber pat
From Las Cruces, NM
Aug 9, 2012

I am stunned so many of you do not consider this a problem. Even if this is very rare, it happened at least once and worthy of being reported to the manufacturer and the community. I would be scared shitless if that happened to my rope and not use it even to get down unless there was absolutely no other option.

It looks like a design flaw in the biner to me. The gate does not close far enough leaving the 'sharp edge' exposed to snag the rope. Keylock biners do not have this particular problem.

If rare and unusual events were treated as non-issues we would never gotten wire gate biners that a resistant to gate slap and many other improvements. I do not think the manufacturer produced a defective product, was negligent, or produced a bad product. This is simply a data point which can be used to design a better product in the future.

I am glad the OP decided to post his experience.


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By Aric Datesman
Aug 9, 2012

Seriously, Climber Pat? A design flaw?

As I asked before, how many times has this issue come up, out of how many carabiners produced and used over several decades?

Quite simply the biner got cross loaded, and the OP should have known better than to weight it in that configuration. Hate to step over this line, but you can't design out stupid. No matter what the manufacturers do to make gear idiot-proof, someone will come along with a better idiot.


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 9, 2012
OTL

Biners can come unclipped from bolts or backclipping. Design flaw?

Shit happens. Do your best to prevent shit from happening and/or know what to do when it happens.


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By Todd W. B.
From Ignacio, co
Aug 10, 2012

Hold up there ......from the the title of this post I expected to read about a wild backcountry crab outbreak.....not some sharp 'biner dialogue. Would have been WAAAY more interesting......just saying.


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By Kurt Johnson
From Estes Park, CO
Aug 10, 2012
A ladybug on a rock in front of Conundrum Peak, Elk Mountains, Colorado.

Don't know about the rope, but that's quite a belly.


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By Pajo
From Crown Point, IN
Aug 10, 2012

It scares me to think of how many people just criticize this post.

Yes biners should not be crossloaded, and yes ropes should not cut that easily, but this happened. I am not sure how many people on here have cleaned from hanging anchors (many routes at the Red), but when you do it is sometimes difficult the unweight your slings. Now imagine you have poor holds to use to pull yourself up after you set up your belay/rappel device. The motion of quickly pulling up on the hold while pulling out slack from the atc is what crossloaded the biner, it was not set up to be crossloaded. You are right, this is not an ideal scenario, but it happened.

Oh, and to whoever posted about lowering off an anchor, that is a great way to prematurely wear anchors, way to go.


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By climber pat
From Las Cruces, NM
Aug 10, 2012

Aric Datesman wrote:
Seriously, Climber Pat? A design flaw? As I asked before, how many times has this issue come up, out of how many carabiners produced and used over several decades? Quite simply the biner got cross loaded, and the OP should have known better than to weight it in that configuration. Hate to step over this line, but you can't design out stupid. No matter what the manufacturers do to make gear idiot-proof, someone will come along with a better idiot.


I am serious. How many of you honestly do not believe that being able to support body weight without damaging the rope with the biner in any orientation is not a requirement? The cross loading danger, in my mind, before this incident, was not that you might cut your rope, but that the biner is weaker and might break in an extreme fall. I suspect most climbers thought the same way or there would be more stories of shredded ropes.

I once saw a movie called 20 Seconds of Joy. One theme of this movie is the physiological reaction of a high risk community to an accident. It boiled down to somebody gets hurt or killed participating in a high risk activity. The rest of the community rationalize the event by saying that he (she) did something wrong, I never do that particular thing wrong, therefore I am safe to continue my participation. It turns out that after an accident the community considers the high risk activity safer than before.

I agree you cannot design out stupid, but informing manufactures and users of problems is still valuable. Manufacturers can design out a little more stupid, and some stupid might learn something. I did, I had not considered that mere body weight could shred my rope. I will be using a keylock locking biners for my belay biner, just in case. Actually, I already was using one designed to prevent cross loading. This is also something to consider for the biners used on your draws, especially alpine draws where they might flop around while leading cross load during a fall, too.


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By redlude97
Aug 10, 2012

Pajo wrote:
Oh, and to whoever posted about lowering off an anchor, that is a great way to prematurely wear anchors, way to go.

Premature wear on the anchors, at RRG, by lowering? Bwahahahaha!


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By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Aug 10, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

This is a brand new BD Positron. One of my favorite keylock non-lockers. As you can see, on the hinge end of the gate, you have the same thing. Two sharp edges. I haven't looked at many others, but I would guess that many solid gates, locking and non, have this same design, on one side of the gate or the other. It's up to you as the climber/belayer to pay attention to your biner and device orientation. Cross loading isn't just dangerous because of the lower strength of the biner is this orientation. Like others, I would place this event in the user error category. I have never seen this happen to a rope from crossloading a biner though, so thanks for posting- it reinforces the necessity for attention to detail.

Positron
Positron


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Aug 10, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

Aric Datesman wrote:
Seriously, Climber Pat? A design flaw? As I asked before, how many times has this issue come up, out of how many carabiners produced and used over several decades? Quite simply the biner got cross loaded, and the OP should have known better than to weight it in that configuration. Hate to step over this line, but you can't design out stupid. No matter what the manufacturers do to make gear idiot-proof, someone will come along with a better idiot.

Aric,
I totally agree with you that this is a one-in-a-million and for the most part is a non-issue. But to completely make it sound as if the climber is an idiot is just stroking your ego and pretending this kind of thing can never happen to you if you are just plain attentive and smart enough. There have been times when I've been rapping or belaying and the biner flips and gets cross-loaded. No matter how attentive you are, it will happen eventually. 99.99% of the time, not a problem because you can flip it back while it's not under a load. If you are unlucky enough to have the rope loaded at that moment you will not be able to flip the biner until you unload it. I can especially see this being more likely when doing weight intensive things like rapping with heavy haulbag...Some of the attitudes here are classic cases of "accidents cannot happen to me because I'm just smarter than everyone else". Even if there is no design flaw, I think a better attitude to adopt is to learn from the mistake and let it be a reminder to be extra vigilant and that even then, mishaps can happen to the best of us.


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By Taylor Jenkins
Aug 10, 2012

I think the criticism from most of us is not that the climber made a mistake, but that they appeared to blame the manufacturer for their mistake. By the way, I don't think the OP was the climber in question but was just re-posting something they found.


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