CAUTION

Ensure the carabiner gate is not resting against a protrusion or crack edge in the rock surface; the rock may cause the gate to open.

(b) Once the rope is clipped into the carabiner, the climber should check to see that it is routed correctly by pulling on the rope in the direction it will travel when the climber moves past that position.

(c) Another potential hazard peculiar to leading should be eliminated before the climber continues. The carabiner is attached to the anchor or runner with the gate facing away from the rock and opening down for easy insertion of the rope. However, in a leader fall, it is possible for the rope to run back over the carabiner as the climber falls below the placement. If the carabiner is left with the gate facing the direction of the route there is a chance that the rope will open the gate and unclip itself entirely from the placement. To prevent this possibility, the climber should ensure that after the clip has been made, the gate is facing away from the direction of the route. There are two ways to accomplish this: determine which direction the gate will face before the protection or runner is placed or once clipped, rotate the carabiner upwards 180 degrees. This problem is more apt to occur if bent gate carabiners are used. Straight gate ovals or "Ds" are less likely to have this problem and are stronger and are highly recommended. Bent gate carabiners are easier to clip the rope into and are used mostly on routes with bolts preplaced for protection. Bent gate carabiners are not recommended for many climbing situations.

Figure 6-29. Clipping on to protection.

(3) Reducing Rope Drag; Using Runners. No matter how direct the route, the climber will often encounter problems with "rope drag" through the protection positions. The friction created by rope drag will increase to some degree every time the rope passes through a carabiner, or anchor. It will increase dramatically if the rope begins to "zigzag" as it travels through the carabiners. To prevent this, the placements should be positioned so the rope creates a smooth, almost straight line as it passes through the carabiners (Figure 6-30). Minimal rope drag is an inconvenience; severe rope drag may actually pull the climber off balance, inducing a fall.

Figure 6-30. Use of slings on protection.

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