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Go Back   KOTR Forums > Climbing > Accidents & Injuries

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Unread 05-11-2009, 11:01 PM
shanja's Avatar
shanja shanja is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 1,386
Tying in to your LIFE LINE!

No dear folks I refer not to the umbilical cord...by this time in life you can free solo with out that...I mean your rope, your climbing rope to be exact. The other day at Yeong-Am Gym a few of us were (luckily) on hand to participate in a real life rescue. A climber had ascended some 10m (30feet) up a gym wall on Top-Rope when he became un-attached...how?
As best we could figure it, he had tied in with a figure of 8 knot on a bight rather than a figure of 8 knot follow through direct into the harness belt. If you don't know the difference...please check out the link on knots or ask someone to show you.
The super safe fig 8 on a bight was then clipped to his harness with a biner (I believe it was actually a locking screwgate). So you have a safe knot and a safe locking biner...how did things go to custard?
Well maybe he didn't screw the biner shut and locked...but I kinda remember the belayer checking his tie in (nice work). If so, it is just possible (however unlikely) that the screw was rubbed open when the climber pushed his waist against the wall and that the gate may have been accidentally opened when he pressed it against a hold at his waist...I know it sounds like a 1 in a million chance, but...it or something similar must have happened.
So what? Well learn that it's always safer to tie in directly with a figure 8 follow through knot, or for convenience seekers with 2 locking biners, gates opposed, to a figure 8 on a bight knot.

The story has a happy ending. The guy was rescued (in no small part thanks to the KOTRers on hand), reattached to his life-line and no hairy strawberry jam came to stain the gym floor.
quem deus perdere vult, primus dementat
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Unread 05-12-2009, 12:14 PM
gt29905 gt29905 is offline
Spandexed Sportclimber
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Nowon, Seoul
Posts: 212
Wow, awesome work guys! I'm always happy to hear that a potentially hazardous scenario was resolved with good know-how and team work.

I know of a specific incident where that exact scenario occured and resulted in a death. A guide was toproping with some clients and he tied an 8 on a bite and linked himself to it with a screw gate. The locker flipped and then rubbed itself open against the guy's stomach. One of the clients lowered him and he fell to the ground.

I used to use that exact setup, eight on a bite linked with a screwgate, until I heard about that case. And then I reasoned, well, I'll just use two lockers and oppose them. But seriously, at that point you're just making yourself heavier with those two lockers. My ultimate solution is just to stop taking the shortcut and tie in with the follow through figure eight every time. What ever that technique lacks in speed, it makes up for it in fumble proofedness and checkability.

Oh yeah, on the subject of tying knots in the life line. Dave, Dan, and myself all witnessed a belayer let the end of the rope zip through his belay device on Saturday afternoon. The climber was lowering and as soon as the rope passed through the ATC he started lowering a lot quicker.

Thankfully he was "only" about 10 or 15 feet up. The belayer felt like poop but the climber was relatively unscathed. This type of incident seems to be so freakin' common. Let's all step up our game and start tying those knots in the end of the rope.
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Unread 05-12-2009, 12:56 PM
panicked_bear's Avatar
panicked_bear panicked_bear is offline
Good vibrations
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Daejeon
Posts: 109
I'm pretty sure that the locking biner that popped off of the dude's harness was a spring-loaded screwgate (i dont know if thats the right word for them, but basically you only have to turn the screw thingie 90 degrees and it push and then it will open).
Put the bibim back in the bap.
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Unread 05-12-2009, 02:49 PM
supertopoz supertopoz is offline
Mud? Low in fat high in fat? Mud.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Gyoung Ju
Posts: 97
The spring loaded thingy is known as an auto locking carabiner.

I have never, ever heard of what you guys are describing.
I had on friend who rapped using an Italian Hitch, where the rope undid the screw and then twisted open the gate.

So I am sorry to the person at the weekend for whom I used the screw gate on the end of the rope set up. I will never use this for top roping again.

I have belayed hundreds of students using the one screw gate on a figure of eight. Never seen even the gate coming undone. But here is a question. One wonders how the screw gate was attached to his harness.

Through the belay loop?
Through the leg loops and belay loop?
Through just the waist belt loop?

Oh, if you want post this in your Gyms.


99% of Gri Gri owning climbers, clearly never read the safety label.
Vietnamese coffee? High in fat, low in fat? Vietnamese coffee.
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Unread 05-12-2009, 05:40 PM
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CharlesCullen23 CharlesCullen23 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Posts: 111
It wasn't an autolocking biner, as earlier I had belayed Amanda up the same route and manually closed the screwgate locking biner, one in which stayed with that stationary top rope setup.
confronting escape
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