22 June 2012

Making furniture out of climbing rope: Seilfaktur

Seilfaktur is a Design Project created by Angelika Hess - creating furniture out of spent climbing ropes. Apparently she is based in  Rosenheim near the Alps - and decided to create this furniture after wondering what happens to all the ropes after they can no longer can be used.

More at Core77 and Inhabitat or at the creators website: http://seilfaktur.de/

17 June 2012

How long do slings and quickdraws last?

Another interesting article from the Black Diamond Quality Control Lab - this time looking at slings and quickdraws. They used a bunch of different sling materials and did some pull tests to see how strong they were after they had been abraded, and also how strong they were after being loaded to 5kN 1000 times (to simulate in-situ gear that's taken a lot of falls), and 11kN cycled until failure.

Image from Black Diamond

Those slings that made it through the abrasion test didn't actually loose that much strength in general, but some slings broke during the abrasion cycling. Loading to 5kN 1000 times seemed to have almost no influence on strength, loading to 11kN produced unpredictable results.

They also mention that one previous finding was that int-situ slings seem to loose most strength in the first 10 weeks of being exposed - although this finding didn't agree some some other results.

10 June 2012

Metolius Master Cam failure - cam stop broken

Count Chockula in the mountinaproject.com forums writes: "This #0 rarely gets placed and has never been hung on or taken a single fall, but one of the cam stops has completely sheared off the lobe." The post is old (May 2011) but interesting. Metolious replaced the cam and have apparently made changes to the design since then.

In an apparently separate incident, another forum user Alan Ream shows a photo of his Master Cam, which also has broken cam stops.  He shows it side by side with the newer design of stops - which appear to be slightly larger and no longer adjacent to grooves in the camming surface. Users speculated that the proximity of the stops to the grooves could have contributed to the failures.

Image from  Alan Ream on mountainproject.com forums

1 June 2012

Unusual carabiners: Rock Exotica Bi-wire, Petzl Ange, Kong Ergo Wire

I haven't used any of these, but they all look interesting. The Rock Exotica Bi-Wire is strong (30, 10, 9 kN), heavy (67g), but most unusually - it has two gates. The inner gate opens inwardly and the outer gate opens outwardly. It looks like it might take some getting used to clipping it, and wouldn't really be suitable for use in a quickdraw, maybe as a more secure clip to an anchor?

Image from CMC Rescue

Next is a Petzl Ange, which has been out since last year but doesn't seem to be widely distributed in UK stores. It has a single pronged wire gate (they call it a Monofil) rather than the normal 'looped' wire gate which means it's quite light (28g). For me, I like the idea of a single prong because it cant get tangled up like a normal wire gate - when carrying a full rack I've sometimes found wires from nuts, or the wire gate from another carabiner, can get jammed quite badly in between the nose of a wire gate carabiner. This is very difficult to solve when hanging on with one hand, and can make it impossible to place any nuts because it completely disables the gate.

Image from Petzl

Last is the Kong Ergo Wire which has an 'ergonomic' plastic grip on the wire and a via ferreta style locking device.
Imamge from Kong