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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Gym climbing difficult tonight 16-Sep-2005 At 11:14:08 AM cliffhanger
mmmmmm..... This sounds so much like the "discussion" that's been going on between gym owners, wall builders, engineers and amusement ride operators since 1995 with the SF/47 Australian Standard draft for Artificial Climbing Structures. The "discussion" can go round and round for years and there will still be no agreement! Trust me i've been at every meeting since 1995!

I guess the closest thing we'll get to a difinitive answer on what is acceptable in a commercial climbing facility, will be AS2316 - Aritificial Climbing Structures, which will hopefully be finalised and issued January/February 2006.

In terms of the pros and cons and discussions of Cliffhangers systems and structures - don't be fooled by visuals - a piece of rope can look good and be "bad" or can look incredibly fluffy and "bad" but be quite sound - that's what we train our staff to look for. As for anchors - although most are backed up, an engineer will tell you that if you have designed and tested the anchor in excess of the standard (currently the Euro Standard) then you should not need to back it up! From a climbing perspective this scares me, but logically it make sense. In terms of belay bars, it's not size that matters, as Kezza points out! It's span, wall thickness, material and number of ropes on the span and how they are attached along with what they are attached to. I'd back Cliffhangers belay bars over others any day - i have the test results to make me feel happy.

At the end of the day, the thing that always get's climbers - on rock or plastic - is the human elelment. I suggest if you are climbing ANYWHERE indoors and you think something is not right - tell the staff - you'll notice at Cliffhanger we may have a rope closed with a "Danger Tag" on it. That will be because someone has reported something to us, and we have not yet investigated/inspected it.

I could discuss the "clip-tie" versus "clip-cli" methods of attachment, but:
1. I invented the "clip-tie" system so i am bias,
2. I've been arguing it with gym owners for years and am quite tired of it all,
3. It's a whole new thread topic within itself, and
4. The system speaks for itself - in terms of accidents compared to the others!

PS. An alpine butterly is much harder to tie coreectly for newbies (and some climbers) and when BlueWater Ropes tested the system for us back in 1994, there was neglible difference in strength between the Figure 8 and the A/Butterfly. I assure you we put a lot of research and money in to our system before taking it to our insurer as a system.

... Just enjoy your climbing but with your eyes open.

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