I was climbing with a friend yesterday, fairly easy stuff on carrots. A bolt plate came off the second carrot while the quick draw was clipped to it (straight solid gate, not wire gate), and the last piece of protection was no more. He quickly clipped the third bolt and was safe, but for a few moments a fall probably would have been fatal.
We had a play around with a carrot at ground level to see what happened, and we worked out that there is a point on my carabiners (Camp Photon), where they are JUST narrow enough that when both the carabiner and bolt plate are at a perfectly combined angle, that they can slip off the carrot. I'm talking perhaps 3-4mm of space on the carabiner where this could happen, and only if it's moved in a certain way. Was this just a freak occurrence of a perfect combo of factors? Or is this something warranting climbing on a different carabiner?
Common issue with many biners these days and is occurring more regularly. Have heard of a number of instances this year. Gear manufacturing ompanies have mostly moved away from the bulky biners of yesteryear and updated the technology to produce lighter equipment.
A good example is the Petzl Spirit. Big biner with a narrow nose. If you are climbing on carrots you need to get large biners, though the list of these is anyones guess. Maybe the Master of Carrots (Macca) can provide the difinative list of suitable biners.
Both? Might be difficult or unusual for it to come off, but as you've clearly demonstrated it happens in practise, how confident are you going to feel knowing that it can happen again?
Presume your photons are straight gate version, but even so they are lightweight little biners. I have a bunch of fat old fashioned biners on my draws specifically to keep me happier when clipping carrots. Still don't like the bloody things (carrots/hangers) and assume that they could come unclipped at any time - but would have significantly less peace of mind with skinny biners.
Fixed gear should be viewed the same way as trad,..ie expect it to fail at all times and make your risk assessments accordingly...chances are like good trad it wont but nothing is 100% secure/safe...even biners clipped into Us & rings can un-clip themselves in certain situations.
It's well known that carrots are not very secure with modern skinny biners.
Best is to carry a fat screwgate (pear shaped HMS biner for example) for clipping crucial bolts.
Or put a 2nd biner through the bolt plate (if it fits) after you have the draw clipped.
Or slip a wire (with the nut pulled down) over the bolt after you have the draw clipped, and also clip the wire to the rope.
It is most likely to happen with bolts that protrude a bit from the rock, and very likely with small head bolts:- bolt heads for glue in can vary from 14 mm to 17 mm.
On 14/06/2016 patto wrote:
>A similar thing happened to me at Ben Cairn. I think it was on Digit Dancer
>(20). It would have been very ugly had I fallen and it is a slippery
>slab which is a long way from being secure.
>I never knew quite how the quickdraw and bolt plate came off, somebody
>else had placed the draw up to the one that came off. But it was probably
>the same behaviour as that video shows.
If it was the climb to the right of Digit Dancer then those bolts are really undersized (unless they have been fixed up.) Some might call it a feature though, you only need to shake the rope to clean the route!
On 15/06/2016 ajfclark wrote:
>I think they're ok in a few places. The ones under the hand rail on the
>horn for instance.
>I find it interesting that Kong makes something akin to a bolt plate for
>anchors on statues or other highly visible spots: http://www.kong.it/en/2-products/items/f
"The possibility to remove the plate allows to eliminate the risk of use of the anchor point by unauthorized persons. "