I was at Raven Thirlmere yesterday, where my friend took a substantial lob from pitch 2 of Totalitarian (10m or so). Initially, it looked as though 3 runners had pulled but a closer inspection revealed a nut and a carabiner still in place. We assumed that somehow the carabiner had unclipped itself from the rest of the draw. Later, on the ground, I found the other (rope end) carabiner from the draw making me wonder, did this draw explode?! I think it’s unlikely that 2 carabiners unclipped during the fall. These draws are fairly old: DMM Pro Wire (https://www.climbingdirect.co.uk/dmm-prowire-quickdraw-218-p.asp), I bought them second-hand several years ago and don’t know the exact DOM. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know how old these draws are? I’m thinking it may be time to replace the slings.
One of the carabiners should have the broken sling on it?
Hope your friend is OK, sounds like a big fall.
So the dogbones on two quickdraws have totally disappeared without trace? Without finding them it'll be pretty hard to determine what happened.
I've got those exact same quickdraws and haven't had a problem or noticed and fraying or wear.
Where was the quickdraw dogbone? attached to the nut carabiner, or on the floor attached to the rope end carabiner? Ideally need a picture to draw any solid conclusions..
Are you saying you found the carabiner but not the extender?
I bought a lot of Prowire quickdraw sets many years ago, they had a stitched dogbone type extender with a loose (ish) eye at the gear end and a stitched in rubber tadpole at the rope end. If you had this type I would expect it to still be attached to one carabiner or the other whatever the mode of failure.
If you were using open slings and the sling was no longer attached then failure of the sling by being loaded over an edge or being significantly weakened by previous damage would seem a likely explanation. Even old slings are generally pretty strong if they are undamaged and stored properly, but the sling could have been decades old if you bought it second hand or conceivably not intended or rated for climbing. Was it a skinny Dynema sling or wide nylon, what make was the sling, and do you inspect your gear regularly?
I'm confused, sorry, I can see you've tried to describe it clearly but still.
After the fall there was some ripped/lifted gear on the rope and a nut plus krab left hanging in the route above the last runner to hold, not attached to the rope and without the sling/dogbone on it? There was also a loose krab on the floor below the route, not on the rope and not with the sling/dogbone attached? Dogbone is MIA?
Ropes do unclip at inopportune moments, it's happened to me twice that I'm aware of but if I've understood the scenario it does sound like there were two failures.
If the dogbone really is MIA then something very strange happened, you wouldn't snap the tape both ends simultaneously, that's not how things fail. From memory they're three layers thick in the middle with a single layer tape loop each end (plus a rubber inclusion one end) right? You'd have to rip/shear all the stitching freeing a ribbon of tape to simply disappear the dogbone into the wind which seems unlikely.
edit: if you'd swapped the slings for longer loose ones as I mostly did then it's probably snapped, cut over an edge or someone screwed up with the keeper O-ring tangle thing both ends. Conceivably it could all have got tangled up and unclipped various bits in the fall. Strange things happen.
Hope your mate's ok.
Weird. One dogbone potentially snapping and going missing would be extraordinary, but this happening to two of them is very weird.
DMM are, verry, very hot on this kind of thing. I'd suggest you contact them and explain the circumstances, they may want to take a look and test your remaining dogbones, which if they do, they may even be kind enough you sort you some replacements.
As the dogbones are essentially 2 closed loops you'd assume that one of the carabiners would have the tape attached.
Without recovering any broken parts any attempt to determine the source of the problem is just guesswork.
As others have said, it is unclear from your post exactly what happened.
So, if the above is correct, could you answer the following:
Without knowing the above, it is hard to even speculate.
However, it’s an interesting case and I’m sure both the BMC Technical Commitee and DMM would be interested in investigating. The BMC contact is Dan Middleton (email@example.com) or you can do it via me and my UKC profile. Any photos help greatly and obviously, sending in any damaged/failed gear is the ideal scenario.
To clarify, I think jkarran put it best, “the dogbone is MIA”. I am left with 2 carabiners (one with the severed rubber ‘keeper’) and no dogbone. I was using the original dogbones from the draws and not open slings. This happened to only one quickdraw. The quickdraws appeared to be in good condition (no fraying, etc.). The draw was not pulled over an edge and my mate is fine thanks, haha, miraculously he was unscathed.
> As others have said, it is unclear from your post exactly what happened.
> The climber fell
> Some gear ripped
> One piece (nut) was still in, with one krab* attached (* a krab that was part of a QuickDraw)
> The other krab (from the same QuickDraw) was found on the ground.
> The location/state of the dogbone is unknown
No idea where the dogbone is, the krabs show no sign of damage and the gates are not sticky.
The rubber keeper is on one krab but the rest of the dogbone is MIA?!
That would imply the dogbone has failed on both sides of the central stitching. Worrying…..
Do you have any other quickdraws of the same vintage/bought at the same time?
Yes, I have 9 more.
> Yes, I have 9 more.
Any signs of wear or hints as to why it failed?
Not that I can see, no excessive wear, cuts, or abrasion.
> To clarify, I think jkarran put it best, “the dogbone is MIA”. I am left with 2 carabiners (one with the severed rubber ‘keeper’) and no dogbone. Is the outside face of the rubber 'tadpole' around its head smooth and glossy or matt/abraded?
'Severed' in what way, just not in the tape anymore? It's normally stitched in isn't it, are the stitching holes torn out to the edges of the rubber or still discrete holes?
> I was using the original dogbones from the draws and not open slings. This happened to only one quickdraw. The quickdraws appeared to be in good condition (no fraying, etc.).
Weird and worrying. Could they have been exposed to something that's attacked the thread or the tape? Still, It's hard to imagine a scenario where both krabs are released either by snapping the tape or the thread, as soon as one end goes the load is removed from the other almost certainly leaving it if not intact, still on the krab.
That said, we do mad things when stressed as I guess your mate might have been pre-fall. We shouldn't automatically rule out a strange mistake and jump to suspecting the gear, we'll all have made them whether we spotted them or not. Again though, hard to imagine what mistake could result in the described aftermath except that there never was a tape, your mate clipped the two krabs together then they unclipped each other and the rope in the fall. Sort of thing one might remember doing and a bit 'oldschool' these days. Unlikely.
Is it possible, however daft it looks, to push the tadpole out to one side and just clip it, not the sling loop?
> Hi folks!
> To clarify, I think jkarran put it best, “the dogbone is MIA”. I am left with 2 carabiners (one with the severed rubber ‘keeper’) and no dogbone. I was using the original dogbones from the draws and not open slings. This happened to only one quickdraw. The quickdraws appeared to be in good condition (no fraying, etc.). The draw was not pulled over an edge and my mate is fine thanks, haha, miraculously he was unscathed.
The rubber keeper in the original extender was a stitched in tadpole type, the only way I can conceive of it being left behind on the carabiner if it was still in place near the spine would be if the eye portion of the Dynema had failed. If the rubber end was attached to the rope then the other carabiner with the remains of the extender should still be attached to the gear, the chance of both ends of the extender failing are practically non existant.
You said that the other carabiner was found on the ground but that three runners had pulled, were the other two still attached to the rope?
So the upper karabiner was still on the nut, and the lower one was no longer attached to the rope but instead was lying loose on the ground? And neither of them have the sling/dogbone itself attached?
Were there rubber retainers at both ends? I am starting to wonder about a misthreading of the quickdraw similar to the Tito Traversa incident. I can't see how else the dogbone can leave both karabiners at once... but that still wouldn't explain the lower krab coming off the rope.
> ... Again though, hard to imagine what mistake could result in the described aftermath except that there never was a tape, your mate clipped the two krabs together then they unclipped each other and the rope in the fall. Sort of thing one might remember doing and a bit 'oldschool' these days. Unlikely.
That occurred to me earlier, but then there wouldn't be the remains of the rubber keeper on the carabiner.
> Is it possible, however daft it looks, to push the tadpole out to one side and just clip it, not the sling loop?
I have these draws, it would be really awkward to do that and would not hang right afterwards.
In reply to EddInaBox:
Maybe just if it had been pulled out previously or yanked free in a panic to make up a shorter 'extender' (I don't know Totalitarian). My kit's in that sort of mix and match jumble at the end of its life, I can't be the only one with a bit of a mess in their rucksack.
> I have these draws, it would be really awkward to do that and would not hang right afterwards.
Me to but last week is the first outing they've had in years so I couldn't remember if it was possible, I know it would look bad.
> Were there rubber retainers at both ends? I am starting to wonder about a misthreading of the quickdraw similar to the Tito Traversa incident. I can't see how else the dogbone can leave both karabiners at once... but that still wouldn't explain the lower krab coming off the rope.
The draws were definitely threaded correctly but I'm definitely not ruling out user error.
The point about the lower krab coming off the rope is very interesting! I hadn't thought about that.
> The point about the lower krab coming off the rope is very interesting!
You haven't described what happened in the time between the fall and when you found the loose krab on the ground. Had you both descended at that point - and, specifically, had the rope[s] been untied and pulled down? And were you climbing on a single rope, or doubles - and if the latter, had all three failed pieces been clipped to the same rope? I'm thinking of the possibility that the single krab had remained clipped to the rope but had caught up on something - vegetation perhaps - rather than sliding down to your partner's tie-in knot; it then dropped unnoticed off the end when the rope was pulled down. If all three pieces had been on the same rope, the one with the failed QD would have to have been the lowest of the three for this to happen, assuming that the other two had slid down to your partner; so do you know whether or not it was placed below the other two?
A great point! My friend lead on a single rope and the piece with the missing dogbone was the last to be clipped before the fall. We did rap off but not above where the carabiner was found. I suppose it could've been something as simple as, the carabiner was on the rope but was dropped when we were re-racking.
> My friend lead on a single rope and the piece with the missing dogbone was the last to be clipped before the fall.
Ah; that rather snookers my theory. If the single krab was still on the rope it would have been first in the queue of ripped gear sliding down the rope to your partner's harness, not last.
> A great point! My friend lead on a single rope and the piece with the missing dogbone was the last to be clipped before the fall.
Are you absolutely sure the top, remaining piece was ever actually clipped? Did you subsequently recover it, could it have been nut and racking krab that you saw or nut and part of a fumbled/dropped extender? Could it have been fixed bail gear you mistook for yours in the confusion?
Is the rubber bit you recovered intact or split, has the stitching torn out of it?
I think the stitching must have failed, which would release both krabs. The mystery of the single unclipping krab may either have been an illusion (i.e dropped in the confusion) or flicked lose in the melee of ripping gear.
I have never heard of bar tack stitching failing on a dogbone style extender (or an open sling come to that) in pull tests an undamaged sling will fail at one end or the other where it is bent over the carabiner or bar that it is being pulled by. There are multiple independent rows of stitching and even if several were weakened through abrasion the remaining ones would be strong enough to hold.
No idea.. this description makes no sense to me.
But since this is soft-goods .. and maybe just for the psychological benefit you should replace the QDslings or you will always wonder.
From the look of your link you posted, these are roughly equivalent and only £3.59 a go (at 12cm). I find the rubber retainery end pretty tight getting some krabs in, but that may not be a bad thing
> I have never heard of bar tack stitching failing on a dogbone style extender (or an open sling come to that)
Me neither (in normal use - seen it on a test rig of bar tack v old style longitudinal stitching) , but it seems the only reasonable explanation for separating two krabs from a sling, bearing in mind that the sling in question is of uncertain age and condition. A failure of the fabric still leaves the sling on at least one krab
The incident doesn't make much sense: it's a real Agatha Christie of a brain twister. A climber falls and:
1. three pieces of gear appear to fail
2. looking back up the route, one piece of gear (a nut) plus a carabiner appeared to still be in place
3. a carabiner of the same type as yours was found on the ground
4. no dogbone was found
Are these the facts we can agree on?
Some things we don't know:
- Why did you think three pieces of gear had ripped? Was it you or your partner who decided three bits had failed?
- Did your partner continue the pitch? Or did you lower them? What happened next?
- Where did you ab from?
- Did you recover the gear with the carabiner attached to it?
- Do you know how many nuts and draws you had pre-climb and did you count them out and back in?
Given how popular those Prowire QDs are, it seems possible that someone else's gear has got mixed in with yours, complicating the picture. It seems likely that the shock of the fall led to some confusion. I feel like the idea of the dogbone failing in multiple ways and coming apart from two carabiners is just not realistic.
I'll be following developments as closely as a TV murder mystery
Doesn't add up in my head either. Only scenario I can think of is if the rope end draw isn't clipped to the rope, but instead clipped around the rope and back to the open part of the dogbone. If that got pulled hard enough to unzip the stitching (very unlikely) you could end up with neither end attached to the sling. A lot would have to go wrong before I could imagine it happening though.
Something doesn't add up here. Either this isn't as reported and facts have become confused, or the draw has somehow become contaminated with a chemical that can weaken the nylon stitching. Without finding the dog bone we will never know.
Not sure if this is what you’re suggesting, but it made me wonder: in a fall is it feasible for the rope to end up being behind the dogbone and then rip it to bits as the fall develops?
You can check the date of manufacturer by looking up the serial number of another carabiner from the same quickdraw set (key is on the DMM website).
Really interesting thread but I still can’t envisage any realistic way for a dogbone to fail at both ends simultaneously. The absence of the ripped dogbone post accident supports the theory that there never was one in the first place. But I’ll admit the rubber retainer is a puzzler!
If the stitching failed, rather than the tape, it could just conceivably rip away leaving just the rubber retainer.
> Is it feasible for the rope to end up being behind the dogbone and then rip it to bits as the fall develops?
It's certainly possible for the rope to cut through a dogbone, I've seen it done on a sport route. However, in this scenario two quickdraws had been linked to extend them (krab - sling -krab - sling - krab) and the rope was clipped through the middle krab, so sawed through the unloaded sling trapped underneath it in the fall. I can't picture a way for the rope to cut through both ends of a loaded quickdraw though.