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Query on VF gear I've just hired

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 SteveN1 10 Sep 2020

I'm a new user and have just hired VF gear in Switzerland for my second VF outing tomorrow (we did some VF in Dolomites a few yrs ago). We own harness/helments (we are novice climbers) so have just hired the lanyards.  The shop gave us an additional sling/snap-gate krab each 'for extra safety' saying it should be attached from the top harness loop to the lanyard krab (bottom hole). But I don't understand - as far as I can see the sling would act in a fall to prevent the friction brake from extending, or just break. I'm not experienced (obviously!) but this seems dangerouls to me as all I've read about slings/VF says 'no!'. Have I misunderstood?  I'm minded just to leave the sling at home.

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 trouserburp 10 Sep 2020
In reply to SteveN1:

You're right! 

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In reply to SteveN1:

If I’ve understood what you’ve written correctly, you use the lanyards as normal when moving. The idea of the extra krab/sling is so you can clip in hard to a rung or whatever, and have a rest. When moving the krab can just be clipped out of the way to a gear loop.

Hope this makes sense.

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 spenser 10 Sep 2020
In reply to SteveN1:

The way in which they have described using it seems dangerous if you are moving with that arrangement (i.e. sling and VF kit in parallel).

Tom has described a safe way of using the sling which is potentially useful (depending on how steep the VF is and how long you can hang on for).

If you are climbing a steep set of stemples keep the VF kit on the cable (if no cable clip alternate stemples) and then if you need a rest just clip the sling into a stemple above you and gently transfer your weight onto the sling, leave the VF kit in place as a back up (try not to have to do this on a busy VF as you might wind up with a guide using your face/ helmet for a foothold).

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In reply to SteveN1:

Hi, Many via ferrata lanyards have a third shorter sling to use for resting, 

so you use the two longer ones for moving on the via ferrata and if you get tired you can attach the third to a rung and rest on it. 

check out this page from petzl to see what i mean - https://www.petzl.com/DK/en/Sport/Installing-the-via-ferrata-lanyard-on-the-harness?ProductName=SCORPIO-EASHOOK

look at the section called "Remember to install a connector on the resting point" and you will see what i mean, this short sling is just for resting and you unclip it when moving. some times if a lanyard dosen't have this extra attachment people can use a sling. not sure if this is what they mean?

If you can take a  photo, of your set up happy to advise. if you can post it here you can email me

rob@ecrinscollective.com 

cheers Rob

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 WVRox 10 Sep 2020
In reply to ecrinscollective:

I've always thought that this kind of set up is very useful/essential on traverse sections - particularly when you find yourself going horizontally on easy ground along one of the common bedding planes you find on limestone. If you fell off there onto your lanyard, you'd likely be dangling several metres down the cliff in fresh air,  with all sorts of probs to get back up. A simple sling stops that  - and of course it's not going to break as there's almost no force being generated if you do slip. (And you've still got the lanyard as backup).

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 deacondeacon 10 Sep 2020
In reply to SteveN1:

As others have said, third crab is for having a rest. 

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 SteveN1 11 Sep 2020
In reply to SteveN1:

Thanks all! I realised later they may have meant the spare krab/sling for resting, but the guy described it wrongly. Incidentally he also gave me one lanyard with a broken/used friction brake, only realising this when I took it back. The strap was paid out and looked like dried blood on it! Good job I noticed and at least knew to check - his job I reckon. Anyway me and the wife had a great day! Thanks again all! 

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In reply to WVRox:

Many of the lanyards that have a third arm, have the third arm attached to the same point as the two longer arms, so if you fell on it with force it should release the energy absorber as well, you just need to be careful what crab you have put on it and how it loads.

There is a via ferrata near me that I do with my mates kid and it has a long traverse that is slightly overhanging. I clip the kid to the cable with the rest arm, and she half rest on the cable while pulling her self across staples, so makes it easy on her.

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In reply to SteveN1:

Really glad you had a good day. do have to ask when you say friction break do you mean one of the lanyards that looks like the one on this site?

https://www.summitpost.org/outdoor-gear/petzl-zyper-y-vertigo/5081

If so just for future reference manufacturers stopped making ones with these types of breaks a long time ago and now go for sewn one's that that the stitching gives to absorb the shock. i am surprised if hire shops are still using these old models.

Also if you enjoyed via ferrata there are loads around Briancon and I do a free app guides (sorry shame less pun)

android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skiroute16.viaferrata.ecrins.braincon&hl=en

apple - https://apps.apple.com/fr/app/%C3%A9crins-brian%C3%A7on-via-ferrata/id1348658640

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 SteveN1 12 Sep 2020
In reply to ecrinscollective:

No, you're right - it was the newer type with sewn shock absorber. The broken one had the sewn tab ripped off on one side and a length of the sewn-in strip was hanging out of the container. I'm amazed I was allowed to take it out of the shop like that, and glad that I wasn't a total novice who might not have realised it wasn't OK.  Mind you, I suppose when I opened the shock-absorber pack and saw 'Do not use if broken' on the sewn-in strip it rather gave the game away!

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