Friday, August 31, 2012

Non-Lockers vs. Lockers in a System

I find that one question comes up over and over again when I work with intermediate level climbers...and it's not, "where can I get a cool minivan with Cheerios mashed into the floor and preschool age car seats like that?" Or, "where can I get an awesome pair of pants with holes in the knees like that?"

No, instead it has to do with carabiners. And it has to do with cordelletes.

Some climbers clip each independent piece to a cordellete with locking carabiners. They then tie off the cordellete and clip into the powerpoint with locking carabiners.  When asked to explain their decision, they usually come out with some rendition of, "it's safer."

It is perfectly fine to use non-lockers on each independent piece. This is because most traditional anchors have three or four pieces in them. There is redundancy in the system because you have clipped all three or four pieces.

I can already hear the chorus. "But what about sport anchors?"

It is absolutely fine to use two non-lockers on bolts or chains clipped to slings or draws, which then have lockers at the powerpoint.

Lockers are life-points. In other words, if you are clipped directly into something, it should be with a locker.  If there are a lots of carabiners in the system, clipped to lots of things, then there is redundancy.

--Jason D. Martin

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