Shout Box

Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 6 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#57081 - 04/08/11 02:52 AM Rethinking the Girth Hitch??
mrdeadpt Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Central NJ
A friend commented about some recent testing that demonstrated how a girth-hitched sling--threaded through a harness' tie-in's (typical configuration for clipping into an anchor or extending a rap device)--was drop-tested and broke at some surprisingly-low force. My thought is: How good IS the girth hitch? In the past, I've thought nothing of girth-hitching two slings together to create a longer connection...but is that a good practice? I'm thinking the climbing community's collective borg-brains might shed some insight on this...
_________________________
"The journey IS the destination."

Top
#57087 - 04/08/11 12:52 PM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: mrdeadpt]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I think this was first raised by the Verm himself (John Sherman) a couple years ago when some sling he had girth hitched cut through when he was cleaning a new route. Thankfully he had built a redundant anchor system. That was just the tendency for the spectra type slings to cut itself or be easily cut by other materials.
Additionally, while the newer materials are remarkably strong and can function adequately at these dental floss thicknesses, they do not stretch the way old fashioned nylon will. Hence, they will break if used without another component,such as rope, to absorb shock loading. DMM has some pretty cool video of breaking spectra slings.
I have switched to the Sterling version of a PAS because of this.

Top
#57090 - 04/08/11 05:18 PM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: chip]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
There is no question that girth-hitching weakens slings considerably. But there is uncertainty about what message to extract about breaking dyneema in simulated factor-2 falls with steel weights. It is unknown whether a human body on the end of the rope rather than a bunch of steel plates would have produced anything close to the same effect, and there are reasons to suspect that maybe not. As realistic test dummies become cheaper and more available, we may get a much better idea about the practical realities of sling breakage under shock loads.

Whenever these discussions come up, it is always mentioned that you shouldn't be taking high fall factor falls on a tether anyway, and doing so constitutes pilot error rather than a failure of a protection system never intended for such eventualities. The fact remains that there are situations in which a climber might have to make a move or two above an anchor they are tethered to. The pilot-error position says that those are "leader must not fall" conditions and the climber should view themselves as being unprotected.

Certainly, if you are just going to lean back on your tether, girth-hitched dyneema slings are not going to be an issue, and this may cover most of the situations in which climbers fabricate and use a tether. If, on the other hand, circumstances will require you to climb above your anchor while tethered to it, the prudent position, even if it eventually turns out to be incorrect, would be that you have entered the solo climbing zone and should behave accordingly.

If you do a lot of tethering and are not bothered by the extra bulk of an installed tether, than I agree with Chip that the Sterling Chain reactor (and not the Metolius PAS) is the most sensible choice.

In any case, when anchoring the belayer, the rope and not any kind of tether should be the primary connection.

Top
#57098 - 04/10/11 01:03 PM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: rg@ofmc]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I agree with Rich here. The only circumstance where I find myself tethering into an anchor with a girthitched sling is rapelling. While climbing I am always using the rope to clove hitch into the anchor. I've never really understood why people choose to carry an extra pice of gear on their harness to conmnect to the anchor with. The rope is already there, and it sounds like it is a heck of a lot safer than these pre fab doo-hickeys called PAS's

I could see scenarios on rappel where one would clip in with a girth hitched sling, and then for some reason have to climb above the anchor, (unsticking a rope, pulling a rope, backing up anchor with gear, etc). This is where the pilot error as Rich calls it is going to come into play.

RR

Top
#57107 - 04/12/11 10:57 AM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: RangerRob]
mrdeadpt Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Central NJ
I thank you guys for weighing in on this. What I get from this discussion is a sense of this being a matter of degrees of safety: All slings are, no doubt, somewhat stronger when not girth-hitched. And we have to be mindful of situations where a dynamic component (most likely, the rope) is not part of the anchoring set-up. But the girth hitch need not be thrown out altogether.
_________________________
"The journey IS the destination."

Top
#57117 - 04/13/11 12:35 AM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: mrdeadpt]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Sherman's "cut sling" has been investigated by some industry expert - I don't recall who - who concluded it was cut with a sharp instrument. No need to churn yourself up over that incident.

Top
#57212 - 04/21/11 02:25 AM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: Mike Rawdon]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2954
Loc: LI, NY
i just bought a new harness and a new sterling PAS. It got my thinking, im surprised no one has a harness with an integrated PAS. Unless of course I missed something.
do you PAS users girth hitch around the belay loop, or parallel to it, through the waist and leg-loop loop? (HUH? you know what i mean)
_________________________
tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Top
#57219 - 04/21/11 08:11 PM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: empicard]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I girth mine to the belay loop. Gives a bit of extra extension, leaves the tie-in pockets free for double ropes. I also don't like how an installed PAS girthed to the tie-in pockets tends to draw the belt and leg loops together.

Now I know that ever since Todd Skinner used his harness three times as long as he should have, there are those who think girthing to the belay loop is bad. If you retire your harness appropriately and check the belay loop for wear periodically, I don't think there is any chance of fatal wear from this practice.

Top
#57240 - 04/24/11 04:22 PM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Like RR the only time that I regularly use a tether is in multiple raps after doing a long route. I also have never switch to the new style thin dynema slings and still use the older style nylon. I don't forsee and situation when rapping and clipping quickly into an anchor where I would be take a fall. I just this type of setup only for quick clipping in, hanging and getting out back onto rap.

Top
#57427 - 05/12/11 11:31 PM Re: Rethinking the Girth Hitch?? [Re: Coppertone]
adatesman Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Philadelphia
Late to the party, but in case anyone is interested BD looked into this a while back.... http://web3.bdel.com/scene/beta/qc_kp_archive.php#110906

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  daryl512 
Sponsored