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Date of Incident

01/03/2022

Country

Wales

Route

Incident

I’d completed a sports climb. Mine was the second ascent so I was to strip the gear on the way down. I attached my sling to one ring of the lower,, threaded the rope and re tied. Ready for descent I discovered that the screwgate carabiner holding my sling to the lower off would not unlock. This left me trapped at the top of the climb. I tried off loading it, tapping the carabiner with my fist and gear to no avail. Neither my partner nor I had a knife to cut the sling with and we were the only climbers at the crag. In the end I bashed the carabiner with a piece of loose rock from the top of the climb and it unlocked, so saving me from dangerous heroics in terms of leaving the harness or an embarrassing rescue call out

The carabiner I’d been using was relatively new and seemed in good condition. Presumably some grit had got into the screw mechanism

Lessons

1 I’m going to use a clip gate carabiner in preference to a screwgate to attach to the lower off when threading and make sure the gate is upwards and I hang below it. This was always my habit until a climbing guide in Spain told me to use a screwgate!
2 Take a sharp knife to the crag

Activity

Sport rock climbing

When

Threading for descent at the top of the climb

Injury

No injury

Causes

Equipment failure

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

Yes

Rescue Services Involved?

None

Author

17 March 2022, 09:32:07

For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills

All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.