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The incident: - a top-roping climber took a fall on a GridLock carabiner with the gate lodged in the open position. The risk: - the rope could have come out of the open gate, and the climber could have had an uncontrolled fall to the floor. The outcome: - the rope stayed in the carabiner and the belay device worked as intended to catch the fall. No-one was hurt and the climber was unaware of the near miss at the time. Background: We were running a family have-a-go climbing session on a ~10m outdoor artificial climbing wall, with under-18's belaying on ATCs, each supervised by an adult who held a permit issued by the national youth organisation which we are members of. This was the climbing team's first time at this wall, and first time belaying off slings attached to ground anchors, rather than directly off the belayer's harness. The belay setup was in accordance with written operating procedures for the wall. During the course of the afternoon, the belayers DMM Gridlock carabiner became rotated 180 degrees. While it was not unsafe in that position, the adult on that rope system let the under -18 belayer know that they could flip it back if they wished to. While doing so, the Scout undid and rotated the carabiner, but did not fully re-seat the sling into the small end of the Gridlock carabiner. In addition the gate was closed but the screwgate was not done up. The DMM Gridlock has an unique shape, designed as an additional safety feature over a plain HMS-shape carabiner. In this case, the unusual shape meant that once the rope was put under tension, the unseated sling pulled the gate of the carabiner into a fully open position. This was not noticed, was climbed on and a fall was taken (and thankfully held) on it.
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