Petzl guideline on choked carabiner anchor for spar work

I hope this will put to rest the fears of carabiner choked anchors in specific/appropriate situations. This is not a recommendation for "remote" canopy anchors used for working the crown for example while pruning, we know a cinched carabiner is not a good solution for that use.

https://www.petzl.com/US/en/Professional/Dismantling--second-belay-point-and-evacuation-system-on-the-ZIGZAG-in-single-mode-with-CHICANE?ActivityName=Tree-care

-AJ
I've contacted petzl land addressed the issue. Hopefully they'll change it.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
I've contacted petzl land addressed the issue. Hopefully they'll change it.
Why? If the use they recommend is safe, they're clearly a reputable high angle gear manufacturer. There are distinctions between safe ways and scenarios to choke a carabiner and there are ways and scenarios that are not safe, I believe Petzl is showing a safe technique for a specific scenario.
-AJ
 

moss

Well-Known Member
I understand that it has been hammered home for many years that tree climbers should not choke carabiners. That was out of due caution and the important motivation to create as strong a safety culture for working tree climbers as is possible. I believe there is a misunderstanding in general about crossloading warnings you'll see on all carabiner safety literature that comes with the product. The crossloading (the spine) illustrations show the carabiner spine crossing a sharp fulcrum rock edge in an alpine climbing scenario or a concrete or steel edge in industrial climbing (for example). This is a clear hazard. Trees are very different of course. If there is no focused fulcrum on choked wood of sufficient diameter there is no leverage to bend the spine and there is nowhere for the alloy (or steel) spine to move towards bending. Choked carabiners are a very poor choice for canopy anchors for a main climbing line or for any anchor not close to the climber. Slacking and loading cycles can loosen the anchor and potentially orient the rope across the gate etc. For arms length temporary anchors on sufficient diameter wood, with the gate oriented up and out from the direction of loading a carabiner choke is very safe. These are my opinions. I understand that there is subtlety here that doesn't play well when the industry is trying to promote overall climber safety. This is a necessary tension between legacy safety guidelines and overturning paradigms that are not across the board true.
-AJ
 
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moss

Well-Known Member
I'm not asking anyone to use these techniques or to violate their own company or current industry guidelines. I'm simply working to advance the cause for a technique that can be safe and efficient when used properly. It's good to see an industry leader like Petzl advancing on this path.
-AJ
 

Mowerr

Well-Known Member
I've contacted petzl land addressed the issue. Hopefully they'll change it.
Yea I'm sure they won't change that and I don't think they should.
Petzl is very careful about the information they give us so I believe it is no mistake that they have that info up on their site...
 

*useless info*

Active Member
We speak of carabiners so generically on this.
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Length of carabiner frame in ratio to arc is a possible game changer.
>>especially with rope cinched tight vs. Natural easy hang as multiplier of force to carabiner.
>>one problem with stacked multipliers , problem becomes more situation specific
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This also calcs better on round stock carabiner best i think.
logically less round, the more strength tuned to primary axis loading;
>>thus lowering 'defenses' on other loading axises.
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Like wanted to say to the lady in the grocery store today about wearing spandex (while secretly wishing to go blind temporarily).
>>Just cuz you legally can doesn't mean in all cases ya should ..
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But please; let's play this backwards.
When would you favor arching rigid device(carabiner) rather than soft device (rope/knot) like this?
Then only 1 carabinier when odd angle?
>>in other lengthwise usage would go with preceding half or marl but then can't remove remotely.
 
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Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
I must confess, I've choked my carabiners before but only for nearby tie in points that are set non-remotely while in the canopy. I use to blame Moss now I can blame a corporation!

Nice to see Petzl addressing an off-label use lots have climbers have done before.
 

Phil

Active Member
Petzl is very careful about the information they give us so I believe it is no mistake that they have that info up on their site...

After reading the original linked Petzl document, one major issue strikes me. They do not refer to any specific type of carabiner for use in the choke configuration whereas they mention the zigzag and chicane directly. I'm no lawyer but I would think this opens up Petzl up to some liability in the fact that they are implying any carabiner can be used in this application. They didn't mention a specific carabiner because one does not exist for this application...yet. Though there are now quickie links on the market which solves the problem so just use that.


Do I think a carabiner will fail if used when choked to the spar...not the first couple times. Would I climb on a choked carabiner in an emergency, absolutely. Will I climb on a choked carabiner in every day climbing under controlled circumstances...nope. There are better designed and approved options.

Pic is an aluminum Petzl William ball lock that was used on a chipper winch...just for reference as what forces might do to the spine. This one has the old plastic gate, which also has cracks in it. I use this crab as my key chain carabiner now.
 

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Mowerr

Well-Known Member
After reading the original linked Petzl document, one major issue strikes me. They do not refer to any specific type of carabiner for use in the choke configuration whereas they mention the zigzag and chicane directly. I'm no lawyer but I would think this opens up Petzl up to some liability in the fact that they are implying any carabiner can be used in this application. They didn't mention a specific carabiner because one does not exist for this application...yet. Though there are now quickie links on the market which solves the problem so just use that.


Do I think a carabiner will fail if used when choked to the spar...not the first couple times. Would I climb on a choked carabiner in an emergency, absolutely. Will I climb on a choked carabiner in every day climbing under controlled circumstances...nope. There are better designed and approved options.

Pic is an aluminum Petzl William ball lock that was used on a chipper winch...just for reference as what forces might do to the spine. This one has the old plastic gate, which also has cracks in it. I use this crab as my key chain carabiner now.
Have u seen fiori's choked biner video?
Yep quickie and steel screw quick link are the best but I bet some where on petzls site they clarify what is best to choke with
A chipper winch is going to beat on the rope and biner or whatever is used no matter how it's configured... Especially if not using steel. A climber is going to be hard pressed to put the same forces on the biner.
 

Mowerr

Well-Known Member
Have u seen fiori's choked biner video?
Yep quickie and steel screw quick link are the best but I bet some where on petzls site they clarify what is best to choke with
A chipper winch is going to beat on the rope and biner or whatever is used no matter how it's configured... Especially if not using steel. A climber is going to be hard pressed to put the same forces on the biner.
I forgot to add that petzl refers to choking the spar. So they endorse a choke on much bigger diameters than limbs like fiori did in his video and maybe like the limbs u winched into your chipper with that biner u showed
The wider/bigger the wood the choke is on the less side load force is put on the choked connector
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Have u seen fiori's choked biner video?
Yep quickie and steel screw quick link are the best but I bet some where on petzls site they clarify what is best to choke with
A chipper winch is going to beat on the rope and biner or whatever is used no matter how it's configured... Especially if not using steel. A climber is going to be hard pressed to put the same forces on the biner.
I have snapped plenty of 50kn binders on big chipper winch...
 

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
I forgot to add that petzl refers to choking the spar. So they endorse a choke on much bigger diameters than limbs like fiori did in his video and maybe like the limbs u winched into your chipper with that biner u showed
The wider/bigger the wood the choke is on the less side load force is put on the choked connector
I think Mowerr is making some important points in this post. I would avoid using a choked carabiner on thin light limbs altogether and mostly use it on trunks when I do.
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Another thing to consider is how the carabiner is loaded. If on a spar, only when your attachment point to your harness is at the same height as the carabiner, would it be truly cross loaded. If the climber is below the carabiner, it rotates, so that it is more parallel to the stem, with the load more going through the spline and gate, than cross them.
If it’s choked on a horizontal branch, the diameter would then come into play more.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
These are all great points. It’s safe IF done like x/y/z but UNSAFE if done like A/B/C

That’s enough for me not to do it. Too much of a habit to get into, and cut some corners. There are many, many alternatives which are safe in many if not all variations. Why would I choose one that is safe in only a few configurations and circumstances?
 

Mowerr

Well-Known Member
Ya I always use a quickie or quick link. Everyone must do what is safe for them and what makes them feel the safest.
 

*useless info*

Active Member
A quick-link / screw-link(or clevis; but wider is weaker in either) has 2 strong supporting legs vs. 1 leg of krab that is more like securely moused hook to me. Also many times quick-link is shorter(and narrower) to lessen the leveraging affect on the only rigid device point in flexible chain to rigid mount of different geometry (flat to round).
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Thus, i still think a Running Bowline as softer connection on round would be better, especially on smaller round. Especially if had to tie Bowline/eye for krab or other hard link anyway. i have used krab as discussed for repetitive dragging speed, but then always behind half-hitch(killick style) so that preceding HH takes hit, not krab connection point. Krab's for this are already degraded/set aside for non rigging use of utility of dogging out dragging on ground etc. If matches other gear some, would paint or temp. put bright plastic wire tie on to differentiate.
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i think diameter would come into play on horizontal certainly, but on vertical also, just to lesser extent, as taking a longer path around same roundness until straight linear down trunk.
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Just cuz doesn't fail now, doesn't mean it hasn't been tweaked nor twerked enough to cumulatively failing later and some other incident blamed. Simply not best practice i think. Especially when other options and life on line or underneath.
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i try to work as 2, hands as laborers;eyes as inspectors making hands groom to align more etc. i try to let eyes only see proper, or give apology etc., so mis-aligned always sticks out as even more dramatically jaded flagging.
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i also think tuning in to working clean by these principles, can start seeing the structures in everything else around; that echo back same principles in re-affirmation of different facet angles to same jewel; and also l-earn more every day. Like ya cracked the code some,and can read it.. Sometimes like Indian tracker reading simply what yells at him, yet no one else standing next to, sees much of.
 
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DSMc

Well-Known Member
... Why would I choose one that is safe in only a few configurations and circumstances?
I use different knots, tools and techniques for different situations all the time. Many of those would not be safe or appropriate for all situations.

Like Kenny, for maximum strength I will use a knot preceded by a full turn. Quick link for hardware if needed in remote locations but I have no reservations with using a steel carabiner for advancing or choking a stem.

I feel the use of a carabiner is appropriate at times when multiple changes in attachment will be happening in a short span of time. If you are climbing with approved slack management and a secondary attachment is used when slack is needed, it will not be possible to achieve the force needed for failure.
 
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