Weak link (on purpose) in your climbing lanyard?

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
Location
somewhere
Has anyone used a weak link in their climbing lanyard sytem (on purpose) which would allow it to break away? Any suggestions on what type of weak link to use?

For example, a bifurcated tree with one weak/compromised leader. There is a sound main tie in point on the main leader, but a lanyard will need to be used on the weak leader for optimal positioning. The idea is if the weak leader fails the weak lanyard link would break away leaving the main tie in intact to support the climber. Also no additional trees to tie into to achieve the positioning required on the weak leader.
 
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Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
I’ll speculate with you in the interest of conversation, but I’d likely nope out of that one and pass it to someone with a Spider lift. Or bid enough to factor in a Spider rental maybe. Or have a second good tie in and skip the lanyard entirely.

One idea is a Buckingham break away chainsaw lanyard added to the end if it’s not too long. I don’t trust my saws on those things though.

Or maybe sew an eye termination with just a few stitches. Make em and break em on the ground until you got something that’s breaking reliably over and over. Something you can lean back and rest your weight on but will come apart if you shock load it by throwing your weight against it.
 

Benjo75

Well-Known Member
Location
Malvern
I agree with Jonny about passing on this one or using a lift. You will be putting yourself in a dangerous position. I've heard of people using the small keychain carabiners as a breakable link between
your lanyard clip and your saddle. Also a certain number of zipties will give you an adjustable beaking point. As Jonny said the Weaver tear away saw lanyards. I think they break at about 200lbs. Personally if I were forced in to this situation I'd wrap my lanyard around the limb in question about two maybe 3 times and hold the end with my foot or between my knees or some way that I could easily let go and release it. Enough friction that it would stay put without my help but would also roll out easily. Or tie a small port a wrap on the limb and get one wrap without locking it off with a second climbing system with no spliced eye on the end. But I still wouldn't do it.
 

SingleJack

Well-Known Member
Location
W MD
Bailout Kit #4* — UPDATE/UPGRADE to 270# 'fishing-magnet'. The 180# magnet was a bit too light for my climbing weight when carrying a heavy chainsaw.

*Bailout Kit 4 (BK4) is a work positioning tie-in for working in a hazardous tree. It holds a climber's work position yet releases automatically if the tree falls away from under the climber.

The BK4 NOW uses a rated magnet (270#) that is linked to the climbers lanyard. The magnet's 'keeper' is secured to a Prusik sling around the hazard tree. The climber's lanyard runs through a Stainless #2 Boat-snap connected to the magnet.

The stronger magnet can be 'fine-tuned' by varying the thickness and quantity of fender washers used as a 'keeper'. In this case two, thick fender washers gave a secure work position without excessive release forces.

Also, a Stainless boat snap proved to be quicker and easier to deploy than the Pear-Q-link to the lanyard.

NOTE: NONE OF THE BK4 IS LIFE SUPPORT. IT IS FOR ESTABLISHING A RELATIVELY STABLE WORK POSTIONING IN A SKETCHY TREE. If the climber and the hazard tree separate, the magnet automatically pulls free of the Prusik Sling and the climber will swing to a pre-planned safe location secured by two separate life-support lines. These two life-lines can be any combination of SRT, DdRT, & lanyards.

BACKGROUND:
I posted my first attempt at a Bailout Kit, about 9 years ago. It used a Panic Snap that required the climber to deliberately release the lanyard around the hazard tree.

Video:
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
I use a breakaway biner occasionally. If your acceptable risk tolerance is very low, a breakaway biner can be great. If your acceptable risk tolerance is very high, it can also be great. One reason I do my own company is so that I choose which trees I climb, and the margin for safety in those trees. I saw a guy negative blocking a dead conifer on IG this week. Looked like his climbing line and lanyard were anchored in the same tree. That is not my style - I bomb that shit or get a lift unless it is very freshly dead. Last time I rigged a piece of dead pine was next to a house with a safe bloc where I dumped the top into an adjacent cherry tree to roll out or get hung up for further disassembly. I'm not interested in Guinea pigging even with a breakaway lanyard. You never know how far gone the roots are.
 

JaredDTS

Member
Location
Kill Devil Hills
I remember reading a post on another forum where someone used rubber hose washers, and a small oval link on the end of their lanyard. They adjusted the number of washers to hold their weight by trial and error on the ground.
 

Benjo75

Well-Known Member
Location
Malvern
Yep. Dan House rope sleeve. They're pretty nice. Way easier to install than ring to ring. If you have a 1/2 rope eye splice that will need to pass thru you'll need to get the 3/4. A taped end on a 1/2 rope is hard to get in the 1/2 rope sleeve.
 

TheTreeSpyder

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida>>> USA
i think of anything made to give under overload to protect the rest of system as a fuse (of the mechanical type like a shear pin) function/ fusible link.
i've played with this before in lanyard, but the 2 times i really had to do anything it was not so planned
>>and so with handsaw against tight lanyard to freedom
>>that took the automation out of it tho..
In other stuff have simply used 1 link or several turns of 200# test throw line as somewhat predictable/calculable fusible link.
.
By definition, this weakest link determines the strength of system chain.
 
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Bart_

Active Member
Location
GTA
Sounds like an opportunity for a product with a big liability gotcha. Thinking researching materials for degradation, creep, stability with time and load and a clearly settable break point. Ie old vs new, dirt exposure, sun exposure, abrasion, temperature, cross loading tolerance etc. And a clean break, no stringy oopses. Magnet on metal is a bit sensitive to dirt/air gap. Otherwise a clean solution. But - magnetized screwdrivers and plier tips fry me off to no end, and you never plan to turn those tools into filing attractors. Maybe cordage with a very consistent weakening knot? Or a metallic solution. If it's never doing life support I figure I'd want no one to kick me in the small of the back with more than 50 to 80 lbs or so or else it might be hurting time. (The lanyard does the kicking as it breaks.) Or a linear mechanical slip clutch like a battery drill - set the clicks for how fat you are. :) Guilty as charged.

Now that I said it, should I build one?
 

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