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How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling?
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bighead


Jun 6, 2004, 12:30 PM
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How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling?
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I am updating this post so it includes some info I added below. I took two 6-8 foot falls on the same cam yesterday and now I'm sitting here realizing I have no idea when I should replace the sling. I've always heard that after about a year or two you should replace slings but I think this is a little to vague. I would really appreciate anyones feedback. Also just out of curiousity when do you think you should replace the sling on a quickdraw? I had a friend take a fall on a old but visibly fine draw (it was 4 years old) and when it happened we heard this horrible sound that I really can't describe but it was loud. I immediately lowered him down and we pulled the rope to inspect it. We could find nothing wrong but not wanting to chance it we grabbed my rope and I led back up the route and when I arrived at his last draw the sling/dogbone only had two lines of stitching left all the rest popped. This obviously freaked me out and sense then I've always marked mine after a fall and after three I replace the sling. This is probably a little extreme but I've never had a definate answer before and I figure it's better to be safe then sorry when it comes to gear. Also if someone had an actual answer from a company with a source that would be even better.


no_limit


Jun 6, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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It is most likely still safe to climb on, however if you don't feel safe climbing on it then it is useless to you. So, if you don't feel safe go ahead and replace it.

-Alex


valeberga


Jun 6, 2004, 1:19 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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I've never broken a sling and I'm not a gear guru by any means, but can't you tell a lot just by inspecting the gear, maybe comparing it to something brand new? Look for fraying, rips, check stitching, supleness/softness/flexibility, cleanliness, etc? I always thought that these were good indicators, to complement the generalized replacement schedule.


fracture


Jun 6, 2004, 1:21 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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It's fine.

Replacing webbing after 3 falls makes no sense.


bighead


Jun 6, 2004, 1:31 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I've never broken a sling and I'm not a gear guru by any means, but can't you tell a lot just by inspecting the gear, maybe comparing it to something brand new? Look for fraying, rips, check stitching, supleness/softness/flexibility, cleanliness, etc? I always thought that these were good indicators, to complement the generalized replacement schedule.
I agree that there are certain things you should always check for on your gear/piece after a fall but I also know that climbing equipment can have serious damage/weakness that can't be seen with the naked eye. I think it is dangerous and bad tradecraft to only retire gear which meets the criteria above.
I am curious because ropes for example always contain a fall rating which helps to give you a general idea when to retire the rope even if it looks alright. I did a quick search but couldn't find any info for webbing or slings having this same type of rating. So I guess what I'm really asking is does anyone know if they are ever rated this way and if so where can I find this info.


verticalturtle


Jun 6, 2004, 1:49 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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I would agree,your gear is fine, and replacing a draw after three falls is going a bit far. Although if, unlike most climbers, you have loads of money to spend on gear then sure get rid of it all after three falls. Just PM me and I'll give you my address. :D

That said, how often do you replace your harness? every three falls? Probably not. Check the stitching and the webbing itself (i.e. for fraying). Slings and webbing (and harnesses) are easier to inspect than a rope because the load bearing portion is outside - unlike the core on your rope. Also consider that part of what helps to wear out your rope is the reduction of elasticity. Slings and webbing are static so there is no streach to wear out. Slings do break, and I have seen broken ones, but I have yet to see a broken sling that did not have significant wear.

And where did you hear that you should replace slings after 1 year? :?: That's absurd. If you were climbing and falling on your gear every day this may be a great formula, but otherwise it's bunk. Nylon simply doesn't degrade that quickly. Barring any obvious wear and abrasion issues consider replacement after 5 years. This is the typical life of a harness that sees a good dose of action. A good dose being about 100 days per year in use in all settings, temps, and taking every fall that happens.

VT


socalbolter


Jun 6, 2004, 2:00 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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i wouldn't listen to these knuckleheads. they're playing with your safety. it SHOULD NOT be used anymore. in fact there is a cam disposal site just down the street from my house. if you send it my way i'll make sure it gets taken care of.

you have to be careful about some of the opinions you get on this site. these guys don't know you and could care less if you got hurt following their advice.


bighead


Jun 6, 2004, 2:07 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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First off for the knucklehead SOCALBOLTER I'm not talking about the cam. I'm talking about the sling but I will be sure to PM you so that I can get that address for the disposal site :? . I know that replacing the sling on a draw after three falls is a bit extreme but I have always been slightly paranoid about my equipment and three bucks to replace the sling on my draw just doesn't seem like that much. Also it depends on the type of fall I've taken. The falls I'm talking about are the ones like the one I decribed above. One somewhere between 5-10 feet where I am completely off the rock and the draw/gear takes the brunt of the fall. I usually only replace two or three slings a season so it doesn't put that big a hurting on the old wallet. I've actually heard every one to two years quite a bit from several different sources but I've also heard many other time frames as well. Thats why I was wondering if someone had a source.


esoteric1


Jun 6, 2004, 2:20 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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I agree with socalbolter, replace it....throw away the sling on your cam. but as far as the dog bones go. dont throw them away. send them to me for further inspection. pm me and ill give you my adress.
mark


biff


Jun 6, 2004, 2:35 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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allright bighead, the guys are just trying to scam you out of perfectly good gear.

you don't need to replace your slings, they are fine, and will take many more years of abuse.

Just inspect them every once in a while and if you don't see any visual damage, you will be fine.


bighead


Jun 6, 2004, 2:48 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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Thanks biff I always hate asking a question on this stinkin site because you have to listen to 10 dicks for every one climber who is willing to actually give someone an answer. I have always inspected all the equipment I have climbed on after I get home from a day at the crag but I guess the reason I'm slightly paranoid is I had a friend take a fall on a old but visibly fine draw and when it happened we heard this horrible sound that I really can't describe but it was loud. I immediately lowered him down and we pulled the rope to inspect it. We could find nothing wrong but not wanting to chance it we grabbed my rope and I led back up the route and when I arrived at his last draw the sling/dogbone only had two lines of stitching left all the rest popped. Needless to say this experience freaked me out.


esoteric1


Jun 6, 2004, 3:04 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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im still climbing on my original dogbones, and ive been at it for a consistant 6 years, the stuff is a little frayed but as far as the stitching goes its all still bomber, maybee he stored it wrong.


organic


Jun 6, 2004, 3:56 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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I think the marker he used to mark it after each fall causes it to degrade faster than normal.

PS. do you carry a sharpie in your sock?


Partner happiegrrrl


Jun 6, 2004, 3:58 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
i wouldn't listen to these knuckleheads. they're playing with your safety. it SHOULD NOT be used anymore. in fact there is a cam disposal site just down the street from my house. if you send it my way i'll make sure it gets taken care of.

you have to be careful about some of the opinions you get on this site. these guys don't know you and could care less if you got hurt following their advice.

Can you really not tell he was joking?! A "Cam disposal sight?????" Even I, who have been climbing only a few months, can tell these guys so kindly offering to take "questionable" gear off your hands, are joking....

I do have a suggestion though - It helps to view RC.com forums more for entertainment purposes than to address factual issues....Sometimes there is a sense of seriousness, but more often than not, asking questions is pretty much opening yourself up for abuse (even good-natured abuse) from at least one person....

You might get more straightforward answers to your query by asking on a board that is more local to your area.....

Cam disposal site....hahaha. Should have tried "SLCD Authorized Sling Replacement Center" and offered a P.O. box mailing address.......


bighead


Jun 6, 2004, 4:10 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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Ya I know they are joking but maybe my reply wasn't obvious enough for them so I fixed it. Anyways I know these forums aren't the best place to ask a question but I have nothing better going this afternoon so I thought I would take a chance maybe it was a bad idea. I think I have a couple pictures of the draw I will have to look and see it was a few years ago. He had no idea how many falls the draw had taken (it was 4 years old) but it looked to be in good shape. Once you have an experience like this it kind of changes your perspective a little.


geezergecko


Jun 6, 2004, 4:34 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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In the case of the draw that ripped some of the bar tacks and almost failed - did anyone inspect the bar tack area for wear and tear? Being raised, the bar tack area is prone to more rock rubbing than the rest of the draw. Some of the tacks may have been abraded enough to cause failure. This is something you can see quite visibly if it is inspected closely enough. True, UV will disintegrate nylon over time but this too is noticable as fading. As for retiring ropes, the main reason is that they lose their elasticity over time but not much in the way of overall strength. That is why retired lead ropes are perfectly fine for top roping (caveat: no core shots or severe sheath damage). As for the UIAA rated falls, that does not mean that you retire the ropes after said number of falls. It's a test of how many factor 1.78 static belay falls your rope can take in quick succession. Different animal.


bighead


Jun 6, 2004, 4:45 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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Hey thanks for explaining the rope rating and also for your reply. We had inspected the draws including the bar tack area(I usually focus on that area more than anywhere else) but neither one of us noticed anything. As far as the rope rating after your explanation it makes sense. I had just always assumed that if your rope took 10 falls that were at that level you should retire it. I've never had two retire a rope for this reason because it's a pretty extreme situation and it doesn't seem to happen to often but I had always thought some people did have to retire ropes for this reason.


asandh


Jun 6, 2004, 4:53 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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:)


galf


Jun 6, 2004, 7:44 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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Hey bighead,
I feel your pain.

I am SO tired of the way old joke: "send me your gear...."

I, too, sometimes believe there're dicks.

Cheers


dirtineye


Jun 6, 2004, 8:00 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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Well if yo uare tired of that one, try this one:

The answer to the original qusetion is easy-- gear is all good to the last drop.


climber15


Jun 6, 2004, 8:01 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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no dude look,
beeing safe is important. Ive never heard any statistics or anything on slings, but i know ropes are like 11 falls, and these are like big whippers before you retire them. So if your careful and you treat your gear with care, you can be pretty much have it last a few years. like ive got draws that have lasted 4 or 5 years, but i treat them very very well so when i take a fall, its not a big deal. so if gear isnt left out in the sun or rain, it will last way longer. replace your slings as you see fit, but i think they will last a bit longer than 3 falls.


tech_dog


Jun 6, 2004, 8:06 PM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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I change out my slings every 3-4 years. I've read that the kevlar slings are particularly susceptable to fatigue strength reduction.

If I have a situation where I'm at risk to have a 20+ fall, I am likely to double up the sling, the biners, and/or the pro.


paulraphael


Jun 8, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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here's where some of the confusion might be coming from (and no, I'm not going to send you a new gear disposal address):

ROPES are rated to a certain number of falls because they are energy absorbing devices, and their ability to continue absorbing energy diminishes after major impacts.

WEBBING merely provides static strength. Its strength is not diminshed by repeated loading, even by repeated loading at high forces (like from a high factor fall). You could take 100 whippers onto a runner without significantly diminshing its strength. Remember that most runners are rated at 22KN or more--more than double what your going to generate in the hardest imaginable fall.

HOWEVER: this is not an invitation to be careless about replacing webbing. There are a million things that DO diminish their strength. Abrasion, UV exposure, and exposure to certain chemicals and fumes, particularly acids, are among the most common. Safeguard your slings and runners from these, replace them when there's obvious damage, and replace them after a few years or when you see fit. But don't worry about them being weakened by holding falls or sustaining high loads.


sarcat


Jun 8, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Re: [b]How many falls on a cam before you replace the sling? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
im still climbing on my original dogbones, and ive been at it for a consistant 6 years, the stuff is a little frayed but as far as the stitching goes its all still bomber, maybee he stored it wrong.

ditto but for 8 years.


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