Don Pablo Edronkin

Mountaineering advice: about carabiners (II).



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As I said, safety carabiners tend to be more versatile. For example, if you want to make a rappel descent but don't have an eight-shaped descender or similar device, you may want to use a carabiner in its place. That would be, by all means, a less-than-ideal situation, but yet, it is possible and still safe to use a carabiner to slow you down during a rappel descent.

In more than one occassion, I saw carabiners open themselves up by action of the rope during their use in place of an eight descender, so it has become a common practice to use two carabiners placed one on top of the other and with their latches opposed in order to avoid this problem.

Safety carabiners minimise this latch problem because their locks provide a simple solution to this and other problems, especially if the lock is more advanced than the traditional screw-like device used on classical models.

The fact is that a safety carabiner costs around 10% more than simpler units, but if you consider that in most cases you will have to use one safe carabiner instead of two simple ones, you will find that you will not only enjoy more safety during your trips, but also will save money and make a more sensible investment.

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Rapelling without an eight descender.
Rapelling without an eight-shaped descender. It is safe to do so
as long as you pay attention to your speed, which is higher.



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