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webbing for pickets

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webbing for pickets

Postby kylenicolls » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:24 am

Recommendations? 2.2 lb per kg, which means 2.2 lb is about 10 N, so rating in lb times 5 is the approximate force in N. I read for webbing of .070 to .075" thickness is about 3000 lb breaking strength at 1" thickness, for nylon webbing. I guess that means 1" webbing at about .070-ish thickness takes about 15 kN.

Clearly you dont want the picket webbing to fail below the rope loading (6-9 kN, dynamic, generally). Of course there are other factors to play in.

But anyhow, that was just random info. For those that know more than me or are better informed, whats the take on picket webbing?

Thanks, Kyle.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby Ben Beckerich » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:50 am

All I've ever done, or seen anyone do on the mountain, is girth-hitch a sling to the top or middle hole. If I'm taking three pickets, I'll generally use shoulder-length slings for two, and a one-and-a-half or double-length for the third... seems to cover the bases.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby kylenicolls » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:08 am

Thanks for the info, Ben.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby jspeigl » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:15 am

It depends on the snow, but chances are, the snow will give way before webbing will. 9/16" is good enough.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby Ben Beckerich » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:03 am

The only reason I wouldn't just dedicate some webbing to pickets is that it limits your versatility a bit... with slings, you can very easily throw whatever length you want on there, quickly change holes, and you can pillage the picket for it's sling, if'n you find yourself in need of a sling...

But tying on some 9/16ths webbing would be potentially lighter, and there's certainly nothing wrong with going that route.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby pvnisher » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:53 pm

Instead of girth-hitching the sling/webbing to the picket I normally use a carbiner as the attachment. I do that because it's easier to switch holes, and also that I'm afraid that the semi-sharp edges of the picket hole might cut or damage the sling.
Might just be paranoid, but those edges aren't rounded, and if they take a sharp load I could see some cutting.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby Ben Beckerich » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:57 am

pvnisher wrote:Instead of girth-hitching the sling/webbing to the picket I normally use a carbiner as the attachment. I do that because it's easier to switch holes, and also that I'm afraid that the semi-sharp edges of the picket hole might cut or damage the sling.
Might just be paranoid, but those edges aren't rounded, and if they take a sharp load I could see some cutting.


Yates's holes are rounded, FYI.

As someone above said, the picket itself will blow out of the snow before the sling will cut against the obtuse angles of an SMC or MSR picket.

It's just that much extra weight to an already ridiculously heavy piece of gear (I've pretty much abandoned the picket for recreational alpine climbing entirely), but if the added psychological benefit outweighs the weight, then it's worth it's weight.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby pvnisher » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:46 am

I just got back from the Savoie Alps, and I swear the two of us were the only dudes in the country carrying pickets. I didn't see another one the whole 2 weeks, and even had one group stop to examine them, I don't think they'd ever seen one before.

Pre-placed prussiks, helmets, and pickets apparently made us une espèce d'imbécile, no one else had many of those things, and certainly not all three!
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby bdynkin » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:27 pm

pvnisher wrote:Pre-placed prussiks, helmets, and pickets apparently made us une espèce d'imbécile, no one else had many of those things, and certainly not all three!


Remember those 5 dead climbers in the Alps this summer?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18697729

Looks like they were roped together but did not place intermediate pro on a snow slope. I think it's a current fashion in the Alps to climb snow roped but not place intermediate pro. It looks cool but IMHO is dangerous. If you need a rope - place pro. If it's easy for your team - untie and solo. Clearly, it's not as simple as I stated. For example roped glacier travel, ridge climbing, etc. But do you see my point?
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby pvnisher » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:50 pm

bdynkin- that is the great debate, is it not? The risk continuum from easy walking up through belayed pitches. It certainly gets fuzzy in the middle.
As you can tell from me stating that we had helmets, pickets, and pre-placed prussiks you can guess which side of the risk-tolerance scale I fall on.
But from my own short time in the Alps, it seemed that they (including the guides) were much more tolerant of certain risks than I.

Perhaps the guides know more about which routes are likely to have big crevasses, or experience rockfall, but since I didn't have firsthand knowledge of the routes (until now!), I just err on the side of caution.

I did see a bunch of dudes carrying ice screws, even on routes that only had snow, and not even hard snow!
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby Wastral » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:55 am

Well fact of the matter is unless one is carrying multiple pickets, a single picket is only useful for crevasse rescue or self belaying down a steep unconsolidated snow route unroped. I have done this many times. Or Very short roped, no more than 5-10 feet max between people. Of course if this is the case, carry a 2nd axe and go with the T-slot and girth hitch instead allowing more options, though descending soft snow a Picket is far preferable over that of an ice axe.

If one is going to place snow pro, one has to do so often; If your slip distance is over 15(30 foot run) feet on 45 degree snow face, one will rip out said picket no matter how hard the snow is and still go hurtling down the mountain taking your roped partner with you.

Pickets as snow pro, are psychological pro unless placed often in fairly hard snow. Same with ice screws unless placed very often in hard ice.

Its why most culoiur routes on steep snow/ice are mixed where a lot if not most pro is set in rock along said snow/ice route. Also done when very icy, so much lighter, better holding ice screws can be used.

PS. If in a group they can do crevasse rescue with ice screws/ice axe. Have to be in a larger group though. Unless carry 2 axes.

PPS. I biner clip my pickets. Got the biners along anyways, its not like you are saving weight by girth hitching the webbing through the hole and said webbing can easily get cut/worn out even if the holes are rounded.

PPPS. I go roped on steep snow because of crevasses, moats, not to hold my partners fall, as I already know I can't 50% of the time, even if short roped. We are talking 40 degrees plus here, below that sure you have a very high probability of stopping your partner, depending on conditions in my experience. Otherwise take the rope off if long snow sections, just means 2 or more will die instead of 1.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby bdynkin » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:35 pm

pvnisher wrote:bdynkin- that is the great debate, is it not? The risk continuum from easy walking up through belayed pitches. It certainly gets fuzzy in the middle.


Yes, I did see that you "erred" on a safe side and I agree with you on that. My two points were a) base your decisions (like you did) on your evaluation of the route and your skills, not what other people are doing and b) roped travel on steep terrain without intermediate pro is at times more dangerous than soloing this terrain. The latter is not a theoretical point. Some time ago 3 people from my "local climbing circle" died this way on Orizaba.

P.S. I disagree with Wastrall that pickets are always useless unless placed often. As usually, it depends... But in general, impact forces on snow are very low compared to rock.
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Re: webbing for pickets

Postby Ben Beckerich » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:41 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEbMJuyRnHc

Remember this'un?

Unprotected rope team slides into unprotected rope team... then the ambulance crashes.
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