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why not wiregate

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why not wiregate

Postby pvnisher » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:25 pm

Other than the obvious times when you'd want a locking carabiner (or HMS, for example), what are the downsides to a wiregate?
I know they're typically on draws for easy cipping, but you don't see them many other places.
Why not?

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby ClimbandMine » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:54 pm

I love 'em and have slowly switched out a lot of my biners - they're lightweight and the gates tend to not open when the biner hits the rock. I use them on all my cams and on the clipping end of all my sport draws.
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Re: why not wiregate

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:15 pm

pvnisher wrote:Other than the obvious times when you'd want a locking carabiner (or HMS, for example), what are the downsides to a wiregate?
I know they're typically on draws for easy cipping, but you don't see them many other places. Why not?

Wire gate carabiners can replace many solid gate carabiners in normal use. I would argue that the only three carabiners you would have to buy ever are lightweight wire gate carabiners (like Trango Superflys), keylock solid gate carabiners (BD Positron or Petzl Spirit), and screwgate locking keylock carabiners (Petzl William, Petzl Attache/3D, Metolius Element). These three types are all I use, and I only use 2 keylock solid gate carabiners for racking nuts. All my draws are wire gate carabiners and all my racking carabiners are wire gates.

If you are a hardcore sport climber, the Petzl Spirit is the best draw ever made, hands down. The keylock solid gate carabiners are easier to unclip from bolts due to their notchless design. This feature also makes keylock carabiners appropriate for racking nuts, the wires will not hang up on a notch on the carabiner while you are unclipping them from the carabiner.

For all other uses (non-locking), wire gate carabiners are a better choice.
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Re: why not wiregate

Postby TomPierce » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:03 pm

I agree with the Baron's comments above. One other factor in favor of wiregates is that they apparently (?) will not open as readily in a long whipper fall, ie when the rope is oscillating rapidly in the biner before coming taut. I haven't done the research on that, but I was climbing once with a very well known guide in Joshua Tree, CA (I never use guides, but I was out in the desert of California on business and thought it was criminal not to climb at JT, so I basically rented a partner); anyway, I asked the same question and he told me about the finding above and then demonstrated by rapping the spine of a solid gate carabiner quickly into his palm. You could hear the click as the gate opened and closed. Doing the same with a wiregate produced no such sound. Just harder to get that gate to budge. Valid conclusion or just a parlor trick? Hard to say but intuitively it makes sense to me. Besides, they're lighter....
-Tom

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby Carl » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:22 pm

BaronVonBergschrund wrote:The keylock solid gate carabiners are easier to unclip from bolts due to their notchless design. This feature also makes keylock carabiners appropriate for racking nuts, the wires will not hang up on a notch on the carabiner while you are unclipping them from the carabiner.


Thoughts on a hooded nose wiregate like the wild country helium?

Re: why not wiregate

Postby mtsuji » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:43 pm

Wesley wrote:
BaronVonBergschrund wrote:The keylock solid gate carabiners are easier to unclip from bolts due to their notchless design. This feature also makes keylock carabiners appropriate for racking nuts, the wires will not hang up on a notch on the carabiner while you are unclipping them from the carabiner.


Thoughts on a hooded nose wiregate like the wild country helium?



I personally dont have any, but were they not so expensive I would want to use these on all my alpine draws and for all my racking biners. They eliminate the notch on wiregates which seems like it would make the perfect biner.

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby TomPierce » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:00 pm

Speaking from personal experience, if you are using some of the thin Dyneema slings (e.g. 8mm Mammut's) that are popular with alpine climbers for the weight/compactness/strength, I would NOT use a key/notch type biner. the sling will hang up there easier than you think. No fun fumbling with a notched harness biner and a Dyneema sling when you're tryng to clip in/out on a belay, esp. in the cold or dark, or both...I actually went to Bent Gate after a frustrating winter multi-pitch rap when that glitch forced expletives from my mouth. Upgraded to better alpine harness biners (the other harness biner barrel freezing tight prodded me along as well). I too have sentimental attachments to some gear, but the new stuff is oh so good. Why not eliminate a headache beforehand if you can?
-Tom

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:53 pm

Wesley wrote:
BaronVonBergschrund wrote:The keylock solid gate carabiners are easier to unclip from bolts due to their notchless design. This feature also makes keylock carabiners appropriate for racking nuts, the wires will not hang up on a notch on the carabiner while you are unclipping them from the carabiner.

Thoughts on a hooded nose wiregate like the wild country helium?

I do not have anything against the WC Heliums in theory, but they are slightly heavier than my wiregate of choice (Trango Superfly) and also cost about $3.50 USD more. I do not find that regular notched wiregates impede my clipping and unclipping ability significantly enough to justify the extra complexity and expense for the WC Heliums. Plus, they are anodized red. Anodized red gear is a sure sign that you are a n00b (excepting, of course, a #1 Camalot).

Like Tom, I have stopped using any locking carabiner that has a notch. Petzl William for belay duty, Metolius Elements for the rest. I recently purchased some Petzl Attache 3D screwgates, but I am unsure of their longevity. They have developed some disturbing scratches in the crotch of the carabiner where you would clip them into a bolt for a belay and are only a few months old. The Attache 3D is superior in specifications to most locking carabiners but I will reserve judgment for now.
Baron Von Bergschrund
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Re: why not wiregate

Postby Carl » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:09 am

I bought one Helium draw to play around with a couple months ago. To me it seemed like the perfect wire gate. Super light and no notch to get caught on. Just thought I’d throw it out there to see if there was any drawback I hadn’t noticed, besides the expense. Probably won’t see much sport use unless I need the extra draws. The plan is to rack my cams with them and have a few on slings. As for the anodized red, I’m sure to be recognized as a noob anyway.

Hope this wasn't too much of a thread sidetrack pvnisher.

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby rickinco123 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:43 pm

Solid gate ovals are superior for clipping your aiders. They are easier to handle, unclip and rotate. Other than that or where you need lockers, wires are just what you use now. Technology moves forward. Wire gates are also stronger cross loaded BTW.

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby rickinco123 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:48 pm

BaronVonBergschrund wrote: Anodized red gear is a sure sign that you are a n00b (excepting, of course, a #1 Camalot).

My rack is full of red mamut wire gate biners. I will always look like a noob but that will be because of my climbing ability + fear of heights.

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Re: why not wiregate

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:45 pm

rickinco123 wrote:Solid gate ovals are superior for clipping your aiders. They are easier to handle, unclip and rotate. Other than that or where you need lockers, wires are just what you use now. Technology moves forward. Wire gates are also stronger cross loaded BTW.

This is true, Petzl Owall is the aider carabiner of choice. An oval carabiner will not shift on you as you weight you aiders, resulting in brown pants.

I neglected to mention the fact that a draw can unclip itself from a bolt if the draw is rotated enough in a certain direction. See this site for a picture of how a wire gate carabiner on the bolt side can snag on the bolt and unclip itself. This is why Black Diamond's answer to the Petzl Spirit draw has a solid gate carabiner on the bolt clipping side and a wire gate on the rope clipping side. I think with planning this scenario can be mostly avoided, but it is something to think about. I will continue to use wire gate draws for my draws and choose the orientation carefully.

Lastly, it is a good idea if you are sport climbing a lot to always clip the same carabiner of your draw to the bolt. Often draws will develop nicks and scratches from the metal-on-metal action of the carabiner and hanger. Running the rope over these nicks and scratches could reduce the life of your rope.
Baron Von Bergschrund
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