The carabiners are probably the best known climbing safety element. No carabiner is the same, so it is important to know, first of all, its resistance that is made explicit on the spine with three numbers. The first, which ranges between 20 and 35 kN, is the longitudinal resistance when it is closed; the second, which oscillates between 6 and 10 kN is the transverse resistance when it is closed; and the third, which also goes from 6 to 10 kN, is the longitudinal resistance when it is open. On the spine, it also specifies the regulations it complies with, the manufacturing date (in year) and the batch number.
The maintenance of the carabiner is very important. That is why the manufacturers themselves recommend cleaning it assiduously and lubricating the trigger joint with silicone lubricants. In addition, although it is very difficult to calculate the life of a carabiner, it is not recommended to use those that are ten or more years old.
There are many ways to classify the carabiners and one of them is according to the type of closure they have and another is their shape.
According to its closure:
- Thread closure: This type of closure is the cheapest, but has certain drawbacks, such as the need to use your hand to close it or its ability to lock. In spite of everything, it is the closing that less bulky and, with practice and in spite of that they are blocked, they can loosen up.
- Automatic closing: It is the fastest and most comfortable closing. To open it you only have to turn the thread and, to close it, you do not have to manipulate it, it is automatic. It is a bit more bulky than the screw and you have to be very careful because we could unwittingly open it with the body.
- Bayonet closure: This type of closure is like the automatic, but needs another movement after unlocking it: The closure must be raised or lowered. This type of opening has two readings. The first is the added difficulty to open them, but the second is that they are the safest carabiners.
According to its form:
- HMS: These carabiners have the upper area wider than the lower area. They are used to pass a dynamic knot and its design is flatter on one side (that of the rope) than on the other.
- Pear shape or curved: In this case, the upper area is also wider than the lower one, but its spine is curved. They are very wide and their opening is very large, but they tend to have little resistance.
- Symmetric: As its name suggests, these carabiners are the same above and below and the shape of their tips is fully curved. They are compatible with a wide variety of knots and are also used with pulleys since their symmetry guarantees that the force will be distributed well between the sides of the pulley.
- Carabiners with insurance: The upper area is wider than the lower and are usually small and robust. They usually bear large loads and their most common use is self-insuring and, therefore, the express tape.
Express tapes are part of the basic kit of the climber. It is a ribbon with a carabiner on each end that has various utilities such as attaching a rope to anchors in the wall, retaining the climber from a possible fall or preventing a rope from coming out of the locks.
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