Newsletter – September 2019

By 22nd September 2019 Newsletters

Tip of the Month

On your climbing rack, consider carrying a selection of different shapes and sizes of karabiners as they all have different characteristics and therefore different pros and cons. You can then choose the most suitable shape for the task at hand. But equally, don’t overdo it and carry several of each size/shape ‘just in case’ you need them.

Here are a few of the main designs:

  • Offset-D shape. The strongest design as the load is kept close to the back-bar of the karabiner.
  • Oval shape. The best shape for hauling and using pulleys as the load is kept centralized.
  • HMS shape (see below). With one end wide than the other, they can accommodate more ‘stuff’ at the wider end (for example Italian Hitches or multiple clove-hitches) but they are prone to getting cross-loaded or mis-orientated more easily (a bad thing to happen).

Fact of the Month

An ‘HMS’ karabiner takes its name from the German “Halbmastwurfsicherung”. Halbmastwurf = ‘half a clove hitch’, meaning the so-called Italian or Munter Hitch; and sicherung = ‘safety, security, protection’ or in the specific context of climbing ‘belay’. So an HMS karabiner was designed as a ‘half a clove hitch belay karabiner’.

Route of the Month

There’s a very famous slab climb up at Froggatt Edge in the Peak District, whose grade keeps fluctuating between HVS and E1, depending on who the writer of the guidebook is at the time.

Three Pebble Slab (HVS, 5a, 3-Star) is a popular and sought after-route which I’ve never got around to doing until this month. There’s a tricky rockover move at half height followed by a bold and scary ascent of the blank slab above, which you do NOT want to fall off. It gets the heart pumping for sure. If you are in the area, don’t miss it.

Photo of the Month

A beautiful, calm autumn day high up in the Lake District fells.

 © thesummitisoptional

Forthcoming Events

These are some of the scheduled events coming up in the near future:

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Newsletter 2019 09