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How strong is a Petzl 8 descender?

Canyon Rope Systems

A HowNOT2 Course

Episode 9 of 10

This is a free course featuring Brent Roth about different ways to set up rappels through a canyon. This considers ease of rigging, abrasion, ease of rescue and how efficient it is to move people through the canyon.

Our courses are A-Z content in blog format, glued together with an overarching blog we call a textbook. A blog format is easy to read, easy to update, and easy to translate. Be sure to begin at the TEXTBOOK and at the end of each episode we'll point you to the next.

Hardware Break Tests

We broke a Petzl 8 and tried to break a Palikoa Pivot from Glacier Black. I say try because I broke a sling in an 88kn configuration only to find out nylon doesn’t 4x when you quadruple up the slings. Then we broke a 40kn steel carabiner at 48.76kn, then an broke an aluminum quick link at 47kN which is amazing because it is rated for 25kN. Bobby found some off-brand 72kN steel carabiner that Brent used and that is what finally broke the eye of the Palikoa Pivot at 46.50kN after being pulled 4 times. 😂

The Petzl 8 was girth hitched with a Dyneema sling on the small eye but broke into a tuning fork (554 hz C# if you must know) when a carabiner being pulled THROUGH the aluminum at 28.17 (rated for 25kN). They pulled the big eye apart on a new 8 and it broke like you see in the thumbnail at 26.68kN. With carabiners in both eyes, it broke at 35.56kN. Super strong enough!

Brent cut the Dyneema sling to see if the girth hitched master point was redundant. It starts to slip at 4-5kN and continues to slip until failure at 2-3kN. Girth hitched master points are "Barely Redundant Enough". This is important to know because this a good way to rig to unlinked bolts, but you should know the limitations of your rigging. Using the 8 gives you a nice master point to rig to and a place for people to clip in.

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Breaking Gear Fear

Edutainment has been a great way to help people understand their gear, and know the true limitations of it.  Watching HOW gear fails is more important than the force itself, as almost all gear is super good enough.  It's more important to share information on how to stay safe than it is to have a paywall.  We hope our stoke is contagious.