commercially produced Spectra cowstails

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commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby ek » Mar 25, 2009 1:00 pm

Well, there are now commercially produced Spectra cowstails...made by a highly reputable manufacturer.

Check out the Kong's 2009 Speleo & Canyoning catalog (it's called the "Y" Aro Speleo and it's on page 2). And weep.
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby Carl Amundson » Mar 25, 2009 1:11 pm

I will continue to tie my own.
It's cheaper and more reliable.
Besides, one size does not fit all.
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby ek » Mar 25, 2009 1:19 pm

I will continue to tie my own too. Out of dynamic rope.

I did not bring this up to encourage people to purchase this product.
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby Scott McCrea » Mar 25, 2009 1:39 pm

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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby Scott McCrea » Mar 25, 2009 1:43 pm

To the other extreme, the "Y" Elastic Lanyard.
Image

And then there is this:
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 25, 2009 7:09 pm

ek wrote:Well, there are now commercially produced Spectra cowstails...made by a highly reputable manufacturer.

Check out the Kong's 2009 Speleo & Canyoning catalog (it's called the "Y" Aro Speleo and it's on page 2). And weep.


Geez you'd think that equipment manufacturers could keep up with the latest literature or at the very least work out that cowstails are used to catch falls, because no one in their right mind would make a cowstail out of spectra unless it had burst stitching or some other force dissipation device. :crazy:

The standard that these satisfy is the standard for slings it doesn't mention anything about PPE or work positioning which considering what they are selling it as is strange... :eyecrazy:
here's a bit about what EN 566 entails:
http://www.hamradio.si/~s51kq/photo_album/Climbing_and_Mountaineering/pdf_climbing/UIAA/PictUIAA104-EN566Slings.pdf

Scott McCrea wrote:To the other extreme, the "Y" Elastic Lanyard.

Paddlers use something pretty similar the elastic holds the cowstail out of the way so that it doesn't obstruct paddling and is less likely to get caught, mostly they only use 1 cowstail though...

Nope, I looked up the EN standards that it satisfies EN566 and EN358 and one is concerned with mountaineering slings and the other is concerned with work positioning and PPE, so I guess it not for paddling. :roll: :doh:
I found this about EN358:
Specifies requirements, testing, marking, labelling and packaging of equipment that is intended for work positioning and support of users working at a height (including the prevention of a free fall) but that is not intended to be used to arrest a fall.

Note the last bit, that it is not meant to perform fall arrest, which I think means it doesn't have to have any dynamic performance, I think with a work positioning device you might as well have dynamic performance but what do I know.

The one that looks like a little man I can understand, it a tape version of a rigging plate AFAIK
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby caverdoc » Apr 12, 2009 1:22 pm

It figures that Kong would wait to announce this until I'm deep in the Ozarks during NCRC, far from internet.

It will make a nice addition to the Speleagle hammer and Futura foot ascender I plan to buy from them.

It's not "Dyneema" but it will do, in relation to Miller's Law :bananabat:

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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby OpenTrackRacer » Apr 14, 2009 9:56 pm

Am I the only one who uses one of these Petzl Spelegyca double lanyards?

Image

It's made of static webbing with stitching that's designed to break away and absorb some energy in a fall.

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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby caverdoc » Apr 14, 2009 11:19 pm

Mike
I still use one. I have two or three actually. I had to cut up one that dated back to the 1990's last year.
It is the right length for me for crossing rebelays.
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby Tim White » Apr 15, 2009 10:40 am

Me too Doc. I have 2 that I use. One on my cave system and one on my training rig.
The lengths work very well for me.
(BTW I do have a couple dynamic rope cow's tails that I also use) I am almost as big of a gear head as you. :tonguecheek: :laughing:
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby ek » Apr 15, 2009 10:53 am

OpenTrackRacer wrote:Am I the only one who uses one of these Petzl Spelegyca double lanyards?

Image

It's made of static webbing with stitching that's designed to break away and absorb some energy in a fall.

Mike

Plenty of people use those. The problem...

(SOAPBOX ALERT)

...is that they don't work correctly. When both the short and long arm are clipped to the same anchor (or, presumably, nearby anchors, or anchors at the same level), the shock absorption yielded by the ripping out of threads on the short arm is halted when the long arm is weighted, and in a drop test with a static load, the peak impact force is 15 kN. 12 kN is the highest force that humans can withstand without severe bodily injury or death...and that's in a full-body fall-arrest harness.

Since a human being is a dynamic mass, the peak force would be lower...though it is not clear how much lower. But it would be higher than the Spelegyca was designed for it to be. The Spelegyca fails to perform as it was designed to, plain and simple.

As a secondary problem with it, the Spelegyca's peak impact forces when performing correctly--i.e. falling on just one arm--are still much higher than the peak impact forces of a cowstail tied from dynamic rope, for the same fall factor.

It is instructive to look at the Petzl documentation and see that it warns of DEATH if you take a fall of higher than factor-1 on it. While the likelihood of taking such a fall can be minimized by proper rigging and use, it cannot be eliminated.

Dynamic rope, on the other hand, is designed to withstand falls up to factor-2. There are caveats to this, and neither I nor anybody else actively recommends taking FF2 falls on dynamic rope, but everything else is explicitly NOT designed for to withstand them.

The view that cowstails should be tied from dynamic rope, and specifically that the Spelegyca does not perform adequately, is championed in Vertical by Al Warild and Life On A Line, 2nd Edition by Dave Merchant. The experimental testing that showed that the Spelegyca fails to perform as designed with both arms clipped to the same anchor is detailed in the Chamonix paper, along with results of tests with one arm clipped showing poor performance compared to dynamic rope. This poor performance of the Spelegyca compared to dynamic rope is also detailed in the earlier Lyon paper.

Here's a list of some Cavechat threads where these topics are discussed, with various viewpoints expressed, listed in chronological order of first post:

Cowstails
Shock absorption in cowstail/QAS?
overhand knot suitable for cowstails?
Fall Factors in Caving
Lanyard Tests - 40 pages
Attaching footloop and safety to handled ascender.
Poll: What kind of cowstail do you use most?
EVER taken a fall?
Is the Petzl Omni suitable for 2-person loads? / cowstails
Miller's Law (more of a meta-discussion)
commercially produced Spectra cowstails (this thread)
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby Tim White » Apr 15, 2009 11:28 am

:yeah that: ek is right. Data and testing prove it.

I just answered the question... I have and use a couple. :yikes:
Safest thing to use? No. But where is the pile of dead bodies? :doh:

Disclaimer: I also have gray Jumars, Berta still climbs with Gibbs and 50% of the time I tie-in with a figure-8 when rock climbing and 50% of the time I may clip in with a biner. OH! Wait...that is another topic. Sorry. :tonguecheek:
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby ek » Apr 15, 2009 11:44 am

Tim White wrote:Disclaimer: I also have gray Jumars, Berta still climbs with Gibbs and[...]

What's wrong with climbing with Gibbs?
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby Tim White » Apr 15, 2009 12:16 pm

ek wrote:
Tim White wrote:Disclaimer: I also have gray Jumars, Berta still climbs with Gibbs and[...]

What's wrong with climbing with Gibbs?


Nothing. But you would not believe the number of "newer" cavers that see her Gibbs and ask "you use Gibbs?!?" As you well know, folks don't always understand all that they know. :wink:
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Re: commercially produced Spectra cowstails

Postby ek » Apr 15, 2009 12:33 pm

But unlike the Spelegyca (very high drop test results and demonstrably worse performance than rope cowstails) and the Jumars (concern over structural integrity), there is no safety issue afflicting Gibbs ascenders that makes them less safe, for their designed use, than Rescucenders or eccentric cam ascenders (e.g. Ascension, Basic). A Gibbs will cut a rope at relatively low forces...but not lower than eccentric cam ascenders.

I remember going on a caving trip once where the trip leader asked someone not to use his Gibbs because it was outdated and had the potential to cut the rope at very low forces. The trip leader then gave him an eccentric cam ascender to use instead!
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