Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Black Diamond Recall

Black Diamond Climbing recently released a product recall for their latest batch of carabiners. Naturally, I had a heart attack because the majority of my gear are things from Black Diamond that I've bought over the past year.. These includes all of my quickdraws, those yellow Neutrinos and that Positron screw gate carabiner at the bottom. Scary!! What if me and my friends have been climbing outside with faulty gear all along? You put money into these expensive pieces of gear that are supposed to save your life when you're dangling off a cliff and these pieces are actually faulty? Ah!!!!! Thankfully, no failed gear instances yet but what a pain in the butt to have to check all my gear and return the ones that are faulty. Good thing I stumbled upon this article that makes it really easy to check your gear. I'll include it a few times in this blog but click here to get started. 

First off, check the serial number on your biners, you can find it on the spine. If it's in-between numbers 4350 and 6018, you should inspect your gear. If the number is not in-between those digits or includes an A at the end, you're less likely to have a faulty gear piece but I'd still check anyways. The photos below show a biner I bought in 2015 with an "A" at the end. Seems legit. And then the Neutrino I bought a few months ago within the number range of the faulty lot.

So if you find yourself with a "bad" carabiner, you should check the gate hinge. This is where the heart of the issue lies. My photo's below don't really show things too well but the wire that forms the gate must have a "head" on it, like a typical nail, so it can't accidentally slip out of the carabiner. The faulty Black Diamond carabiners don't have this head so the carabiner can essentially fall off if you push on it incorrectly. Again click here for full instructions to check your gear, they explain it very well. 

The last issue is with a few of types of their screw gate carabiners. I just bought a Positron a couple months ago too. There can be issues with the locking sleeve, where it doesn't actually cover the nose of the biner so essentially it's not locking. Also make sure the stopper rings are stopping the locking sleeve. Thankfully all of my gear seems to be working. The gates all function properly and don't wiggle when pushed at weird angles and also lock well. I inspected every piece of gear I had and I will do so as I buy new ones and then after each use. I still love Black Diamond and their awesome climbing gear but ya'll sure did give us a scare. They just released a few new quickdraw designs this 2016 that look so badass. I picked up a few of them so now I have eight total quickdraws plus two alpine. That'll do for now. This was just my quick overview of the gear check but click here for the full article on how to inspect your Black Diamond gear! ⤲

Seems legit vs. Possible faulty carabiner

Look at the wire heads to see if they have
stopper stubs (good) or if they can easily be removed (bad).

Stopper rings, check. Locking sleeve covers
nose, check. 

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