Equipment failure

Date of incident


Location of incident

Greenville SC United States

Age of impacted party



Close call

Type of incident

Equipment failure

Type of equipment involved

Mechanical hitch device

Type of injury

Close call

Bodily injury to

Close call

Action taken

No action taken

Involvement of contributor

Worker performing task


Sunny/mostly sunny

Causes of the incident

Incorrect equipment setup

Description of incident

I was using a screw gate carabineer for my belay loop and main attachement to my SRT system. The screw gate had a rope wrench, hitch climber pulley, and prusik. As I climbed to about 50', I relaxed and suddenly the screw gate opened and the rope came out of it! While I had an ankle and knee ascender still on, I would have gone inverted (very dangerous) if not for my firm grasp on the rope. I grabbed a large branch close by to take my weight off the rope so I can clip back into the rope.

Contributing factors

The screw gate came off due to me forgetting to tighten it. But then it happened again and I was sure I checked the screw gate...shocking. I will never use a screw gate again for a tie in to a life line.

Incident review and preventative measures

I now will only use a double locking one since it is impossible to forget to secure it! I would love to know if anyone else uses screw gates. My particular one only screws about 3-4 turns and it does not seem to secure really well. I believe the back and forth action of the prusik knot and as a climbed and then rested, might have unscrewed the gate enough for it to let the rope fall out.

Form completed by (optional)

David Dara