|This is broken non-climbing hardware.|
In the picture below, ten Petzl (Lyon) Spirit snap gate carabiners and two screw gate carabiners are loaded with the power of ten of my 19 dogs. The Spirit is my general purpose carabiner. These crisp and confident snap gates attach my dogs' harnesses to the main centre trace. My dogs weigh in at over 45 kg each and all those carabiners withstand and tolerate up to 10 hours of strain, for days on end, nine months per year. At full tilt 13 dogs complete a full team pulling up to a half tonne payload over mountainous terrain.
|My dogs putting gear under strain.|
Trailing behind my sled is a snub line. It drags behind enabling me to grab it the next time my team leave me stranded. It is a rope I trust to be dragged for the entire duration of a journey behind my sled and every single step of the way it will go through water that will freeze, break off, re-freeze, slide over punishing rocks and razor ice. If this isn’t enough my dogs' crap on the fly and the rope gets covered in it until it freezes and flakes off like peanut brittle. If you have a dog team and they have never bolted and left you standing, they will. The last time it happened to me was December 2007. Also, to the left of my sled (picture above) clawed into packed snow is my snow anchor. This holds my sled fast enabling me to stop my dogs. The anchor has Beal semi-static rope run from it to the main centre trace bracing all the power. Here's a closer look at the snow anchor. It is a severe piece of ironmongery.
|The only known snow anchor to halt an ice rocket.|
|Bad day. The red dot in the middle is my sled as I work my dogs over a mountain section devoid of snow.|
I have been rolled in a tent by the wind, with a blazing stove inside, an experience I never wish to repeat. So now, for staking out my tent or the ends of my dogs’ stakeout chain in hard packed snow I angle horizontally (15 º) 90 cm long aluminium pickets before clipping in one carabiner into each and securing. I always pack a mountaineering snow shovel. For a perpendicular pull anchoring technique called a dead-man, I dig a pit for the picket and clip a caribiner into the centre hole before digging a slot in the direction of pull.
|Top left to right: Petzl Spirit caribiners and Laser Sonic ice screws with Ice Flutes.|
Bottom left to right: home-made dirt spikes and pitons.
At night I secure my dogs by means of a long chain. Dogs are spaced along the chain and given their own space to feed and rest. Snow or ice anchors secure both ends. On ice I use Petzl Laser Sonic ice screws, in deep snow I drop dead-men. Petzl Locker screw gate carabiners and Beal 10.5 mm rope complete the secure set-up.
|Dogs secure, tent secure.|
Preparations continue and include the packing of crevasse rescue equipment such as 60 metres of Beal Cobra II 8.6 mm (dynamic and dry treated rope), Petzl Locker screw gate carabiners and ST'Anneau Dyneema slings.
For nine months of my year Beal rope and Petzl climbing hardware is working outside 24-hours a day, whether at home or on a journey. It hardly ever rests and never fails to protect. I just wish that my dogs didn't like chewing it so much.
|Beal rope. It is everything but fang proof.|