Ascender Safety 101

       Ascending Rappel Ropes 101

       Autoblock Misuse (ATC-Guide)

       Avalanche Safety

       Belay School - Why Dynamic Matters

       Can A Hot Belay Device Melt My Slings?

       Carabiner Off-Axis and Tri/Quad-Axial Loading

       Choosing the Right Carabiner

       Common Belay Screw-ups

       Connecting Two Slings Together

       Daisy Chain Dangers

       Dangers of Rope Worn Carabiners

       Dangers of Worn Lowering Anchors

       Do Ropes Need to Rest Between Falls

       Draws in a Gym

       Extending a Cam Sling

       Fall Factors Explained

       Full Strength Haul Loops

       Gear Doesn't Last Forever—Crampons

       Gear Doesn't Last Forever—Ice Tool Picks

       Gear Doesn't Last Forever—Slings & Draws

       Girth Hitching a Stopper

       How Sketchy Is a Sharp-Edged Carabiner?

       How Strong are Himalayan Fixed Lines?

       How Strong is the Spinner Leash?

       How To Belay, Part 1

       How To Extend a Rappel Device

       Knot Passing 101

       Rappelling - Climbing's Diciest Business

       Re-Slinging Cams

       Rethinking the Double-Loop Bowline

       Retiring Old Ropes

       Sharpie for Marking the Middle of a Rope?

       Sling Strength In Three Anchor Configurations

       Spectra versus Nylon

       Spotting for Bouldering

       Surviving Bad Weather on El Cap

       The Dangers of Modifying Your Gear

       The Dangers of Short Static Falls

       The Electric Harness Acid Test

       The Skinny on Super Light Ropes

       Top Roping is Not So Safe

       To Screamer Or Not To Screamer

       Via Ferrata

       Weakness of Nose-hooked Carabiners

       What is the Safest Rappel Knot?

       Worn Belay Loops and Retiring a Harness

Video Spotlight
First Repeat of Jeff Lowe's Metanoia on the Eiger North Face
First Repeat of Jeff Lowe's Metanoia on the Eiger North Face
Whipper of the Month
Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

Climb Safe: Daisy Chain Dangers

By Kolin Powick

The following article is courtesy of Black Diamond Equipment.

  Lets be clear: You should NOT be using a daisy chain to anchor yourself to a belay.

Daisy chains are designed for aid climbing and to support body weight only. When aid climbing properly, the rope is ALWAYS in the system, and in the event of a fall, the energy absorbing capacity of the rope is used. If you use a daisy chain to anchor yourself to a belay, you've now taken the rope out of the equation and are potentially subjecting yourself and the daisy chain to a possible shock-loading scenario. 

You should NEVER impact-load a daisy chain. NEVER. Daisy chains and runners don't stretch much, which means they don't absorb much energy. This increases the load on the anchor, and you. Worse-case scenario under a severe-impact load, a daisy can snap. Best-case scenario under a severe-impact load, you'll snap your back.


Always Use a Second Carabiner to Shorten Your Daisy Chain

















Basically, it's possible that when you clip a second loop, or pocket of your daisy, to the main carabiner, attached to the end loop of your daisy, that the end result MAY really be the biner just being clipped across the tack of the pocket, and therefore being really, REALLY weak—as low as 500 pounds.

Below is a video that clearly shows the danger. You may have to watch it a few times, because it's pretty freaker crazy, and no, I'm not a magician.


Crazy eh? It's almost like you have a 50/50 shot of having the twist in the extra pocket as your shorten up your length. With the correct twist, and if impact loaded, the pocket would blow and you'd be okay. BUT with the incorrect twist and even a very small impact load (say your foot skating off the belay ledge and you falling onto your daisy), the pocket would blow and you'd be airborne. Those odds aren't good enough for me. Use a second carabiner to clip up short.


Never Clip a Carabiner to More Than One Pocket at a Time

  If the bar-tacks between the pockets were to fail under load, you would no longer be clipped in! This scenario could occur when any two pockets are connected to a single carabiner.

Bottom line: Daisy chains are for aid climbing NOT for use as part of your personal anchor system. Don't know how to properly anchor yourself using the rope? Don't know how to thread sport anchors without clipping in with a daisy chain? Then go get some instruction from a professional guide IMMEDIATELY before you get yourself hurt. If you're aid climbing and going to clip your daisy in short, it's always best to use an ADDITIONAL carabiner to clip to the main carabiner thus avoiding the potential loading scenario above.

Be safe out there,



Kolin Powick (KP) is a mechanical engineer hailing from Calgary, Canada. He has over 20 years of experience in the engineering field and served as Black Diamond’s Director of Quality for over 11 years. He is currently their Climbing Category Director. If you have a technical question for KP, please email him at and he will TRY to respond.

To help make more climbers safer climbers, Rock and Ice has teamed up with Black Diamond Equipment to present the information here.

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