Fall on Rock, Carabiner Broke – Improperly Loaded
Kentucky, Red River Gorge, The Flank Wall
On March 29 a climber on Mercy the Huff (5.12b) fell at the eighth bolt. This bolt is located at the lip of a little black “rooflet.” After clipping the bolt, the climber made a long move to a crimp, attempted to make another move, and fell. The bolt-side carabiner on the draw “snapped” at the top radius in the fall, resulting in a longer and scarier ride than expected. The climber was not injured. (Source: Edited from a report at Redriverclimbing.com.)
Best guess is that the climber either kicked or snagged the draw while making the next long move, causing the carabiner to shift on the bolt hanger. During the fall, the carabiner broke because it was not meant to be loaded on other than its main axis. Carabiners have been known to break in such fashion due to the carabiner being snagged, rotated, or cross-loaded on the bolt hanger.
What can be learned from this, and how this could have been prevented?