Photo Credits

Mountain Biking the Annapurna Circuit

Passing a stupa on Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit at an altitude
>11,500’. The base of Annapurna III (24,790’) in the background.

© Alexander Fortelny

Field Safety    Tools & Toys    
By

Jim Margolis

on 1/29/15

Carabiner Failure at Pin



Should You Retire a Dropped Carabiner?

Contributor Jim Margolis–climber, NOLS instructor, and engineer–shares a (very) detailed analysis of strength alteration in his study of test-dropping carabiners. He discusses what outdoor programs and climbers have debated for ages: to retire or not to retire this fallen gear? Though when in doubt, throw it out, Jim tells us a drop from the waist should not cause much concern. Beeline to the first and final paragraphs for the main points; read between for a friendly dose of physics.

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Field Safety    Tools & Toys    
By

Josh Beckner

on 1/26/15

MammutClip1



Review: Mammut Safety App

Contributor Josh Beckner, Director of the School for International Expedition Training, offers his input on the popular Mammut Safety App used for assessing backcountry snow conditions. In this punchy review, Josh does not hold back in his critique of the app. Beyond strong points of altimeter, compass, and inclinometer, Josh heavily questions its overall safety. He wonders if some of its issues are simply due to language translation; regardless, he reminds us there is no replacement for training, sound judgment, and the standards already in place for avalanche assessment.

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Tools & Toys    
By

OSI Staff

on 7/3/12

Discontinued Petzl Ecrin Roc Helmet



Petzl Ecrin Roc Discontinued

The popular Petzl Ecrin Roc Helmet has been discontinued. It is extremely popular with outdoor programs due to its durability and adjustability. Available for more than two decades, the Ecrin Roc is likely the most widely used helmet for climbing, mountaineering, rope course, canyoneering and caving programs. What will replace it?

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Field Safety    Tools & Toys    
By

Alex Kosseff

on 5/14/12

Metolius PAS Tether Spectra and Nylon



Trouble With Tethers (Climbing)

Clip yourself into a bomber anchor with a safety tether and relax, right? Not quite. A very short fall (less than 18 inches) can generate enough force to break common tethers. Spectra (Dyneema) tethers are the worst offenders. Video of testing, OSI's 4 tethering safety tips, plus tether recommendations.

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Field Safety    Tools & Toys    
By

Alex Kosseff

on 5/9/12

daisy chain hazards danger video black diamond



Daisy Chain Dangers With Video

Daisy chains are dangerous when used as personal safety tethers or belay anchors (and were never intended for these uses), yet many climbers persist in using them this way. We cover Daisy chain hazards and good alternatives.

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Field Safety    Tools & Toys    
By

Alex Kosseff

on 5/3/12

Purcell Prusik



Video - Make a Purcell Prusik

Video guide to tying a Purcell Prusik. This climber's tool allows for adjustable tethering to an anchor. It is easy to create and preferable from a safety perspective to many commercial products.

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Field Safety    Tools & Toys    
By

Alex Kosseff

on 6/7/11

Delorme Inreach Satellite Messenger



Affordable Satellite Texts & SOS?

DeLorme has a new partnership with the reliable Iridium satellite network to offer a two-way satellite GPS communicator. The highlight of the "inReach" device is the ability to both send and receive text messages when paired with an Android smartphone or DeLorme GPS device. It also offers tracking of users and maps.

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Recalls    Tools & Toys    
By

Alex Kosseff

on 4/20/11

Recalled SPOT Satellite Communicator



SPOT Communicator Recall

SPOT has recalled their Satellite Communicator. The devices may fail to send emergency and other messages, with failures occuring below 40º Farhrenheit. As OSI has previously written, we do not consider SPOT the best option for emergencies.

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Field Safety    Program Management    Tools & Toys    
By

Alex Kosseff

on 1/31/11

worn carbiner



Climbing Gear Inspection

Climbing equipment inspection & retirement resources. We review extensive free resources provided by Petzl that are useful for institutional climbing programs.

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Free Resources

10 Steps to Better Risk Management - Free DownloadNew! 10 Steps to Better Risk Management - learn quick safety steps for your program. Download free guide. Go»

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By OSI's Alex Kosseff AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, 2nd Ed AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership
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