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Petzl Nomic & Ergo Ice Tools Recall

petzl nomicpetzl ergoPetzl has issued a notice regarding it's autumn 2010 Ergo and Nomic ice climbing tools. They have identified a flaw in the "griprest" system which provides an adjustable handrest. Petzl has also issued a clarification on the proper use of the "griprest" system (summary: they're not intended for hanging off of via your rope, belay loop or otherwise).

OSI would like to acknowledge the commitment Petzl has demonstrated to their customers in the situation. On their website they thank the climbers who alerted them to this issue and apologize for the problem with their product. Furthermore they have devised a temporary fix but they are offering to replace tools when a new product is available. They're also working to get the word out to the climbing community about this issue (though–note to Petzl–please put recalls[at]outdoorsafetyinstitute[dot]com on your mailing list).

Occasionally problems arise with products, even those from the best manufacturers. It is reassuring to see a company deal with a flaw in its product in a mature and forthright manner (with none of the "blame the user" tactic and delays in responding that we have occasionally seen from manufacturers).

Griprest Issue

petzl griprest"It has come to our attention that the adjustment system of the GRIPREST (the lower hand rest at the bottom of the handle) on the 2010 NOMIC (U21 2) and ERGO (U22) in some cases may not stay fixed in the desired size position.

This issue concerns NOMIC and ERGO ice tools with serial numbers between 10208 and 10329 and all GRIPREST (U21 GR2) accessory parts. It does not concern the new QUARKs or the older versions of the NOMICs, QUARKs and QUARK ERGOs.

Following conversations with end users and extensive lab testing, we have determined that this problem can occur when an inward force is applied to the GRIPREST, damaging the adjustment teeth at the base of the tool's handle that mesh with the GRIPREST (see photo). Once this damage occurs, users may lose the ability to fix the GRIPREST in the desired size position."

If this issue may involve tools you (or your outdoor program) own, please visit Petzl's website for complete details on a short term fix they have available for this season & their offer to replace the tools with a new model when it becomes available.

Griprest Proper Use

According to Petzl: "As part of our analysis into the GRIPREST issue, we also came to realize that some people may have misunderstood the proper use of the GRIPREST. In some cases, climbers place their rope over the GRIPREST while placing an ice screw or hook their harness's belay loop over the GRIPREST to hang and rest while working difficult moves on mixed terrain. The GRIPREST was not intended to be used in this manner and it may break if used in this way."

Again, visit Petzl for the full details. They have a nice comparison of the strength of the Griprest with the loads that could be exerted by these unorthodox uses. Included are nice illustrations of the potential misuses in classic Petzl style.

Posted by

Alex Kosseff

on 1/4/11


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