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“SOME


MANUFACTURERS ARE MAKING


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE HANDLING, CLEANING AND DISINFECTION OF CLIMBING EQUIPMENT


DURING THE SARS- COV-2 PANDEMIC”


WHAT THE MANUFACTURERS SAY I


Words: Alexandra Schweikart


Alexandra lives by Lake Constance in Austria and works as a freelance


journalist. As she has a PhD in Chemistry and is a professional climber, she knows what is particularly important when it comes to mountain sports materials. In cooperation with the Institute for Textile Chemistry at the University of Innsbruck, she analyses materials that have failed in use in mountaineering accidents.


n addition to the normal instructions for use, some manufacturers are making recommendations for the handling, cleaning and disinfection of climbing equipment during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. However, it is not clear to what extent the measures described can reduce the virus; no manufacturer has presented any studies on this. In general when cleaning and maintaining your kit, you must follow the relevant instructions for use in order to guarantee its full function and safety. In the following statements, the manufacturers are solely responsible for their advice.


TEUFELBERGER


Back in 2015, Teufelberger presented its own research on the extent to which disinfecting ropes could influence their strength. They placed ropes in 70% isopropanol and 30% distilled water for three minutes, dried them at room temperature for 48 hours and tested the strength of ropes made from polyamide, polyester and Dyneema. Overall result: no loss with polyester ropes, 2-4% with polyamide and Dyneema. Teufelberger therefore recommends soaking ropes in 70% isopropanol for three minutes and then air drying them without direct sunlight or heating. They also recommend that you don’t disinfect the products daily, but only if absolutely necessary.


PETZL


Petzl recommends the following disinfection protocol in addition to cleaning the material, which should be carried out according to the instructions for use. After use, the material should be stored in quarantine for 72 hours. Afterwards it should be washed by hand with soap and water at a maximum of 65°C and dried according to the instructions for use. The washing temperature of 65°C should be an exception in the current situation caused by Covid-19; normally Petzl recommends washing material at 30°C.


DMM


DMM recommends that climbing gear should only be used by one and the same person at the moment. If you suspect that you or the material have been in the vicinity of an infected person, you should take one of the following three measures: (a) Proper disposal of the material to eliminate any risk of infection or (b) quarantine of the material for at least


72 hours and/or (c) wash the material with soap pH 5.5-8 with lukewarm water (30°C), thorough rinsing followed by air drying without direct sunlight or heating; normally DMM recommends washing its material at 25°C.


KONG


Kong recommends: (a) washing with hot water, 58-60 degrees, 30 minutes, air drying without direct sunlight or heating (not suitable for Kevlar or Dyneema), (b) washing in water at 30-32 degrees with soap pH 5.5-8, air drying without direct sunlight or heating, (c) kit quarantine for seven days in a well-ventilated place without direct sunlight or heating.


EDELRID & RED CHILI


Edelrid recommends disinfection measures that go beyond the instructions for use: (a) soak in 70% isopropanol and 30% distilled water for a maximum of three minutes or (b) disinfect Red Chili climbing shoes with a spray of 70% isopropanol and 30% distilled water or (c) washing the products at 65°C with or without neutral soap (not suitable for Dyneema products).


According to Edelrid, these processes have no negative influence on the safety parameters of the products. However, the haptics, appearance or functionality may be affected in individual cases. As a test, Edelrid inserted three slings each made of polyamide, polyester and Dyneema as well as a dynamic rope made of polyamide in pure isopropanol (>98%) for 24 hours. This was followed by 24-hour air drying. The ropes were tested dynamically and the slings statically. No significant difference in the strength of the products was found.


SUMMIT#98 | SUMMER 2020 | 65


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