How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate

Gear Guy discusses the safety aspects of clipping a carabiner to align the gate away from the direction of climbing.

By Rock and Ice | November 30th, 2010

Does it matter which way the gates face on my quickdraws?

Although we’re not talking the Kama Sutra, with its 64 variations on the theme (not counting addendums such as the Art of Scratching and Biting), position is important. Properly orienting your quickdraw carabiners is as fundamental as knotting the end of your rap rope. Failure to do so is a common rookie blunder that can result in side effects ranging from incontinence to death. Always orient the bottom carabiner so the gate faces away from your anticipated direction of travel. Doing so will prevent the rope from tracking across the carabiner gate and unclipping itself, and is critical for bent-gate biners, which are more apt to come unclipped than straight-gate biners. The orientation of the top carabiner isn’t as important, but to be safe I rig my draws so both carabiners face the same direction.

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