US-based climber Marc Powell posted the pictures below on Facebook earlier in the week.
Apparently the ball-lock pin on his Rope Wrench came loose and side loaded one plate of the Wrench. Marc is okay and did not fall from the tree as many expected.
"Honestly this is my fault. As mentioned above I did not inspect my pin regularly and it probably somehow wiggled out. Had I used the slick pin I don't think this would have happened as easily" confides Marc on TreeBuzz.
"The rope wrench didn't even slide down the rope. It stayed right where it was supposed to and even the pin stayed in the wrench. I didn't fall an inch. My hitch locked up and that was that."
"For reference. I was climbing on New England ascent line with a 30" ice eye-to-eye prusik that had been grizzly spliced and I was climbing on a VT knot with 4 wraps and 2 helix. I hated the ice line (Samson Ice Tail) so much back in the day but for some reason it does an amazing job as a hitch cord for SRT climbing with the Rope Wrench"
The Rope Wrench instructions clearly state: DO NOT TIE A (FRICTION) HITCH THAT IS LOOSE AND DOES NOT ENGAGE EVERY TIME. Marc followed the Wrench instructions to the letter.
Under normal circumstances gear failure like this could potentially spell the end of a controversial product like the Rope Wrench.
Exactly the opposite is likely to happen in this instance (in a perverse kind of way).
If nothing else, Marc's little accident has certainly proved a point - you do not fall from the tree when the 'not for life support' Rope Wrench disengages from your climbing line.
Dramatic stuff Marc - live testing at its very best! (not that Treetools condones such a thing). Thank goodness you are alive and well.Thanks for sharing Marc - it takes a big man to front up the world and accept responsibility for a product failing - much appreciated and valued by everyone in the tree climbing community.