UIAA Suspends Rope Test

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The UIAA, the international federation of alpine clubs, has suspended certification of ropes under its “sharp edge” test, after problems surfaced at its approved testing laboratories. The UIAA Safety Standard 108 measured dynamic ropes’ resistance to cutting over an edge under the force of a simulated fall. But discrepancies were found in test results for the same rope at different laboratories. Testing of ropes against this safety standard stopped as of July 1. Ropes already certified “Sharp Edge Resistant” will retain that status until Dec. 31, 2005, after which they can no longer be marketed this way. The UIAA is working on a new plan for rope inspections and will post updates on its web site: www.uiaa.ch/index.aspx.