Austrialpin / Service / Knowledgebase / Care Instructions
WELL CARED FOR. Long in use.

Valuable care instructions for your AUSTRIALPIN product.

Everyone has a dependable piece of gear from the ‘good ol’ days’. The real question is: How did it last so long? There’s a lot more to the story than the original product quality. If you want your gear to last, you have to take good care of it, and make sure it is properly stored. Here, we’ll show you how.

CARABINERS

  • Clean muddy/dirty carabiners with clean water, a washcloth and/or a soft brush.  
  • Air dry - Never dry with a strong heat source. 
  • Any piece of gear where there is metal-on-metal requires lubrication to operate smoothly. For carabiners, a dry lubricant should be used in place of oil, as commercially available oil will cause dust and dirt particles to collect. The lubricant should be applied to all openings when the carabiner is in both the open and closed position. Especially important: After use near, or in, the sea (where a high concentration of salt is present in the air and water) clean immediately to avoid any detrimental impact from the salt on the metal of the carabiner.  

 

CARABINERS

UIAA release concerning stress corrosion

QUICKDRAWS

A study conducted by a renowned magazine recommended replacing quickdraws after 5 years (heavy use) or every 7-10 years (moderate use). In most cases, you can see if you can still use a quickdraw: 

"If any stitching is worn, or if the webbing is showing any tears, it must be replaced immediately. Pay special attention to quickdraws left in a project! Sun and weather can affect the strength of the quickdraw without necessarily being able to see any sign of wear. Before you clip any gear, it is important to decide for yourself if you can trust it." 

Peter Manhartsberger, AUSTRIALPIN Product Manager
 

QUICKDRAWS

ICE TOOLS

  • Ice tools – especially the pick - should be inspected after each use. If there are any cracks, or anything which casts even the slightest doubt, replace immediately. Every pick will break at some point, it is just a question of when. In most cases, this point can be seen in advance, before it happens while climbing a route.
  • After changing the picks, or after heavy use, the screws must be tightened, otherwise they can become loose when swinging the tool. Swinging the ice axe causes increased force which can also increase the risk of breaking. 
  • Our pro ice climber Benni Purner gives his advice for sharpening ice tools:

„Ice tools should be filed by hand, and never from a machine. Personally, I use a Mühlsägefeile file. In order to keep the angle fixed while filing, the best is to fix the tool with a vice. Always file towards the tip. Finally, file the pick until it is sharp, but not too sharp. If the pick becomes too thin it will become blunt faster."

 

ICE TOOLS

CRAMPONS

  • The crampon is an essential link between you and the ice. In order to find the best crampon for your purpose, bring your boots along the store to ensure a perfect fit!
  • Crampons for waterfall ice (skySteep, skyClimb und tyrol P12) should be filed regularly in order to ensure they hold well in steep, frozen terrain. 
  • After each use crampons should also be inspected for any cracks, and to ensure the screws are properly tightened. To avoid rust, crampons should always be stored clean and dry. 
CRAMPONS

ROPES

General Advice

  • Visually inspect the rope before and after each use for any damage, e.g. from crampons, ice tools, rock fall, etc... 
  • Use a belay device compatible with the rope’s diameter. 
  • Tie knots in the end of the rope, or tie the end of the rope to the rope bag, to avoid lowering or rappelling over the end of the rope.
  • Fraying rope ends can be fixed using a lighter on both the core and mantel.  
  • Use hydrophobic treated ropes for ice climbing. This limits moisture absorption so that ropes remain lighter and easier to handle. 
     
ROPES

To Maximize Lifespan

In order to maximize the lifespan of a rope, it is important to take proper care of it from the moment you buy it. 

1. Uncoiling a new rope: In the manufacturing process ropes are coiled on a production-scale drum. Only by reversing this coil can you avoid the otherwise inevitable kinks. How? Remove the rope from the packaging, and put both your forearms through the coil towards each other. Now slowly begin to undue the coil, unrolling with your arms, guiding the outside rope end onto the ground. Pay attention that the inside end of the rope does not start to unroll. Once the entire rope is unrolled, coil the rope as usual or store in a rope bag (where it will stay better protected from any water or dirt). 

2. Care: Ropes which are extremely dirty can be cleaned with a mild synthetic soap. This increases the rope’s lifetime and helps to keep it from getting too stiff. The best method is to handwash in tepid water. Washing in the delicate cycle of the washing machine (max 30°) is also OK, however be sure to remove any soap residuals in the machine, and never use a spin-cycle! Don’t hang dry. To dry spread the rope on the ground in a cool dark room, turning often. 

3. Storage: Store ropes somewhere which is dry, out of the sun, and protected from chemicals (eg. Cleaning protects) and batteries (ie. Never in the trunk of the car!).

4. Lifetime: There is no fixed lifetime for a rope, as it strongly depends on how it is used. A rope that is rarely used should be replaced after 10 years after its manufacturing date. Even a rope which has barely been used should be replaced after this time, as the plastic threads age with time. A rope that is used more often, and stored properly, can be used for three to six years. For those who climb often, and who fall often, should replace a rope after one year. Indications that a rope should be immediately replaced include: An open mantel, a mantle which is displaced from the core, and any burns, bulges, or contamination. A rope must be replaced immediately after any contact with aggressive chemicals or after a fall with a high Fall Factor. 

 

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