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VOLUNTARY PRODUCT RECALL: Vergo Belay Device

VOLUNTARY RECALL NOTICE
VERGO BELAY DEVICE
BATCH NUMBERS 16159 AND 16195

14 April 2017 –  Trango has elected to voluntarily recall all Trango Vergo belay devices in batch numbers 16159 and 16195 that were sold after 1 October 2016. Please IMMEDIATELY cease use of all such Vergos and return them to Trango for replacement as described below.

Background
Trango has recently discovered that the handles on some Vergo belay devices may have loosened to allow lateral wobble or movement of the handle. If excessive downward force is exerted on a handle subject to lateral movement, the handle may over-rotate onto the front plate, preventing the front plate from moving freely, and impairing the device’s assisted braking capacity. If the handle over rotates as described above, the assisted braking function is impaired or disabled, and the risk of uncontrolled descent increases significantly.

Proper use of the Vergo, however, never requires the handle to move forward and over rotate onto the front plate.

As of 14 April 2017, Trango has received two reports of this issue occurring. No injuries have been reported due to this issue.

Identifying the Units
The units affected are in batch numbers 16159 and 16195. You can identify your Vergo’s batch number adjacent to the carabiner hole as shown in the photo below.

The photo below shows a Vergo with the handle improperly over rotated onto the front plate.

Over Rotated Handle shown here

Remedy
After analyzing the issue, Trango has redesigned the Vergo’s handle attachment point and has modified the handle itself to prevent it from over rotating and impairing the free movement of the front plate.

Returning the Units
The recalled Vergos have been sold worldwide. If your device is affected, please email vergorecall@trango.com for further instructions on how to return your Vergo to us or visit http://trango.com/t-product-alerts.aspx for instructions.

Repair or Replacement
Trango will replace your Vergo as quickly as possible and will pay for all shipping costs to recall and return your Vergo back to you.

The safety of our customers is our primary concern. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause. Trango understands that any voluntary recall is inconvenient and we are working hard to ensure that you receive your replacement Vergo as quickly as possible.

The Cutting Edge

As I close in on 500 5.12s, I’ve found that the ones I have left to do at my home crag, the New River Gorge are mostly the HARD ones.  Back in 2001 or 2002, I was a top rope tough guy maxing out at 5.11- or so.  However, my climbing mentor Bob was doing his best to climb every 5.12 in the world.  Despite me not being strong enough, I made a point of getting on EVERY single 5.12 I could.  Looking back, I owe Bob big time for all the marathon belay/ “pull me up” sessions!
I’ve gone back and done just about every of these routes, though one route, “The Cutting Edge” 5.12b at Bubba City has continued to spit me off over the years.   I specifically remember climbing 5.13 one day out there, yet once again, not being able to do the route!  Two weekends ago, it was quite hot and conditions were bad, but I finally worked out the two crux sequences on the route.  I went for a send go but got pumped mid-way through the second crux and blew it. 
 
Climbing Le Grand Fromage V5 at Moore’s Wall.  Boulder is great training for routes!  Photo Greg Loomis
 
This past weekend, though, it felt a lot better.  I used typical “Siege Tactics”, rappelling off the top of the route to hang the draws, brush and chalk the holds, and work the crux moves hanging there.  I extended several draws to make the clips easier and then waited for some clouds. 
The route has open shuts, which was scary for coming top-down.  I leaned over, dropped my rope over them and also clipped a biner to them, then did the reverse pull up on a couple of maybe dead trees.  Because of the open shuts, my rope fell out of one of the shuts, but it stayed in the other and also, my biner stayed.   A little scary though….
My fingers and body remembered what I taught them the previous weekend and I was happy to do the route pretty easily, though I still had to try hard, spending a lot of time between the first and second crux on really small hands, but good feet shaking.  (I was 95-100 percent on all the moves which is always nice.)
About 10+ years ago, Eric Horst re-engineered the route to add a final 5.12- sequence going to the anchors instead of a jaunt up 5.easy slab to a (now dead) tree anchor.  Unfortunately, this part of the route was wet, but “dry enough.”  This ascent made for number 480 5.12s for me. 
Here is some blow-by-blow beta if any of you ever want to try the route.
Cutting Edge starts on an easy scramble up pillar to a small ledge, then immediately launches into a “so-so feet” traverse right on steep jugs to the arete.  A fairly long, but easy move leads to two great incut hand jugs, and an easy clip (but hard bolt to hang.)  This is where it gets serious.  Some smaller edges and a pretty high left foot leads to a slimper left undercling/sidepull.  Unfortunately, there is a roof so the right foot just dangles, but I worked out a right toe hook under the roof to surf up to a pretty bad sloper/edge.  From that, a move left to a good (well better) sloper leads to the next clip and a shake (though a poor one) before the real crux.  
This route really works the left hand and a couple set-up moves lead to a ½ pad sidepull, a nothing smear for the left and a bad right back-step smear (glad to have my Tenaya Iatis.)   From the sidepull you make a long move to a really bad pocket/crimp.  Still about 80 percent on that left hand, walk feet up some and GO HARD again right hand to the better pocket.  Sticking that pocket, you’re out of the woods if you can keep it together.  A couple better feet lead to a good sidepull and clip.  From here, there’s about 30 feet of 5.10+ or easier climbing and essentially a full recovery before launching into the finish.  A hidden pocket on the arete leads left to a good hold, and then another pocket/pinch on the arete with some high feet leads to some pretty bad holds just below the moss covered top.  The anchor clip is easy because the feet are good. 

 

 

 

 

Video: How to Uncoil a New Climbing Rope

Let’s be honest – getting a new rope is glorious. After hours of internet research and nerding out on technical questions like “how many grams per meter?” and “what’s the static elongation?”, you came to decisions on diameter, dry treatment, length, and color. Now all you have to do is unpack this beauty and whip off of your pending project.  Before flaking out your new rope and knotting it into 70 meters of Rubik’s Cube frustration, take a deep breath. Uncoiling your new rope correctly can save you hours of untangling and heartache. Let us explain…

When the rope is ready for packaging, it is coiled torsion free and neutral to give you a head start on maintaining a twist-free rope. Uncoiling your new rope properly will maintain this neutral positioning and minimize the amount of twisting introduced. To do this, you will need to reverse the factory coiling process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Remove any packaging being careful not to damage the rope
  • Unwrap the outer rope end from the coil and place your arms through the center of the coil
  • Rotate your arms over each other repeatedly as the outer end that you already unwrapped begins to flake into a pile
  • Take your time to prevent the inner end of the rope from coming out of the coil or wrapping around your arm
  • Once the rope is completely uncoiled, flake it from end to end to remove any twists that may have found their way in

Now your rope is ready for action. Once you have begun to use the rope, we recommend using a rope bag or foldable rope tarp instead of coiling your rope after each use.

Techmaster Tip:  When uncoiling your rope, toss the rope ends and middle (clearly marked on Trango ropes) to the side. This makes it easy to flake the rope from the middle to each end so none of the twists have to travel more than half the rope length.

Making History at the Red River Gorge

Dan Brayack climbs at the Motherlode. Photo: Lena Moinova

Reason to Celebrate

We are celebrating a huge victory in climbing access at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky as the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund have finalized the purchase of the Bald Rock Recreational Preserve. This is an incredible milestone for climbing access at the RRG and adds another 102 acres to the 1,000+ acres of land that the RRGCC has preserved over the past decade.  Climbing access and stewardship are an integral part of Trango’s mission, so we have committed significant financial support to help ensure the long-term success of this project. Part of this commitment includes a sizable gear donation to fuel the campaign and provide donation incentives.

(read the Access Fund press release)

The preserve was secured through a Climbing Conservation Loan from the Access Fund and includes world class crags like the Motherlode, the Chocolate Factory, Bear’s Den, and Unlode. This project could not have been accomplished without the tireless efforts of these two organizations and the ongoing support of the climbing community (that’s where you come in!).

Tyler Yarbrough climbs “Snooker” at the Motherlode. Photo: Joe Segretti

You Can Help! “Own History” in the Red River Gorge

Access to this area is preserved, but the RRGCC needs your support to help pay off this $225,000 loan and keep the area secured long-term. The first year of the loan is interest free and provides the best opportunity to make significant headway. In addition to financial support, Trango has donated gear to encourage climbers like you to donate to the cause.

To support this project, visit the RRGCC website and make a donation or share this post to help create awareness for the cause.

Donate Now

 

Climbing access has been (and continues to be) a critical element of the american climbing landscape. Over the years we’ve learned that we should jump at any opportunity to help promote positive access relationships and to preserve access for future generations. We are excited for this opportunity to live out this part of our mission by partnering with our long-time friends at the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund to secure one of the most iconic crags in the country.

 

 

Season of Giving: Flatirons Climbing Council

In 2015, we launched our first annual Season of Giving and gave 10% of sales at Trango.com through the holiday season to key local climbing organizations that work to maintain and improve access to our favorite areas. This year, we are continuing the tradition by supporting these local climbing organizations:

  • Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (November 21-27)
  • Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (November 28-December 4)
  • Flatirons Climbing Council (December 5-11).

We could not enjoy our iconic climbing destinations without the work of these volunteer-based organizations, please join us in supporting them over the next three weeks.

trg_season16-wk3

This week, we are supporting the Flatirons Climbing Council – here is some information on the FCC and their projects over the past year:

About the FCC

The Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) is a local climbing organization in Boulder, Colorado, dedicated to preserving and expanding climbing access on City of Boulder public lands. Our specific priorities are to conserve climbing resources through trail building and stewardship projects, facilitate new route development and bolt replacement, and advocate for climbers.  More information about the FCC can be found here.

Accomplishments in 2016

The FCC had a successful and exciting year that included trail work, fixed hardware upgrades, stewardship and new routes that continue to help climbing thrive in the Flatirons.

dinosaur-rock-trail-project

Dinosaur Rock Trail Work:    In July 2016, the FCC and OSMP hosted a volunteer trail project at Dinosaur Rock and Der Zerkle in the Flatirons west of Boulder.  Some of our accomplishments include the installation of 5 gabions to create a flat, stable staging area at the base of the Dinosaur Rock, construction of 15+ steps and flat staging areas at the Der Zerkle climbing wall, and the elimination and restoration of multiple social trails along the Mallory Cave trail.

Trash Bash: In September 2016, the FCC celebrated its 16th annual Trash Bash.  Since 2000, the FCC has hosted this event, which has resulted in hundreds of bags of garbage and recyclables collected and has helped protect our climbing and natural resources.  The event is also a major community collaboration among the FCC, land managers, local climbing organizations, local businesses, and climbers.  This year’s Trash Bash was a big success, with more than 60 volunteers collecting garbage across Flagstaff.

skunk-canyon-hardware-upgrade-2

Skunk Canyon Fixed Hardware Upgrade: On September 17th, 2016, the Flatiron Climbing Council hosted a volunteer bolt replacement day in Skunk Canyon.  FCC members teamed up with other volunteers from the Boulder Climbing Community (BCC) and the Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE), all armed with the latest technology in bolt removal.  Every bolt in Skunk Canyon, with the exception of one route that hosts a giant eagle’s nest, was replaced.  The majority of the new 1/2″ stainless hardware was installed in the original holes. With the addition of a new rappel anchor on The Achaean Pronouncement, a total of 60 bolts were installed.

thulsa-doom-overhang-rock-rob-kepley

Thulsa Doom, photo by Rob Kepley (https://www.instagram.com/robkepley_photography)

New Route Development:  The FCC facilitated the development of 6 new routes in 2016 including the stunning third pitch of Hasta La Hueco (5.13b), a 115’ rope stretcher on Overhang rock called Thulsa Doom (5.12c/d), plus Jade Gate, Hell in a Bucket and several other fantastic routes.   All told, there are now over 45 new routes in the Flatirons that have gone through the FCC’s Fixed Hardware Review Committee. 

Plans for 2017

The FCC’s main priority for 2017 is to renew our Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) with the City of Boulder with new formations for new route development.   Some of the formations on our wish-list include the Devil’s Advocate, Mickey Mouse Wall, Hillbilly Rock, Shanahan Crag, plus route caps lifted on the Maiden and the Matron.   In addition, we plan to continue our efforts to facilitate the development of new routes, upgrade aging hardware, construct sustainable trails to our favorite crags and host the Trash Bash.

Season of Giving: SLCA

In 2015, we launched our first annual Season of Giving and gave 10% of sales at Trango.com through the holiday season to key local climbing organizations that work  to maintain and improve access to our favorite areas. This year, we are continuing the tradition by supporting these local climbing organizations:

  • Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (November 21-27)
  • Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (November 28-December 4)
  • Flatirons Climbing Council (December 5-11).

We could not enjoy our iconic climbing destinations without the work of these volunteer-based organizations, please join us in supporting them over the next three weeks.

trg_season16-wk2

This week, we are supporting the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance – here are a few of the projects that they have completed over the past year:

Lower Little Cottonwood Canyon Climbing Access Trail Work Continues

Over 300 volunteers have come out and put in ~1,500 hours of work to improve climbing infrastructure, protect the places we love to climb, and ensure access continues for future generations. This project has

Graffiti Removal and Clean up in LCC

The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) facilitated yet another graffiti clean-up on November 12th in lower Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) along the popular Little Cottonwood Trail. This trail is enjoyed by bikers, hikers, and climbers’ year-round. On November 12, the SLCA along with dedicated volunteers, youth from the Momentum Climbing Team, Salt Lake Ranger District, Unified Police Department, Snowbird, LDS Church, Friends of Alta, Granite Community Council, and Williams Reality all supported the graffiti clean-up effort. Regardless, only a small dent was made in eradicating vandalism from lower LCC.

To donate directly to the SLCA, click here or visit trango.com, where 10% of all purchases this week will be donated to SLCA.

Summer Climbing and Training in the East

In the east (West Virginia), summer is the worst season.  The high temperature and more-so the high humidity is overwhelmingly oppressive.  That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and get some routes in, but what and where we can climb here is extremely limited.  The New River Gorge area has several separate gorge valleys for climbing.  The New River itself is hand’s down the most awesome and scenic climbing area, though Summersville Lake is God’s gift to the summer climber (more like the Corps of Engineer’s gift to climbers.)  In the heat, the lake keeps the temps down a bit and often offers a nice breeze.  That, and the fact that a quick, cooling dip in the lake is the best way to end your climbing day (it feeeeels so good) makes this the ideal summer location.

Instead of doing my normal summer hangboard session, I’ve decided to go off the Mike and Mark Anderson reservation some (The Rock Climbers Training Manual is my training bible.)  Some of the new(er) climbers at our gym (only been climbing for 3 years) came from a gym training background.  We have a pretty awesome training section to our gym, and those guys are always doing rings/pull-ups/ all kinds of weird stuff etc.  Some of the other “strong” guys in the gym do a series of gymnastic training including one-arm pull-ups, front levers, ring dips, etc.  Just for fun one day, I figured I’d try to do a one-arm and some ring dips.  It was bad.  Really bad.  Ditto with the front lever…pretty pathetic…I was really stoked!

Julia Statler on “Under the Milky Way” 5.11d at Summersville Lake in 2009.

In climbing you want to “train your weakness” instead of your strength.  Many training methods including P90x revolve around “initial gains.”  This simply stated is that if you’re really bad at “x”, if you train “x” for a short period of time, you’ll make dramatic initial gains.  As you continue to train “x” you’ll peak, then plateau.  The key is to stop at the plateau and move onto the next exercise.

I’m not recommending this training program for all climbers, but for me, I look at it as touching up in areas that I can use a lot of work.  I start my session by doing some project bouldering for about 30 minutes, including maybe 1 or 2 problems a grade below my limit.

Me on Mercy Seat 5.13a.  That move is a BIG pull of one-arm.

I then do a ¾ campus workout.  I go hard, but not too far past my peak.  (I don’t hammer myself into the ground.)  I then do the following exercises:

1.     Weight assisted 1-arm pull-ups (I use a thumb on the board to keep me straight in the 90-degree position.)
2.     Horizontal ring 1-arm (feet on ground, alternate 1-arm)
3.     Ring Dips
4.     Front Lever on Rings
5.     Toe Points (abs)
6.     Compression Band Training

The gains have been impressive (for me.)  The first time I tried a ring dip, I couldn’t even hold the “dip” position.  My last workout, I did 9 of them my first set!  And I went from barely able to do a 1-arm at -70lbs to doing 3-3.5 1-arms at -50.  My front levers are getting…well…almost to not pathetic which is a huge gain!

What I’m hoping to gain is the climbing equivalent of the 1-arm pull up.  There are several routes which I feel this is my limiting factor.  I can hold all the holds, but I just can’t do ONE BIG pull.  The route at Kaymoor, “Against the Grain” 5.13b is like that for me.  It’s a big move over the lip of the roof.  I can hold the hold, but I can’t let go with my other hand and pull hard to get the next hold (big punch!)  Dial 911 at the New River proper also has a hard move like that.  A lot of routes, really, require ONE BIG PULL off one arm. 

Last weekend at the lake, I climbed the route “All the Way Baby” 5.12b.  A short 15 move route.  I’ve done the route a bunch, but could definitely feel my increased pulling power! I was super happy to see the gains and I can’t wait for the fall season to roll in.

I’ve also been route developing.  More about that when I send the routes.

We managed to find a paper wasp next.  Poor Dustin got hit pretty bad.  I got one to the forehead.

 

Rule 1 of summer training – ice cream.  (With sprinkles.)

Don’t (try not to) Let Grades Intimidate You.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m the worst about this; I’m really writing this one to myself.  Or another way to take this one is to: “Do as I say, not as I do!”
I spent a lot of time as a 5.10 and 5.11 top rope tough guy.  Maybe the first 4-5 years of my climbing career.  I remember the first time reading through the guidebook of my childhood climbing area, McConnells Mill.  I saw the hardest route there was a 12d.  I was currently projecting (on top rope) the route: Sunshine 5.9+.   12d.  Wow.  That’s impossible!  I’ll never be able to climb that.
Matt Patterson on Mini Ovest 5.11d at McConnells Mill
 I’ve now climbing a lot of 5.12s and a handful of 5.13s in my life.  Still, though.  I will walk up to a route, see that the route is rated 5.12c or 5.12d and think….nope, its impossible.  I’ll never do this route.  Its just so hard for me, mentally, to get over that.  The only way is forward; I talk to my inner self (it puts the lotion on the skin), tell myself I can do the route…I’ll rationalize it to myself and say some of the following:
1.      You can do this route Dan, how hard can it be right?
2.     I bet I can find some sneaky technical beta.
3.     I’ve trained hard and it will pay off.
4.     I can always just stick clip past the crux, or bail (bail-biner.)
5.     If it IS impossible, I can sand bag my friends!
For me, tying in is the hardest part.  Once I get on the route and start breaking it down, then I realize that I can do the route…and then I typically do.  Breaking the route down is the best way to get it done.
Me climbing Five Fingers Arête – 5.8 at McConnells Mill
Lauren Brayack climbing Ross Boulder at McConnells Mill.
Last Friday, we had decent day at the New River Gorge.  I seem to be telling you all a lot that this is rare for this time of year.  It really is!  I think maybe God just loves me a little more than most people; I’ve sure been lucky lately.
Bob Value climbing on Ross Boulder at McConnells Mill
Barb Miller climbing “Laid Back” 5.10b at McConnells Mill
My friend Matt Fanning and I did the epic hike out to the First and Second Buttress at the Meadow.  Conditions weren’t dreamy, but a nice 65 degrees and 50% humidity and a cooling breeze is pretty good.  We did a couple easier routes to warm up, then set our sites on a route put up by Doug Reed in 1996, Red Bull.
Matt Fanning on Red Bull 5.12d at the Meadow, NRG.
Matt looked at me, I looked at Matt.  I go…so you wanna go first?… No….  I don’t want to go first….  Hmm…  Well…  I guess….  Well…..  OK I can always stick clip or bail.
I got on the route and fell at the first bolt, then climbed the route from bolt-to-bolt.  It turns out getting past the opening moves is the crux, with some easier moves leading to an almost full recovery, then one more boulder problem – hard-to-hold small, but positive crimp move and a long pull.  The second half of the second crux is pretty scary, a desperate pull over the roof to some small but positive holds.  This section of the route is pretty run-out, but I put an extended trad draw + a normal quick draw linked so I could clip in the middle of it.  Then its butter.
The route went down for me pretty easily the second go.  Boom! 

Though the next time I walk up to a 12d, I’ll have trouble convincing myself that I can do it.

The vision for the Trango athlete team is to find climbers who embody our brand’s values and support them in their climbing endeavors. We focus on the character of the climber, their passion for the sport, and their desire to contribute to the community.

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