More climbing safety with HMS carabiners
A good HMS carabiner is part of the basic equipment of any climber. HMS carabiners are particularly suitable for belay systems with munter hitches. This special carabiner always comes with a safety lock, which prevents the catch of the carabiner from opening while belaying. HMS carabiners were originally designed for the munter hitch belay system. However, they are also suitable for different purposes. HMS carabiners are highly robust and made of aluminium, which makes them very light. Some manufacturers also offer much more durable steel HMS carabiners for climbing schools and courses.
For what can I use my HMS carabiner?
The HMS carabiner's shape reminds of a pear and offers much space for the safety knot. Furthermore, it can also be used for constructing a pitch as it offers space for several carabiners and knots. HMS carabiners with a particularly wide range are most suitable for this purpose. Such carabiners can also be used in combination with all common belay devices. If you're using a tube belay device, attach the HMS carabiner to the device and thread the rope through both the carabiner and the device.
HMS carabiners come with different locking systems
A couple of years ago, there were only HMS carabiners with screw-locks available. This system has always been very popular for its simplicity and easy handling, even with gloves on your hands. But if you forget to close the screw-lock or if it is opened through the friction of the rope, things can get dangerous. The worst-case scenario would be a shock loading of the HMS carabiner or the rope slipping out of it.
In order to eliminate these risks, the manufacturers started producing self-locking systems. HMS carabiners come with a twofold or threefold locking system, the latter of which are even safer.
Have manufacturers stopped developing new HMS carabiners?
The answer to this question is clearly no. Of course, all manufacturers of climbing equipment are constantly trying to improve their products. Therefore, HMS carabiners also come with magnetic locking systems. And the manufacturers are trying to improve safety even further with many more patents. There are simple innovations such as colored markings which indicate whether the carabiner is locked correctly or not. Plastic brackets are another example. They can only be pulled over the closure of the carabiner if it is locked correctly. Each of these intelligent solutions makes HMS carabiners a little safer.