I have a rope friction lanyard, what should I do?
Global UIAA and Alpine Clubs information
January 2013: following a comprehensive test programme conducted on used or aged rope friction based via ferrata sets the climbing industry has found that some of these sets can fail in a fall situation. The testing showed that the impact force in a fall may be increased and that the tensile strength of the lanyards may also be reduced in such a way that it could result in a full failure of the via ferrata set. Severe injury or death may be the consequence.
The level of the risk is dependent upon the specific model. Therefore each rope friction based via ferrata set owner should consult the information provided by the manufacturer of the set.
If you have a Petzl ZYPER rope friction lanyard
The friction based via ferrata sets Petzl ZYPER remain safe in use as long as you respect the guidelines for usage, maintenance and inspection described in the instructions for use, and particularly the maximum lifetime (10 years max).
Complementary information: After having conducted tests on extensively used rope friction based Petzl ZYPER via ferrata sets, Petzl have also observed an increase of the dynamic impact forces. However, there is no failure of the Petzl ZYPER thanks to the high tensile strength, double layer construction of the webbing that guarantees a high resistance of the Petzl ZYPER Via Ferrata set. The increase of the dynamic impact force is a well-known phenomena affecting all friction based Via Ferrata sets, but in the case of the Petzl ZYPER it remains below the maximum impact force you could experience when falling on a dynamic rope when rock climbing. Consequently no specific precaution is required.
If you have another brand's rope friction lanyard
If you have another brand's rope friction lanyard and need more information, visit the UIAA website