I was reading through the AAJ, and I came across a report from April this year when somebody died due to an anchor failure. The webbing was joined with some masking tape at the ends, instead of knotted.


The editors note is as follows:

It is — or should be — fairly common knowledge that webbing, unlike rope, comes packaged in this manner.

Has anyone ever seen this? I've been climbing a fair bit of time but I've never seen webbing come pre-packaged with the ends taped. It would be great if anyone can shed some light on where this practice happens, and why, bonus points if you can share a picture of what it looks like too.



  • It appears this applies to webbing sold from spools, rather than pre-cut and bagged lengths. I haven't bought webbing off a spool, so have not encountered it myself.
    – requiem
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 19:21
  • 1
    Wow, scary! Kind of strange that they wouldn't have figured this out when unrolling/flaking/coiling the webbing. If I'd unrolled a roll of webbing and found some masking tape wrapped on it, I'd have removed it ... but not a mistake that anyone should pay the death penalty for :-(
    – user2169
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 22:57
  • 1
    I've bought a good amount of spooled webbing over the years and I've never seen this, so I'm somewhat surprised that anyplace would sell the piece of webbing that has this.
    – Raz Peel
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 0:09
  • 3
    I suspect the employee who cut the webbing was unfamiliar with this, and if the spool was mounted next to other spools the warning label might not have been visible. It's also useful to note this accident would not have happened if the climber had build a properly redundant anchor.
    – requiem
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 6:21

1 Answer 1


This is the first time I heard of this. But look at this PDF document: http://www.rockymountainrescue.org/outdoor_safety/AnalysisHappyHour1.pdf

Apparently it is common practice to wind lengths of webbing onto spools and join lengths together (or "splice") with tape of some sort!

From the above document:

enter image description here

Photo of both sides of the "splice" after the accident:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Nice find! Definitely explains why the tape was there. Still seems like a crazy oversight from a lot of people though. (How did this even get sold as one continuous piece - you would think somebody would just get cut it at the splice if they reached it, right)?
    – Raz Peel
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 0:14

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