Along the way I got help from friends in and out of the community. A huge THANK YOU to those who helped in various ways like listening to my constant ramblings, helping me think through stuff, testing, sharing fabrication thoughts, legal advice, providing computer skills, sharing industry insights and other helpful morsels. In no particular order, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Jesse Patchett, Sam Ornelas, Clarence Valdez, Todd Rentchler, John Write, Tracy Kwan, Mike Cressman, Matt Williams, Abby Wines, Mike Schasch, Malia McIlvenna, Tim Dowling, Tom Jones, Roylnn Serati, Hank Moon and Matt Brejcha. THANK YOU!
Why the Name SQWUREL?
SQWUREL is not some fancy acronym and does not stand for anything specific. During development many shapes, sizes, geometries and configurations were made and tested (many of which look nothing like the final design). One version elicited the same comment from anyone who saw it. They said "it looks like a squirrel". The name stuck!
The Sqwurel is patented under the patent number US 9,636,526
SQWUREL retirement due to rope grooving
Rope grooves worn into the Sqwurel from normal wear will eventually become deep enough to force retirement of your SQWUREL. When used in wet environments with little to no sand, the Sqwurel should last a long time. When used in wet sandy environments where sand can stick to ropes, the rope passing through the device can cut into the rappel device quickly and greatly reduce the life span. Any rappel device used in wet and sandy environments can wear quickly and should be checked regularly to ensure it remains safe to use. The current recommendation is to retire your Sqwurel when any part of the device is worn 33% (one third) of the way through with 66% (two thirds) remaining intact. Do not continue to use your Sqwurel if any part of the device is worn beyond the recommended depth.
SQWUREL Testing, Certification and Quality Control.
BG Gear recognizes the importance of testing equipment to ensure the quality and safety of the Sqwurel.
Each batch of Sqwurels are made from 7075 T6 / T651 aluminum. Each batch of Sqwurels comes with material certification or sent to an independent lab to confirm proper material.
Prior to public release, Sqwurel prototypes were tested using methods outlined by the UIAA. Some were rigged for rappel and pull tested to failure which occurred at over 3700 pounds of force (the failure point was the rope itself where it wrapped under the carabiner, not the Sqwurel). Also prior to public release 12 prototypes were given to members in the canyoneering community who used the prototypes extensively over the course of a year. Some prototypes were rope grooved from use to well beyond 50% worn through and continued to perform well. With this in mind BG gear felt it was safe to release the Sqwurel to the public.
For information and general thoughts about testing, certification, quality control, forces in the Sqwurel during normal use and test methods, please view the SQWUREL Testing Certification and Quality Control PDF.
For information and conclusions drawn from actual testing, please view the SQWUREL Testing Diary PDF.
2017 Kobe Steel Scandal
A customer inquired about the safety of the Sqwurel after hearing of the 2017 Kobe Steel Scandal. Naturally an inquiry with the manufacturer was in order. The Kobe Steel scandal involved a Japanese mill. The Sqwurel was made with domestically sourced materials and was not affected by the Kobe Steel scandal.