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Climbing harness
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Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Replacing harness at the same time as a rope? on 06/21/2012 12:41:52 MDT Print View

the point of replacing the rope and harness as a pair is this:
whenever your rope absorbs a force so does your harness.
take a fall, rap, jug, rope and harness take the same forces.

yeah, I've replaced rope and harness at 6 month intervals when I was climbing very heavily, the cost does addd up.

your life ... your call.

Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
Re: Replacing harness at the same time as a rope? on 06/21/2012 15:37:25 MDT Print View

A harness is built with huge safety margins, but Art is right. That's why I owned several sets of ropes and harnesses when I was a full time climber. The crag set was cheap and was replaced every 6 months.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Age of climbing gear on 06/21/2012 16:13:47 MDT Print View

Age is of little importance. It is the wear and exposure to chemicals that is what
damages ropes and such.

"Those who attended the Conference were told in no uncertain terms that the claim for such a short life expectancy of ropes was no longer sustainable. Pit Schubert, President of the UIAA Safety Commission, declared in his inimitable Germanic accent “if you want to break a climbing rope you must cut it over a sharp edge, corrode it with acid or use a weight drop machine. Everything else EES IMPAUSIBLE!”*

Speaker after speaker supported the view. Researchers from a number of university and college departments presented evidence on how ropes could become weaker through use. However, none of the ropes failed on it's first drop, even using weight drop machines. There was always severe and detectable damage (such as the tearing of the sheath) before subsequent drops produced complete failure. And the oldest rope tested was 29 years old! "

You can easily wear through a rope on a 1 pitch jug by a team of climbers if it is on
an overhang and you don't take precautions to stop the sawing action. That would have
no real effect on the harness wear.

Todd's belay loop gave way on rappel and he remarked to his partner that it LOOKED worn beforehand.

Beal gives a total maximum lifetime of 15 years for a climbing or static rope.

For their harnesses.

Lifetime = Time of storage before first use + time in use.
The lifetime depends on the frequency and the type of use.
Mechanical loads and rubbing diminish the properties of the harness little by little, UV and wetness may lead to accelerated ageing.
Storage time : In good storage conditions this product may be kept for 5 years before first use without affecting its future lifetime duration in use.
- Normal duration of use : 5 years
- Occasional use : 10 years.

Edited by oware on 06/21/2012 16:19:17 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Age of climbing gear on 06/21/2012 19:48:59 MDT Print View

I have known almost zero climbers who store their ropes and harnesses properly.

breaking strength is not the only relavent factor for climbing ropes. an old rope that is not too old to break yet, could break you in a lead fall because the shock absorption has been taken out of it.

yes ropes have gotten better over the years, but there have been tests where 10 year old unused ropes broke on the very first fall test.

anyway, again ... your life your call.


Edited by asandh on 06/21/2012 19:57:59 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Proof on 06/21/2012 20:24:49 MDT Print View

"breaking strength is not the only relavent factor for climbing ropes. an old rope that is not too old to break yet, could break you in a lead fall because the shock absorption has been taken out of it.


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Proof on 06/21/2012 21:36:52 MDT Print View

I also disagree. There has never been an incident of a rope breaking that was not caused by a sharp object of some type.

my last 9.5mm lasted for 5 years and i still use it for gym leading since i had to cut off a core shot so it's only 56m. my 9.8mm had wear issues and Mammut replaced it. my new 9.5 is starting it's 2nd season

i am on my 3rd harness in 13 years of climbing.

Time almost has no bearing on quality of softgoods. stuff will wear out far faster than it 'breaks down'

Todd Skinner was a professional climber and guide.. he put more wear on his harness than any of us could imagine. he recognized that it was worn out but did not replace it, time had nothing to do with it.. belay loops are insanely bomber.. they don't 'break down' it wore out and it cost him. many new harnesses have a red layer stitched into them so that if the outside sheath wears out then the red will show through and you can judge how much it is worn.

Edit: how don't they store their stuff properly? who do you climb with? Most people i climb with keep their rope in a rope bag as i do. my harness stays on a shelf in my basement along with all of my other climbing and camping gear. How much climbing do you actually do?

Edited by JakeDatc on 06/21/2012 21:39:02 MDT.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: for alpine, i'm pretty happy with my bd alpine bod on 06/21/2012 21:43:25 MDT Print View

"about as simple as a harness can get. the snap-opening leg loops are great. no belay loop, but i manage fine without it. Don't think i'd want to hang in it for an extended period of time. i have never tried the bd couloir, but i have heard lots of good things about it."

I took my normal BD padded harness and cut the belay loop off as it saves weight, but I wanted the padding. I want a complete tie in of hte waist loop. The leg clips are nice on the alpine bod and use it when going up north. Don't think I would want to rock climb in it though.

PS. I grew up on 2" old car seat belt stitched webbing harnesses. When I actually bought a harness with a belay loop, I was like, what the heck is this for? Didn't trust it. Well not really, but when you are not used to it. =)

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: for alpine, i'm pretty happy with my bd alpine bod on 06/21/2012 22:39:40 MDT Print View

belay loop is for belaying and rappelling.

tie in loops are for tying in with.

doing the opposite is not how the manufacturer intended and is not recommended.

Stephan Doyle
Re: Climbing harness on 06/22/2012 13:14:48 MDT Print View

I love my BD Couloir. It's super light, simple, and packs down into a tennis ball. For alpine/mountaineering, it's great. For cragging and actual climbing, I take a padded harness, as the Couloir is painful to fall in. The BD Bod (or Alpine Bod) would be a good compromise, and super cheap.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Climbing harness on 06/22/2012 14:47:04 MDT Print View

I have a Whillans Sit Harness that I purchased in the 1970's. It still works good, except that my waistline is about three inches too big to fit it.


eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
harnesses on 06/23/2012 09:47:00 MDT Print View

get one of the newer UL harnesses ... buy it from REI ... much better than one of those "alpine" harnesses if youll be doing actual rock climbing in it ....

as to replacing equipment ... the number given by some manufacturers is really to cover their azz .... the UIAA has tested even old ropes and found they would take at least one factor ~2 fall ... as long as you keep it away from chemicals and store it decently, ropes dont break they get cut ...

i climb 150-200+ days outside a year and i dont replace my ropes/harnesses every 6 months ... or even every year ... unless they actually wear out

as to belaying off the tie in loop, as long as you tie in with a fig 8 backed up with a stopper its fine and even recommended in certain circumstances ... check the BMC literature ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 06/23/2012 12:15:06 MDT.