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.