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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
how old is you climbing harness??

hangdoggy
29/11/2004
10:50:28 PM
do harnesses have a shelf life and should we be replacing them....
obviously if they show signs of major wear and tear...but if it appears in good condition and no obvious cuts or abrasions...should we replace it?...and at what age?

Rich
30/11/2004
12:24:14 AM
you should replace it when you don't trust it anymore or fall for the new 'features' from the newer models ;-) I would doubt very much that they would have a shelf life.. However if you had a large factor fall you might consider it.

DangerLaef
30/11/2004
8:18:51 AM
I was thinking of taking my 20yo whillan's sit harness to the gym..
problems with the dual clip in though :(




..& there's not as much tail as there used to be ;)

Breezy
30/11/2004
8:22:10 AM
On 30/11/2004 DangerLaef wrote:
>I was thinking of taking my 20yo whillan's sit harness to the gym..
>problems with the dual clip in though :(
>
>
>
>
>..& there's not as much tail as there used to be ;)

and due to OH&S issues you can only climb in a gym with a harness 5 years old or less.
butter_fingers
30/11/2004
9:40:22 AM
what if my harness legs are abotu 10 years old (gice or take) and I have a waist loop which is from a better climbers, old harness? I've got double tie in loops now, but I'm gonna replace it in the next two years (if I can afford it....)
gfdonc
30/11/2004
12:03:13 PM
On 30/11/2004 Breezy wrote:
>and due to OH&S issues you can only climb in a gym with a harness 5 years
>old or less.

Never heard this before, and my Troll circa 1985 was used there every week unchallenged until I sprung for a Petzl fairly recently. Which has padding, whoo hoo!

Breezy
30/11/2004
12:07:20 PM
On 30/11/2004 gfdonc wrote:
>On 30/11/2004 Breezy wrote:
>>and due to OH&S issues you can only climb in a gym with a harness 5 years
>>old or less.
>
>Never heard this before,

Neither had i, till i went recently to "The Cave" gym in Leura (if you can call it a climbing gym :P) they had a sign up saying the above.
I think there was something about if your harness is older than 5 years you can have it checked and if ok you can climb in it, not that i actually saw a staff member in the climbing area whilst i was there bouldering :)
dave
30/11/2004
12:34:14 PM
i would have thought having a new harness ie. a lot newer than 20 years would be a good idea anyhow.
Just like your rope is the sole thing between you and obliteration

still i guess us climbers always have been stingy...

Phil Box
30/11/2004
12:34:40 PM
FMR (Federation Mountain Rescue) from Queensland have tested their old Willans sit Harnesses to destruction and found them as good as the day they were made. Needless to say some of those harnesses still get used because we know that they are good. The trick here is to inspect, if a harness is showing obvious signs of wear then retire it if not then the chances are very good that it is still perfectly safe to use.

A harness may be 6 months old and be bunk but a harness may also be ten years old and be perfectly safe. It should never be about arbitrary dates. That takes the focus off the inspection regime that should be a part of our every day use of our gear. If we focus on an arbitrary date then we lose the focus on the each and everday use inspection cycle. We start to allow the beauracrats to dictate the terms under which we conduct our own safety, that should never be allowed to happen.

Once you hand the responsibility for your own safety procedures over to others then your own safety is compromised. Dates will not keep you off the deck, you will keep you off the deck by educating yourself as to the whys and wherefors of any aspect of the gear that you use.

It is sites like these that are open and free exchanges of information that will keep people off the deck or at least go a long way towards encouraging any particular person to seek the knowledge, skills and mentors out so that they become safer.

Richard
30/11/2004
1:05:49 PM
what about sweat and dirt? Does anyone ever wash their harness like a rope? I kinda think I should wash it some time, but haven't yet. I guess your harness shouldn't get to dirty because it never wacks into the ground like a pulled rope, but it will accumulate a fair bit of sweat after a while.

(I was hoping BA that't you would think all the routes I did had hanging belays - you know, like passort, etc..)
BA
30/11/2004
1:49:31 PM
Don't you ever sit down to belay Richard?

I've still got my 30 year old Whillans, a Ferret harness, A Wild Country harness and my "new" Petzl. All the earlier harnesses suffered from the 'amazing shrinking harness syndrome' ie the exposure to sweat and sunlight causes the harness to shrink and become no longer comfortable around the waist. As the nice Heather at The Arapiles Mountain Shop said; "This model suits the larger climber, we've sold a lot of them to the SES".

I might even have the 5m length of 2" webbing kicking around somewhere in the shed but the #2 hawser laid waist length has long gone, along with the ability to tie a Tarbuck. Before that it was just tying in with the rope directly around the waist (which if the custom was still practised would mean that you replace your 'harness' every time you replace your rope!)

Phil Box
30/11/2004
4:47:54 PM
"As the nice Heather at The Arapiles Mountain Shop said; "This model suits the larger climber, we've sold a lot of them to the SES"."
Ladies and Gentlemen we have a winner, ding ding ding, best quote of the day. Me sitting here laughing out loud at this one.

AlanD
30/11/2004
9:00:30 PM
Harness will suffer the same way rope does and all synthetic fibres. The degrade not so much from age, but exposure to UV (light). Other things to be wary of is dirt and not letting the harness dry fully, if it gets wet. Like gfdonc, I retired my 1986 Petzl Croll caving harness last year, for new Wild Country harness. You've go to love padding, woohoo! No gym had ever questioned me about the age of the old harness.
earwig
1/12/2004
1:51:00 PM
On 30/11/2004 BA wrote:
>
> All the earlier harnesses suffered from the
> 'amazing shrinking harness syndrome' ie the exposure to sweat and sunlight
> causes the harness to shrink and become no longer comfortable around the
> waist.

and I thought it was me getting fatter!

Is seat-belt webbing the same stuff? How often do you replace your seatbelts? Or belayer for that matter? Wear and tear, not age, is the key. I always carefully inspect my belayer before climbing. The belayer should be fresh, alert and full of vitality. If they are worn out, hungover and generally ratshit, I replace them immeadiately. Age is not relevant. Some belayers are still quite operational even though they are over thirty years old. On the other hand, belayers under five years old can be quite unsuitable.

There are 14 messages in this topic.

 

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