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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Harness Hang Syndrom
1:35:25 PM
Hello all, am new to this site so it will be interesting to here your tips, knowledge and suggestions for harnesses. I was recently partaking in a rescue senario where i was in my harness for a reasonable amaonut of time. when i got to the ground i was ok but after about 15 minutes i start vomitting and loosing consciousness. they rushed me to hospital and have since recovered. this week i was in my harness again and had an immediate reaction to (meaning i did not like the way my harness reacted to being loaded) i have had the hraness for 4 years and never had a problem with it. Does anyone know of another harness that will allow the movement flexibility and roughly the same weight of a climbing harness but with the extra support around the legs.
Look forward to hearing your reply.
Will P
1:46:16 PM
Sorry Jono, are you saying that the second time you put the harness on, you had the same symptoms of nausea and dizzyness? And about how long were you hanging in the rescue scenario?

1:58:33 PM
Try the Navaho Boss for doing prolonged harness work, this is my harness of choice for doing up to 4 hr
hangs, a little bit off foam from a sleeping mat was added to the built in bosuns chair (the Boss) to
increase comfort.
If you had these symptoms more than likely you have had a build up of toxins from the restricted blood
flow in your femural arterys.
This can be aleviated by remaining in a fetal position and slowly uncurling over a half hour period.
Next time don't spend so long hanging in a harness that is desighned primarily for catching a fall
occasionally! It might kill you! the reaction you had was a minor one.

2:13:40 PM
i remember watching another blue mountains climbing guide with his client and the guide (apparently a
UIAGM guide ) and he was belaying his client with an alpine clutch type belay. you take in but u can,t
lower type set up. the client was having difficulties and was hanging in his harness waiting to be lowered
off and he became unconscious within about 10mins. very frightenning to watch as we couldn't do
anything and the guide was desperately switching over to another belay set up. he got the guy down but i
was shocked by how quickly the client got into trouble.
i wonder where thomas shatovits is these days?

2:58:06 PM
There was a study in a US caving magsome years back, and the basic conclusion was that under the right circumstances (ie not moving/adjusting - just a dead hang) you could loose conciousness within 5 mins, and die within 15mins

3:15:35 PM
Four years, that's a very old harness. I don't retire things very often, hell, if anything i'm a bit careless with my gear at times, but I still find I need to replace my harness once every two years.

If you've had your harness for four years, the foam would have definately deteriated to nothing and you would be sitting in just the thin bits of tape that hold the foam together.

My Two Cents: Buy a new harness.

3:23:34 PM
>but I still find I need to replace my harness once every two years

Gee, ... doesn't sound like my old Whillans is up to the task anymore!
Heh, heh, heh.

Phil S
3:27:21 PM
... the other conclusion being that people must be both concious and moving if they are hanging in a harness.

I'm interested to know exactly how the symptoms presented themselves (as Jonos became ill). Would you recognise the onset of the illness again - earlier???
3:30:09 PM
On 24/08/2007 bomber pro wrote:
>If you had these symptoms more than likely you have had a build up of
>toxins from the restricted blood
>flow in your femural arterys.
Little off the mark here. The veins will occlude before the arteries.
Suspension Trauma begins (in as little as 15 minutes) due to hypoxia of the brain due to decreased venus return via the Inferior Vena Cava. This is due to pooling of blood in the legs caused by the occlusion of the Femural Veins which in turn leads to a decrease in circulating blood volume. Toxins will develop due to cell death (release of Potassium) in the lower limbs, this can be described as "Crush Syndrome" but this type of cellular destruction takes 1-2 hours to develop. At this stage things can become serious as the release of the K back into the blood stream causing Cardiac Arythmias which may lead to Cardiac Arrest. (Hyperkalemia)
>This can be aleviated by remaining in a fetal position and slowly uncurling
>over a half hour period.
This seems a little ambigious. Simply, do not allow the person to lay flat, keep them in the sitting position (conscious or unconscious) and do not allow them to walk around if conscious. If the person ha lost consciousness at any time whilst hanging or after call 000!s
3:45:33 PM
Plenty of articles around - have a read:

4:29:25 PM
jonos wrote:
>Does anyone know of another harness that will allow the movement flexibility and roughly the same weight of a climbing harness but with the extra support around the legs.
I had a look around for a comfortable harness to hang* in for extended periods while aid climbing (*belaying off hanging belay etc), basically without success.
I have not laid eyes on one in real life but the Yates wall harness may be closest to trick. The stuff I did actually try was geared more towards OH&S working at heights / rescue type equipment, or designed for tree surgeons etc.
I came to the conclusion that my normal climbing harness would do provided I gave it a bit of extra padding or load spreading capability, which I have since done in the form of a waistloop with its own closed-cell foam strip. I interconnect this to the climbing harness from the hang-point and it works well.
Have not tried 'dead-hanging' for extended time in it though.
When aiding some climbs I have also found it useful to further interconnect (to the same hang-point) my chest harness, rather than use it independently, as this distributes my bodyweight further.
Other than that I take a bosuns chair, or sit on a haulbag or portaledge if needs be.

For extra support of legs take prusiks. Putting your feet in the loop/s helps enormously in taking the weight off the thigh loops.

I reckon the ideal 'hang-harness' would be overalls reinforced with webbing along all seams and with a clip-in point at waist !
4:59:15 PM
On 24/08/2007 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>I reckon the ideal 'hang-harness' would be overalls reinforced with webbing
>along all seams and with a clip-in point at waist !

Most of your weight would be supported by your crotch, i would be like an uber wedgie. OUCH!

5:04:03 PM
Not sure about that.

If one picks up a hessian bag full of spuds by scruffing a bunch of bag in the middle of the load as the lifting point, the spuds don't get cut into wedges, (heh, heh, heh) ... if you see my point?

There are 13 messages in this topic.


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