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Harness, which connects body and rope together, is one of the most important parts of fall arrest system. Except of above-mentioned function it is used as gear carrier and when rappelling or just relaxing in the wall it is relatively comfortable and simple chair-like item. Understanding the construction, shape, choice, maintenance and inspection of the harness is crucial for limiting the risk while climbing.
Comprises of waist belt and leg loops. This type of construction is the most popular and let me say most comfortable one. The waist belt is usually equipped with the buckle, which is possible to adjust waist belt circuit with. Harnesses with two buckles on its waist belt offer wider adjustment, that is why we recommend these harnesses to versatile climbers, who climb independently on the weather conditions and thus every time with different number of the cloth layers.We distinguish between two types of leg loops – with and without the buckles e.g. with and without adjustability. Non-adjustable leg loops are simple, light and minimize the risk of incorrect strap lacing through.
On the other hand adjustable leg loops are as we can hear in the phrase adjustable and in case of need (for ex. putting the harness on while wearing crampons) alterable.If leg oops and waist belt are two independent parts, it is possible to combine two different sizes and ensure comfort even for non-conventional user.
Special type of harness construction represents so called DIAPER style (diamond construction). The basis of this harness is waist belt with one buckle. Leg loops are formed with one strap, which shall be after waist belt closing got between your legs and attached to the waist belt with the rope or binner. Such construction is very popular between alpinists, because harness fits well on different number of clothes layers and there is no necessity to put you crampons or ski off when putting on the harness. But even the putting on and off and need execution is easier and safer with such a harness.There are two types of sit harnesses – padded and not padded. Padded harnesses are or should be more comfortable while unpadded ones are lighter and space saving.
Chest harness is very useful supplement to sit harness, especially if you are wearing a back pack when climbing, because it ensures stability of your body in case of fall. Attention: Never use chest harness as a single harness (ie. without sit harness)! It would cause spine injury, breathing and blood circulation restraint when hanging (orthostatic shock). To believe this, simply try hanging in the chest harness on purpose. It is extremely uncomfortable and dangerous to human body.Chest harness is not suitable for walking on a glacier.In case of fall of your party into crevasse it is almost impossible to stop the fall, because tie-in point is above your centre of gravity.
Full-body harnesses are used mainly for via ferrata climbing, rope courses, climbing courses.Thanks to the placement of attachment point above the center of gravity of the user, it ensures stability of the body when catching a fall, rappelling or just hanging in the harness. Simply said – it always holds the user’s body in an up-right position.It is not intended for walking on glacier.In case of fall of your partner into crevasse it is almost impossible to stop the fall, because tie-in point is placed above your centre of gravity.There is as well a special type of full-body harness so called small-body harness, which is intended for persons weighing up to 40kg, e.g. children.
Special hybrid between harnesses is combined harness for use in big wall climbing. It includes very comfortable sit harness with a lot of gear loops and in the same way comfortable chest harness with gear loops. Harness shall fit well on different number of clothes layers and shall afford enough safety – it means to give possibility to be safely tied in, when putting clothes on and off.Harness can be put on and off wearing crampons or ski, thanks to double buckles on leg loops.Chest harness – looking almost like a vest – can hold lot of gear, neatly organized.
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