The Climbing Harness: Most Important Piece of Equipment
We've talked about the importance of a good climbing helmet, and even how much a great pair of climbing shoes can help elevate your climbing, but the one piece of equipment that is vital to our sport, no matter where you're doing it, is the most basic and the first one you'll need when you jump into climbing. The harness.
Without a climbing harness you can't safely tie into any lines, you can't fall without serious injury and you can't climb with confidence. A proper, well-fitted harness is the very first piece of equipment you should be looking into, and with all of the choices it can get a bit confusing. I know we're talking basics here, but who knows, maybe someone out there doesn't know what to look for. My first advice: Go into a Touchstone Climbing gym and talk to the professionals, they can get you sized and fitted with the perfect harness for you in no time. Other than that, here are a few tips to keep in mind
- "Decide what type of climbing you'll be doing most. Will you be mixing your climbing? If so, don't make the mistake of purchasing a specialized type of harness such as a full body harness for Mountaineering with limited racking or a beefy big-wall felt-fast that will jab your love handles on free-climbing high steps. There are many fine all-around harnesses out there and you need not fret over safety - no manufacturer is foolish enough to use a dangerous design.
- Try it first. Consider the fit and how it feels when you wear it. A harness forms a chair when you tie-in. A good fit in the waist and leg loops is critical. Male climbers should make sure the loops don't cut off circulation to the groin if they want to preserve their family line. Heavier climbers should choose a harness with wider leg loops and a thick padded waist to support their lower back. Wider straps may cut into your flesh less, while narrower straps are lighter and allow ease of movement. A woman's harness has a smaller waist with proportionately larger leg loops. Moreover, the rise (the distance between the leg loops and tie-in loop) is longer and adjustable to the pelvic shape."
There are different harnesses for different types of climbing and deciding which kind of climbing you're going to be doing is key. Rock climbing harnesses usually have padded leg loops and even gear racking loops, while sports climbing harnesses are usually very slim profiled and come with little or no "extras." Stop in to Touchstone Climbing
and talk to our experts about which harness will best suit you.
Labels: Climbing Equipment, Climbing Gear, Harness, How To, Touchstone Climbing