Best harnesses for a ropewalker

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Best harnesses for a ropewalker

Postby David Grimes » Dec 15, 2007 8:57 pm

What would you say is the best harness for a ropewalker system of course it needs to be functional in a cave as well.
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Re: Best harnesses for a ropewalker

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Dec 15, 2007 9:30 pm

dark_storm83 wrote:What would you say is the best harness for a ropewalker system of course it needs to be functional in a cave as well.

I've been using a Black Diamond Bod Harness for both frog and rope walker systems for years and been okay with it. But I've seen Petzl's seat harnesses and a type made by OnRope1 do as well (for both).

You need to find a harness that you can sit comfortably in while resting. Your safety is the only attachment to the seat harness. Every other component is attached via bungee/pulley at the chest harness. Of course I've been seeing a cord that goes from the knee ascender to the seat-harness as well, lately. I suppose this is the redundant safety.
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Re: Best harnesses for a ropewalker

Postby mgmills » Dec 15, 2007 10:04 pm

Ralph E. Powers wrote:
dark_storm83 wrote:What would you say is the best harness for a ropewalker system of course it needs to be functional in a cave as well.

I've been using a Black Diamond Bod Harness for both frog and rope walker systems for years and been okay with it. But I've seen Petzl's seat harnesses and a type made by OnRope1 do as well (for both).

You need to find a harness that you can sit comfortably in while resting. Your safety is the only attachment to the seat harness. Every other component is attached via bungee/pulley at the chest harness. Of course I've been seeing a cord that goes from the knee ascender to the seat-harness as well, lately. I suppose this is the redundant safety.


For years I used a "Misty Mountain" harness with my ropewalker. Still use it in fact on the rare occasions I break out my ropewalker. Mostly now I frog and have a "Howie harness" for that.

In my first year of ropewalking I didn't have that safety Ralph mentions but added it in when Iearned about it. The likelihood of having catastophic failure resulting in a heel hang is small but the extra safety adds very little weight and redundancy is good.
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Postby David Grimes » Dec 16, 2007 6:20 pm

I have never used a ropewalker system I actually use a frog and have a brand new pit viper harness. The ropewalker will be for my wife after looking at the benefits and uses of the different systems we decided it would be best for her and I am now looking for a good harness I actually have an old alpine bod harness that is still in good condition but I didn't know if it would be a good choice for a ropewalker or not.

Thanks for the info also if you have any good links to any details on ropewalker systems please let me know so I can research them further.
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Postby cave rat » Dec 16, 2007 7:57 pm

The On Rope,1 Endurance harness is one of the best Rope Walking harnesses made. I own one and I am on my second one to date.

In fact, even though you cannot see it, I am waring one in my Avitar Pic.
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Postby GhostCat » Dec 16, 2007 8:24 pm

Thats good to know.....That's what I have, the Endurance.....still haven't used it though. Hopefully the 27th of Dec I'll try it out
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Postby David Grimes » Dec 16, 2007 8:29 pm

For those of you using a ropewalker what kinds of ascenders are you using everything I read they are always using gibbs ascenders.

I am curious if these are the best ones for a ropewalker or if there are other choices that are as good or better.
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Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 16, 2007 8:39 pm

Just about any harness will work for ropewalking. You only use it when you sit down for a rest. And when rappelling. Actually, the fastest competitors in the vertical contests don't even wear a seat harness--only foot, knee and chest harnesses. As long as it is comfy and strong enough for the usual stuff, it should be fine.

Of course, caving harnesses in general are better for caving. But, if you just want a ropewalker harness, it doesn't really matter.
Last edited by Scott McCrea on Dec 16, 2007 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cave rat » Dec 16, 2007 8:52 pm

Petzl Ascenders.
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Postby reeffish1073 » Dec 17, 2007 6:31 am

i use a pmi pit viper harness with my rope walker. works good for me!

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Postby ek » Dec 18, 2007 3:53 am

The XLH 95 (http://www.camp-usa.com/module/product/detail.asp?ID=224) caught my eye when Hank Moon posted a link to it in the "What's the most compact/lightweight SRT rig?" thread. It has two horizontally-separated attachment points (compatible with the use of a harness maillon), and is very, very light. I use a frog system and I doubt the attachment point is low enough. But with, well, any other system, it might work well.

As far as I can tell from looking at the picture, the XLH 95 meets the "cut it anywhere and you still don't die" rule. I can't tell if there is water-absorbent padding but my guess is that there is not because (1) it is so light and (2) harnesses for glacier travel generally are unpadded since you're wearing lots of clothes anyway. Does anybody know if this harness stands up adequately to cave use?
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Postby TAGCaver » Dec 20, 2007 4:24 pm

I would have to say that the On Rope 1 endurance is probably the best i have used. It is fully padded, so comfort is no issue. I have sat hanging for long periods of time doing change overs in my garage (got it rigged to a pulley) and havent had any discomfort. Plus, in my opinion, you can guarantee if it is from OR1, you know that it is quality and will hold up.
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Re: Best harnesses for a ropewalker

Postby barleywino » Aug 22, 2011 7:59 pm

i gave my nephew an Onrope1 Endurance padded harness. He was toproping in the gym recently and when he got to the top of a climb, looked down to find his (single pass) waist buckle completely undone, although he had double checked it before starting up the climb. We suspect that because he had bought one that was slightly large for him, the buckle ended up situated in the center of his waist instead of off to the side, and was therefore more prone to loosening every time he sat down in the harness or bent forward, since his stomach would push directly on the buckle (no he does not have any sort of potbelly either). Something to be vigilant about! I also own this harness and have not had this problem (yet) since the buckle sits off to the side on me. This is a super comfortable harness but be careful! PS. i might try using a triglide buckle on the loose tail to lessen the chance of the waistbelt coming loose.
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Re: Best harnesses for a ropewalker

Postby Foxy.Ferguson » Aug 5, 2013 7:08 am

My ropewalker system was self-designed and it was well over 2 decades ago so I don't know how much I spent on it: webbing, buckles, a few D rings, biners, stitching (if I recall correctly) by PMI, elastic cord, three Gibbs ascenders, one whistle. Currently trying to unearth it from long-time storage. I retired from active caving even before we moved to Florida.
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Re:

Postby eyecave » Jul 9, 2014 11:06 pm

David Grimes wrote:For those of you using a ropewalker what kinds of ascenders are you using everything I read they are always using gibbs ascenders.

I am curious if these are the best ones for a ropewalker or if there are other choices that are as good or better.


gibbs ascenders are "complicated" and can come apart easier than petzls.......they take longer to assemble on the rope and if the bottom one is loaded by a loooong rope or another climber, good luck getting it off the rope.......the saving grace of the gibbs is the smoothness of its ascending.........descending is difficult........cmi, petzl, and others make ascenders that are a better comprimise......easier to attach, less complicated, less stuff to dramatically fail, easier to take off....most toothed ascenders and non-gibbs ascenders put more friction on the up stroke than gibbs do and thats why everyone likes gibbs.........try both, you got time.....
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