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grandpa

Looking for specific harness...

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My favorite harness, by far, is the Metolius "Safe Tech" with the two belay loops and the double back style waist belt buckle. But, they now only supply that harness with the newer, "speed buckle". I really dislike those, and it seems everyone is going to that style, so it appears that I'm outta luck. (%$#@#! lawyers, I suspect). 

Searching the 'net tonight (so far) has resulted in Ø (zero) harnesses with that style buckle. Do any of you know of a manufacturer that still uses this buckle? 

Second question is, somewhere recently I saw/read of a harness that has a small loop sewn into the leg harness strap, designed to clip a 'biner into for use with a prussik or klemheist autoblock. Do any of you know which one this might be. I'll keep searching, but haven't found it (yet). 

Thanks, all...

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Black diamond Bod and Alpine Bod appear to use the old style buckle.

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7 hours ago, Wildearth said:

Gearexpress has a couple of models of the "Safe Tech".http://www.gearexpress.com/metolius-safe-tech-mens-deluxe-harness.html

Thank you! I have not heard of this company. I just wrote to them to confirm, and then will place an order if it's the old style buckle. The way things are going, I must be the only guy out there that likes this buckle arrangement.

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29 minutes ago, grandpa said:

Thank you! I have not heard of this company. I just wrote to them to confirm, and then will place an order if it's the old style buckle. The way things are going, I must be the only guy out there that likes this buckle arrangement.

Most welcome! Hope you find it.  Cheers!

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if that does not pan out, try misty mountain harness.  I heard they can customize for a reasonable price.

 

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isn't the only difference between speed buckle and the buckle you speak of that the end of the webbing is sewn over to prevent it from being unthreaded?  KNIFE woudl fix that.  :)

 

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1 hour ago, genepires said:

isn't the only difference between speed buckle and the buckle you speak of that the end of the webbing is sewn over to prevent it from being unthreaded?  KNIFE woudl fix that.  :)

 

No, the "double back" style has a one-piece buckle, and the end of the webbing must be threaded back over itself every time. The "speed buckle" style has a two-piece buckle and the webbing is fixed in place, and has the webbing sewn over as you mentioned. I've used both and far prefer the old style, but I'm guessing the manufacturers are catering to the "most inattentive among us" by going with the "speed buckle". I find the old style to be easier to set and adjust, but I do know that more attention in "harnessing up" is imperative! 

 

Thanks all, for the replies!

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I appreciate your preference for the older style harness buckle but I've never really gotten along well with them and even recently retired a BD couliour harness specifically because it has that style buckle.  There's an interesting rant from Will Gadd about replacing harnesses just to update to the newer style.

https://gripped.com/gear/will-gadds-harness-tip-save-lives/

For the other comment about harnesses with a loop just for an autoblock on the leg loop, I'd be surprised if you find one.  Petzl puts a loop on the leg loops of their alpine harnesses to rack a single ice screw for crevasse rescue but I don't think it's load rated for an autoblock.  At best, putting your autoblock on your leg loop is good for a third hand but is not a redundant back up for your rappel device/belay loop/main rappel carabiner.  Current best practice is to extend your rappel device away from your belay loop and then use your belay loop for your autoblock in order to have a redundant full strength back up in case you have a failure somewhere else in your rappel system.  

You probably know all this and have preferences based on lots of experience but I thought it would be helpful to have this information here just in case someone with less experience finds this thread.

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" putting your autoblock on your leg loop is good for a third hand but is not a redundant back up for your rappel device/belay loop/main rappel carabiner "

the loop for autoblock does not need to be anywhere as strong as a belay loop.  We are talking about the small prussik that backs up the brake hand I assume.   Basically it needs to be as strong as your hand grip is.  the autoblock replaces the hand as a way to apply braking force to the rappel device.

I wish my grip strength was in excess of 15Kn pulling force.

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to add to the gripped article mentioned above, I had a NED moment due to not fully doubling back the harness.  On a multipitch, I had to sit on some gear during the first pitch of the climb and at the top belay anchor, noticed that my harness was not doubled back.  I guess that body weight was low enough for the harness to stay on but I know that a leader fall would have been death. If it would have been a standard craggin situation, it may have failed on being lowered also.

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3 hours ago, genepires said:

" putting your autoblock on your leg loop is good for a third hand but is not a redundant back up for your rappel device/belay loop/main rappel carabiner "

the loop for autoblock does not need to be anywhere as strong as a belay loop.  We are talking about the small prussik that backs up the brake hand I assume.   Basically it needs to be as strong as your hand grip is.  the autoblock replaces the hand as a way to apply braking force to the rappel device.

I wish my grip strength was in excess of 15Kn pulling force.

So Gene: what's the "best" way to back up a rappel? prussik above the belay device? autolocking device above the belay device? Rappel deaths seem to have good "gear" solutions if you know the right gear and configuration.

 

Dave

 

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5 hours ago, max said:

So Gene: what's the "best" way to back up a rappel? prussik above the belay device? autolocking device above the belay device? Rappel deaths seem to have good "gear" solutions if you know the right gear and configuration.

 

Dave

 

I really dig the new 'spider rappel' set up.  Girth hitch a double length 9/16" sling through your harness (leg loops and waist strap NOT the belay loop).  Tie an overhand knot in the middle.  A small locking biner goes at the end to clip into the belay while you are setting up the rappel.  Your rappel biner and device is clipped through the short loop formed by the knot.  Set up the ropes through the rappel device.  Clip a biner to the belay loop and clip the autoblock/prusik to this biner.   There are some good videos online demonstrating this technique, but I like it because it is the chicken sling, rappel device, and auto block all together and it is stronger as the autoblock is clipped to the belay loop. BTW, I agree wit the new speed buckles.  Don't likle them.  I tie a knot in the tail, just to make sure and noticed other climbers do this as well.

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20 hours ago, max said:

So Gene: what's the "best" way to back up a rappel? prussik above the belay device? autolocking device above the belay device? Rappel deaths seem to have good "gear" solutions if you know the right gear and configuration.

 

 

pros and cons to everything right?

pro for having friction hitch above device:  having the friction hitch above "may help" (or may not) if you rap off the ends of the rope.  having the friction hitch below will not help with rap off end of rope

con for friction hitch above:  seems like always fighting the hitch when it grabs while descending. 

cavers seem to use the friction device above more often and use those peztl mech grabbers often to be able to release when it grabs.  but they like to carry extra gear.

But going by the standard guides method of descending.  Girth hitch sling to harness (either belay loop or waist/leg loop) with knot and belay device like Dan above mentions.  Small prussik loop girth attached to leg loop and then friction hitch of some kind to brake strands.  The benefit of going to leg loop is that the hitch is far away from device.  if the device hits the hitch, then it will not work.  so it all depends on how long your prussik loop is.  if it is real short, then you can go to belay loop

I find it interesting that people think the leg loop is not strong enough for the job of being a brake backup.   lets do a test.  which can hold more weight; a leg loop or a firemans backup?  (serve same purpose)

 

 

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but the bigger issue than brake backups is TIE KNOTS IN END OF ROPES!  (speaking from personal experience)  That is what kills people.

 

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16 hours ago, genepires said:

but the bigger issue than brake backups is TIE KNOTS IN END OF ROPES!  (speaking from personal experience)  That is what kills people.

 

THIS.

The OTHER THING to remember is to WEIGHT YOUR RAPPEL SYSTEM TO TEST IT BEFORE YOU DISCONNECT FROM THE ANCHOR.

You'll catch all kinds of rigging errors that way. 

Wasn't there an ALL CAPS avatar around here somewhere?

Days gone by...

 

 

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On Friday, March 22, 2019 at 10:22 PM, Rad said:

THIS.

The OTHER THING to remember is to WEIGHT YOUR RAPPEL SYSTEM TO TEST IT BEFORE YOU DISCONNECT FROM THE ANCHOR.

You'll catch all kinds of rigging errors that way.

Wasn't there an ALL CAPS avatar around here somewhere?

Days gone by...

 

 

Completely agree, this practice has saved my life at least once.

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On 3/22/2019 at 5:54 AM, genepires said:

But going by the standard guides method of descending.  Girth hitch sling to harness (either belay loop or waist/leg loop) with knot and belay device like Dan above mentions.  Small prussik loop girth attached to leg loop and then friction hitch of some kind to brake strands.  The benefit of going to leg loop is that the hitch is far away from device.  if the device hits the hitch, then it will not work.  so it all depends on how long your prussik loop is.  if it is real short, then you can go to belay loop

I find it interesting that people think the leg loop is not strong enough for the job of being a brake backup.   lets do a test.  which can hold more weight; a leg loop or a firemans backup?  (serve same purpose)

 

 

Hey Gene, thanks for reinforcing what I mentioned about the third hand on the leg loop not being full strength and only being useful for applying force to the braking strand.  It is not redundant in case another part of your rappel system fails.

AMGA How to set up a rappel extension

Here's the best practice for rappelling as taught by the AMGA, I'm surprised that you've seen guides recently rigging a third hand to their leg loops as that's not what's considered to be current best practice.  It's better to rig it to the the belay loop for a full-strength back up to add redundancy in case you have a single point failure in your rappel device, your extension (but even that can be set up to be redundant), or your rappel carabiner.  

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FWIW, Jason Martin maintains a nice blog on American Alpine Institute's web site with a lot of the latest best practices.

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17 hours ago, Jason4 said:

Hey Gene, thanks for reinforcing what I mentioned about the third hand on the leg loop not being full strength and only being useful for applying force to the braking strand.  It is not redundant in case another part of your rappel system fails.

AMGA How to set up a rappel extension

Here's the best practice for rappelling as taught by the AMGA, I'm surprised that you've seen guides recently rigging a third hand to their leg loops as that's not what's considered to be current best practice.  It's better to rig it to the the belay loop for a full-strength back up to add redundancy in case you have a single point failure in your rappel device, your extension (but even that can be set up to be redundant), or your rappel carabiner.  

to be honest, it has been a while since I was a AMGA trained guide so my observation is a decade old and could have changed since.  But if you really have fears that your rappel setup could mechanically fail mid rappel, then by all means attach your backup to a full strength belay loop.   The weakest links in the rappel linkages is the anchor, rope and the brake hand.  Looking at all the rappel accidents, never has the rappel biner or device broke.  Anchors fail, ropes get cut or control of brake is lost. 

Having taken a rock to the chest mid rappel and almost passing out, my main concern is to prevent the loss of the brake strand.   The leg loop is perfectly acceptable for accomplishing this task.  And since I rarely extend my rappel device, there is no way to use the autoblock on the belay loop..

but whatever, if you feel there is only one way to perform a task, then flame on.

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Hey Gene,

I am definitely of the mindset that if it works for me, why change.  I started using the spider rappel as I described when rappelling with a less experienced partner.  My partner could be set up to rappel and clipped to the anchor, I could rappel and give a fireman's belay and all my partner had to do was unclip and go.  The extended rappel allowed movement in the ropes without jerking my partner around.  I decided to try the method myself and really like it. 

FWIW, I only switched to leash-less climbing tools after seeing a photo of you and Jason climbing with leash-less tools.  I thought If Gene was going leash-less, I really must be the last person on the planet to climb with leashes and bought a pair of new tools.

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1 hour ago, DPS said:

Hey Gene,

I am definitely of the mindset that if it works for me, why change.  I started using the spider rappel as I described when rappelling with a less experienced partner.  My partner could be set up to rappel and clipped to the anchor, I could rappel and give a fireman's belay and all my partner had to do was unclip and go.  The extended rappel allowed movement in the ropes without jerking my partner around.  I decided to try the method myself and really like it. 

FWIW, I only switched to leash-less climbing tools after seeing a photo of you and Jason climbing with leash-less tools.  I thought If Gene was going leash-less, I really must be the last person on the planet to climb with leashes and bought a pair of new tools.

that is funny cause I thought I was the last person to use leashes.  you must have saw my one attempt at it.  :)    I did try to climb a pretty steep line on TR and leash less.  Pumped out, fell with rope stretch and left those things still implanted in the ice.  Fun for training on a woody but for the real deal, I use the crutches of leashes.

I am with you on the functionality of extended rappels.   I just felt that it is another tool that gets used when needed and not when not needed.  for example, I would not extend a rappel for a lightweight someone who had long flowing hair.   For a pre rig rappel, makes total sense.

 

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1 hour ago, genepires said:

for example, I would not extend a rappel for a lightweight someone who had long flowing hair.   For a pre rig rappel, makes total sense.

 

I am a lightweight someone with long flowing hair* and I extend my rappel because of that. My hair dangles down close to my waist, and well past a belay device clipped to the belay loop, especially when rappelling (due to change in posture).

When I extend it, my rappel device is about eye level and further away from my body. My hair is actually further away from the device this way.

 

* I typically braid my hair which helps, but the end of the braid can (and has) gotten stuck in a belay device before.

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22 minutes ago, NikiY said:

but the end of the braid can (and has) gotten stuck in a belay device before

Wow, that doesn't sound fun.  Do you have to cut it when that happens? 

As a balding middle aged man, this is not a problem I've ever experienced!

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1 hour ago, JasonG said:

Wow, that doesn't sound fun.  Do you have to cut it when that happens? 

As a balding middle aged man, this is not a problem I've ever experienced!

Fortunately I noticed it immediately and was able to just pull it out with minimal damage to my hair! I try to tuck my hair into my shirt these days...

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