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rhyang

Chest harness for glacier travel

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Imagine what happens in one kind of fall....climber sliding headfirst down a slope, rope comes tight, biner on chest harness is immediately pulled to the tie in point on the seat harness, back/spine is bent and compressed, what happens then is all a function of how flexible your body is, how poorly or well adjusted your chest harness is, momentum, impact force, etc. Truly less than ideal.

 

 

Awww yup! thumbs_up.gif

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Good information, especially from Jason and Thinker. Hopefully this important information will get passed onto the students in all of the various club courses. Makes me think about the value of learning this important information from a trained guide. I think it would be cool if a club invested some money to have some key instructors trained by trained guides.

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What about a clove hitch on the chest biner? Or some other temporary attachment mechanism...

 

There would be no compression of the spine--or much less, in any case--since then the rope would not have the capability to pull the chest and waist harness together.

 

What issues can people see with attaching the chest biner to the rope to avoid compression?

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What about a clove hitch on the chest biner? Or some other temporary attachment mechanism...

 

There would be no compression of the spine--or much less, in any case--since then the rope would not have the capability to pull the chest and waist harness together.

 

What issues can people see with attaching the chest biner to the rope to avoid compression?

 

First, you would have to put your prusiks on the opposite side of the chest biner as it would be impossible to open that biner if you were in a crevasse. Having the prusiks in such a position would suck.

 

Second, the same issue would apply as stated earlier. You could very easily get pulled head first toward the crevasse after your partner falls in.

 

Third, if you're in the middle of the rope and you choose to clove hitch one direction into the biner, the whole purpose of the system is null and void if the person partner on the opposite end of the rope arrests your fall.

 

As a result of these three things, it's probably not a great idea.

 

Jason

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First, you would have to put your prusiks on the opposite side of the chest biner as it would be impossible to open that biner if you were in a crevasse. Having the prusiks in such a position would suck.

 

Second, the same issue would apply as stated earlier. You could very easily get pulled head first toward the crevasse after your partner falls in.

 

Third, if you're in the middle of the rope and you choose to clove hitch one direction into the biner, the whole purpose of the system is null and void if the person partner on the opposite end of the rope arrests your fall.

 

As a result of these three things, it's probably not a great idea.

 

Jason

 

 

Okay. Point two, though, was not supposed to be solved by the attachment; I was only trying to get around the danger of spine compression. The pulling forward would always happen.

 

Someone I know had the idea of always passing both ropes through the chest biner when tied in at the center. IF this is safe (I don't know) then it would solve that point, because the biner would never be cross-loaded, especially if a hitch is attached.

 

Good point about the prussiks. That would make it very difficult...

 

I can see a (cumbersome?) way around that, though: attach prussiks as normal. Clove hitch rope to chest harness. When in a crevasse, attach prussik above chest harness point, weight the prussik, and then the clove hitch can easiy be undone. Resume normal prussiking after weighting the rope again.

Despite your valid points, I still think there might be some advantage to the clove hitch grin.gif

 

EDIT: Oh, and if the hitch is tied to those on the ends of the rope (persons most likely to fall), then luckily the issue of having the rope attached to the biner would vanish...only the person who is in the center would need to worry about the two ropes, as you pointed out. So those on the ends might benefit then? Maybe the center person wouldn't do this...

Edited by pjc

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I still think there might be some advantage to the clove hitch grin.gif

 

I think there are valid points to almost everyones ideas. In the end it comes down to a personal choice which will be dictated by a question: What is more dangerous, falling upside down in a crevasse or having a problem due to a chest harness?

 

For me the fear of falling upside down in a crevasse does not warrent the use of a chest harness...anywhere. There are so many potential problems with them that I choose to climb without.

 

Most people here are climbing in the Cascades where both the crevasses and the packs are small. The combination of these two things makes it less likely that someone will fall into a crevasse and then be flipped upside down. Indeed, most climbers are climbing with twenty pound packs by the time they get on the glacier and are in the process of making a summit attempt in the Pacific Northwest. A twenty pound pack simply will not flip a climber over...as a result it becomes very difficult to defend the use of a chest harness when it results in so many potential problems.

 

Jason

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