/ Harness waist belt height

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needvert on 25 Nov 2012
I have a partner quite new to climbing, but a reformed recreational abseiler, who likes to wear their harness quite high up, looks like the bottom of their waist belt meets the top of their ilium. They do this so they can't fall out when invented. A bit like this:
http://cdn-www.trails.com/Cms/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/2010/4/22/36647/371938_Full.jpg

They've expressed concern with how I wear my harness. No one else ever has, but still, I'm curious as to other peoples thoughts.

I on the other hand wear my harness with with the waist belt below the top of the ilium, so when hanging in the harness all the pressure is taken by bone. Wearing it higher up I find quite quite uncomfortable and disagreeable. I can hang upside down without falling out fine, though have never taken a lead fall upside down. I find the ball and socket joints of the femur and my ass provide a widening below the harness structure.

I do wonder if taking a big fall with the harness up on soft structures could lead to bruising or damage.
[Has anyone ever fallen out of a harness?]
henwardian - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert: Sounds like you need to test a big upside down fall. That should sort it out in your mind (or leave your mind thinly layered on the floor if you are wrong I guess).

Personally I tend to worry more about all the stuff I hit on the way down when it comes to bruising or damage. I'm pretty sure the exact position of the waist belt changes depending on how heavy the gear I am carrying is, whether there is loads or rope drag, etc. etc.
I have taken some big falls and never been damaged by the harness and I've never heard of anyone else getting damaged by harness compression either so it seems unlikely it would be a problem.

Your friend might find that it is harder to breath properly with the harness so tight and high up though.
Neil Williams - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

I think they are right, though I wear mine lower to avoid it being over my gut, where it doesn't feel very secure.

Neil
rocky57 - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

Personally I'd always advise anyone to wear their harness as shown in the picture you attached. Over the hips.

I suspect that if you take a decent leader fall upside down you'll find out that your the moveable ball and socket joints of your femur and your wobbly ar5e won't prevent the harness from slipping off.

As said already, you'll only know when you try it. Let us know how you get on.

Personal opinion only has been expressed, and no slight has been implied.

jkarran - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

Are you/they male or female? Female specific harnesses tend to sit higher by design. While I prefer my harness to sit pretty high it's not for fear of falling out of it, simply that I'm top heavy, raising the suspension point makes sitting upright less difficult.

Personally my main (pretty much only) concern in a fall is hitting stuff, not falling out of or getting bruised by my harness.

jk
mkean - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:
I've taken an inverted fall and not fallen out of my harness, I've also taken a 4-5' factor 1.7ish fall on a totally static system without injury. Not to say I'd suggest either situation was fun. My waist belt is pretty high and so definitely on soft bits :-)
LastBoyScout on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

I've moved my harness down round my hips when I've had to hang in it for a while while doing tree surgery, but wouldn't do this climbing.

If it's low down and you fall climbing, you're more likely to flip upside down when the slack is gone, due to higher centre of gravity.
Cheese Monkey - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert: The clue is in the name. Hence I wear my waist belt around my waist. It really is that simple
needvert on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
> (In reply to needvert) The clue is in the name. Hence I wear my waist belt around my waist. It really is that simple

Heh, I wear mine where my waist is measured from...;P
mkean - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
The clue is in the name. Hence I wear my waist belt around my waist. It really is that simple

Oh I thought it was a waste belt, so I didn't do it up as I assumed it was surplus ;-)

jon on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

You are not making a fashion statement - it should be around your waist as in your photo.
RyanS - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert: I second Jon's Reply. You should wear your harness as shown in the picture. It sounds like you are wearing it too low.

Ryan
needvert on 26 Nov 2012
I am male.

Hmm, the person on the right is roughly how I wear mine...
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c52.0.403.403/p403x403/578957_449677571755631_2005537336_...

Though I wear other things under it.

Maybe this is a good picture for everyone to refer to:
http://www.teachpe.com/images/anatomy/skeleton.jpg

Sounds like people are advocating the waist belt should go about elbow height in that diagram? Where the only bone in a horizontal slice would be the spine.

[The original picture I linked isn't the greatest since the bone definition is unclear, it's also appears noticeably higher on the left than right side]
RyanS - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert: lol, I am now geting funny looks from the others in the office due to that first picture!

When teaching clients, I normally teach that your waist belt should go in the "inny bit" or the "squishy bit" between your hip bone and your ribs. A good way to think of it, is that this the point around that area where you get it tightest.

Ryan - www.horizonexpeditions.co.uk
Jack B on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

I believe DMM
http://dmmclimbing.com/instructions/Harnesses_Nov07.pdf (fig 1)
and Petzl
http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/C-harnesses.pdf (fig 1, the one with a cross)
think it should be worn at your thinnest point, i.e. above the ilium
jon on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

That is a truly terrifying photo!
ads.ukclimbing.com
nniff - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to needvert:

Where's your centre of balance? Your harness belt should be above that. It's probably on a line through your pelvis somewhere unless you're really broad shouldered or 'heavy in the waist'.

Bear in mind that when you sit in your harness (and so bring your legs up), your cenre of gravity will move up too.

If you fall, your arms are likely to be raised, again moving your CoG north.

Ergo, waist belt on your waist - above your pelvis, below your ribs. If it doesn't fit, buy a Metolius harness with an adjustable raise

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