/ Winter/alpine harness. Clipper slots?
Just wondering what people are using for winter harnesses, and in particular whether anyone cares about screw clipper slots.
I'm still using an intro DMM Harness (Viper 2). Started climbing ice last year using a couple of Simond ice screw carriers - https://www.decathlon.co.uk/simond-rack-id_8273617.html?iv_=__iv_p_1_g_84919629806_c_403932335474_w_pla-849014694860_n_u_d_m_v__l__t__r_x__y_15177021_f_online_o_1665354_z_GB_i_en_j_849014694860_s__e__h_1006886_ii__vi__&gclid=CjwKCAiA1L_xBRA2EiwAgcLKAz_TLV2sLaf-rUJrtZ5jOSrVMZFQ3GCrsFTOZS_K8_CnxrENw-qjjxoCc-AQAvD_BwE
These actually worked pretty well except I found the screws hung quite low and I got close to snagging my legs on them a few times.
So I'm thinking about whether I want a harness with clipper slots. Are people generally using clippers? If so, how many slots do you have on your harnesses?
And if people aren't using clippers, how are they tending to carry their screws?
> These actually worked pretty well except I found the screws hung quite low and I got close to snagging my legs on them a few times.
I used homemade versions of those Simond racks for many years without any problems. Just to make sure they are are over your outer hip and and that seemed to avoid any snagging. https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=161107
Clippers are fine too, you can carry plenty of ice screws for a long ice pitch on four individual clippers. I tend to keep two on my harness for winter now, even though I now live in the UK, so for British winter climbing, where normally you don't need many ice screws but the clippers work well four carrying bulldogs and pitons.
I use a Petzl Adjama, not the most compact but it's comfortable and has adjustable leg loops and 2 clipper slots. I like the clippers as they keep your screws out of the way and they are also good for clipping axes and not having them swing about. If your doing pure ice routes, you might want more than 2 slots, I put 3 screws on each clipper usually. Petzl make this if your harness doesn't have slots, but I haven't used it so can't comment on whether it works well: https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/Harnesses/CARITOOL-EVO
Edit: looking at the design it seems as if the holding bar could snap easily and you'd lose your screws, think I'd prefer a slot if possible.
Thanks Toby, I did find mine tended to swing forward past the hip but I wonder if that's just due to the location of the front loop. It is quite far forward. When I just have a couple of screws for e.g. glacier crossing or winter emergency then I'm happy sticking them on an oval krab but that doesn't work so well once you have more.
Thanks, yes I have seen the caritool and I was wondering about the chance of it breaking too. I don't fancy it! Sounds like something with 4 clipper slots is going to be the way forward then if I don't want to continue with the Simond rack solution.
I use a DMM Super Couloir harness in winter which I rate purely for the ease in chucking it on.
That has slots for clippers and I have one either side which I can carry eight screws which is plenty for Nordic single pitch ice and for the odd screw I'll carry for Scottish winter.
I use the Petzl clippers which are great. I did have Black Diamond one which had a rubber strap so you could put it on any harness but it had a tendency to jettison ice screws so I bagged it off and replaced it with a Petzl one.
Thanks, I was looking at the Super Couloir.
How many clipper slots does it have? And how do you rate comfort on steeper belays and maybe longer/multipitch abseil?
Three flutes on the front on one side, two on the other. Simond clipper on the next loop on one side, ancient homemade version on the other (which has the opening at the top - far better)
Another SC user, it has 4 clipper slots each side, but I wouldn't use adjacent ones- rather you get choice of position. I use one each side, and use them for driven gear as well and sometimes to park an axe. I find the SC comfortable enough all day, and I chose it for nappy style fitting so it can go on easily over crampons etc. 5good gear loops too. And not heavy. It also lacks any padding to get soaked in wet conditions.
You also clip the Caritool through a gear loop (3rd photo - https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/Harnesses/CARITOOL-EVO) so if the bar snaps, it's still clipped through something.
As Base Metal says 4 each side.
Mine is comfy enough that I used it as a summer harness for a long time too.
Caveat: I'm a fairly well padded punter and haven't done any hanging belays in it but with winter layers it has been comfy on abseil descents.
Thanks - so you're carrying the screw racks on the second gear loop on each side? I have considered this but not tried yet. I guess you don't find it too far back then?
Gotcha. Thanks. I'm leaning this way. What do you use for clippers? Not that it probably matters that much at end of day.
Oooh. Good point! I hadn't clocked that. Actually looks like how it's intended to be used as they don't show it otherwise. It does make sense as a bit of redundancy. Thanks for that!
Well it's always good to get your layering sorted
I'll take comfy enough. Not doing super gnarly stuff and anyway if I did I'd have a couple layers on my legs. Given that it's possible to pick up an SC for like £42 when it's easy to pay double that, it seems solid and simple and worth a gamble. Thanks for your info!
I've got two Petzl Caritools and one Black Diamond. I prefer the (smaller) Caritools. They're a stiff push into the harness slots, but once there they're not going anywhere!
Have a look at grivel carry biners, they use a flexible band round the harness belt, really good design and can be folded flat under your belay jacket,a real benefit.
Let's say you start with 15 screws on you.
Five in the flutes on the front loops, 2 on one side, 3 on the other
One or two long screws (belay/abalakov) on the back rack of the simond or DIY double clipper. Two stubbies on the other rear rack. That's nine in total so far, which leaves three to go on each side on the front racks, and a bulldog for spindly/aerated shite on the front gear loop that has just two flutes. That means that most of your regular screws are are held at the front of the rear gear loop, or are in really easy-access flutes at the front, but held high and protected so that they won't tear your trousers up.
On the next pitch, you're down to thirteen screws, so it's less cluttered.
Quick draws on a bandolier, up high and out of the way. Screamers on the front of that
Yes, I came across these! They look very promising, I will try them first if I go for clipper slots. Not much more expensive than plastic and I like the durability and flexibility aspects. Just out of curiosity, do you put that band around the back of the harness belt (i.e. so it goes between the harness and your body), or do you have it over the top of the clipper slot?
Got you. That's a solid sounding system. Good food for thought, thanks. I guess you're using either Petzl flutes (now seemingly unavailable) or else Grivel espressos?
The band goes round the back of your harness, but the crab itself could maybe go through a clipper slot. They're also rated as a full strength crab, but I really like the way they fold so you can get your jacket over them when not loaded with screws.
Those look great! Do they stay in position fairly well when you don't want them to lie flat? I see some retailers sell them without the plastic band bit so wonder if that makes any difference?
They're a tight fit in the holes of the band so stay in position ok, I'd have thought the band is an essential part so can't imagine them being sold without, I'd say the max width they will fit round is about 5 cm.
I was thinking about using it with clipper slots so the tab would be optional ( as with Petzl of BD).
> Got you. That's a solid sounding system. Good food for thought, thanks. I guess you're using either Petzl flutes (now seemingly unavailable) or else Grivel espressos?
petzl flutes. Why is anything good always discontinued or changed? I have several Grivel speedys. Also good, also discontinued....
Haha. Yes so it goes...
Thanks for your feedback
The Black Diamond BOD harness (Not alpine BOD) coupled with some Petzl Caritool EVO's works great for me & has done for a while now (i used the old Caritools before the EVO's, but the old ones are a bit small & more fiddly to fit well) sitting the Caritools right in the gear loops doesnt put them in the way at all imo, the Caritools are plenty strong, no bother from having 6 screws on each, & the harness is super easy to get on / off with crampons on as you dont need to thread your feed through leg loops.
Matt Helliker, Jon Bracey and Pete Whittaker recently teamed up to make two first ascents in the Mont Blanc Massif, Beyond Reason ED V 5+/5c (M6+/R) 550m on the Aiguille des Pélerins as a three and another...