In July the UKC team headed out to a wet Friedrichschafen in Germany to attend the 2014 OutDoor Show. This is one of the biggest outdoor trade events on the calendar and was stuffed full of new climbing products.
Our first report covered Climbing Hardwear. In this second report we are going to look at some of the new developments with harnesses and ropes that will be hitting the shops in 2015.
Note: Where possible we have tried to include prices and release dates.
New Harness Range from Arc'teryx RRP £115-150
The already very popular harnesses from Canadian brand Arc'teryx have been updated and improved further for release in Spring/Summer 2015. The new harnesses have been made more versatile, comfortable and durable for only a small increase in weight. A common problem with the current range of Harnesses from Arc'teryx is that the waist and leg loops were prone to folding, making the harness less comfortable. This has been prevented in the new range by fixing the 'warp' yarns onto the backing material, with padding being added to the edges of the waist and leg loops further increasing comfort.
Prices are: £115 for the SL-340 Unisex sport climbing Harness (two gear loops, fixed leg-loops).
£125 for the AR-385a/395a All-round Harness (four gear loops, four ice-screw clipper slots, adjustable legs-loops)
£150 for the FL-355/365 All-round harness (four gear loops, four ice-screw clipper slots, fixed leg-loops)
Updated Momentum & Primrose Harnesses from Black Diamond RRP £45
Black Diamond have updated the Men's Momentum and Women's Primrose entry-level harnesses for Spring/Summer 2015:
New Wing & Leaf Alpine Harnesses from Edelrid RRP £65-75
Edelrid have two new alpine climbing harnesses hitting the shops in Spring/Summer 2015; The Wing and the Leaf. Both utilise laminated Warp and Weft (horizontal and vertical) fibres for comfort and load-bearing strength, whilst the inner of the waist belt and leg loops have been left as an open mesh structure to provide greater breathability than you'd normally find on a laminate harness.
The Wing has adjustable leg loops, weighs 330g and costs £75. The Leaf is non-adjustable, weighs 260g and will cost £65.
Apollo, Ares, Poseidon harnesses from Grivel RRP £60-70
In this video Stevie Haston runs us through the following harnesses from grivel: Trad: Apollo £60, Alpine: Ares £70, Mountaineering/Winter: Poseidon £70
Updated Rope Range from Mammut RRP £Various
Mammut have updated their rope range into three separate categories - DRY, PROTECT and CLASSIC - creating greater transparency in relation to each rope's performance. Some ropes, such as the Mammut 9.5 Infinity - reviewed on UKC earlier this year- are available in all three versions.
DRY ropes are the supreme class among Mammut ropes and bring together the newly developed "Coated Core Technology" and "Coated Sheath Technology" finishing processes. The low water absorption (only 1% according to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) test) means that the ropes offer maximum safety in even the most adverse conditions. The Coating Finish applied to the core and sheath ensures that DRY ropes absorb practically no water and do not freeze at low temperatures. Even after soaking in water for 15 minutes, a DRY rope still achieves 80% of its specified number of standard falls. In abrasion tests, DRY ropes achieve 50% higher abrasion resistance in comparison with conventionally treated ropes of the same diameter.
The thermal treatment applied to PROTECT ropes improves their performance and allows them to achieve up to two additional standard falls. The finish on the sheath gives PROTECT ropes 40% higher abrasion resistance in comparison with untreated CLASSIC ropes. Increased dirt-repellency also makes PROTECT ropes more durable.
Updated Harness Range from Petzl RRP £60-100
Clive Allen runs us through the new technology found in the latest version of the popular Petzl harness range.
Opera 8.5mm Triple Rope from Beal RRP from £145
Beal are releasing a new rope for Spring/Summer 2015 - the Opera 8.5mm. It will be the world's lightest triple-rated rope at 48grams per metre. The Opera features 'Unicore' technology which is where the core is bonded to the sheath, which makes the rope much more resistant to abrasion by sharp edges. This makes it remarkably safe when used as a single and used as double or half ropes when climbing as a team of three.
The Opera retails at; £145 - 50m, £174 - 60m, £203 - 70m and £232 - 80m
New Ropes from Edelrid RRP from £170
Edelrid have some exciting new rope developements ready for release in Spring/Summer 2015, especially with a new way of producing ropes, which allows the process of changing the weave of a rope's sheath to be quicker and more controllable. This not only allows Edelrid to change the pattern of the sheath, but also the thickness of the sheath at any point in the rope without the considerable time delays that this usually entails.
With this new technology, Edelrid have a range of great new ropes including the Topaz Colourtec 9.2mm rope which has a complete pattern change half-way through the rope. the Topaz retails at £170 for a 50m rope, £200 for 60m, £230 for 70m and £250 for 80m.
Another interesting new development with Edelrid is that their full range of ropes now carry the BlueSign badge, which means that the production of the range has a much smaller impact on the environment than ropes from other manufacturers.
Edelrid have released an interesting new product that will be of interest to those wanting to climb big walls and big mountains. The Rap Line is a 6.5mm 'enhanced accessory cord' that is designed to be used for hauling and abseiling, it is heat treated so that the sheath and aramid core work together. The Rap Line retails at £190 for a 70m length.
New Ropes from Sterling Rope RRP £170-190
Sterling have also updated their ropes to make them more durable or in some cases thinner!
The Nano IX has been updated with an improved core using more fibres, but each with a smaller diameter, for the same weight of nylon the core has a smoother outer surface and is more tightly packed, reducing the diameter. This makes the rope feel a little stiffer, but as the previous Nano was very supple the Nano IX still handles exceptionally.
The Aero 9.2mm has had the same treatment, but instead of making the rope thinner Sterling have used the extra diameter to beef up the sheath. This makes the rope very durable and yet relatively light and supple.
The Nano IX wil retail for £190 and the Aero 9.2 for £170 and both will be available from March 2015.