Tying in with an old school harness

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healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 22, 2005 - 04:54pm PT
What we used before we started making harnesses. You can dive on this comfortably all day long...


Grab three arm lengths of rope and then:


Tie a bowline on a bight



Put the resulting two loops on, one above your waist and one below. Adjust thru the knot so the top loop is tight and the bottom loop is looser.

Take the end of the rope back around your waist.

As you come around to the front go back through your crotch and pick up the lower loop and come back out on the opposite side that you went in on and then head back around your waist again.



Once back in front pick up the strands and tie and overhand around them and then do the same on the other side.




The finished product is functionally equivalent to any commercial harness.

Joe Metz

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 22, 2005 - 05:00pm PT
Just don't get upside-down.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2005 - 05:03pm PT
Joe,

Functionally it is as good as any commercial harness and I have an old break in my back so I often turned upside down while lowering to take the strain off - there is absolutely no danger of coming out of it whatsoever. We also mainly climbed roofs and ended up upside down all the time wearing it.
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Sep 22, 2005 - 05:03pm PT
And with both partners tied in thusly with the old school 120' ropes:

Climber: Belay on?

Belayer: On belay.

Climber: Climbing.

Belayer: Climb.

(two moves later)
Belayer: Dude, you got 15 feet left.
ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 22, 2005 - 05:04pm PT
does that come with some coulats and leiderhosen (sp?) ..

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2005 - 05:07pm PT
We climbed on 120's leaving us 80' - more than enough for the single pitch where we were climbing. Beats the hell out of diving on a waist wrap...
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Sep 22, 2005 - 05:13pm PT
I know what you mean, Healyje.

It cracks me up to see the young guns carrying 70 meter ropes on old Cathedral classics that were originally climbed on 120's.
WBraun

climber
Sep 22, 2005 - 09:27pm PT
Thanks healyje, that's a nice one, sometimes for certain situations its lighter to leave the harness and just use the rope only.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Sep 22, 2005 - 09:47pm PT
That's pretty cool. It takes some practice to get the length of rope right and it didn't seem like my leg loops were taking much tension.

But Werner's right, this could come in handy if you're doing some easy stuff and you want to go light. Nice.

:- k
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2005 - 10:14pm PT
K-man,

Everything should be reasonably snug, waist and legs. It does take some practice to know exactly how much rope you need. When this was all we used it was second nature. Usually I put the two loops on fairly tight and then adjust between the two. But if it is too loose or tight you may have to either retie it or thread all the way through the knot. I've taken repeated 30 footers on it and it's completely comfortable. I can't hang in any harness long and I turn upside down while either having to hang for some reason or lowering any distance and it should be solid that way as well if you have it adjusted right.

My profile shot on RC is from back in the day when we used it:

http://rockclimbing.com/photo/photo_show.php?id=46917
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
boulder, co
Sep 22, 2005 - 11:17pm PT
Healyje wrote: Functionally it is as good as any commercial harness and I have an old break in my back so I often turned upside down while lowering to take the strain off - there is absolutely no danger of coming out of it whatsoever. We also mainly climbed roofs and ended up upside down all the time wearing it.

I know it's not as functional as a commercial harness, it it also not as comfortable. Nice thing to know in an emergency but with today's harnesses...you just have to ask yourself, why?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 23, 2005 - 12:27am PT
Bob, when I say it is as functional as any commercial harness I mean solely with regard to the primary function of a harness, and in that context after climbing in it for close to eight years I can assure you it is absolutely equivalent. As for comfort, I've taken hundreds of falls in it and never bothered me in the slightest.

One wouldn't bother with it today as a day-to-day harness, but for for impromptu and emergency situations there's simply nothing better in my opinion. I ended up in the Gunks with no gear last year and caught a ride tied in this way, barefoot, and no chalk. As I was coming down [upside down] my wife was cracking up as she said they were all whispering, "it must be really old, old school"...
WBraun

climber
Sep 23, 2005 - 12:30am PT
"I've taken hundreds of falls in it"

You like to fall? I don't .....
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 23, 2005 - 12:32am PT
Kind of comes with the territory when all you like to climb is roofs.
oldandbroken

climber
redfern
Sep 23, 2005 - 12:38am PT
Bob. The point is that in an emergency you don't have time to learn, you have to know. To say "Nice thing to know in an emergency but with today's harnesses...you just have to ask yourself, why?" ignores what an emergency is. We all walk around edges without harnesses on, we see others do that same and are unprepared for disaster. It is better to know than not.
oldandbroken

climber
redfern
Sep 23, 2005 - 12:40am PT
Bob. The point is that in an emergency you don't have time to learn, you have to know. To say "Nice thing to know in an emergency but with today's harnesses...you just have to ask yourself, why?" ignores what an emergency is. We all walk around edges without harnesses on, we see others do that same and are unprepared for disaster. It is better to know than not.
Watusi

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Sep 23, 2005 - 01:55am PT
Now that's pretty old school!!
Jody

Mountain climber
Templeton, CA
Sep 23, 2005 - 01:59am PT
Years ago(early 70's) we used what we called the "Diaper Seat". Take a long runner and hold it behined you with the knot in the small of your back. Then reach down between your legs and pull a loop through and clip a locker to it. Then pull a loop from each side and clip those into the locker. Sorry, no pictures at the moment.

Anybody ever rappel like this? Not bad for her(Fossil Mtn Ice Cave, ID, 1950's), but rather painful for most guys. :)
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