How to Put on a Climbing Harness

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,746
    Certified American Mountain Guide Jason Montecalvo demonstrates how to put on a climbing harness.

    Jason Montecalvo

    Jason Montecalvo is an instructor of rock climbing for Sportrock Indoor Climbing Centers. Jason has been leading individual and group indoor and outdoor climbing programs for children and adults for over eight years for multiple organizations including Horizons Adventure Camp where he created, organized and lead team building programs for public, corporate, and at risk and disabled youth, in areas such as hang gliding, caving, scuba, white water kayaking, and high ropes course facilitation. In addition, Jason has been teaching for Northern Virginia Community College as an adjunct climbing professor for over five years. Jason has an Associate in Science as well as a B.S. from George Mason University with his expertise being health and fitness in parks and recreation management. Jason also holds several national certifications in his area of expertise including being a Top Rope Site Manager for the American Mountain Guiding Association as well as having a Wilderness First Responder certification from Wilderness Medical Associates. As an avid outdoor athlete, Jason most memorable climbing accomplishment was climbing multi-pitch routes out west in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and tough single pitch sport climbing routes in the east at the New River Gorge in West Virginia. Jason has lived and in the Northern Virginia DC metropolitan area for 28 years but has a great passion for the west coast and New England regions of the country for all areas of outdoor recreation and sport; in particular, climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

    Hi! My name is Jason Montecalvo with Sportrock Climbing Centers and today Im showing you how to safely climb in an indoor rock climbing facility. Remember, climbing is inherently a dangerous activity and requires you to seek professional help by certified instructors prior to engaging in this activity.

    Right now, I would like to teach you how to put on a climbing harness. A climbing harness is what keeps you attached to the rope and safe from hitting the ground. The first thing we want to do is identify the components of a climbing harness, and we need to figure out where the waist belt is as opposed to where the leg loops are. The waist belt is going to be the long piece of webbing on the waist on the harness and thats going to go right through our bellybutton. Were going to take the long end and wrap that around our waist coming back to the front of the harness where there is a buckle. Were going to feed webbing through the buckle and were going to tighten it so its snug on my waist. Im going to finish by feeding it through the other portion of the buckle as well. Then Im going to identify the leg loops and to attach the leg loops to each one of my legs. First, I will grab the left leg loop, wrap that around my left thigh; I will take the webbing and feed it through the buckle as well. Once I have fed it through the left leg, Im ready to attach my right leg. I will wrap that webbing around my right thigh. I will take the webbing and feed it through the buckle as well, both sides, until it is snug on my thighs as well.

    The last important piece on the harness is making sure all the buckles are closed. There are three buckles on a harness; there are two leg buckles and a waist buckle. If you see red on the tag where the buckle looks like the letter O for open, we are not finished yet and we need to close this buckle. In order to do so, were going to take the webbing, feed it back through the original portion of the buckle that we originally went through. So now when its tight and secure and closed, the buckle looks like a letter C for close. We will essentially do that with our legs as well, closing both the left leg as well as the right. Once we are fully closed we can now talk about some components of the harness. We have some obvious components including the two leg loops as well as the waist belt. We have the belay loop which is in front of us; that is the single strongest point in the harness which we belay off of. Then we have the crotch strap, which goes from the leg through the belay loop and back down to the other leg, as well as the catch loop in the waist.

    These are important components in which to learn in order to tie in to our harness correctly. In conclusion, we need this harness to be snug on our body, on or above our hips, and our buckles to be closed. Next, lets learn how to tie into our harness as a climber.