Reinhard Fichtinger

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Lifespan - time to replace

Even if harnesses are one of the most robust pieces in climbing gear, their livespan are not unlimited. By regularly controlling the weakest points of ones harness, one can scrap the harness before it‘s too late.
Harnesses olden almost as the ropes, because they are built in the same materials. On the other hand, they are largely over-dimmensionned, and do not have to be as dynamic as the ropes. The danger of sharp edge fall is
also no question for a harness. Nevertheless, you should you for safety reasons, scrap your harness after a certain time. The following table gives guidelines, which should of course be adapted to individual cases. As an example, a harness wears off faster in a granite chimney as in overhangs.

Moreover, you should control on a regular basis, and after every important fall, every single stitch, as also wear-prone zones. Special attention should be given to the tie-in area. If any of these elements is damaged, it‘s time for a change! And since your life depends on your harness, the rule is: better too early than too late.

The following table gives reference values for the usability of the harness:


Frequency of User Approximate Life Span

Never used

10 years maximum
Rarely used: twice per year up to 7 years
Occasionally used: once per month up to 5 years
Regularly used: several times per month up to 3 years
Frequently used: each week up to 1 year
Constantly used: almost daily less than 1 year


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