In 2016 Petzl launched its ultra light range of ski mountaineering and alpinism gear which comprise Gully axes with technical picks, 6 mm RAD line for glacier use, the Irvis Hybrid  and Leopard crampons, and the Altitude harness.

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Petzl’s Altitude harness was designed explicitly with light weight (150g) and pack size in mine. Its ‘wireframe’ construction is the key to its weight and low profile design. If there is any doubt if a harness is required there is no reason to leave it at home. It has an integrated belay loop making it easy to set up your cow’s tail and prussic for abseiling and anchoring to the belay. The leg loops have plastic closures so the harness can be donned with crampons or skis on and each loop has a silicone lined ice screw hold to stop you screws swinging around and while skiing and having the edge taken off the threads. A metal safety type buckle makes adjustment at the waist easy. Originally the harness had 4 vertically orientated thin tape loops for gear which I hated. Gear would bunch up and the tape loops would always catch in the gate. More than once I dropped a piece of gear because of difficulty in racking it. Thankfully Petzl have rectified this in the latest version with conventional gear loops.


I’ve used this harness since it launched in 2016 and durability is very good. It’s comfortable to wear all day ski mountaineering or lightweight easy alpinism but if I’m doing a route with hanging belays or a pitched climbing I will take a Sitta harness instead. One thing I noticed is the stiffness of the material might mean the leg loops catch when take strides but proper adjustment sorts this out.


To summarise this is a great lightweight harness for suited to ski-mountaineering, light alpinism and expeditions. It also comes with a stuff sac to keep it compact in your pack and there are 3 size options.




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