It’s mountaineering season and before you go after your net alpine adventure you better have a reliable harness in your quiver. If you’re planning to use rope systems to protect your way in snowy mountainous environments the Black Diamond Alpine Bod Harness will get the job done right.
Sure, there’s a host of other solid lightweight alpine harnesses on the market these days. I’ve heard great things about many of them. However, this is the harness I’ve used exclusively for years, I trust it, and I’ve used it in multiple different scenarios in a diversity of different locales around the world. Why do I trust it? Plain and simple, it minimalist, and it works.
Guess what? It’s also cheap! Not cheap in the way it’s constructed, but it’s actually one of the most useful, affordable tools I have in my mountaineering toolbox. It retails for less than 40 bucks. In a time when just about every piece of gear I buy costs hundreds of dollars it’s nice to actually purchase something useful, durable, and inexpensive.
Beyond its affordability, the sheer simplicity of the harness is what speaks to me most. Even compared to the harness I use for rock climbing, it’s super easy to pack and wear. As I mentioned it’s also pretty lightweight (14 oz.). The harness is effortless to strap on in even the harshest environments no matter how many layers you’re wearing. It’s not even that bad to tie into using thick gloves or mittens if you’re really cold and don’t want expose your digits to freezing temperatures. Straightforward gear loops fall off either side making for simple racking, and they’re wide enough to stash an ice axe through in case you want it handy when on rappel so you can quickly anchor yourself with it once you go off rappel.
The Black Diamond Alpine Bod Harness comes with a one year warranty, is constructed with durable nylon, has super convenient adjustable leg loops, and is also padded for greater comfort. This harness has been extremely useful to me for skiing couloirs that include mandatory rappels, traveling over glaciated terrain, and has held up exceptionally well pulling clients out of crevasses on Denali. Even during one rescue scenario, where I was the connector point between two separate rope teams hauling a guy out of a hole, all the torque from either direction did not compromise the functionality of the harness. Any rock climber will tell you there are times, especially for males, when too much pulling on a harness will compromise sensitive areas a harness encompasses. Passing this test, along with numerous others is why I highly recommend this model for alpinists and ski mountaineers looking for a reliable harness to help them get into the goods and be safe in the mountains.