Lifting devices for mountaineering

Lifting devices for mountaineering

The history of world mountaineering began in the 19th century. The Alps mountains became the first mark of climbers, hence the name - mountaineering. The first climbers to go down in history were French, Italian and German. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that countries such as France, Italy, Germany and Australia have become the best manufacturers of climbing equipment. But there are brands of other countries that are in demand among professional climbers. The growing popularity of sports mountaineering has forced all manufacturers to improve lifting devices, equipment and equipment, both for professionals and for ordinary amateurs. This led to the release of reliable devices that are able to withstand enormous tensile stress and friction.

At the moment, there are several types of mountaineering that require high-quality and reliable equipment and equipment:

  • Mountain climbing;
  • Industrial mountaineering or Promalp;
  • Sport climbing;
  • Ice climbing;
  • Speleology.

Climbing equipment and all elements of lifting devices must be as reliable as possible in order to secure in dangerous moments of climbing to the top or descending into a cave. Speleology, which deals with the study of natural underground cavities and spaces, also requires the use of high quality climbing equipment.

Features of lifting systems

For safe ascent or descent of a climber, full-fledged lifting systems have been developed, which include a complex of individual elements that are firmly connected to each other.

A standard stand-alone climber kit includes items such as:

  • The descender can be manual or automatic and is used to brake the rope by friction. It should be understood that the automatic version is safer than the manual one, since the car mechanism allows you to adjust the descent speed and has a blocker. And since at a height different situations can arise up to the loss of consciousness of the climber, the automatic type will simply be blocked and will not allow a person to fall.
  • A fall arrest device is needed to distribute the load caused by sudden jerks in order to protect a person from falls in the event of a breakdown of the lifting system or a break in the main rope.
  • Zhumary under the arms, perform the role of a mechanical gear clamping of the rope when climbing a climber. In the mid-range, these lifting devices are used to lift and hold loads. For comfortable use, the handle of the clamp is protected by an elastic cover.
  • Block rollers, used to block the lifting device. The mechanism works on single ropes of various diameters, there are also models for a cable.
  • Ropes and cables, can be dynamic or static. Their differences lie in their susceptibility to deformation and stretching. The rope is intended to be used as a launching or belay base, therefore it must be of the highest quality and reliability.
  • Carabiners play the most important role of a connecting link in the lifting system, so they must be with a closing clutch. Products are made of hardened steel or aluminum alloys, which have an increased strength factor.
  • Loops are needed to organize anchor points or additional anchor points for ropes. The most popular are hinges from 60 to 120 cm long.

Devices should not only be as strong as possible, but also have a light weight so that they can be easily carried with you in any weather.

The best manufacturers of mountaineering equipment and their products

Today there are many manufacturers who are engaged in the manufacture of climbing products. But still, experienced climbers trust only proven brands. The following lifting devices have proven their effectiveness, reliability and safety:

Mechanical Lift Wild Country Ropeman (UK)

It is a standard unit with built-in camalot and carabiner. Used for single rope. The compact and reliable device is convenient to take with you. Negative - cannot be used with double rope. The Wild Country product range includes the entire line required for any type of mountaineering or rock climbing.

Lifting devices for mountaineering

This article will focus on the most essential element of personal insurance - the belay system. I will try to describe in detail the types of belay systems and their purpose, the main manufacturers of gazebos and harnesses.

Basic concepts

As a rule, climbers use the following parts of belay systems:

1. "Harness" - the lower part of the harness, is a waist belt and belts around the legs, which are connected in one piece. Almost everything that the climber uses at the time of the ascent is attached to the gazebo. It is the gazebo that holds the weight of the person on the main rope.

BLACK DIANOND Primrose Arbor

2. "Harness" - the upper part of the harness. Outwardly, it looks like an ordinary bra, from which in certain circles it was called "bra". Its purpose is to more accurately fix the position of the climber. Used only in conjunction with a gazebo. Separate use is prohibited due to possible breakdown injuries.

Singing Rock Tying

3. Combined system. It is a single unit of the upper and lower belay systems. This is the most modern and convenient insurance that provides the highest comfort and safety.

Combined VENTO system

Description of the purpose of the various loops on the system

Waist belt. This is the main part of the belay system that carries the main load. Consists, as a rule, of a strong line and a soft part that provides comfort. The length of the strap is adjustable with a buckle. Almost all modern systems have self-locking buckles, but they are heavier.

For the safe ascent of a climber, full-fledged lifting devices have been developed, which include a set of connected individual elements.

In the article I tried to project all the information on the real conditions of our mountains and shared my experience of hiking and climbing.

Let's start with one day hikes. What is needed for this and can you? In general, everyone can go to the mountains, for sure you can walk 3-4 km. We have such routes. Moreover, the mountains are becoming more accessible due to the construction of good roads and the improvement of the well-being of the population of our country. For a regular hike, you need a backpack for 20-40 liters and shoes, it is better to walk in high shoes (trekking) to protect your legs from injury. For a start, you can take whatever clothes you like, but it is better practical, sportswear. Another very important thing, tracking sticks, due to which you redistribute forces from feet to hands (approximately 20-30%). Accordingly, you will get tired less and walk more. The most important thing that is still needed is, of course, the desire and the choice of a specific goal of the trip.

Where to buy equipment for hiking in the mountains in Almaty? Flea market "Rakhat" and "Yalyan" or sports shops in the city Almaty ("Limpopo", "ProSport", etc.). The goods at the flea market are 25-50% cheaper, but the quality is different, here you play roulette in terms of buying a backpack or trekking shoes. It can hold out for a very long time, or it can fall apart in the first campaign. Items bought in stores will last for 2 years, a backpack for 5 years.

Prices. I will indicate from (flea market) to (shops in Almaty). There are sales in stores, as well as at a flea market. The goods can be purchased at a flea market 50-70% cheaper, in stores - 20-50%.

  • Backpack 30 l - from 40 to 100 $
  • Trekking shoes - from 80 to 200 $
  • Trekking sticks (per pair) - from 20 to 70 $

When hiking in the mountains for beginners, you should have: a small backpack (30 l), trekking sticks, a raincoat (no matter how good the forecast is, it is better to always wear it), a hat, sunglasses, trekking shoes with with a protector (you can just sneakers), light sportswear, when hiking in the highlands over 3000 m, you must always take warm clothes regardless of the weather forecast, foam for rest.

If you think deeper, you are going to develop both physically and in expanding the geography of your hikes, you want to see gorgeous panoramas, then you will probably want to climb the peaks that you saw nearby or want to visit gorges, high-mountain lakes, where it is impossible to get there in 1 day.

Mountain tourism (hiking and trekking)

Mountain tourism is a type of active tourism, the essence of which is overcoming by a group of tourists the natural obstacles encountered in the mountains (steep climbs, passes, peaks and rocks) on the chosen route with the help of muscular strength and appropriate special equipment. Category peaks and passes are usually passed by sports groups that are part of the section and clubs or inexperienced tourists under the guidance of a guide (commercial tourism).

In countries with developed tourism, the concept of hiking (hiking) means a short mountain hike along marked trails, overnight stays are supposed to be in hotels. T. tourists travel light in the mountains. We have this from the realm of fantasy!


In the process of improving techniques and equipment, climbing ropes seem to be the most lagging behind in their development. And their purpose did not immediately become what it is in our time.

At the dawn of mountaineering, the role of the rope was much more modest. You could hold onto the rope with your hand, there was no question of any kind of insurance with the rope, it could simply not withstand the fall of the climber. At least it wasn't designed for that.

Nothing strange. Was the rope all of plant material? hemp. She was only able to withstand static loads. Then there was a better quality linen rope, more durable and elastic. These ropes had an extremely low elongation, low energy consumption (ability to damp a jerk) and a short service life. The maximum they were suitable for was organizing the railings and carrying out the top belay.

Twisted hemp climbing rope

With similar ropes in 1922, Andrew Irwine and George Mallory went to Everest, and members of the OPTE (Organization of Proletarian Tourism and Excursions) used them to make their ascents.

The invention of synthetic nylon in the 1930s was a revolutionary step in mountain climbing ropes.

These ropes were much lighter than hemp ropes and could withstand a serious jerk when a climber fell.

Since the 1950s, not only the material of the ropes has begun to change, but also the design. Is the rope braided? an outer layer around the main power conductors that performs a protective function.

But, as before, belaying on such ropes could only be carried out by etching 1-3 meters of rope through the braking device in the event of a fall. Keeping a partner under a given range of snatch values ​​required great skill of the belayer. Earlier, before the advent of modern dynamic ropes and before the collapse of the alpine camps system, the skills of dynamic belay were practiced on special stands. These skills have not lost their relevance to this day, especially when the intermediate points are not reliable.

Since the mid-1980s, with the advent of ropes capable of completely dampening the jerk in case of serious breakdowns, has the golden era of climbing come? the breakdown became a working moment on the rocks, and in some cases in the mountains.

What is a ski tour, why does it so rapidly involve more and more outdoor enthusiasts in its ranks, and how to properly approach the collection of equipment for a ski tour and ski mountaineering. In this article you will find answers to the most popular ski tour questions and three checklists for collecting equipment for different exits, from simple ones near ski resorts to multi-day ones with glacier crossings and overnight stays in shelters.

Sergey Romanov

Senior ski mountaineering instructor of the Russian Mountaineering Federation. Member of the Russian Mountain Guides Association. II grade in mountaineering. Participated in the very first and several subsequent World Championships in ski mountaineering. In the AlpIndustry since 1994. Job: manager and mountain guide of the Adventure Team, instructor of the AlpIndustry Mountain School.

Skiing, like most children in our country, from the age of three, mountain skiing from twelve. I was engaged in alpine skiing in Kyrgyzstan on the Tien Shan, there were no lifts, no snow groomers, so going uphill on skis or with skis and descents on virgin lands were the norm. Later, after graduating from the institute, for several years he worked as a ski instructor in mountaineering camps. In 1991, the first trip to Italy took place, to an international meeting of ski climbers (at that time he worked in the Professional Sports Club KamAZ, were engaged in tourism/mountaineering). It turned out 7 days - 7 good skiing, 7 cool descents from the peaks (altitudes from 3500 to 3900 m). After that, it became uninteresting to just ride with a lift, ski tour and ski mountaineering became interesting.

Ski tour and ski mountaineering

What is a ski tour?

People love to ride, walk and ski. Someone is interested in driving on good tracks, someone likes bumps, riding in parks. There are those who like to ride outside the prepared tracks. And among such amateurs there is a special category of people who gladly climb mountain passes, climb and do it on skis. It is good if the entire route can be walked (and passed) without taking off the skis, but sometimes it is necessary to walk/climb over simple rocks or walk a section in climbing crampons.

Why and who did the ski tour come about?

The inhabitants of the mountains (Alps, Pyrenees, Scandinavian mountains) were forced to ski in winter, the same necessity forced the armies of the Alpine countries to use skis in winter. Later, "loitering" amateurs also appeared in the mountains. And biathlon and ski mountaineering spun off as independent types from the army ski competition "Race of Patrols" (unprepared tracks, rifles, etc.).

What are the differences between ski touring, ski mountaineering and backcountry?

Yes, in general, there are almost no differences. If you ask a person going up the mountain on skis or splitboard, "What are you doing?", One will answer "Skituru", the other "I am engaged in ski mountaineering", the third - "Backcountry" :) And they all go up the mountain together, Kogutai, for example ...

Why is the ski tour gaining popularity so actively, becoming "fashionable"?

I think "trendy" is not quite the right word. It's not the easiest thing to do - skiing in the mountains. This is not a ride on prepared tracks. And at the same time, doing a ski tour, you get away from the cable cars and civilization, from the crowd and bustle, from the obsessive omnipresent music, from numerous cafes - go to the mountains, to nature.

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