At the Ouray Ice Festival, I acquired a new favorite piece of equipment from the friendly folks at Petzl, the Sitta Harness. It’s a full strength, very lightweight harness made from high tensile strength materials, that comes in bright orange and white colors. When folded up, the harness fits into a miniature stuff sack, with the collapsible gear loops neatly tucked into the tight package. When worn, the harness is almost unnoticeable owing to its light weight.
When I first laid eyes on the thin materials and low bulk of the harness, I expected it to be a great ski mountaineering or glacier travel tool – working well for a situation where the harness is only used in emergency or short time frame operations. While the Sitta certainly is a great harness for such situations, its’ use extends much beyond my initial assumption.
The Sitta is actually very comfortable in a vertical environment where hanging in a harness is required and may extend for long time periods. In spite of the low volume padding, the shape and width of the leg and waist loops are quite comfortable.
I have now used the Sitta harness for both ice and rock climbing, and I am impressed with its’ functionality. Especially on long multi-pitch routes where weight savings are critical, the Sitta is my tool of choice. The gear loops are large enough to hold rock protection and quick draws, and ice clippers can be attached is needed.