What Everyone Wants to Know About Snow Anchor Attachments

The Aspiring mid clip snow stake originated in the 1980s, following testing carried out in conjunction with the Federated Mountain Clubs. Aspiring snowstakes comply with the current recommendations for snow anchors developed by Don Bogie in collaboration with NZGA, NZMSC and LandSAR. Introduction While out on a recent skills course building snow anchors I began

Climbing in the Olympics – 2020 Update

Ever since 2016, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to include climbing in the 2020 Olympics the format has been a hotly debated subject. The IOC is combining the three main forms of competitive climbing—speed, boulder, and sport—into one event and only offering one set of medals. I’ve covered the format before, interviewing chief

Precautions to take when using the Petzl Pirana Descender

This information concerns the PIRANA (reference numbers D005AA00 and D005AA01) sold since the beginning of January 2020. Upon receiving feedback from users regarding instances of unintended blocking of the rope in the locking slot of the PIRANA, Petzl wishes to clarify details regarding the use of the descender for canyoning. Situation encountered by our users:

Understanding the white stuff

“Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua“ This proverb speaks to the importance of the land. While people come and go, the land remains. As humans we rely on the land. We must think long-term and see the big picture to ensure the sustainability of the land. Here at Aspiring we have been thinking of ways

What Winter Gear are you Missing?

As the cold weather approaches and snow starts to fall we start to think about the the winter adventures that are to be sent and the gear we wish we had.  Below we break down all the key gear items you’ll need to stay prepared this winter. There are important considerations when making a purchase:

Why Fixe Ropes?

Ropes that use Endurance technology slide more easily over their working surfaces: carabiners, descenders, belays, anchors, etc. To achieve this, higher quality strands are used which, combined with the manufacturing system, enables Roca to produce ropes with unique characteristics on the market. Endurance gives ropes a nicer feel, greater fluidity, and the ability to withstand

Safety Warning – Maillon Rapide

Peguet has publised a safety warning after a customer report of a cracked maillon rapide. More details can be found on the attached PDF or by navigating to the following page: https://www.peguet.com/news-gb

Precautionary Recall – CT Easy Speed

As a precautionary measure, Climbing Technology is voluntarily recalling its EASY SPEED (Ref. No. 2F714), subject to verification by the user. The recall is owing to a possible delay in the locking of the cam when used as follows: In the picture, the user grabs the openable side plate squeezing it towards the locking cam. This pressure, even

UV Damage Webbing – Synthetic Materials overexposed to UV light degrades and weakens the fabric

Down here we all know about the harsh affects of UV damage! Did you know when synthetic material is overexposed to UV light it degrades it by breaking down the molecular bonds in the fibre structure, thus weakening the fabric? During Waitangi weekend Nat collected a piece of unknown UV damaged webbing on the route

Product Safety Update- Daisychain

Aspiring is voluntarily replacing all Daisychains manufactured since 2015. Although no accidents or failures have been reported a routine batch test identified a potential flaw in the design that could be easily fixed with a change in the production process. In the interests of customer safety Aspiring has decided to voluntarily establish a replacement programme.

The Lure of Caving

One of my favourite playgrounds is in a world that cannot be seen and most people don’t even know about. Little outcrops of limestone or marble along with streams and rivers emerging from hillsides can offer clues to the wonders that lie beneath your feet. Caving is often thought to be about thrutching around in

Tips for Planning an International Climbing Trip

Climbing in a new place, especially a new country, is always an adventure and planning it should be part of the fun. Over the years, I’ve climbed in a number of different countries including the US, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and France. Whether your sights are set on multi-pitch climbing in the Dolomites or deep

Ode to Belay Glasses

I’ll admit, when I first started seeing people with belay glasses, they were generally old white guys in gyms. I thought the glasses were a gimmick or just not worth the money unless you were rich, lazy, and elitist. Then, on a climbing trip to Spain, my partner was having some neck issues and couldn’t

ETNZ Conference & Tradeshow

We are at the ETNZ Conference & Tradeshow this week in Wellington. Come check out our performance products at our stand on the 25th – 26th June.  

The Dragon Project

  New climbs on Banks Peninsula   History The Dragon Crags, as part of the Devils Gap crag, have been recognised as a climbing area since the early 1970s. In 1972 Murray Cullen established the first route, Backslider, on one of the upper walls. At present it is not clear where this route is. During the next few years

Caving On (or More Correctly Under) Mount Owen

Since New Zealand’s longest cave, Bulmer Cavern, was discovered in 1985 cavers have congregated at Bulmer Lake on Mt Owen in Kahurangi National Park every January. After 34 years of effort from scores of cavers, the length of the cave is about 74 kilometres, and it is the third deepest at 750 metres. This year

Crag Life: Keeping It Green

As outdoor enthusiasts, we often give consideration to the impact we have on our environment. With the climbing season upon us, now is a great time to talk about what we can do to ensure that we are taking care of our crags and minimising the impact we have on our surroundings. #1 The Bend

Gift Ideas for the Climber that “Almost” Has Everything

With the holiday season fast approaching we’re here to help find some great gear for the climber in your life that seems to always have everything..or at least almost everything. Y&Y Belay Glasses They might not be the most stylish thing but if your climbing partner has ever had a sore neck after watching you

NZ Canyoning – Top of the South

Venture off the track and into the canyon in the well-visited Top of the South Island… Written by canyon guide Rosie Hadfield.  The top of the South Island is renowned for its beautiful National Parks; many are drawn each year from across New Zealand to explore the backcountry by foot, by kayak, or by bike.

An Ode to Arapiles

Now New Zealand has some pretty amazing rock to be climbed: the polished limestone of Paynes Ford and Pohara, the grippy granite of Charleston, and the special schist of Wanaka and Queenstown to mention just a few. Yet still each year hundreds, if not thousands, make their pilgrimage across the pond to the towering cliffs

The Gear You Need to Start Rock Climbing

Whether you dream of pulling on plastic gym holds, scaling big walls, or ascending mountain peaks, basic rock climbing knowledge is essential. It’s the foundation of all mountain activities — but to get started rock climbing, first you need the right rock climbing gear. If you’ve never gone rock climbing before, we suggest starting in

How to Care for and Clean Your Climbing Rope

When you’re rock climbing, mountaineering, caving, or canyoning your life literally depends on the integrity of your gear. You need equipment that functions properly every time — and that means dedicating a certain amount of time to taking care of your gear. Your climbing rope is perhaps the epitome of this mantra as it is

A Comprehensive Guide to Belay Devices

Consider the kind of equipment you use when you’re rock climbing. You have your rope, your harness, your shoes — and of course, your belay device. The integrity of all this equipment is important, as essentially your life depends on it. Picking out the right climbing equipment can be difficult because of the number of

12 Best Sport Climbing Routes in New Zealand

Amidst the lush green vegetation of New Zealand’s lovely native bush arise the compact grey limestone cliffs of Golden Bay, the steep chiseled diorite bowls of the Fiordland, and the lakeside crags of Whanganui Bay. A geologically diverse land has given rise to a variety of suitable rock climbing features including slabby, pocketed volcanic regions,

Caving Equipment Suppliers Australia

Aspiring Safety have been caving equipment suppliers for over 25 years. We stock and manufacture a wide range of caving products. All products are proven for durability, functionality, and quality over 25 years. They are reasonably priced and made to last as well. Need something custom made for your cave next caving adventure? Get in

How to put on a Fall Safe Harness

The height safety harness is provided with both front and rear attachment points, which are both labelled and rated for fall-arrest. At the rear is a D-ring, and at the front are two webbing loops. These loops must be connected together. When connecting to the rear attachment point, wherever possible connect the lanyard before putting

Harness & Rope Cleaning

Ropes, harnesses, lanyards and other webbing products used in climbing, height safety, and outdoor education are generally made from polyamide (nylon) or polyester (Dacron, Terylene). Nylon is susceptible to attack by acids; whereas polyester is susceptible to attack by alkalis, so these materials must be kept away from those chemicals. Bleaches are usually either acidic

Fall Protection Equipment Maintenance

Fall protection equipment requires careful maintenance. A record must be kept for each item showing its date of purchase and recording periodic inspections carried out at a specified interval. Typically, this could be done every six months. Ropes, harnesses, and lanyards should be stored away from sunlight in a cool place. Metallic items should be stored

Suspension Trauma & Rescue Plan (Working at height)

In recent years it has been discovered that people can sometimes suffer severe effects due to loss of circulation while hanging in a harness. This is believed to cause death possibly in as little as 10-15 minutes’ suspension, even in a well-designed harness. This effect is called suspension trauma. The susceptibility of individuals to suspension

Roof Work Height Safety Tips

Roof work is different from other height safety situations, mainly because the work situation is usually sloping. This adds an element of deception – roofs are more dangerous than they look. Also, it can be very difficult to find suitable anchor points on a sloping roof, unless these have been installed specifically for fall protection.

Working from Elevated Work Platforms

Elevating work platforms include a variety of work platforms, which can be vehicle based, such as cherry pickers, fork-lift platforms, and scissor lifts, or building based, such as building maintenance units (BMUs) and suspended scaffolds. In addition to fall-protection, there are also issues of mechanical maintenance involved in the use of all EWPs for work

Swing-Fall Hazards – Height and Safety

A provision for fall clearance in itself does not guarantee that a fall will not result in impact with a structure, unless provision is made to ensure that a swing fall does not result in impact with an object to the side of the fall line. An impact from a swing fall (or pendulum fall)

Fall Clearance – Calculating the fall distance

A fall at height is never a safe proposition (see section 5). Apart from impact with the ground or major surfaces, there is also the risk of impact with protruding objects. Because of this, the distance to the ground (or a solid object) must not be overestimated. A risk assessment of the site must include

Anchorages

Anchorages are the third element of the fall-protection system, and are equally as important as the harness and the connection system. Anchorages for fall-arrest must have a minimum strength of 15 kN, and for work positioning a minimum strength of 12 kN. For horizontal life-lines, in which multiplication of the applied force can occur, anchorage strength

Horizontal Life-lines / Static Lines

Horizontal life-lines (also called “static lines”) are lengths of rope or wire cable rigged horizontally along a structure, and used as a long horizontal anchorage, connected to the worker with a lanyard that travels along the line following the worker’s movements. They may be up to 100 metres long, and have intermediate anchorages to divide

Retracting Life-lines / Fall Arrest Devices

Retracting life-lines (also called fall-arrest blocks, inertia reels, or fall arrest devices) offer the best protection to a worker in a fall-arrest situation because the webbing or cable retracts to the minimum amount automatically, thereby ensuring the shortest possible fall. If fall clearances are small (see section 13), there may not be enough clearance for a

Drop Lines and Anchor Ropes

Drop lines are vertically-oriented ropes used to protect workers climbing fixed ladders on structures. The worker uses a rope grab, a device which moves up and down the rope The rope grab is best connected directly to the harness with a karabiner or screw-link. Though standard rear-attachment point harnesses are often used, drop-lines suit a front-attachment

Connector Safety While Working at Height

Obviously it is vitally important that the lanyard assembly and the harness are connected together, and remain so. Often connection is made by a double-locking snap-hook; however some of the available snaphooks can be easily disconnected from the harness by twisting the gate of the hook against the harness D-ring, while applying gentle pressure on

Fall-Arrest System for Working at Height

A fall-arrest system requires a fall-arrest harness, incorporating a high-level attachment point, which can be either in a frontal position at the chest, or in a “dorsal” position between the shoulder blades. The harness must be the correct size and be adjusted securely. The harness instructions must be followed carefully to ensure the correct use

Work-Positioning System

A work-positioning system is used when a worker is suspended on a rope. Examples are: A rope access system (in which the worker abseils down the side of a building) Work on a sloping roof Pole work performed by electrical workers Work on broadcast and power transmission towers in which the worker is suspended from

Working at Height Restraint Systems

There is no such thing as a “safe fall”, or a “safe fall distance”, because the outcome of a fall is always unpredictable. There are numerous possible hazards in a fall, including: Impact with a protruding object Whiplash injuries Internal injuries due to sudden deceleration Adverse effects (including death!) of hanging in a harness too

Working at Height Fall Protection

Prevention of a fall can be achieved by use of a restraint system, which ensures that a worker cannot reach a position where a fall could occur. For example on the flat roof of a commercial building, the system might comprise a central anchorage on the roof, harnesses for the workers, and ropes connected to

The Hierarchy of Control – Hazard Management

The hierarchy of control is a method of hazard management for the worksite. The concept is that higher-level methods are always preferred over lower-level methods. The hierarchy of control for fall hazards is as below: Elimination: This means the work is performed by a different means which does not expose the worker to the fall

Working at Height Legal Considerations

Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995, employers and their workers are required to take “all practicable steps” to eliminate, isolate, and minimise work-place hazards. Workers who risk a fall of three metres or more must be supplied with fall protection. Any work risking

THE RISKS OF WORK AT HEIGHT

In the construction industry, falls from height are the most common cause of fatal workplace accidents. Falling is also a hazard in other industries such as telecommunications, electricity reticulation, and building maintenance. Several people die in New Zealand each year as a result of falling from height at worksites. Usually a fatality is due to

Carabiner Inspection and Retirement

Different Types Non-locking carabiners are used for primarily for climbing protection. They are not used on anchor systems, except where they are connected to a single anchor which forms a component of an anchor system, and the carabiner as well as the anchor are thereby backed up by other equipment. They are not used in

Climbing Rope Inspection and Retirement

Climbing ropes and static ropes are extremely strong and are capable of holding a large number of short falls without major damage. On the other hand, each fall does cause some slight deterioration, and the number of falls that can be taken is finite. Nylon rope has the following limitations: The melting point is relatively

Harness Inspection and Retirement

This section is concerned primarily with harnesses, but also applies to other equipment made from webbing, such as slings, quickdraws, lanyards, and strops. Generally harnesses are made from polyester webbing, though nylon is sometimes used. Slings, strops, and quickdraws are invariably made of nylon. Webbing equipment may be retired for various reasons, which could include:

Health and Safety Equipment Inspection

Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, employers are required to identify workplace hazards, and take reasonable steps to eliminate, isolate or reduce them. In the context of outdoor education, the organisation also has a “duty of care” extending to anyone who undertakes a course under its auspices. This document is primarily concerned with

CE Standards List

The European community has extensive collections of standards for both mountaineering equipment and for personal protective equipment (PPE) used in industry. Most of these are listed below. Mountaineering standards PPE standards EN 564 Accessory cords EN 341 Descenders EN 565 Webbing EN 353-1 Fall arrestors, rigid line EN 566 Slings EN 353-2 Fall arrestors, flexible

Hardware Standards

The European Community has a range of climbing equipment standards which covers most of the hardware commonly used in climbing, abseiling, caving, and rescue. There is also a separate standard for connectors used as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the height safety field. See the lists below. In addition the NPFA hardware standards are sometimes

HARNESS AND PPE STANDARDS

There are two different types of standards for harnesses: those for climbing harnesses, and those for height safety. These are fundamentally different because of the requirements of each market area. Outdoor education and adventure activities lie somewhere between the two. On one hand they are professional activities, and have to pay attention to health and

Rope Quality Standards

Note: All underlined references are hyperlinks to the Glossary at the end of this page. Dynamic ropes made to the CE standard EN 892. There is also another standard; the UIAA standard. (UIAA is the International Federation of Mountaineering Associations) is sometimes shown.  The CE standard was based on the previous UIAA standard, which was

Testing and Quality

Our Commitment To Quality Materials Quality in manufacturing begins with materials. We put a lot of effort into finding and using the right materials for the job. We have a huge range of webbings and other materials to choose from to ensure that we get the appropriate item. The majority of our harness webbing is

Mountaineering Harnesses – High attachment points

We have put particular emphasis in our harness designs to give them high attachment points (see Attachment methods), ever since the very first Classic harness was made over 20 years ago. This prevents a climber from inverting in a fall, or in the event of a head-first fall, generally rights the falling person. Thus the

How to put on a climbing harness

Firstly, make sure the harness is correctly assembled and not tangled. Buckles should be loosely fastened to make the harness easier to handle. Then step through the waist belt and into the leg loops, pulling the harness up holding both the waist belt and the leg loops on each side. Pull the waist belt over

How to attach a Harness

Attachment Methods All Aspiring harnesses, with the exception of the Height Safety harnesses and the Speleo caving harness, use one of two different styles of attachment point. On our Stratos climbing harnesses we use the Located Belay Loop; on our other harnesses, the Direct Attachment Point. These differ in the methods of connecting into them.