Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, WY
Springsummernowfall in the Camp Flash Harness
Ohhhhh my, it’s been a good year. Early in the spring, I got a hold of the Camp Flash Harness and was able to get quite a bit of use out of it. The Flash Harness is designed for hard sport climbing and competition climbing. That’s because it’s so flippin’ light – at 8.3 oz! Now, I don’t climb super hard, but I did use this harness to push my personal limits of what hard is, and in the end, that’s all that matters. I also may have used it for what it wasn’t designed for (but really excels at)!
Early in the spring, I first used the harness to establish a first ascent at the local crag here in Durango, CO. The crag, East Animas is literally right behind my house. I just walk out the front door with the dog and gf, and the trailhead is a two minute walk away. I scouted the line from a neighboring climb that it now shares anchors with. We top-roped it to see if it would go and if it was worth the investment. Turns out it wasn’t too bad, and is a worthy addition to the home crag.
Wearing the Camp Flash Harness on the FA of 3AM Handy, 5.11c. 4/2016
In June, I did another first ascent at one of our summertime crags around Durango – Lemon Reservoir This crag sits at a higher elevation and is split by a perfect mountain river. My good friend Josh Armour was in town and put together a video of the process of establishing a new route. I cleaned and worked the route in the Camp Laser CR Harness (see that review here), and sent in the Flash.
Now it was alpine climbing season. I spent WAY more time in this harness alpine climbing than sporto climbing and I absolutely loved it! First of all, this harness packs up incredibly small. I can ball it up in my hands and it won’t be seen. I guided four, 3-day trips in the remote Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado with this harness. We ticked off the classic Wham Ridge on Vestal Peak and climbed Jagged Mountain as well. I only brought a 30L pack and having the Flash Harness inside was crucial to packing light. While the fixed leg loops made it sort of tricky to put the harness on over my approach boots, once it’s on, it’s on. No real worries there. The one other thing I noticed with this harness was the sizing – I usually wear a medium. In the medium Flash Harness, I had it cinched all the way down. Next time, I’ll probably size down. I still believe this is the best alpine harness I’ve ever used.
Heading down after a successful summit climb of the classic Wham Ridge (5.4) on the sweeping north face of Vestal Peak (13,864’).
Throughout the rest of the summer, I brought this harness with me on multiple trips. Most notably, the Wind River Range and the Grand Tetons. For me, this harness really excels in the alpine. Again, it is super packable and light and still has 4 gear loops. I’ve carried a double set of cams to #3 and a #4. I’ve off-width’d my way up Feather Buttress in the Cirque of the Towers, and traversed the Tetons for 14 hours.
Ridge-walking to the summit of Mt. Owen (12,927’) with the Grand Teton (13,776’) in the background.
The Flash Harness will remain an integral piece of my climbing repertoire. In the future, I could see more of an alpine style twist to this harness – with adjustable leg loops and ice clipper slots. I’m looking forward to seeing where this harness will take me this fall and winter.
The Grand Teton from the summit of Teewinot (12,326’). We traversed from Teewinot to Mt. Owen (pictured to the right of the Grand) and slept on the flat ledge on the right side of the Grand Teton. Climbed the Grand the next day.
AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor
AMGA Assistant Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide