One Hundred Canyons Later

April 15, 2018

Review of and love letter to my recently retired Petzl Canyon harness.

We went through well over 100 canyons together. 52 of them were North Wash, Escalante, or otherwise skinny canyons.

Sandthrax started your death. I didn't repair you when I had the opportunity and took you out again when I shouldn't have. Escalante sealed your fate. Or at least your butt protector's fate. Duct tape has fixed you many times but it can't fix this. I'm sorry for breaking you.

The thought of replacing you makes me worry that I won't like the next one nearly as much. When I first came to the realization that duct tape wouldn't fix you this time, I felt empty inside. I still feel a little empty, even though it's been several weeks now.

When I got you, there were a several things I didn't like and a couple I did.

The Bad

You are heavy

You weigh more than any climbing or canyoneering harness I know of. Not the best thing on a backpacking trip.

You are bulky

You take up way more space than any harness should take. I would hike for miles with you still on me because you took up so much space I didn't have any room for you in my backpack. 12 miles inChoprock. I took a different harness for Heaps because you're so big.

Your monstrous gear loops

Your gear loops are so big I started buying different carabiners because it was annoying to try and fit Petzl Attaches on there.

Also your waist belt is too long and yourleg loops are too short.

You absorb a ton of water

You have lots of padding that makes the harness weigh twice as much the minute I enter water.

The butt protector looks like a diaper

You have these elastic bands on the side of your butt protector that scrunch it up. The good news is they didn't last 10 canyons.

At least it's not white with a yellow stripe that turns blue when it gets wet. Don't get any ideas.

The Good

You've been my reliable friend

You have never faltered. You have functioned exactly according to your design. Your gear loops never broke. Your belay loops never broke. Your waist belt and leg loops never broke. You always fit me well enough.

I look like a badass

When you go canyoneering with people for the first time, harnessing up is also the time canyoneers size each other up. You, my destroyed harness, provide me with instant credibility.

You lasted 100 canyons

We went through over 100 canyons. Holy cow! Most harness don't last half that many canyons.

Next harness

I am tempted to just get another butt protector for you and I still may do this. There are quite a few scars on your leg loops that are starting to look a little sketchy, though. And I don't know how long the belay loop will hold. You are already five years old. That's pretty old in canyon years.

I ended up getting a Singing Rock Canyon XP harness. The gear loops are a lot smaller and I've heard complaints that they break easily. I know I take care of my stuff, though, so I think it'll be okay. I also don't put every conceivable piece of gear on them for every canyon so I have that natural advantage.

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