What Ski Mountaineering Harness Is Right For You?

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Skiing Apocalypse Couloir GTNP
Aaron on 1st Rappel

When you’re heading into the big mountains it may be important to add a ski mountaineering harness to your quiver of mountain tools. Ski mountaineering harnesses are minimalist harnesses that allow you to safely play in the mountains.

Skiing Apocalypse Couloir GTNP
Rappelling Into A Couloir

When selecting a ski mountaineering harness look for the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Adjustable
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Easily worn with a backpack
  • Able to be fully unbuckled to put on while wearing skis/crampons
  • Have gear loops/ice screw holders
  • Easy to use with gloves on
  • Pass all necessary safety tests

The following selection of lightweight, ski touring/mountaineering specific harnesses will be ideal for you the next time you’re roped up while crossing a glacier, need protection on a steep snow climb, ski belaying a friend into a line, or rapping into a couloir…


Black Diamond Couloir Harness

Black Diamond Couloir Harness | Screenshot from BlackDiamondEquipment.com
Black Diamond Couloir Harness | Screenshot from BlackDiamondEquipment.com
  • Price: $64.95
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Features:
    • Redesigned ultralight construction with hydrophobic fabric
    • Speed buckle for easy on/off while wearing skis or crampons
    • Two webbing gear loops
    • Four Ice Clipper slots with ice screw slot in each leg loop to reduce clanking
    • Full-strength belay loop
    • Extremely light, packable and low profile
    • Primary fabric is bluesign approved

(Read a review of a prior model of the BD Couloir Harness)


Mammut Zephir Altitude Harness

Mammut Zephir Altitude Harness | Screenshot from Mammut.ch
Mammut Zephir Altitude Harness | Screenshot from Mammut.ch
  • Price: $84.95
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Features:
    • Innovative Split Webbing technology
    • Very strong Dyneema® webbing
    • Click-buckle for ideal handling of the hip belt
    • Easy on/off through plastic click buckles
    • Possibility to get in without taking off crampons or skis
    • 2 gear loops
    • Attachments for 4 ice screw carabiners
    • Functional Drop Seat buckle


Petzl Altitude Harness

Petzl Altitude Harness | Screenshot from Petzl.com
Petzl Altitude Harness | Screenshot from Petzl.com
  • Price: $79.95
  • Weight: 160 grams
  • Features:
    • Ultra-light and compact:
      • – only 150 g (size S/M)
      • – minimal bulk, when packed in its bag
    • Can be donned while wearing skis or crampons:
      • – dons with feet on the ground
      • – the DoubleBack Light buckle and tightening strap are easy to operate, even with gloves
    • Optimal simplicity and accessorization:
      • – four equipment loops totally integrated into the harness to minimize interference when wearing a backpack
      • – each leg loop has a keeper with siliconized interior, for positioning an ice screw
      • – streamlined design with waistbelt and leg loops using
      • WIREFRAME Technology construction
    • Material(s): nylon monofilament, polyester, high-modulus polyethylene, aluminum
    • Certification(s): CE EN 12277 type C, UIAA


Petzl Tour Harness

Petzl Tour Harness | Screenshot from Petzl.com
Petzl Tour Harness | Screenshot from Petzl.com
  • Price: $54.95
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Features:
    • Excellent weight/durability ratio, due to the materials used in its construction
    • Can be donned while wearing skis or crampons:
      • – dons with feet on the ground
      • – the DoubleBack buckle and tightening strap are easy to operate, even with gloves
    • Optimal simplicity and compactness:
      • – color code allows instant identification of the inside and outside of straps
      • – four equipment loops totally integrated into the harness to minimize interference when wearing a backpack
      • – each leg loop has a keeper with siliconized interior, for positioning an ice screw
      • – streamlined design
    • Material(s): Polyester, steel
    • Certification(s): CE EN 12277 type C, UIAA


CAMP USA Alp Mountain Harness

Camp USA Alp Mountain Harness | Screenshot from Camp-USA.com
Camp USA Alp Mountain Harness | Screenshot from Camp-USA.com
  • Price: $59.95
  • Weight: 260 grams
  • Features:
    • Light and compact for high-level mountaineering
    • All-mountain functionality allows the harness to be put on and stripped off without removing crampons or skis
    • Innovative load webbing construction maximizes comfort and reduces pressure points
    • Legs and waist feature proprietary Sicura buckles that give the security of steel autolocking functionality with the ability to quickly de-thread for easy on-and-off in the mountains
    • Integrated 3 mm padding on the waist
    • 3 gear loops: 2 on the sides and 1 on the back
    • Elastic straps between the waist and legs are connected by a single buckle for an easy drop seat
    • 6 integrated slots for Hub racking carabiners to hold ice screws and tools or to rig additional gear loops


What ski mountaineering harness is right for you? Do your research and buy the one that meets your needs. Remember that before donning a harness you need to know how to properly use your harness. Read all manufacturer instructions. Take necessary courses from a certified guide. Seek the training you need to be safe in the mountains.

(All features listed above are directly from the manufacturer websites.)

See Also: What Is Ski Mountaineering?