What happens to a helmet during impact? How do you set up a Reverso in guide mode? Which Petzl head torches offer Reactive lighting technology? How do you ensure the best possible fit on rock shoes and harnesses?
These questions and many more were answered on two recent training days run by Lyon Equipment (distributers of Petzl, Beal and La Sportiva amongst other outdoor brands). Based at London's The Castle Climbing Wall and the Manchester Climbing Centre, our staff were given some fantastic insights into a wide range of technical equipment.
The day began with an in-depth discussion of climbing ropes, surely one of the most complex areas of climbing equipment. Discussion ranged from the basic identification of single, double and twin ropes through to fall factors and impact force ratings. Clear demonstrations on the tripod showed the importance of climbing with dynamic ropes, the benefits of half ropes on trad and winter climbs, the pulley effect and the dangers of rope friction across accessory cord.
Petzl head torches are some of the most powerful and easy-to-use on the market, and the next part of training was devoted to explaining some of the technology involved. From the ability to programme regulated constant output lighting tailored to your requirements through to the amazing reactive self-adjusting lighting technology, this was a great opportunity to get hands-on with every model in the range.
Moving onto climbing harnesses, the group were guided through how to select the appropriate harness for any climber and any type of climbing. Just as important were some top tips aimed at achieving the best possible fit, with particular emphasis on the leg loops which take most of the weight of a climber when suspended in a harness.
The tripod rig came into its own again while looking at climbing helmets. Nothing brings to life how strong they are like seeing them being subjected to an impact by a 7kg rock! Often signs of impact are difficult to detect, so several different types of helmet were tested and examined. The ever-popular Elios and Meteor helmets performed very well, but the unique Sirocco (made from expanded polypropylene) was simply exceptional.
Finally it was time to experience the gear first hand. Wearing La Sportiva rock shoes and Petzl harnesses, staff led off up the walls – a fitting end to a fantastic day that brought some very technical categories to life.
Our thanks go to Roger, Sherman and Pete from Lyon Equipment for running these great events, which ensure that our staff continue to benefit from the best training in the industry.
For more information. view our full range of climbing hardware and equipment, or speak to one of our climbing experts.