Skimo Co

Petzl Altitude Harness


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Using what they call "wireframe technology," Petzl has created a feature-rich but impossibly light harness for high-altitude climbing and ski mountaineering. The Altitude is light enough for racing but robust and feature-packed for all your ski mountaineering needs. The harness is very slim and packable yet doesn’t bite into you while hanging. The Petzl Altitude is the new standard for day-to-day skimo.

  • Harness is about the size of a small canned energy drink when packed in its bag.
  • Designed to allow donning and removal without taking off skis/crampons.
  • Buckles are durable and can be operated with gloves on.
  • Two gear loops are easy to access with a backpack.
  • Siliconized ice-screw keeper on each leg loop keeps the pointy things outside your skin.

Update 2019/20: A new gear loop design makes for one large horizontal loop on each side instead of the previous 2 small vertical loops per side. New leg loop buckle mechansim is slightly larger for easier gloved operation. Black accents give a nice Halloween theme; it's spooky safe!

Update 2023/24: Petzl finally gets on board with Skimo Blue by changing the color scheme.

Size S/M M/L L/XL
Waist Belt 64-86 cm / 25-34 in. 74-96 cm / 29-38 in. 84-108 cm / 33-42 in.
Leg Loops 55-67 cm / 21-26 in. 60-73 cm / 23-29 in. 66-79 cm / 26-31 in.
convert to ounces
162g [S/M]
Gear Loops 2
Drop Seat No
Skis-On Don Yes
Specs Verified Yes
Materials   Nylon monofilament, polyester, high-modulus polyethylene, aluminum
Skimo Co Says
Usage Ski mountaineering, alpinism, general mountaineering
Notes Killian wears it
Bottom Line Can do it all
Compare to other Harnesses

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Michael T
How should I measure the leg loops for fit? Thickest part of my quads??
Answer from Jeff
Michael, Yes, measure at the thickest part. If in-between sizes, go Up.
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katy g (hasn't used product)
Hard to review the harness performance itself, because I cannot use it. Mostly here to say: the size chart is reeeeally off. I'd been looking for a ski mountaineering harness this fall in prep for the spring ski season, but was a little nervous based on how skimo brands/sizes tend to size things (for skinny folks). I am a 5'4" size 10 woman, think athletic mountain biking thighs, so my thighs tend to be the pinch point in sizing. I chose the Petzl Altitude, size XL, because its size chart had the roomiest thigh size by FAR vs. similar Black Diamond or CAMP harnesses (up to 31 in per leg!). This should have fit with tons of room to spare. Instead, it is no where close to fitting, and my partner's MEDIUM Black Diamond Couloir UL harness is closer to being the right fit. Weird.

Anywho: if it fit, I'm sure it would've rocked. But since the return policy on harnesses is a no-go, figured I should spread my experience around to save a fellow thicc ski sister the $$$. On to find a different harness for glacier travel!
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Hayden (used product a few times)
This harness is remarkably more packable than my old BD Couloir, and feels more comfortable when skiing/wearing it. I really like that it has a proper belay loop. As someone who doesn’t often take their rope and harness skiing, I definitely appreciate the ease of use that comes with this configuration. Are there lighter harnesses out there? Of course. However, I think the useability of this harness is far greater than others in its weight class. Petzl is truly leading the industry in technical alpine gear for ski mountaineering right now (Gully ice axe, Irvis Crampons, RAD line, etc.)
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Nels N (used product regularly)
Bought it when I decided to do Rainier, and have since also skied Hood in it, and climbed a few glaciated peaks in the Alps. It's been great - lightweight, as comfortable as one can hope for under a heavy pack's waist belt, and easy on/off with skis/crampons on. On that note, and maybe its just me, but I can't shimmy it on/off - I have to undo the leg loops and primary double backed belt each time I take it on and off, same as I would with skis on my feet, even if I don't. Not a problem at all, unless your fingers aren't feeling dexterous.
The ice screw loops on the leg loops are great, really where I want them to keep a screw out of my way. The harness' gear loops themselves aren't much to brag about, other than they're small enough to just ignore and use your pack's gear loops.
I've never tested its primary purpose, holding a fall... In crevasse rescue training I have had the leg buckles pop open, but they aren't truly part of the load bearing system anyway, so I still feel it's as safe a harness as you'll find for the weight.
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EG1 (used product regularly)
Just skied the Haute Route Chamonix - Zermatt with this...totally bomber. Ice screw loops are well placed and tight enough to not let the screws slide out during the day. Very comfortable and easy to don with ski boots and skis on which is a major plus in some situations. Did seem to think ran a bit small as L fit well but with not a ton of adjustment room if you happened to be wearing baggier pants (33' waist for reference).
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Emily (used product regularly)
I've used this for lightweight, long distance glacier traverses and for volunteer mountaineering rescue patrols. It's great for the light and long trips as it takes up no space in the pack. Easy enough to put on while wearing skis, and.. as a woman.. easy enough to pull down to pee. I brought this along on a 120 mile traverse through the Wrangells which required a 40+ lbs pack--so I was thankful for its light weight, but also importantly, the harness interfaced well with the hipbelt on my pack. I was still able to access the gear I needed while wearing the pack.
The old version has smaller gear loops which can be a pain for organizing the glacier kit, but it works okay and I can always get what I need. That seems to be fixed in the newer version and should make gear organization easier.
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Jackson B (used product a few times)
Bought this for a ski mountaineering course I did recently.... If you are planning on roping up at high altitude with skis or big boots / crampons, I definitely recommend getting a mountaineering specific harness. Save on weight and volume and don't fall off the mountain or destroy your summer climbing harness while you slip your spiky feet through little leg loops. This harness attaches easily with large items strapped to your feet because you don't slip through the leg loops to put it on. Super lightweight, super tiny, enough gear loops, happy with it!
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Travis (used product a few times)
Climbed Mt. Baker and Sahale Peak in this harness. I love the ice screw holders. You might not think it’s necessary but up after hours and hours of climbing having one less thing bouncing on your harness is amazing. Super light too. Agree with the other reviewer that you wouldn’t want to hang in this thing for a long amount of time.
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Eric (downright abused product)
I decided not to bring two light harnesses to Cham for the season so left behind my CAMP alp95 and just brought the Altitude. It's awesome for glacier travel and even really easy climbing though I wouldn't want to hang in it for too long. Even short raps are a bit uncomfortable. Doing a ten minute zipline style river crossing in it was unpleasant. For racing it's nice, not much heavier than the ALP95 but because it was sized better for me, a little more comfortable to ski in. If the leg loops get folded over or rub wrong they are actually a bit sharp but that's easily fixed. Major plus is to be able to put it on with boots on easily. Nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom when you've put a non-adjustable harness over your skin suit... Only complaint is that it takes three hands to put the waist belt through the belay loop but that's pretty minor...
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Model: Altitude

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