Blue Ice climbing equipment company founder Giovanni Rossi first sparked the idea for the Choucas harness while planning a traverse of the south ridge of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey. The Choucas stirred a small revolution among climbers and alpinists while changing the harness market in a big way. The Choucas won an Outdoor Award in 2017.
The secret behind the lightweight product can be attributed to a combination of thoughtful fabric selection and simplistic design. The company replaced the metal buckle opening of traditional harnesses with convenient tying loops and an adjustable clip backup. In addition, the leg loops are secured independently with lightweight aluminum buckles.
The webbing is constructed of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW) blended with polyamide. UHMW is extremely strong and abrasion resistant, in addition to being extraordinarily lightweight. The leg buckles are comprised of aircraft-grade aluminum, also a strong and yet extremely lightweight material. While designed to be simple, Blue Ice did not skimp on the necessary features required by a harness with this level of sports-specific utility.
Two gear loops are integrated on either side for storage of carabiners, protection, and belay devices. There are two ice screw keepers designed into the leg loops as a result of an incident involving Blue Ice ambassador Sébastien Laurent, who one time fell into a crevasse and had difficulty removing the cap on his ice screw. The harness is CE/EN rated, adhering to standards of climbing safety. The small size weighs just 84 grams — as stated by the company, “lighter than a smartphone and, once folded, as compact as a headlamp.”
You can purchase the Choucas Light Harness for $82 on the Blue Ice website.