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Activities and Adaptations


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> facilitator > activities & adaptations> high–challenge course > Body Positioning‚ Padding‚ and Harnesses

Body Positioning‚ Padding ‚ and Harness

Body positioning and comfort can make or break any high ropes course experience. Without the proper consideration for the specific comfort and safety needs of each individual, the experience can quickly become painful and/or unsafe. To aid in the quality of the experience‚ there are a variety of options available.

  • Padding
    • Specially designed harness inserts are available that can add to the protection around the leg straps and waist belt.

    • A neoprene wrap that contains Velcro can be wrapped around a person’ knees and ankles to hold them together and protect against abrasion.

    • Knee pads‚ elbow pads‚ and shin guards can all be used. Athletes from all major sports protect their bodies. Why not people using ropes courses?

    This photo shows padding specially designed to work with climbing harnesses.
    Specially designed harness inserts. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)

    This photo shows a persons legs held together by a neoprene wrap.
    A neoprene wrap can hold legs together and help prevent abrasion. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)

    This picture shows staff members talking with a participant as she tightens up her helmet in preparation for climbing the tower.  She is sitting in a wheelchair and wearing kneepads.  Staff members are standing around her.
    Staff members assist a participant get ready for the climbing tower. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)

    This photo shows a young man sitting in a power wheelchair‚ wearing a full body harness‚ helmet‚ shin guards and ropes for the counter balance system.  He is smiling for the camera as he waits his turn to climb the tower.  Two male staff members are standing next to him.
    A participant waits for his turn at the climbing tower. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)


  • Harness Options
    • A full body harness can be used to assist with stability and provide a higher clip–in point.

    • A seat harness can be used in conjunction with a seat sling. The seat sling can be used to keep the legs elevated if there is pain caused by them dangling. The seat sling can be attached to the belay rope with a prussik or ascender. (Rohnke‚ Wall‚ Tait‚ and Rogers‚ 2003)

    This photo shows a young man wearing a full body harness as he sits in his wheelchair waiting for his turn to climb the tower.
    The full body harness provides extra support to challenge participants.

    This photo shows a girl wearing a full body harness‚ helmet‚ and counter balance ropes as she climbs the tower.  The harness will help with stability.
    The girl climbs the tower wearing a full body harness for stability. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)


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