Summary of Climbing/Rappelling Standards



Summary of UIAA Standards
DeviceMinimum Breaking StrenthAdditional Info
Anchors25 kn (5620 lbs) Ropes must be kernmantel construction and survive 4 falls with the following parameters:
  • the rope being tested is 2.8 meters (9.2 ft) long
  • the falling weight is 80 kg (176 lbs)
  • the distance of fall is 4.8 meters (15.7 ft)
  • the rope passes over a carabiner 10mm in diameter
These conditions simulate a fall that generates 12 kN (2697 lbs) of force on the first fall. According to John Long in "Climbing Anchors", extensive testing has demonstrated that the maximum force likely to be generated with modern equipment in an actual leader fall virtually never exceeds 2400 lbs of force. Long also states that the maximum force encountered in top rope situations virtually never exceeds 800 lbs. Thus, the UIAA standards exceed forces likely to be encountered in actual climbing situations.
Carabiners20 kn (4496 lbs)
Harnesses15 kn (3372 lbs)
Ropes12 kn (2697 lbs)
Slings22 kn (4495 lbs)





Scouting Guidelines for Climbing Equipment

Helmets and Harnesses must be UIAA- or CE-approved, designed for climbing and must be retired according to manufacturer's recommendations or after seven years. Harnesses tied from 1-inch wide webbing may be used.

Ropes must be UIAA- or CE-approved, kernmantel construction, and 10.5 mm or greater in diameter. All ropes must be purchased new, a log kept recording date of purchase and all use, and all ropes must be retired after four years, regardless of use.

Webbing used for slings and harnesses must be designed for climbing (military spec 1-inch tubular qualifies), with a minimum breaking strength when new of 15.6 kn (3,500 lbs). Webbing may be doubled to meet this standard. All webbing must be purchased new, and all webbing must be retired after four years, regardless of use.