Black Diamond Aluminum Harness Buckles Exhibiting Severe Corrosion at Seaside Crags

Severe Corrosion, most likely SCC, on a 2013 model Black Diamond Momentum Harness - photo: Ugo Ortolano

Severe waist-buckle corrosion on a 2013 model Black Diamond Momentum Harness – photo: Ugo Ortolano

Multiple climbers who have frequented Taiwan’s seaside crag Long Dong have found the waist buckles on their Black Diamond Climbing Harnesses severely corroded afterwards.A 2013 model Momentum, a 2014 model Momentum and a 2013 model Chaos have been reported with this type of severe corrosion on the waist-buckle, a load-bearing and safety-critical component of the climbing harness.

The issue is not immediately apparent, but happens over a period of months after exposure to the saltwater spray present at Long Dong.

In addition to climbers in Taiwan, HK Climber Tony reports of the same issue occuring on his 2014 BD Momentum Harness after climbing at seaside crags in Hong Kong, meaning this problem could affect BD Harnesses used at any seaside area- not just in Taiwan.

With some harnesses exhibiting the issue and others of the same make and model with no issue(despite going through similar conditions), the issue is suspected to be the influence of salt water exposure combined with quality control issues on certain harnesses.

The issue is not isolated to a single model or year as reports of waist buckle corrosion have been confirmed on a 2013 and 2014 Black Diamond Momentum Harness, as well as a Black Diamond Chaos Harness. All BD harnesses which use anodized aluminum buckles seem to be possibly affected.

john martin bd harness scc-001

Waist buckle corrosion on a 2014 Black Diamond Momentum Harness – Photo: John Martin

We suggest the following to climbers who frequent seaside crags like Taiwan’s Long Dong, Hong Kong’s Tung Lung Island, or Greece’s Kalymnos:

  • Inspect your harness regularly if climbing by the sea and wash or wipe down the metal hardware at least once a month
  • If you find excessive corrosion on your BD Harness waist buckle, contact BD warranty service at https://warranty.bdel.com/
  • Help prevent corrosion by storing harnesses in their original mesh bag for airflow instead of confined spaces like a closet or backpack
  • Until this issue is addressed, consider buying other harnesses  brands if climbing by the sea

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  1. One Response to “Black Diamond Aluminum Harness Buckles Exhibiting Severe Corrosion at Seaside Crags”

  2. Hi, did BD ever get back to you on why is this happening? Just from exposure to salty environment?

    By Yus on Aug 18, 2015

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