The development of the Ohm was supported by the Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics at the University of Stuttgart. It is an assisted-braking resistor that is attached at the first bolt with a quickdraw and the rope runs through it. In the event of a fall, the rope is pulled into the device’s braking mechanism. This then brakes the fall. The device does not stop the rope abruptly; instead it progressively brakes the speed it runs through, so that the belayer can still dynamically arrest the fall.
The Edelrid Ohm is an innovative new solution for the problems experienced by climbing partners with a significant difference in weight. A lighter belayer, if their heavier partner’s falls, can be pulled off the ground and hurled against the wall. The Ohm is an assisted-braking resistor that you install at the first bolt in the safety chain. In the event of a leader fall, the Ohm increases rope friction so that a lighter belayer can hold a heavier partner without being suddenly pulled off the ground and thrown against the wall. The Ohm still enables smooth paying out and taking in rope when climbing and belaying and has no negative affect on handling. It was developed for use at both climbing walls and outdoor sport climbing venues.
The Ohm benefits both climber and belayer: The belayer wont be pulled against the wall in an uncontrolled manner. The climber can climb right to their limits, without having to worry that their belayer might not be able to hold them should they fall and with no fear of a hard landing.
The German and Swiss Alpine Clubs (DAV¹, SAC²) recommend that a climber should not weigh more than 1.33 times their belayer, i.e. maximum one third more (for example: belayer 60kg/climber maximum weight 80kg). In the event of a big fall, in particular at the climbing wall, such large differences in weight require extreme care and attention on the part of the belayer.
Including the Ohm into the safety chain increases this factor significantly. With this device, it is now possible for climbers in the lower weight ranges to belay a lead climber, who is up to 100% heavier than the belayer. The Ohm is suitable for ropes with a diameter between 8.6 and 11 mm and is particularly beneficial for belayers with a body weighing upwards of 40kg.
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