Objects Database

Waist belt - homemade

Accession Number


Object Name

Waist belt - homemade




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Homemade waistbelt


rope, metal, nylon webbing


95(l) x 6(w) cms

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

"SKIDMORE" written inside in felt pen




Bill Skidmore


When mountaineers first started climbing for fun, they simply tied the rope around their waists for security and that's pretty much how things continued for 100 years or so until they realised that a single rope around your middle was not good idea in the event of a fall and as there are so many harrowing tales of folk being asphyxiated while hanging on a single rope,
climbers slowly began to realise that if the load, or shock of a fall could be spread over a wider area, then the result of a fall would be less serious. One way was to wrap several strands (usually 6) of a shorter rope around the waist to form a broad 'belt' to which the main rope could be attached with a karabiner.
There were numerous variations on this theme, a fabulous example which we have here in the collection. Made by well kent, Scottish mountaineer, Bill Skidmore, and dating from the 1960's this waistbelt seems to be made - at least in part- from the shoulder strap of a Karrimor rucksack with some extra canvas sewn on to make a sheath for the Viking nylon rope which would have been knotted at the front and attached to the climbing rope with a karabiner. Bill's also added some loops for carrying gear.......excellent job Bill.
Bill's widow, Mary, kindly donated a pile of his gear to the collection when he passed away in 2015 - thanks Mary and thanks Bill for this fascinating little piece of climbing history.

Acquisition Method

Donated by Mary Henery

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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