The Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness

The Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness

October 7, 2021 fmg-adminGear Reviews

Most climbing guides have at least one piece of gear that they cannot live without. For FMG’s Petey Guillard, it’s hands down his Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness. As part of our “Things We Love Thursday” series, he tells you why he loves it, and why he thinks you will too.

Misty mountain cadillac harness

Misty Mountain Threadworks: it’s a local North Carolina climbing brand that needs no introduction. If you have been in the southern climbing scene for any length of time, you’ve heard of Misty Mountain Threadworks; they are known for their overbuilt, burly, and hand crafted harnesses that are made right here in NC’s high country. The Cadillac is the stuff of legend. For trad and multi-pitch climbing you just can’t beat this rig. Alright, lets get to it… 

My favorite piece of Misty gear is hands down the Cadillac. This beefy, cushy, masterpiece of a harness lives up to its name. With six gear loops, and a wide padded waste belt, one can comfortably rack a double set of cams, nuts, and draws with little feeling of being weighed down or harness sag. If you’ve ever tried racking a full kit on something like the Petzl Hirundos you know what I’m taking about (no offense to Petzl; they make great harnesses, but let’s be real here).

Gotta love all those gear loops!

Let’s talk durability. My second harness ever was a Cadillac. It’s been in my possession for about ten years. With some slight signs of wear and tear (mostly fuzz in the places you’d expect, belay loop/leg loops), this puppy still inspires confidence. (If it weren’t so old I’d probably still use it). Realize too, I’m no weekend warrior when it comes to putting my gear through the wringer. As a full time guide for seven years and some change, I put my gear through its paces. This harness is no exception! 

Now the true sell for me is racking space. I’m no large stature mountain guide with big burly hips. I’m just a mere mortal, smaller than average climbing guide, weighing in at about 5’4 inches and 125 pounds. I bring this up because in my guiding career, I’ve always had a difficult time cramming my guiding kit around my waist when not using a harness such as the Cadillac. I’ve used harnesses of varying styles from all sorts of brands like, Black Diamond, Arc’teryx, and Petzl but like coming home to a clean house after a long stint on the road, I prefer my Misty Mountain Cadillac. 

To further my point about how much I enjoy climbing in this harness, I currently own two styles of Cadillac the classic quick adjust and the F series. I use the quick adjust primarily for work when I may want to adjust the leg loops from time to time and the F for recreational use where I just want quick on and off. Honestly, my preference is the fixed legs of the F model. I hate having extra buckles and dangly straps, but I wanted to try the newest release of the Cadillac, and it wasn’t offered in the F at that time. 

Part of my quiver!

Alright, let’s talk about some cons of this pig. Well, actually it’s just that. This harness is not streamlined, light weight sport harness. Its a pretty bulky piece of kit. When it comes down to clipping bolts I prefer the Cadillac’s little little brother, the Bolt. If weight and bulk are an issue for you (if you’re on-sight trad climbing you’re going to be heavy anyway, its probably not the weight of your harness that’s keeping you from sending) then you might not enjoy this harness as I do. But.. I will say that this weight and bulk is what makes this harness a tank, and I love that for guiding and trad climbing!

Last but not least, SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS! How cool is it that we have great climbing gear made right here at home in NC! Hand sewn North Carolina Craftsmanship. Thanks for reading!

Pete Guillard 

Assistant Rock Guide & SPI

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