Hauling a bag: preparation and technique - Petzl Sweden

Hauling a bag: preparation and technique

In aid climbing, it is essential to organize your equipment. It is impossible to empty your haul bag at each station to find an item forgotten at the bottom. Each item must have its place. In the same way, organization for hauling should also be efficient. First of all, having several bags of 30 to 40 kg, rather than one 80 kg bag, is a good idea. It is not uncommon to see an inexperienced party leave with a huge bag and spend two or three hours hauling it up one pitch! Choosing the hauling technique best suited to, for example, a traverse or a big overhang is also key. Here are some tips for efficiency and for avoiding any serious errors. Before you head off for a vertical adventure of two or three days, practice is strongly recommended.


  • Carefully read the Instructions for Use used in this technical advice before consulting the advice itself. You must have already read and understood the information in the Instructions for Use to be able to understand this supplementary information.
  • Mastering these techniques requires specific training. Work with a professional to confirm your ability to perform these techniques safely and independently before attempting them unsupervised.
  • We provide examples of techniques related to your activity. There may be others that we do not describe here.

1. Preparing for hauling

Attachment of haul bag

The haul bag should always remain attached. The attachment knot should be protected with a cut plastic bottle to keep it from snagging in a crack or under an overhang. Between the knot and the bag, you can use a SWIVEL to avoid rope twists during manipulations. Only one of the bag's two haul straps is attached to the carabiner or quick link under the SWIVEL. This way it is easy to open the bag without dropping it. When hauling, nothing should stick out from the bag, and the sling should be folded behind the flaps. Have a lanyard ready for attaching the bag to the station (a knotted rope end is perfect).

Preparing your bag

Installing a progress capture pulley

Install a PRO TRAXION progress capture pulley on the station.

Installing the PRO TRAXION

2. Hauling technique

Balancier technique

The easiest and most efficient hauling technique is the "balancier" on the ASCENSION handled rope clamp. It uses the weight of the body as a counterweight to raise the bag. This technique is efficient, although it can only be used with a light bag (30 to 40 kg). For heavier bags, you can either use two climbers for counterweight or employ other hauling techniques.

Warning: during these manipulations, the counterweight climber must always remain attached to the station with a rope.

Technical bag hauling

Traverses and overhangs

When the pitch is a traverse or a big overhang, the hauling technique needs to be adapted. The goal is to place the bag plumb with the direction of the hauling station to limit pendulums and stress on the anchor.

First, attach the bag several meters from the lower end of the rope. The lower climber lowers the bag on a Munter hitch while the upper climber hauls gently. 

Once the bag is vertically aligned with the upper anchor, normal hauling continues.

Bag hauling: traversing


Munter hitch

Bag hauling: munter hitch