FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

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FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 24, 2013 6:38 pm

Just received the new Spring 2013 Petzl Croll and Petzl Basic. I'll be putting these through the paces this weekend, but of course the first thing I did was put a piece of dirty (well, kinda) pit rope on there and make sure there isn't any kind of a clearance issue with the new "8-11mm" rope specification for these.

UPDATE: I've written a stupidly-long breakdown of the new devices and my initial tests. Too long for this forum. Lots of photos. Read here:
http://blog.rockcreek.com/archives/vert ... nders.html
Last edited by Jeff Bartlett on Jan 28, 2013 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 24, 2013 7:09 pm

Here are a few comparing them to the previous versions of the Basic and Croll. Honestly, the photos don't do justice to how much smaller these are -- I was astonished when I opened the package and put the Basic in my hand for the first time.

Edit: My previous Basic is actually two generations old, version "I" in the Gary Storrick nomenclature versus version "J" -- http://storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDevices ... ices.shtml -- but there is no size difference between those two models.

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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby NZcaver » Jan 24, 2013 8:54 pm

Thanks, gear junkie. :big grin: They look nice. Wonder what the reinforced rope channel sleeve in the Croll is made of - stainless?
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 24, 2013 9:19 pm

NZcaver wrote:Thanks, gear junkie. :big grin: They look nice. Wonder what the reinforced rope channel sleeve in the Croll is made of - stainless?


It's stainless, yes. I'm planning to do a thorough write-up of the changes, and my impressions after caving with these in my frog system, on Sunday or Monday.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Lava » Jan 25, 2013 12:39 am

Man, I am drooling over those things. Probably inevitable I'll end up buying them. Looking forward to your review, intrigued to see how well they feed.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby potholer » Jan 27, 2013 8:35 am

The Croll should be nice.

Years ago I patched up a fairly worn Croll using a strip of stainless and some metal epoxy, and not only got a lot more life out of it, but it ran far smoother up the rope than any other Croll I have had, especially if I was being lazy or tired and 'hanging back' a bit, and that was just with a flat strip on the front, not one curved around into the rope channel.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 28, 2013 10:34 am

OK, I've written a stupidly-long breakdown of the new devices and my initial tests. Too long for this forum. Read here:
http://blog.rockcreek.com/archives/vert ... nders.html
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Cheryl Jones » Jan 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Excellent. Thanks!

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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 28, 2013 8:18 pm

I have actually rigged 1/2" permanent ropes for caving...but so rarely that I'll excuse the "1/2 rope isn't used in caving" comment :)
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Stridergdm » Jan 28, 2013 8:29 pm

Very nice, now I want to get my hands on them. Too bad I don't have a real NEED for them... yet.

Hopefully folks coming to the NCRC weeklong this summer will bring some and I can at least look at them.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 29, 2013 9:19 am

wyandottecaver wrote:I have actually rigged 1/2" permanent ropes for caving...but so rarely that I'll excuse the "1/2 rope isn't used in caving" comment :)

There's one rigged in South Pittsburg Pit too, at a short climb-up. That's one of my primary concerns for these ascenders, that it's not likely they'll work for one-off encounters with big, stupid fireman ropes.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Carl Amundson » Jan 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Stridergdm wrote:Very nice, now I want to get my hands on them. Too bad I don't have a real NEED for them... yet.

Hopefully folks coming to the NCRC weeklong this summer will bring some and I can at least look at them.

I'll bring one when I come to the weeklong. It will be used & abused by then.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby kevinm » Feb 7, 2013 11:50 am

Any more info or comments? I'm still on the fence about getting these.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby JohnC » Feb 7, 2013 1:20 pm

I have been using the new Petzl gear on the courses i have been attending lately. Without much experience to compare them to they certainly seemed to do everything they needed. I found them comfortable to use for long SRT climbs.
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Re: FIRST LOOK at the new Petzl ascenders on Pit Rope

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Feb 7, 2013 4:09 pm

UPDATE: I used these in a local (TN) project cave with some fixed 11mm ropes last weekend, and had some pretty major issues with the Croll not feeding. Tough to tell whether it's a spring-tension issue with a brand new ascender, or if there's more rope channel friction, or what. I'll need to use these a bunch more before I can formulate a thorough opinion.

I also encountered a rope that would barely fit in the rope channel of the Basic, though once I got it in there both ascenders were fine.
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