ABC Chest Ascender--Rave Reviews

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ABC Chest Ascender--Rave Reviews

Postby cavescom » Sep 6, 2007 9:50 pm

I heard rave reviews about this at OTR this year http://www.onrope1.com/store/index.php?p=product&id=793&parent=24
I originally saw it some months ago on the Expe site but see now that most of the vendors are stocking it.

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Postby paul » Sep 7, 2007 7:22 am

Any idea on how it compares to the Petzl Croll?
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Postby cavescom » Sep 7, 2007 8:26 am

The folks I spoke to said it was better than the Croll and easier to get off the rope(certainly easier than the plastic finger cam release that Petzl now uses). I currently use the old style croll below but I'm going to buy an ABC.

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Postby cavescom » Sep 7, 2007 8:59 am

This was posted by Aaron Bird on Cavediggers Group

Just got one at OTR. I agree with the rave reviews. It has an awesome
opening action, is very smooth on rope, and sits against my stomach very
nicely. I use a Gonzo Guano harness and a carbon-copy of the GG chest
harness specifically tailored to my body size and the ABC sits in there like
it was designed for it. The handle has a ring opening big enough to get a
gloved finger tip into and the cam really swings back out of the way opening the ascender so there is plenty of room to maneuver the rope into and out of the shell.

This is the first new chest ascender I've had in years. The previous one I
had was a Kong Cam Clean, which I strongly felt was the superior chest
ascender until now. The older Petzl Croll (with the open-ring handle) wasn't too bad, but for me wasn't smooth enough, and the newer Petzl Croll with the little black plastic handle was, in my opinion, a complete failure in design, especially considering how much money Petzl has for product research.

However, now we're back to open-ring handles, less overall material, and
smooth operation, which means fewer things to worry about while ascending so we can focus on exploration. Great job ABC on a great new product!
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Postby caverdoc » Sep 7, 2007 10:15 am

I agree completely. I got my ABC (made by Edelrid I believe, been using their 9mm rope of late) from Bruce when he began carrying it.

Verrrrry smoooooth! Only using mine in the tree out back (work is eating up my caving weekends at the moment) but I really like it....

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Postby Randyrn » Sep 16, 2007 9:46 pm

Seems VERY smooth in my use so far. It's been in a bunch of TAG pits already. Open it one time and you'll likely really appreciate the smooth action. It's quite a difference.
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Postby maek » Sep 17, 2007 8:33 am

Mine has started to show signs of rusting. I bought it in June.
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Postby adleedy » Sep 17, 2007 9:15 am

decayunderway wrote:Mine has started to show signs of rusting. I bought it in June.


How is the metal itself wearing?
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Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 17, 2007 9:53 am

decayunderway wrote:Mine has started to show signs of rusting. I bought it in June.

Would you be able to post some pics of the rust? I'd like to see.
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Postby maek » Sep 17, 2007 11:06 am

Would you be able to post some pics of the rust? I'd like to see.

I'll see what I can do when I get home.

It's on the cam, on the top part and on the teeth towards the top. They are very small spots. I almost didn't notice it.
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Postby mgmills » Sep 17, 2007 2:44 pm

decayunderway wrote:
Would you be able to post some pics of the rust? I'd like to see.

I'll see what I can do when I get home.

It's on the cam, on the top part and on the teeth towards the top. They are very small spots. I almost didn't notice it.


Do you store your gear wet from the cave or clean and dry it before storing? I had a bit of rust like that on my older petzl cams years ago before I started taking good care of my gear.

I wash off the mud and open the cams to allow air drying before storing.
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Postby maek » Sep 17, 2007 3:50 pm

I totally agree it's a storage issue. I try to get my frog system hung out to dry asap, but sometimes it takes me a day to do it. Sometimes I brush the caked mud off, but I don't have anywhere to wash it.

I have a Petzl hand ascender that is stored the same and hasn't rusted, but it's probably dumb luck that it hasn't rusted also. I found that both cams (Petzl and ABC) are made of chrome-plated steel. I take it that the placement of the chest ascender makes it more likely to get the chrome nicked off in a cave.

I guess I'm a good cautionary tale for taking better care of your gear!
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Sep 17, 2007 7:38 pm

mgmills wrote:I wash off the mud and open the cams to allow air drying before storing.


I make sure my cams are closed so that it doesn't fatigue the spring in the cam, I doubt being open or closed makes a great deal of difference to the drying time or rust, wiping off with a dry cloth would probably help though.

I haven't seen any rust on my cams, I do always clean my gear as soom as possible after returning from a trip though.
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Postby mgmills » Sep 17, 2007 8:56 pm

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:
mgmills wrote:I wash off the mud and open the cams to allow air drying before storing.


I make sure my cams are closed so that it doesn't fatigue the spring in the cam, I doubt being open or closed makes a great deal of difference to the drying time or rust, wiping off with a dry cloth would probably help though.

I haven't seen any rust on my cams, I do always clean my gear as soom as possible after returning from a trip though.


I didn't state it clearly enough I guess but I always close my cams for storing and carrying in my pack. I just leave them open for several hours to dry out after washing.

Agree they should be stored and transported closed.
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Postby cavescom » Sep 19, 2007 9:27 am

Marco Corvi just sent me this pic(below) of a similiar device that he got at a local retailer.
Here is more on this device from Marco:
The retailer brand name is "Repetto Sport" and the
nickname of the ascender is "Cirano".
the name is stamped on the back.

Repetto himself told me that the gear is manufactured
at a third company. He did not explicitly tell me the name.
it should be "AluDesign" (just hearsay).
i was wondering if ABC bought the design,
or had the gear manufactured by them.

By the way, the one i have has a couple of serious flaws
that made me go back to a petzl (although i hate its plastic handle).
that's why i would like to hear about people that tried
the ABC ascender.

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