No teeth top rope solo devices


Original Post
Nickc Diaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I've done a lot of research of top rope soloing devices and I've run into 2 issues. #1 Some of the "go to" devices are no longer manufactured. #2 It seems that some of the recommended devices have teeth, which I've been told are not ideal. Note, I do own a grigri2, petzl croll, and petzl handled ascender.

I'm simply requesting a list of as many top rope solo devices with no teeth as I can get. The cheaper the item the better as I'm confident in the gri gri's abilities and the function of my back up knots. Thanks so much everyone!

AndyN · · Dayton, Ohio · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/toothless-progress-capture-device/112409425

Brian · · North Kingstown, RI · Joined Sep 2001 · Points: 650

The only one I know of is the Silent Partner which is no longer sold. I use a toothed device (Petzl Mini Traxion) with a static rope and even with repeated falls working a project it isn't too hard on the rope. I just retire the rope every season and get a new one.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/a/11085/The-Best-Progress-Capture-Pulley-or-Ascender-for-Solo-Self-Belay-Toproping

http://stephdavis.co/blog/rope-solo-system/

Sirius · · Oakland, CA · Joined Nov 2003 · Points: 580

The Shunt is common in England. I used it for a few seasons and never loved it.

I'd seen many, many rangy looking bastards running the mini-trax at the Cookie and elsewhere in the Valley, and so finally decided to give it a go. Many pitches later, haven't looked back, and haven't seen any damage to my ropes.

If you use the bandelier-style shock cord setup, you will never take a "fall" onto those teeth, just a small sag before it takes your weight. I wouldn't use it without the bandelier. I also use two for redundancy.

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116

I have a Microcender as part of my system. Recently someone posted here that it has been discontinued, but I haven't verified that myself. Petzl does still make the Rescucender, which is much larger but also is toothless.

The toothed devices don't shred ropes unless there is shock loading, which there usually shouldn't be if it is the primary device and it is feeding smoothly. Many people use the Micro Traxion, fall on it all the time, and report that their ropes are fine. I just started using one but haven't fallen on it (yet).

The above devices all feed very smoothly if you weight the rope properly, and they feed even better if you use a sling to mount them at chest level.

Regarding the SP: I have one that I use for solo leading. Although the manufacturer says it can be used for TR, I tried that for the first time recently, and it was awful. With my normal weighting system, the rope still did not self-feed. You'd have to add a lot of weight to the rope to get it to feed smoothly, it seems. But it's really good for leading.

teece303 · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 598

The silent partner is a poor TR solo device.

Teeth are not bad at all on a TR solo device.

But if I were for idiosyncratic reasons trying to avoid teeth, I would try to find a Petzl Mircoscender (no longer made, a bigger version still is).

But my Micro Traxions are a dream, and I would be amiss if i didn't tell you so. Teeth and all.

jcm537 · · Broomfield, Co. · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 0

Kong Duck is what I've used for the past couple of years. It costs about $70, very lightweight, & does not shred ropes. I use it for TR solo & it works great for simul-climbing. Protects the leader from a follower fall.

Nickc Diaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

/Anyone have a clue why no one uses a petzl croll for solo top roping Thank you for the responses y'all. The link to a similar thread was very useful. I need to use the search function on this site rather than Google.

JeffMK · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 240

Ushba Basic Ascender - I've used this for years and love it. They make a titanium version too if you're into that kind of thing.

Ushba Basic Ascender

Here's a pic of the way I do my setup - I use a double length sling as a chest harness just to keep it upright and to minimize slack, but it isn't actually weight bearing:

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

The teeth on the Micro and MiniTraxion do not damage the rope. Don't listen to the fear-mongering.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
Nickc Diaz wrote:/Anyone have a clue why no one uses a petzl croll for solo top roping Thank you for the responses y'all. The link to a similar thread was very useful. I need to use the search function on this site rather than Google.
Petzl doesn't want you self belaying on a device with a "single hole" above the cam. Only their older (discontinued now) Basic Ascension device was OK'ed for solo TR. The upper biner effectively captures the rope and prevents the body of the device from spreading open, which I understand is the failure mode of less robust ascenders. When it was re-designed to resemble the Croll, they no longer OK'ed it for self belay.

Note the Basic has teeth; it's the same as their handled ascender but w/o the handle. I've used one for 15 years of TR self belay and haven't damaged a rope yet. From what I've read online, the only folks claiming rope damage are the ones who have no experience with a toothed device. Those who do use 'em tell a different story, as you are seeing in this thread. Should you decide you can live with something like this, I have a nearly new Basic for sale. I bought it as a "spare" when Petzl changed the design, but I don't see myself wearing out my current Basic.
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,430
FrankPS wrote:The teeth on the Micro and MiniTraxion do not damage the rope. Don't listen to the fear-mongering.
Agreed. As long as you're not using a long sling.
stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 110

I use a Climbing Technology RollNLock and a petzl handled ascender. The RollNLock is just like the Kong Duck but can also be used as a pulley. I use a static canyon rope. The climbing I do is not quite vertical and lots of times on snow... so a fall for me would like be a slide or slip and would not be fully loading the static rope as in a true fall. Use some thin shock cord to hold the RollNLock up. The sling I use has the RollNLock engage before the ascender does, just barely, to hopefully protect the rope better.

Same setup as described here

Mikey Schaefer · · Terrebonne, OR · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 235

Camp makes two devices without teeth that can be used. The Lift and the Goblin. I've used the Lift for hundreds of pitches. I don't use it because it doesn't have teeth though. I find it easier to go back down and work moves with it. I might be mistaken but I think a toothed device is actually stronger and less likely to chop the rope than leverage type device. But i've never actually test that.

Camp Lift

Camp Goblin

Andy Rasmussen · · MA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 45
Mikey Schaefer wrote:Camp makes two devices without teeth that can be used. The Lift and the Goblin. I've used the Lift for hundreds of pitches. I don't use it because it doesn't have teeth though. I find it easier to go back down and work moves with it. I might be mistaken but I think a toothed device is actually stronger and less likely to chop the rope than leverage type device. But i've never actually test that.
How do you lower with the Lift on TR solo?
SteveMarshall · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40

I have a "Yates Rocker" that I picked up from my local shop. I don't think they make it any more, but it is freakin' awesome. It works with a lever/pinching action much like the Camp Lift someone posted above.

The reason I like this device is because when fed gently in the downward direction, it doesn't lock up (e.g. microtrax you have to completely disengage to downclimb). This enables me to use it to endlessly up and down-climb laps on my local TR crag.

For tall routes or projects I back it up with a 2nd method, but for my local after-work wall I use no backup and just up/downclimb. It's only ~25' high so consequence of device failure isn't bad.

FWIW, I still haven't found a failure mode for this device where it gets "stuck open" or anything like that; other than catastrophic and destructive failures like the rivets blowing apart or something. which is pretty unlikely IMO.

SteveMarshall · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40
Andy Rasmussen wrote: How do you lower with the Lift on TR solo?
If the Lift works like my yates rocker (looks like a very similar mechanism), you either downclimb (it feeds downwards without locking up) or you rig a rap device under it when you get to the top. It doesnt allow for lowering on the same device.

not great for working an overhung crux that you can't pull back on to. although you can grab the rope above the device, take weight off it, and slide it down 6" or so to lower yourself in a "reverse batman" kind of way.
James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80
Mikey Schaefer wrote: I might be mistaken but I think a toothed device is actually stronger and less likely to chop the rope than leverage type device. But i've never actually test that.
The ushba device (very similar to the camp lift) has been shown to cut the rope at 5.5 kN without slipping

See page 43

Bearbreader's summary

They tested other devices and recorded forces at which those devices slip. It was because of these results I originally bought a microcender, but in practice I didn't like using it.

Petzl warns that the toothed devices will shred rope ~ 5 kN

Basically, as mentioned above, don't take a long fall onto these devices.

I use a croll with a chest harness for what its worth
JeffMK · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 240
James T wrote: The ushba device (very similar to the camp lift) has been shown to cut the rope at 5.5 kN without slipping See page 43 Bearbreader's summary They tested other devices and recorded forces at which those devices slip. It was because of these results I originally bought a microcender, but in practice I didn't like using it. Petzl warns that the toothed devices will shred rope ~ 5 kN Basically, as mentioned above, don't take a long fall onto these devices. I use a croll with a chest harness for what its worth
That is a great resource. That is the reason I use the chest harness to reduce the slack that is in my system to almost nill. If I fall on my setup, the only distance traveled is almost entirely due to rope stretch.

I did some searching, however, I'm having trouble calculating what kind of scenario would be needed to generate a 5kN fall in a TR solo setup. Do you have any idea what that calculation would look like?
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
JeffMK wrote: I did some searching, however, I'm having trouble calculating what kind of scenario would be needed to generate a 5kN fall in a TR solo setup. Do you have any idea what that calculation would look like?
My sense from previous fall impact discussions is that you'd have to have several bodylengths of slack out to generate 5 kN in a TR fall. Less, of course, if you are right at the anchor (a great reason to NOT extend the TR anchor to the edge as one normally does. I have my rope anchored well back from the edge when I TR solo.) Once again, I have 15+ years with a toothed device and not a shred (heh) of rope damage.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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