Jugging with a Petzl Croll?


Original Post
Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

Is there a reason I don't see the Petzl croll ever being used to jug or haul? Seem like an efficient piece of gear easily attached to a standard harnes. I use them in an industrial setting and they are the shit!! Maybe there's an obvious reason I don't understand?

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

I presume you're talking about the Petzl Croll. The Croll is intended as a chest ascender - it's not meant to be held. The Petzl Basic is a better ascender for jugging and hauling - it can be held rather comfortably, and can still be clipped into a raising system, much like the Croll. The Petzl Ascension is nicer for jugging and hauling, because it's more comfortable to hold for a long time.

The problem with the Ascension and other handled ascenders is that they are more expensive, and bigger/heavier. They're nice for using all day long, which is nice when you're jugging on slabby terrain, or using them as part of a frog ascending system.

Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

Ok so the croll is actually designed to be used in a hands free manor. It attaches to your chest with a sling or Petzl had a custom strap. Very inexpensive, less than $100 total. This would replace the gri gri or second ascender. I use one foot loop or ladder. Both hands on the jammer or one above and as you pull the croll captures your progress allowing you to reset the jammer.

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Yea, if you replace the GriGri with the Croll, you get what's known as the Frog ascending system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF-xkQrb-6s

If you replace the second (lower) ascender in the jugging setup (as described by Chris McNamara below) with the Croll, you'll have a real fun time holding the Croll, and you'd be better off with a Basic or Ascension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xeHZo-oeIE

The Basic and the Croll are exactly the same price and weight, but the Basic is better for using as a hand ascender, while the Croll is intended solely as a chest ascender.

Ultimately, it depends on the ascending system you use. If you prefer using a jumaring setup like what Chris McNamara demonstrates, handled ascenders and hand ascenders are the way to go. If you prefer using the frog system that requires a chest ascender, then a combination of the Croll and a hand ascender (either a Basic or an Ascension) is what you need.

Within the realm of rock climbing, I've rarely ever seen anyone use the frog style ascending technique, probably because there's no real reason to carry the extra gear for it. The biggest application of ascending systems is in big wall climbing, where the follow usually jugs the rope, and the leader will haul the bag. If aid climbing, both climbers already have aid daisies and etriers - it's easier to simply add two hand ascenders to the system, as opposed to adding a hand ascender, chest ascender + quick link, and chest harness. For free climbing, it's almost the same.

I can see how rigging a chest ascender might be useful for doing a counterweight haul - you can see a similar technique demonstrated here with a 3:1 on a I'D progress capture around 2:50.

https://youtu.be/fGhyLzhmf7s

If your haul bag is big enough that this is necessary, then yes, bringing along the extra gear to do this is probably worth it, but then the question might also be asked: why are you bringing 200+ lbs of stuff?

One other thing: attaching the Croll to your harness can be a PITA. I've done it on my harness with a steel quick link through the tie in points - this keeps the Croll straight. You can't carabiner the Croll through your belay loop, because this causes the Croll to rise way too high to be effective. I would avoid using a carabiner through the tie in points - the carabiner tends to either be a) too big, or b) too bulky, or c) the gate gets loaded, or d) your tie in point gets filled with carabiner and not rope. In an industrial harness, there's usually a spot for the Croll where it goes in with a triangle quick link - you'll notice that this quick link is horizontal relative to your torso so that the Croll sits flat on your torso, right around your belly button.

Edit: Fixed video links.

Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

Thank for the links and the great info on the different systems.

My career is rope access and I jug miles upon miles of rope a year. If I showed up at a job with 2 ascenders or Incorporated a gri gri in my climbing setup. I would get some funny looks and would be the last up the rope. This is the only way rope is climbed in the industrial world. I guess I find it strange I never see it on big walls.

I understand the croll is a bit of extra gear and work to attach to your rec. harness but it's pretty easy. And not that expensive. So I don't really see that argument. It's not really more gear as you would be swapping out gear for gear. Even if you had to go out and buy it, it's so much easier, it would be worth it. If old habits die hard I guess I get it.

Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

Pretty sure the croll and the basics have the exact same function. The only difference is one loads right and one loads left.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

Here's an Edelrid Orion image from the ofsite edelrid.de/en/sports/harnes... with a small auxiliary loop in its leg loop enlarged:

Edelrid Orion with a small auxiliary loop in its leg loop enlarged.

Clip Petzl Omni thru those two loops to create a stabilization connection point for Petzl Croll.

Most harnesses provide at least some alternative to those small aux loops. If not, attach something yourself - you won't put any significant load there thus you don't need those loops to be really strong.

Have fun!

Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

Thanks, I understand how to use and attach the croll. I just want to know why no one uses it???

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Scott Wilson wrote:Thanks, I understand how to use and attach the croll. I just want to know why no one uses it???
In Russia it is very common to jug with Croll (or CAMP Turbo Chest). Although it requires a *lot* of training.
Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

What like 10min? I find the croll extremely easy to use. The rope industry is filled with lots of trades guys. (Non climbers) even the 250 poundeders can jug a rope.

Aaron Danforth · · Cody, WY · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 0

I'm an arborist, and I've always wondered the same thing. While it requires slightly more gear than what you're already carrying, if you're doing any reasonable amount of jugging, I think it would more than make up for it in both time and energy saved. Haven't done a wall in a few years though so I haven't tested my theory. There may be a legit reason not to use a frog or rope walking system.

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

My guess is that most climbers don't like the conversion time. With the jugging setup, it's quite literally clip the aid daisies into the ascenders and go. I suppose with the frog system, it's pretty much the same . I would also wonder if the frog is as efficient on very slabby terrain as it is in overhanging terrain. I've met cavers who swear by the frog system over any other system, no matter the terrain, but I would think that the jugging system (which is basically a ropewalker without the elastics) is extremely efficient on slab, and more so than the frog.

The other part of it all might simply be tradition - it's always been done this way, and it doesn't suck, so no need to change. Might there be better way? Sure, I suppose you could also drag along one of these ( actsafe.se/product/acc-power), but why?

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350
Nathan wrote:My guess is that most climbers don't like the conversion time. With the jugging setup, it's quite literally clip the aid daisies into the ascenders and go. I suppose with the frog system, it's pretty much the same . I would also wonder if the frog is as efficient on very slabby terrain as it is in overhanging terrain. I've met cavers who swear by the frog system over any other system, no matter the terrain, but I would think that the jugging system (which is basically a ropewalker without the elastics) is extremely efficient on slab, and more so than the frog. The other part of it all might simply be tradition - it's always been done this way, and it doesn't suck, so no need to change. Might there be better way? Sure, I suppose you could also drag along one of these ( actsafe.se/product/acc-power), but why?
The frog system works very well for free hanging and vertical+ jugging. It sucks for slabby sections. Normal bigwall jugging systems are great for slabby sections and only slightly suck for vertical/free hanging sections. And guess what, it's damn easy to modify your approach to the normal two jug system so that it emulates the frog system.

Since very few walls are vertical from start to finish, having a system that is amazing for only part of the terrain you'll encounter and still require a separate set of tools to work efficiently for the remaining terrain doesn't really make sense in terms of bulk/weight.
Scott Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

I appreciate all the slab recognition but not sure I buy it. I would say the croll is quite effective up to at least a 45deg. angle. I tend to lean toward tradition as the real reason. I should also mention how effective the croll is at saving ones hands. Not only while jugging but it's also a boss at hauling. I don't have a great deal of big wall experience so I likely disqualify my point of view. Anyway they are small and relatively cheap, try one out. You might be supprised.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70
Scott Wilson wrote:I appreciate all the slab recognition but not sure I buy it. I would say the croll is quite effective up to at least a 45deg. angle. I tend to lean toward tradition as the real reason. I should also mention how effective the croll is at saving ones hands. Not only while jugging but it's also a boss at hauling. I don't have a great deal of big wall experience so I likely disqualify my point of view. Anyway they are small and relatively cheap, try one out. You might be supprised.
Scott, one key difference with a big wall is the cleaning phase. Here you are trying to jug around and remove a piece every metre, Often you will have a jummar either side of the piece, then need to ease the cam on the lower one, meanwhile starting to weight upper jug with your foot. During this process the ladders form a platform for your weight. And you need a ladder on the upper jug.

I'm not sure how easy this with a croll and a frog style method. A frog does work well for a free hanging jug, and it would be interesting to hear from someone who has cleaned a few pitches of various angles with a croll mounted on the chest
David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70
Scott Wilson wrote:I appreciate all the slab recognition but not sure I buy it. I would say the croll is quite effective up to at least a 45deg. angle.
I can't see this working at all (but might be wrong!)

45deg of fixed lines yep, but 45deg if protection is on the same rope? When you got close to a piece the rope would be exiting the top of the croll, and going through almost a right angle to the piece, yet it would also be holding your weight. I think you would face plant.

But always willing to be proved wrong. I lean more that way.
Aaron Danforth · · Cody, WY · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 0

I might have to test out cleaning a slabby pitch with a rope walking system. My curiosity has been piqued. I've got a sneaking suspicion that it will work better than expected. I think a big part of the reason climbers don't use the system is simply a lack of familiarity. Hell, El Cap has been ascended in 30 minutes by experienced cavers who are likely using some variation of the frog or rope walking system.

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 958

I think the frog system hasn't caught on for rock climbing purposes due to the need to have the croll attached as low as possible on the waist. When you use a mallion to attach a croll to the belay loop (on a rock harness) it puts it really high, greatly reducing efficiency. Caving specific harnesses have a much lower attachment point.

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 250
Scott Wilson wrote:I appreciate all the slab recognition but not sure I buy it. I would say the croll is quite effective up to at least a 45deg. angle. I tend to lean toward tradition as the real reason. I should also mention how effective the croll is at saving ones hands. Not only while jugging but it's also a boss at hauling. I don't have a great deal of big wall experience so I likely disqualify my point of view. .
I used croll ascenders when I was in search and rescue and have done several big walls. On the walls I've climbed the frog technique is ideal maybe on 1/3 of the pitches. My go to setup is to have 2 handled ascenders (using a gri gri is very inefficient except for a few scenarios)and on steeper terrain I have two aiders or stirrups on one ascender and use a pseudo frog technique. When the angle changes I can easily move one aider over the the other ascender mid pitch and change techniques. If you're doing this correctly you can go significantly faster on lower angle terrain than if you have a croll. You might just need someone to show you the technique in person, but it's night and day. I typically move my left hand and foot at the same time then right hand and right foot and am using shorter steps instead of making big pulls like when using the frog technique.

As someone else pointed out you're often going past many pieces of gear on a big wall and the route may be wandering, overhangning, traversing, etc so being able to easily pop your ascenders on and off the rope as well as having them on some type of tether (not on your tie in point) makes this smoother.

Why are you only using 1 stirrup instead of 2? Also, when you say "the croll saves one's hands" what do you mean? Do your hands get pumped or does the skin get raw? I feel like jugging is more of a leg workout in general and on a big wall I'm usually wearing gloves anyways so I can't say I've had problems with my hands. Maybe you should get on a wall and try both methods. I believe the guys I know who both cave and big wall climb use 2 jumars on walls and jumar+croll when caving.

Regarding El Cap in 30 minutes-isn't it a single mostly freehanging line? This is very different than cleaning 20-30 aid pitches.
kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350

I've used the frog method a lot but it's simply wretched to clean slabby or traversing pitches and irritating to jug slabby terrain.

For many they've never used it because it's not standard but it's not standard because it's not the best method for anything except for freehanging hugging. Not worth it.

Ben Horowitz · · Berkeley · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 123
Danforth wrote:Hell, El Cap has been ascended in 30 minutes by experienced cavers who are likely using some variation of the frog or rope walking system.
Interesting! Is there an article or something describing this?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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