Importance of having matching left/right Ascenders


Original Post
Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 110

My equipment for ascending a rope consists of a left CMI Ultrascender and a left BD Nforce ascender, I always back up the system with a clove hitch or overhand backup knot. My question for the MP community has two parts, (1) How important is it to have the same make/model of ascenders? (2) What are the dangers associated with using two left ascenders? I suspect this could be a  problem in left-facing corners and right leaning traverses. Since the Nforce is no longer available and the Ultrascender is more difficult to use, I am wondering whether it is worth buying a new matching set or supplementing what I have. 

apoet · · AZ · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 183

No safety issue. Mild ergonomic issue. 

wayne willoughby · · SEATTLE · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 0

A pair of Petzls would be a pretty big improvement over what you are using.   

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

Nothing is wrong safety wise but petzl ascenders are cheap and the best out there (Mr Caldwell still only uses a pair of old petzl ascenders). They pop up on sale all the time and they are so bomber you could buy second hand without a second thought. 

wayne willoughby · · SEATTLE · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 0

After a lot of use, the Petzl's can develop a sharp edge at the top where the rope runs.  File it down until smooth, sandpaper it a bit and you are good. Just a consideration in case you buy a used set. 

Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 110

Thanks for the input. How often do people clip the 'rope security hole' at the top of their ascender? BD Nforce instructions say the this hole should to be clipped with a locking biner when traversing terrain, I have clipped it ascending the rope but it seems to get in the way getting over lips and add clutter. Worst case scenario both ascenders fall off while traversing; they would still be connected to me via daisy chains and I would fall on the backup knot I tied. Is this redundancy worth the time or can I save my lockers?

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 0

On a vertical rope, I can't see how ascenders will ever come off on their own. On seriously traversing terrain, I can see it. In those cases I clip biners to the bottom of the ascenders and over the rope. This keeps the ascender more in line with the rope.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 200
Skye Swoboda-Colberg wrote:

Thanks for the input. How often do people clip the 'rope security hole' at the top of their ascender? BD Nforce instructions say the this hole should to be clipped with a locking biner when traversing terrain, I have clipped it ascending the rope but it seems to get in the way getting over lips and add clutter. Worst case scenario both ascenders fall off while traversing; they would still be connected to me via daisy chains and I would fall on the backup knot I tied. Is this redundancy worth the time or can I save my lockers?

Yes, it is worth the time. Falling out of your ascenders onto a safety knot is only remotely an option. Its there to save your life, maybe, but is an incredibly bad idea to think "no worries, I am tied short...what could go wrong?"

Tons can go wrong loading a rope like this unexpectedly. And usually you are clipping knots into a locker on your harness that could be cross loaded etc.

**Always** clip it when traversing.

Moof · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 0

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Crisis-in-Yosemite-My-fall-of-a-lifetime/t11255n.html

Ascenders pop off, use a backup knots.  Nothing wrong with mismatched ascenders though.  Nforce ascenders can be a bit tricky, never push into the rope as you weight them, they will slip.  I went back to Petzl's after one wall with Nforce ascenders.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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