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Mine Exploration Forum

Author New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Drillbilly.

Joined: 09/12/2013
Location: adios

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 15/09/2014 10:57:35
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I have just got a pair of these and my word, haven't they shrunk!!

I'm sure I will get used to them, but I would advise anyone with pre-2013 ascenders to see a pair of new ones in the flesh before buying. I've got big hands, but not "farmer hands". If you've got farmer hands, I would not buy these - it would be like fiddling with jewelery.

If they had dropped the size by 1/6 instead of about 1/3, the shape change would have been a positive thing, gripwise.

The grip is a bit small and might be interesting with cold hands. I would summerise them as for "girl hands".
IP: 87.114.0.76 Edited: 15/09/2014 11:01:50 by Drillbilly.
pwhole

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Joined: 22/02/2011
Location: Sheffield and the Peak District

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 15/09/2014 15:30:51
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I'm not happy with my new Croll at all - it's far too small for practical use, and the damn thing will not lie flat across my chest, but rotates inwards, so the tiny catch is jammed aganst my body just when I need it free. The only good thing about it as far as I can see, is the stainless parts, which were long overdue.

The rest of it was fine as it was, IMO - and given what's involved in underground work, as if the weight of a Croll makes any damn difference whatsoever. Tinkering for the sake of it, I say, and they've actually made the thing less functional (and possibly less safe to operate) as a result. If I find any other chest ascenders with stainless fittings and wear plates added, I may well buy one.

The new Basic is not so bad, but I'm never hanging on it, so not quite as important functionally. The catch is reasonably easy to open, most of the time. But I still switch to the 'old' handled ascender if anything grotty or very off-vertical is required. And muddy climbs, even vertical, are much harder with the new Basic, now they're decided to shave off the only 'knobbly' bit, so your hand keeps slipping off.

That's my two-pennorth anyway...Cursing
IP: 81.174.241.13
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 15/09/2014 16:40:21
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Has anyone tried building z rigs with the new basic? IP: 2.102.135.86
pat

Joined: 22/11/2007

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 17/09/2014 22:53:29
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we have tried the new basic for z rigs...both as progress capture and front grab ..
As progress capture it seems to flop about something terrible...
as front grab its ok...
our concern is the strength of the new basic and crolls.. would you trust it to climb with another person hanging off you? two person weight on that skinny new croll?.. And the basic for two person lift...?? You can flex the basic just by squeezing it in your hand!
What about basics for inclined ropes.. no double eye at the front..

--

The CBC ,enchanting you and your wife's bottom adit since 2007
IP: 88.108.244.104
Drillbilly.

Joined: 09/12/2013
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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 18/09/2014 09:30:55
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I'm not happy with this at all.

Sadly, due to not believing my eyes, the first thing I did was pull them out of the box (whilst assembling the rest of my kit) and pull the tags off. It is also not possible to return PPE.

I used my old ascenders last night (as I am still waiting on bits of new gear) and they were just right.

Considering my big hands and the above gripe about the croll rotating....when I offered the croll to the D ring, I thought "This is too small and will want to rotate".

I've decided to take the hit and will punt them on as "new other" on ebay with no reserve.

I advise all of you (unless you are a child, dwarf or girl) not to entertain the purchase of this product and instead, look for alternatives. I will probably go with Starless River's CT line of Basic and Croll. Essentially copies of the original original petzl range.

I don't know what the hell they are playing at. Many American's use 11mm+ ropes, you have people using them for Z rigs and most cavers are blokes with big hands AND NOT EXPEDITION CAVERS LOOKING TO SAVE GRAMS.

In my estimation, they have fixed what wasn't broken and now I will most certainly be looking further afield for all of the gear I religiously and unthinkingly bought from Petzl.

Really not happy. I heard they were "a different shape" and "a bit more compact" but the things which arrived in the post were like children's ones. Stay well clear.

IP: 86.184.196.200 Edited: 18/09/2014 09:57:32 by Drillbilly.
pwhole

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 19/09/2014 14:12:15
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I've just had a play-around with my old and new Crolls off-harness, just hanging each one off a D-ring maillion and vice-versa, checking their natural hang positions and rotations, etc. It's blindingly obvious that the orientation of the old Croll was better, even allowing for the groove worn in the lower hole - I only wish I had a brand-new 'old' Croll that I could use for a definitive result.

However, when checking the vertical distance between the bottom of the release catch and the top of the D-ring maillon, it's double - about 22mm on the old design and about 11mm on the new design, making it almost guaranteed to jam against the maillon or other local hardware when trying to release it, especially with the unhelpful rotation described above.

I suspect the field-testing on this device was done by 2 ballet-shoe-wearing cave pixies in some sparkling underground grotto, with floodlights installed. Now it's getting some real field-testing, in Derbyshire mud, and in very tight pitches with rebelays, it's failing dismally.

I think I may just have to write to Petzl issuing my concerns, and ask them (if they want to keep my custom on this device) if I can get some stainless parts fitted to my old Croll...

Smartass
IP: 81.174.241.13
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 08:56:54
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I think the problem with new Petzl kit is that it is no longer really built with c*vers (or indeed mine explorers) in mind. Compared to professional rope access c*ving is a tiny market, ergo large manufacturers like Petzl are designing for the needs of rope access technicians not c*vers or mine explorers. You don't get much waist deep ochre on your average rope access job.

That said Petzl do have a tendency to tinker for tinkering's sake (in modern speak this is called product development). When I started vertical c*ving in the mid 1990s their jammers were fab, with nice solid metal release catches and the basic had lots of useful holes so it could be rigged in lots of interesting ways. By the 2000s the metal catches had gone, replaced by vile plastic things and the basic had been redesigned rendering it a lot less useful. Seeing the way the wind was blowing I laid in a spare 1990s type croll which is sitting in my tackle store (actually the downstairs loo - much to Mrs Tamarmole's annoyance) awaiting the day that I wear out my current croll.

Fortunately there are easily available alternatives to the new Petzl swag out there. AN advertisers Starless River stock Climbing technology ascenders which are pretty similar to Petzl jammers of yore:

http://www.starlessriver.com/shop/ascenders?zenid=fi67e4vsth37gpcbfuqh8ipns4

A friend of mine has just started using both the chest and hand jammer and they really do seem to be the business.
IP: 81.157.125.4
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 13:22:18
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The Anthron ascenders (made by DMM) also look pretty reasonable (avoid Anthron descenders like the plague).

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-bloquer-ascender-ab-20/

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-chest-ascender-ac30/
IP: 81.157.125.4
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 13:30:24
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Tamarmole wrote:

I think the problem with new Petzl kit is that it is no longer really built with c*vers (or indeed mine explorers) in mind. Compared to professional rope access c*ving is a tiny market, ergo large manufacturers like Petzl are designing for the needs of rope access technicians not c*vers or mine explorers. You don't get much waist deep ochre on your average rope access job.


Friend of mine who does rope access was telling me about clearing the gunk out of the legs of an oil platform after a leak. They do have to work in some mucky environments from time to time!

--

my orders are to sit here and watch the world go by
IP: 95.148.15.193
NewStuff

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Joined: 26/07/2010
Location: NE Wales

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 14:46:06
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Tamarmole wrote:

The Anthron ascenders (made by DMM) also look pretty reasonable (avoid Anthron descenders like the plague).

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-bloquer-ascender-ab-20/

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-chest-ascender-ac30/


I *love* the Anthron descender...


...on a very clean rope or in single stop mode.

Otherwise, yeah, run like hell. I was distinctly unhappy with bouncing on the rope to descend into Moel Fferna.

--

Searching for the ever elusive Underground Titty Bar.
IP: 86.145.40.195
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 15:09:23
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NewStuff wrote:

Tamarmole wrote:

The Anthron ascenders (made by DMM) also look pretty reasonable (avoid Anthron descenders like the plague).

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-bloquer-ascender-ab-20/

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-chest-ascender-ac30/


I *love* the Anthron descender...

...on a very clean rope or in single stop mode.

Otherwise, yeah, run like hell. I was distinctly unhappy with bouncing on the rope to descend into Moel Fferna.


The Anthron descender works tolerably well on clean rope. However it grinds to a halt on mucky rope. As far as mine exploration is concerned the Anthron really isn't fit for purpose.
IP: 81.157.125.4
Donstuart

Joined: 01/10/2008
Location: Stourport-on-Severn & Tanygrisiau

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 16:36:39
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The Anthron descender works tolerably well on clean rope. However it grinds to a halt on mucky rope. As far as mine exploration is concerned the Anthron really isn't fit for purpose.

I've taken my Anthron & modified it to work upside down!! I have used it for several years now & I reckon it's brilliant. It runs smoothly even on old & dirty ropes & locks absolutely solid when you let go. No need for any of this 'braking crab' stuff.

I'll see if I can manage to post a picture when I have it to hand (The descender is in Tanygrisiau & at the moment I'm in Stourport-on-Severn:thumbdownSmile IP: 5.64.241.123
NewStuff

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 11/10/2014 16:55:03
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Tamarmole wrote:

NewStuff wrote:

Tamarmole wrote:

The Anthron ascenders (made by DMM) also look pretty reasonable (avoid Anthron descenders like the plague).

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-bloquer-ascender-ab-20/

http://dmmprofessional.com/products/anthron-chest-ascender-ac30/


I *love* the Anthron descender...

...on a very clean rope or in single stop mode.

Otherwise, yeah, run like hell. I was distinctly unhappy with bouncing on the rope to descend into Moel Fferna.


The Anthron descender works tolerably well on clean rope. However it grinds to a halt on mucky rope. As far as mine exploration is concerned the Anthron really isn't fit for purpose.


Running it on a mucky rope in standard doublestop mode, yeah, it does stop when you don't want it to, (aforementioned bouncing episode at Moel Fferna). It flies in Single stop, mucky rope or not. I keep mine around for nervous newbies so we don't get a "Clutch and plummet" on a Stop until they have the hang of things.

DonStuart - I don't use a braking crab on a stop. I've never seen the need to be honest, and holding the rope in front of you seems counter-intuitive to be honest. I do get people tell me off for it though, but hey, it's a considered decision, not one made out of ignorance.

--

Searching for the ever elusive Underground Titty Bar.
IP: 86.145.40.195
pwhole

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New Petzl Ascenders. (2013+)
Posted: 12/10/2014 12:12:47
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Tony at Starless River recently lent me a brand-new CT chest ascender to try out (how's that for service?!) - I've promised to try it on a clean rope indoors first! But he said if I like it, buy it, if not, hand it back. Superficially it looks like the old Croll, but is slightly heavier owing to a chunkier frame and a stainless release catch. Sadly no stainless wear plate, and the cam itself seems to be chrome, so back to the old problems in that department - but it's full-size and seems to be made for caving, as opposed to winning aesthetics awards.

Interestingly, watching cavers struggle to undo the new Croll during the Speleo-Olympics competition at Hidden Earth recently (on dry rope indoors under lights) only confirmed my suspicions - it's a badly-designed piece of kit that clearly hasn't undergone thorough field-testing, or we wouldn't all be discovering this now. I suspect many more complaints will arise now as folks begin to upgrade. Other comments made yesterday at my club about its regular slippage on muddy rope were also noted, as that's happened to me too.

I repeat though - I have no doubts about its strength, but I believe as its functional operation is now to some extent compromised by its poor design, then the risk of usage (likelihood of a hazard occurring) has gone up.

So far, I'm reasonably happy with Stops underground, despite my having to bin one due to the spring on the gate getting jammed up with grit, meaning the gate no longer opens fully, I so can't get it on and off the krab! Though I always use a braking krab, as the Stop should be used as per a Simple in operation - as in, 'full on', not braking with the handle. That wears out both the rope and the Stop bobbin on each other, which isn't good. But on anything less than 10mm rope, I find most Stops just don't 'stop'...
IP: 81.174.241.13 Edited: 12/10/2014 12:13:54 by pwhole
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