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Advice on Hand Ascender purchase for novice in regards to SRT?

HuumanCreed

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Aug 21, 2020
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Westminster Maryland
Just wanted to ask a few questions from folks who been SRTing. After reading all the debate about SRT/onestick/sticks/etc, I wanted to know more about it. Especially the gears and proper maintanance of hand ascender for SRTing. Just want to try it. Was thinking of just using a prussic but figured I ask.

1.) So is this one of those tool that you should go new and high end for? I saw a CMI old school one for sale on another site, a 'jumar'? Somethings last forever and certain things, the older one more better (like Bear bows). Are ascenders in this category? Do I need the Petzl name brand or an imitation NewDoar from Amazon work just as well? That if anything fails I still am attached to rope by my GriGri.

2.) How long is the shelf life on device AND rope? I know the teeth wear out, does it wear out ropes faster too compared to devices like Grigri or MD which seem to pinch more than 'bite', Similar to how Ropeman 1 and 2 are different.

3.) Have anyone tried SRTing with a Ropeman or Kong Duck instead of a 'hand ascender'? Or even a friction knot. See like the advantage of a hand ascender is the handle that make it easier, but seem a small strap and carabiner can fix this.

Thank you!
 

bj139

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I like the handle of a Jumar type ascender. If anything gives way below me I have a firm grip on the rubber handle. Petzl seems to be about $80 and generic about $40. The cheaper one is fine but the Petzl is lighter. I use a right handed one since my right arm is stronger.
 

Empostarr

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Dec 2, 2020
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SE Michigan
I've only been doing SRT for a little bit, I used it for a few hunts last season, so I can't speak to the wear and tear part. As for using a ropeman, I tried that and ended up getting a Petzl. The ease of use and hand comfort were the main reasons. It can be done, but the hand ascender is nice to have. As far as cheap versus name brand...your life. I'd rather go with a known name than the cheap version while dangling in the air.
 

bj139

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I've only been doing SRT for a little bit, I used it for a few hunts last season, so I can't speak to the wear and tear part. As for using a ropeman, I tried that and ended up getting a Petzl. The ease of use and hand comfort were the main reasons. It can be done, but the hand ascender is nice to have. As far as cheap versus name brand...your life. I'd rather go with a known name than the cheap version while dangling in the air.
Yes. Comfort is an important benefit to the Petzl. I spend a lot of time with my hand on the handle so I decided to go Mercedes quality. It should outlast me.
 

HuumanCreed

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Westminster Maryland
Yes. Comfort is an important benefit to the Petzl. I spend a lot of time with my hand on the handle so I decided to go Mercedes quality. It should outlast me.
I've only been doing SRT for a little bit, I used it for a few hunts last season, so I can't speak to the wear and tear part. As for using a ropeman, I tried that and ended up getting a Petzl. The ease of use and hand comfort were the main reasons. It can be done, but the hand ascender is nice to have. As far as cheap versus name brand...your life. I'd rather go with a known name than the cheap version while dangling in the air.
Well can't be clearer than that, guess I'm saving for a Petzl! Thank you guys for the quick assist!
 

SNIPERBBB

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Feb 19, 2020
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571
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SE Ohio
Any hand ascender you get I'd recommend one that has the built in pulley unless you're going to use one of the hitch climber type methods like with the rope wrench.

I've been happy with my CT quick roll. Also use it for DRT
 

HuumanCreed

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Any hand ascender you get I'd recommend one that has the built in pulley unless you're going to use one of the hitch climber type methods like with the rope wrench.

I've been happy with my CT quick roll. Also use it for DRT
So can anyone explain to me why there are left and right hand ascender? I understand it clip to the rope on one side, but is there a real mechanical differences? based on how you pull? is there a slight angle because of how left/right hand pull on the rope?
 

bj139

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So can anyone explain to me why there are left and right hand ascender? I understand it clip to the rope on one side, but is there a real mechanical differences? based on how you pull? is there a slight angle because of how left/right hand pull on the rope?
The clamp can be released with your thumb if you hold it in the correct hand. If in the wrong hand, you can use your forefinger.
 

bj139

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I leave my ascender on the line while descending. It is attached to my bridge with a 24 inch climbing sling. The belay device should not fail but if it does the ascender will catch me. I have to move it down 2 feet at a time in order to be safer. Alone in the woods would be bad to be hurt.
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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Just wanted to ask a few questions from folks who been SRTing. After reading all the debate about SRT/onestick/sticks/etc, I wanted to know more about it. Especially the gears and proper maintanance of hand ascender for SRTing. Just want to try it. Was thinking of just using a prussic but figured I ask.

1.) So is this one of those tool that you should go new and high end for? I saw a CMI old school one for sale on another site, a 'jumar'? Somethings last forever and certain things, the older one more better (like Bear bows). Are ascenders in this category? Do I need the Petzl name brand or an imitation NewDoar from Amazon work just as well? That if anything fails I still am attached to rope by my GriGri.

2.) How long is the shelf life on device AND rope? I know the teeth wear out, does it wear out ropes faster too compared to devices like Grigri or MD which seem to pinch more than 'bite', Similar to how Ropeman 1 and 2 are different.

3.) Have anyone tried SRTing with a Ropeman or Kong Duck instead of a 'hand ascender'? Or even a friction knot. See like the advantage of a hand ascender is the handle that make it easier, but seem a small strap and carabiner can fix this.

Thank you!
Ok I am late to the party and maybe my thoughts will be different than others?
Addressing in order
1) with hand ascenders you do not need to go high end because you should also be running either a chest ascender/friction hitch/ or a rappel advance locking device such as a madrock or gri gri +… depending on how you plan to climb. So your hand ascender/pulley and foot loop do not need to be high end but I would not skimp on my chest ascender or rappel device personally.
2) shelf life for most ascenders- this will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. You have it correct that the most important thing is to inspect your equipment before using it. Look for broken or missing teeth, lose pins or excessive gate or spring play. As far as your rope, an ascender will wear the rope quicker than a friction hitch. A bigger factor is how you use it. Don’t release the bite of the ascender while under load, it could pinch or fray the rope. Check your rope to make sure its core is in good condition (holds its shape when bent) and not flattened. Look for fraying snags ect…. I’ve never added any oil or anything to my ascenders only to the screw gate on my carabiners (it rains often and I get dirt in places lol)…
3) you can ascend with a friction knot or even a rope man. You should not ascend with only a hand ascender. Hand ascenders are made to assist with pulling the rope and are not as strong as a rope progress capturing device such as a chest ascender or even a kong duck/rope man….. if you use a hand ascender back it up at chest level with a prusik or some variation… The problem with ascending with a rope man or even a friction hitch is that you will eventually need to get down and they are much slower and require more effort and care than a rappel device such as a gri gri +….
hope this helps. This is why I say SRT and one sticking are the most expensive climbing methods because they require more expensive gear to get up.
 

MNFarmHunter

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Jun 6, 2021
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Minnesota
(2) prusik cords is definitely the cheapest option using the upper prusik for your bridge and the lower for your foot. The chief downside to this is the prusik can bite down too much and be a PITA to move up but this isn't too bad when using a prusik tender. A Ropeman 1 or Kong Duck is the next step up, much easier to move but costs more. The Petzl are definitely the nicest and most user friendly but also cost the most and are the biggest.
 

gcr0003

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Nov 1, 2018
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Not Alabama
Just wanted to ask a few questions from folks who been SRTing. After reading all the debate about SRT/onestick/sticks/etc, I wanted to know more about it. Especially the gears and proper maintanance of hand ascender for SRTing. Just want to try it. Was thinking of just using a prussic but figured I ask.

1.) So is this one of those tool that you should go new and high end for? I saw a CMI old school one for sale on another site, a 'jumar'? Somethings last forever and certain things, the older one more better (like Bear bows). Are ascenders in this category? Do I need the Petzl name brand or an imitation NewDoar from Amazon work just as well? That if anything fails I still am attached to rope by my GriGri.

2.) How long is the shelf life on device AND rope? I know the teeth wear out, does it wear out ropes faster too compared to devices like Grigri or MD which seem to pinch more than 'bite', Similar to how Ropeman 1 and 2 are different.

3.) Have anyone tried SRTing with a Ropeman or Kong Duck instead of a 'hand ascender'? Or even a friction knot. See like the advantage of a hand ascender is the handle that make it easier, but seem a small strap and carabiner can fix this.

Thank you!
When I was rope climbing I climbed drt and srt with a ropeman ascender and a friction hitch and it worked great. What I ended up settling with was a ropeman with an aider to stand up with and a friction hitch to hold my weight as I ascended. I haven't used the handle ascenders but like you mentioned the obvious benefit would be the grip. I used this carabiner I had at the time to connect my aider to my ropeman and it has such a large opening that I was able to fit my hand in it and use it to progress my ropeman with ease as well as a handle to pull my self up when I stood up to progress my friction hitch. There are a lot of different ways to skin this cat.
1623695164408.png
 

bj139

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SE PA
Yeah hand ascenders are not life support devices. Unless you need to make a quick climb to escape a mad turtle or something you don't have to get something extremely fancy.
IMHO, hand ascenders are life support devices. Look up Texas kick climbing where that is all that is used. Are prusiks or Ropemen life support?
 

HuumanCreed

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Westminster Maryland
More expensive than multiple sticks?
Money can be spent at all level and all range. Just personal choices and what you can afford.

ATC with autoblock VS Madrock
Ropes quality
Sticks quality
Platforms quality

Even climbing Spurs come at different price range

I can agree that it CAN get expensive if you want to find the right setup for yourself personally with trail and errors, but you can say the same with people who have multiple set of sticks.
 

HuumanCreed

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Aug 21, 2020
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Westminster Maryland
When I was rope climbing I climbed drt and srt with a ropeman ascender and a friction hitch and it worked great. What I ended up settling with was a ropeman with an aider to stand up with and a friction hitch to hold my weight as I ascended. I haven't used the handle ascenders but like you mentioned the obvious benefit would be the grip. I used this carabiner I had at the time to connect my aider to my ropeman and it has such a large opening that I was able to fit my hand in it and use it to progress my ropeman with ease as well as a handle to pull my self up when I stood up to progress my friction hitch. There are a lot of different ways to skin this cat.
View attachment 48161
Same here! Except I used a Kong Duck. I did try out a hand ascender or 'jumar' as my buddy snobbishly corrected me, but I found it twist and turn on me all the time, I just didn't like it. Yes I did not have the best form or practice with it enough. But I found grabbing on to a good carabiner was a lot more comfortable.
 

SNIPERBBB

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Feb 19, 2020
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571
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SE Ohio
IMHO, hand ascenders are life support devices. Look up Texas kick climbing where that is all that is used. Are prusiks or Ropemen life support?
General application of a hand ascender isn't life support. Some specialized applications may use it as such. Though that will eat up your ropes.
 

bowhunthard88

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Apr 9, 2020
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Dingmans Ferry, PA
Here's another recommendation for the CT Quick Roll hand ascender! I'm a righty, so I pull up with my left hand, and tend the slack with my hand. Because of my setup style, I purchased the RH version, because the pulley is on the right. I switched over from a Black Diamond, and having everything in one unit is really nice (although I slightly preferred the Black Diamond grip ergonomics). I bought a Quick Roll for rec/arborist climbing/work and I immediately bought another one for my hunting setup lol.
 
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