Ascenders are a special type of equipment used in what is defined by the climbing community as “aid climbing.” Aid climbing is a way to climb using rope, ascenders, and other devices, instead of actually using the rock. They are useful when certain areas on the climb has pitches which are too steep or there is a hazard which you want to avoid. While some ascenders have similarities to others, each is different so it is very important to read the instructions for the ascender that you plan to use.
How do Ascenders work?
Ascenders work by using one way friction to allow a climber to ascend a rope freely without allowing the device to slide back down the rope. They effectively hold your place on your climb, making it safer to climb longer and steeper routes. Ascenders come in left-hand, right-hand, and two-handed versions. For your safety, it is very important to lock the ascender to the rope with a carabiner in case the ascender somehow becomes loose; this way it won’t fall from the rope. Different ascenders are designed to accommodate different rope sizes, so it is important to read the specifications to make sure that your choice ascender is the right ascender for you.
Which one is right for me?
There are many different kinds of ascenders, so it is important that you choose the best ascender that is right for you. Certain ascenders are meant for cave exploration, others are made for rock climbing. There are certain types which are designed to be used in combination with others, such as the Kong Futura foot ascender, which is designed to be used along with a hand ascender. This creates a system which allows the user to ascend in tight places like caves. Similarly, hand ascenders can be used with chest ascenders. Ascenders can also be used in sequence with other “aid climbing” tools, such as etriers and jacob’s ladders. All of our ascenders are approved by the ACCT.