As a component in rope ascending, the Petzl Croll continues to be the best on the market. It is easy to use, even while wearing gloves. It holds true on wet, gritty rope. I have trusted my life to this item numerous times and will continue to do so.
- Holds on wet rope
- None to report on this item
Petzl's ascenders are the only ones I've ever used for caving. They work right every time. I can set and remove them while wearing gloves. I literally have trusted my life with them scores of times. Petzl tends to be a bit pricier than other brands, but I'll stick with the leader when it comes to my safety.
The Croll is designated as a "chest ascender." This may cause some confusion, as it actually attaches to your harness at your waist. However, it is held in place by either a chest harness or a piece of webbing running up and over the shoulders. As a climber "frogs" up the rope, the Croll sits primarily at the bottom of the sternum.
The photo is me ascending out of Rumbling Falls Cave. My hand is gripping the Petzl Ascension. You can see the gold Petzl Croll at my chest.
In a pinch, the Croll could be configured as a different ascending device, but it lacks the convenient handle on dedicated foot ascenders.
As I state in many of my reviews, rope work in a cave is dangerous. One should not just pick up a bunch of equipment and go try it out. Join a caving club (called a "Grotto" and found at www.caves.org) and learn from them. It is also wise to find out what your local Grotto is using in caves. If you are using a system they are unfamiliar with, it will be difficult for them to assist you, should you get into trouble (and, yes, cavers get into trouble on ropes all the time. Usually, it's not a big deal, but then others wind up in the obituary section, because they didn't know what they were doing.)
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: retail
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Current Retail: $67.96-$79.95
Historic Range: $41.61-$79.95