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Progress capture pulley. Which one?

So while practicing hauling with a couple of heavier peers I've realised a pulley jammer isn't efficient enough as a progress capture device. Hence I'm on the hunt for a better alternative. Now most cavers seem to have a micro trax but I've noticed the spoc is cheaper, lighter and more efficient. Is there a reason to stick with the micro or would the spoc work just as well? Also, any other progress capture pulleys worth considering?
 

Babyhagrid

Well-known member
Do you have a link for the Spoc, I've never heard of it before

The mini traxion is worth a look as it can stay on a crab whilst you put rope into it. And it's smallish
 

Ed

Active member
The Spoc has a more efficient sheave than traxions, is lighter and will handle thinner ropes. Plus I seem to recall the krab hole is a bit bigger. And it's cheaper

I've got an one but it's not been used. I tend to carry a roll n lock.

I prefer the Spoc to the microtraxion I had
 
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andrewmcleod

Well-known member
(Edelrid) Spoc and microtraxion look pretty much the same (except for the weight) - basically the same efficiency and features.
Nanotraxion is lighter but you lose the ability to lock out the cam.

The reality is these are all extremely efficient devices so if you are struggling to haul with a pulley-jammer (which _is_ a very efficient system) the issue is probably not going to be fixed by a new device. If you want to haul someone by yourself, you either need a good efficient system with significant mechanical advantage (e.g. 6:1 via 2:1 and 3:1 Z rig) _and_ somewhere convenient to stand and haul, or accept that trying to do a haul like that on your own is sucky and just counterbalance (either through a progress capture pulley if it's a real rescue or through a descender, possibly as a 2:1 if necessary, if not a rescue).

Personally I think progress capture pulleys are great devices for rescue and for bags etc. but as they will strip the sheath of a rope at 4-6kN I would always use a non-toothed device if I was _expecting_ to potentially need some hauling (e.g. on a ladder trip where some people might need hauling).
 

alanw

Well-known member
the micro trax has a little hole and the attached carabiner also has a little hole that you can tie together with cord
 

Pete K

Well-known member
Any are better than none! The Spoc is a fine little tool. The only one that I'd avoid at all costs is the Nano Traxion, as that does not have a cam that can be locked open for reversing the haul. It's for crevasse rescues where you won't be putting someone back down! Releasing and lowering in a controlled way is an essential skill to master if you plan on carrying a progress capture pulley.
Mini, Micro, Pro, Spoc... they will all do the job so it comes down to your budget, features and size preference really.

If I had to pick one over all others, I'd grab a new Mini Traxion. Stays on the carabiner in use, highly efficient, but still small and light. If you are in need of something to put you to sleep, I did a short video (originally aimed at LCMLA holders) on the new Mini Traxion which you can see here:

And at the risk of being slightly self promoting, there is another progress capture pulley related new video on my YT which anyone who carries one might wish to watch. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEeN4aAfxzd1XffZg-pp4TA
 

Huge

Well-known member
Your videos are great, Pete. Very clear and concise. I've learnt/reinforced a lot from them. 👍
 

paul

Moderator
Bear in mind that if you are using any progress capture device to belay anyone, you need to be able to quickly change over to lowering if you need to.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
Bear in mind that if you are using any progress capture device to belay anyone, you need to be able to quickly change over to lowering if you need to.
And of course that belaying with a Microtraxion gets the 'death death death' symbol in the Petzl manual (they are not intended to be used as belay devices).

Same requirement (that you can quickly change over to lowering) applies to hauling (which is permitted and the intended use).
 
(Edelrid) Spoc and microtraxion look pretty much the same (except for the weight) - basically the same efficiency and features.
Nanotraxion is lighter but you lose the ability to lock out the cam.

The reality is these are all extremely efficient devices so if you are struggling to haul with a pulley-jammer (which _is_ a very efficient system) the issue is probably not going to be fixed by a new device. If you want to haul someone by yourself, you either need a good efficient system with significant mechanical advantage (e.g. 6:1 via 2:1 and 3:1 Z rig) _and_ somewhere convenient to stand and haul, or accept that trying to do a haul like that on your own is sucky and just counterbalance (either through a progress capture pulley if it's a real rescue or through a descender, possibly as a 2:1 if necessary, if not a rescue).

Personally I think progress capture pulleys are great devices for rescue and for bags etc. but as they will strip the sheath of a rope at 4-6kN I would always use a non-toothed device if I was _expecting_ to potentially need some hauling (e.g. on a ladder trip where some people might need hauling).
I would like to say that it also comes down to the fact that I've hauled people easily on a 3-1 with a micro before. With a pulley jammer I couldn't even get it to move so it may not be the only solution but it's a light compact solution to get a progress capture pulley.
 

cavetroll

Member
Pulley efficiency is a bit of a misleading concept for us, as it's possible to make a very efficient pulley wheel with a really small diameter sheave (spinny bit). The Spoc might have a similar efficiency, but it has a smaller sheave diameter than the micro, and thus fatter ropes will have to bend more tightly which creates more friction. It's unlikely to make a huge difference, but if you're working with 10mm rope you'll notice the difference between a Pro Traxion and a Spoc despite the modest difference in stated efficiency.
 

mikem

Well-known member
I would like to say that it also comes down to the fact that I've hauled people easily on a 3-1 with a micro before. With a pulley jammer I couldn't even get it to move so it may not be the only solution but it's a light compact solution to get a progress capture pulley.
But a traxion is just a pulley with jammer built in, so what were you doing differently?
 
But a traxion is just a pulley with jammer built in, so what were you doing differently?
When using the microtraxion I would have 2 spare pulleys to be able to have a pulley on the jammer to make a z rig and a pulley for a redirect. whereas when using a pulley jammer I have to use a carabiner to make a redirect and I think that increase in friction is enough to make it impossible to move. Is also worth pointing out my pulleys are very old fixes (anywhere from 25-30years old) so aren't very efficient at all. So I could solve the problem by buying new pulleys to be fair but it's lighter to have a progress caption pulley and easier to haul bags or do other weird things.
 
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