Author Topic: What foot ascender to get  (Read 1184 times)

Offline AlexSheppard

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What foot ascender to get
« on: January 08, 2019, 03:15:24 pm »
My foot ascender has vanished to the land of the lost kit so I'm in the market for a replacement. I've previously used the CT offering which i liked but found the catch a bit fiddly, especially when trying to take it off the rope on stuff where you're hanging or don't have much room.

With that in mind I've got my eyes on the new style pantin (old style being impossible to find it seems) and the camp turbo foot. Does anyone have any thoughts on which of those or other brands I don't know about would be a good buy?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 10:06:29 pm »
There was some discussion on this topic in 2016: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=19980.0

though I'm not sure if the available gear has changed at all in that time...
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Offline Mike Butcher

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 06:01:49 pm »
Also discussed in 2014: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=16782.msg221876#msg221876
I'd go right foot Alex, unless you an get a left-handed chest jammer these days.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 06:19:27 pm »
Alex before you buy one, I would have a look at the TSG, I had a quick look. But your probably best looking yourself, as you'll know where you put your stuff.

Think back, where did you last have it? Which caving trip? I never saw you procure it at the chapel which makes me think you misplayed it beforehand? Maybe on another weekend away?

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Offline JoW

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 09:49:51 pm »
Also discussed in 2014: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=16782.msg221876#msg221876
I'd go right foot Alex, unless you an get a left-handed chest jammer these days.

Personally I've had no issues with my left foot pantin... (I tried a right foot one once and it felt nowhere near as intuitive as the left to me)

Offline MarkS

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 08:09:43 am »
Quite a long left/right foot pantin discussion from last year at https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=23197.msg292480#msg292480.

Offline AlexSheppard

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 02:21:50 pm »
Cheers guys, I'll give those topics a look over but I'd already planned on getting a right footed one; I find the movement of right foot jammer and left foot footloop quite natural. Was more wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the different models.

Alistair I've been racking my brain and the only remaining place I can think my old one might be is P8, where I last remember using i. There's a group going in on Monday who are going to keep an eye out for me.

Offline MarkS

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 02:57:48 pm »
Sorry, I was mainly replying to JoW.

I wouldn't bother with the Camp Turbo Foot. It seems to cost more and I don't think you'd get much (if any) benefit from the rollers. It's not like foot ascenders regularly wear out on the plate like a Croll can.

I've not used one of the Climbing Technology ones. I've always found the Petzl ones to be good though.

Offline AlexSheppard

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 04:53:53 pm »
Yeah I'm not too sure if the rollers would make much different on a foot ascender; I was more looking at the hole a carabiner could be clipped  into for transport and the extra sheath on the foot strap (Though the amazon page does have a review on it claiming they found it smoother running than the petzl ones at the bottom of the rope without much slack below you,  I'm taking that lone review with a pinch of salt)

Offline David Rose

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 09:27:31 pm »
The strap on the CT version is much more robust than the new style Pantin. And easier to tighten, I find.

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 09:54:20 pm »
I've used both the Pantin (Generation 3) and Turbofoot. The Turbofoot I've found to be far better. The Pantin has a tendency to snap on the ankle strap, and being so thin it's not the kind of thing you can spot early - once it starts to go it goes. The rollers on the Turbofoot do sod all but they certainly don't get in the way. The Turbofoot is better simply because it has a hole to clip a snapgate into (one I carry anyway for clipping my hand-jammer safety cord into bolts as a second long cows-tail, and for clipping away my footloop and Turbofoot) the snapgate prevents the jammer from pinging off the rope which I found happens far too much with the Pantin.

This alone makes it worth the £5 more I paid for it (£52 as opposed to £47 for a Pantin from Hitch n Hike just prior to their closure). It can also be used in a pinch as a pulley jammer for hauling bags/kibbles etc. Not rated for person weight though so wouldn't use it in a rescue.
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Offline Tangent_tracker

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 11:12:13 am »
Also discussed in 2014: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=16782.msg221876#msg221876
I'd go right foot Alex, unless you an get a left-handed chest jammer these days.

Personally I've had no issues with my left foot pantin... (I tried a right foot one once and it felt nowhere near as intuitive as the left to me)

I will never understand why folk suggest right pantin if you are right dominant. Your dominant leg should always remain with the footloop, absolute no brainer. The Pantin is an aid, not primary device! Not to mention how everything lies etc... But everyone should try all options before they buy.
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Offline Ed

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 03:43:40 pm »
Also discussed in 2014: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=16782.msg221876#msg221876
I'd go right foot Alex, unless you an get a left-handed chest jammer these days.

Personally I've had no issues with my left foot pantin... (I tried a right foot one once and it felt nowhere near as intuitive as the left to me)

I'm right foot dominant but find it much easier with right foot pantain and left foot in footloop --- could be as left handed so use left handed simple

I will never understand why folk suggest right pantin if you are right dominant. Your dominant leg should always remain with the footloop, absolute no brainer. The Pantin is an aid, not primary device! Not to mention how everything lies etc... But everyone should try all options before they buy.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2019, 05:52:22 pm »
I will never understand why folk suggest right pantin if you are right dominant.

One reason might be the information provided by Petzl, which has no mention of foot dominance.

7. Caving-type progression
It is preferable to use the right-foot PANTIN in conjunction with CROLL and ASCENSION ascenders.
The left-foot PANTIN is not recommended for this configuration, because of the increased complexity of passing re-belays.
- Simultaneous progression:
Push with both legs at the same time (more comfortable and more power).
- Alternating progression:
One leg after the other (very fast). The TORSE (or SECUR) shoulder strap should be looser to allow an upright chest position. This technique requires good physical fitness and serious training. It is easier to introduce yourself to this technique where you can be in contact with a wall.

The Pantin is an aid, not primary device!

Technically speaking, the chest ascender is the primary device and a Pantin and top ascender and foot loop combination are both aids.

Your dominant leg should always remain with the foot loop, absolute no brainer.

I'm not sure about it being an absolute no brainer

Your dominant leg is your preferred leg and some people have different preferences for different activities. My dominant leg is my right leg so on a snowboard I should lead with my left foot forward. I don't, I'm Goofy.

I must admit to not getting on with foot-mounted ascenders. I just use a basic top ascender and a long length of accessory cord to make the foot loop and security cord. I have a tubular tape protector threaded over the foot loop section and usually get a good few years out of them. I have both feet in the foot loop unless kicking myself away from an obstruction, which I would generally do with my left foot. It's secured to an Omni Triact on the harness with a small Croll.

Over the past 40 years I must have tried nearly every type of rope climbing method and I always come back to the traditional Frog technique. I really can't see the point of using a foot mounted ascender unless you were using the Alternating Progression technique.

I always gaze upwards in amazement at Hidden Earth when people like Mark Sims demonstrate the technique so effortlessly. I'm usually out of breath just feeding the rope through the lowering device!   

At the end of the day, so long as the increased complexity of passing re-belays with a left foot Pantin has been mastered then the choice of left or right foot Pantin (other manufacturers are available) is really down to what you prefer.

Mark

Offline Wardy

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2019, 06:50:19 pm »
Mark I agree with your comments and also go back to Frog, having sampled other techniques.
I have however persevered with the left foot Pantin and cannot understand what they mean by added complexity.
It did take a little time to get synchronised to climb with alternate legs, but as for complexity on re belays why is left worse than right?
Pete

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2019, 07:33:54 pm »
Mark I agree with your comments and also go back to Frog, having sampled other techniques.
I have however persevered with the left foot Pantin and cannot understand what they mean by added complexity.
It did take a little time to get synchronised to climb with alternate legs, but as for complexity on re-belays why is left worse than right?
Pete

My experimentation with a Pantin never got as far as a re-belay so I can't comment on the complexity of passing one.

Mark

Offline Fulk

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2019, 08:31:16 pm »
Mark:
Quote
I really can't see the point of using a foot mounted ascender unless you were using the Alternating Progression technique.

Do you mean by ‘Alternating Progression technique’ a kind of rope-walking?

I often use a Pantin for more-or-less conventional ‘Frogging’ and find that it helps in two ways:
1 – It helps to keep the rope below one’s chest jammer taut and so helps to prevent dragging up the rope as one stands up;
2 – It helps to keep me in a more vertical posture, thus makes prusiking more efficient.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2019, 09:45:26 pm »
Fulk,

I was just using the quoted Petzl terminology with the Alternating Progression technique, but ropewalking is exactly what it is.

I maintain tension in the rope below my chest ascender by simply trapping the rope between my feet as I step up and untrap it when I move my top ascender up. Some do find this a little challenging at first but practice makes perfect.

It's important the rope is positioned on the outside of the foot loop or it flops between your legs and out of the foot loop when you move the top ascender up. I can't say as I've ever had a problem with the method on thicker ropes but sometimes on thinner, e.g. 8mm rope, my feet don't always trap the rope properly usually requiring only a small 1" shuffle forward of one foot in the foot loop.

A lot of the Hidden Earth 30m speed race and obstacle course contestants struggle to keep their foot ascenders on the rope when they first leave the floor and we are regularly asked to hold the rope tight below them until they get some weight of rope below them and then they usually have no problems. We get plenty of false starts due to this. I rarely get any false starts with my technique.

When I step up I usually push my legs behind me slightly and that generally keeps me vertical enough and it's pretty efficient, 196 steps out of Rowter Hole entrance shaft which is about 14" per step in old money.

As efficient as it is, I'm still knackered when I flop out of the entrance lid, but so are all the youngsters who follow me out with their Pantins. As to whether using a Pantin is any quicker than a traditional Frog set-up, I think that depends entirely on how fit you are. One thing is for sure, if I get on the bottom of the Rowter Hole entrance shaft rope before the Pantin user, they won't be going any quicker than me.

Mark
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 10:02:50 pm by Mark Wright »

Offline topcat

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2019, 09:54:33 pm »
I've often said that if all Pantins disappeared overnight I'd give up caving !

Foot loop on the L, Pantin on R.   I've tried a L Pantin but R suits most pitch heads better, because they tend to get bolted by RH riggers......

Offline MarkS

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2019, 10:06:18 pm »
Mark I agree with your comments and also go back to Frog, having sampled other techniques.
I have however persevered with the left foot Pantin and cannot understand what they mean by added complexity.
It did take a little time to get synchronised to climb with alternate legs, but as for complexity on re belays why is left worse than right?
Pete

This was my explanation on the thread I linked to above:

Quote
If your safety cord (be it a separate one or a cowstail) is to the left of your chest ascender on your central maillon and you put your right foot in the foot loop, the safety cord - hand ascender - foot loop combination makes a closed loop around the rope you are climbing, hence the (slight) added complication passing rebelays. This is very noticeable if you use a chicken/snoopy loop to keep your footloop attached to your foot .

I think once you try it and notice it, it's much easier to envisage!

Offline David Rose

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2019, 08:44:29 am »
Once you get going on a biggish, open pitch and the rope is running easily through the chest ascender, I find it makes no difference whether you use a foot ascender or not.Indeed, ordinary frog can be easier. Somehow it feels as if you have more power in each step. For me, the biggest advantage of using one comes close to a rebelay or the bottom, or in a narrow fissure - Bitch Pitch in JH, for example. It saves fiddling to get the rope between your boots in an awkward spot or strenuously yanking it through by hand. I agree with the point about RH ascenders and RHanded riggers.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2019, 11:41:31 am »
I think the real benefit of using a Pantin is that when using the rope walking technique, every inch you climb up counts. You don't loose a load of height (hard won gravitational potential energy) by sitting down in your harness.

It does genuinely use less energy to ascend a pitch rope-walking than fogging. The only thing is, that you have all your weight on your legs the whole time, you don't get a rest between steps, so you do need to be fitter...
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Offline Tangent_tracker

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2019, 07:50:27 pm »
I will never understand why folk suggest right pantin if you are right dominant.

One reason might be the information provided by Petzl, which has no mention of foot dominance.

7. Caving-type progression
It is preferable to use the right-foot PANTIN in conjunction with CROLL and ASCENSION ascenders.
The left-foot PANTIN is not recommended for this configuration, because of the increased complexity of passing re-belays.
- Simultaneous progression:
Push with both legs at the same time (more comfortable and more power).
- Alternating progression:
One leg after the other (very fast). The TORSE (or SECUR) shoulder strap should be looser to allow an upright chest position. This technique requires good physical fitness and serious training. It is easier to introduce yourself to this technique where you can be in contact with a wall.

The Pantin is an aid, not primary device!

Technically speaking, the chest ascender is the primary device and a Pantin and top ascender and foot loop combination are both aids.

Your dominant leg should always remain with the foot loop, absolute no brainer.

I'm not sure about it being an absolute no brainer

Your dominant leg is your preferred leg and some people have different preferences for different activities. My dominant leg is my right leg so on a snowboard I should lead with my left foot forward. I don't, I'm Goofy.

I must admit to not getting on with foot-mounted ascenders. I just use a basic top ascender and a long length of accessory cord to make the foot loop and security cord. I have a tubular tape protector threaded over the foot loop section and usually get a good few years out of them. I have both feet in the foot loop unless kicking myself away from an obstruction, which I would generally do with my left foot. It's secured to an Omni Triact on the harness with a small Croll.

Over the past 40 years I must have tried nearly every type of rope climbing method and I always come back to the traditional Frog technique. I really can't see the point of using a foot mounted ascender unless you were using the Alternating Progression technique.

I always gaze upwards in amazement at Hidden Earth when people like Mark Sims demonstrate the technique so effortlessly. I'm usually out of breath just feeding the rope through the lowering device!   

At the end of the day, so long as the increased complexity of passing re-belays with a left foot Pantin has been mastered then the choice of left or right foot Pantin (other manufacturers are available) is really down to what you prefer.

Mark

Yes I have to accept Petzl's reasoning here although I personally have never had problems passing rebelays, as technically nothing has changed for me. You have to remove your pantin anyway!
I prussik by default with my right leg in foot loop (or both feet in double loops) and so shall remain to do so, with the pantin as an aid, more for the bottom stretch of rope than further up.
On a side note I agree with the sentiments above in order to continuously walk a full rope you have to be considerably fitter than you otherwise would be!
I will say a pantin is always going to be secondary to a footloop though!
Olly.

Offline caving_fox

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2019, 09:19:33 am »
I think the real benefit of using a Pantin is that when using the rope walking technique, every inch you climb up counts. You don't loose a load of height (hard won gravitational potential energy) by sitting down in your harness.

It does genuinely use less energy to ascend a pitch rope-walking than fogging. The only thing is, that you have all your weight on your legs the whole time, you don't get a rest between steps, so you do need to be fitter...

Tighten your chest harness then?  I'm not aware of any sit when I'm frogging, until I stop to take a breather. I'm either on the croll, or standing into the loop. I don't sag into the croll, it's tight on me.
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: What foot ascender to get
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2019, 10:28:29 am »
A tight chest harness certainly helps, but I would be very surprised if there is no drop as you load the croll.

Easy way to check, next time you are frogging, touch your nose to the rope at the top of your step; does it move down the rope at all as you transfer weight to the croll? If so, how much?

Assuming your nose moves an inch back down the rope (which would seem pretty good to me) and you take an 18 inch step (which seems fair), that's roughly 6% lost every step. I'm struggling to believe it is possible to get more efficient than this, but would be really interested to see if it could be improved...
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