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Ask Dr. Piton about... substituting the Basic for the Croll
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glockaroo


Mar 12, 2002, 2:39 PM
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Ask Dr. Piton about... substituting the Basic for the Croll
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Hey Pete,

Been following your mention of adapting caving SRT for big wall scenarios. Agree that the frog is the shiite (or Sunni...?) for free-hanging rope ascent.

I have a question: do you think the Petzl Basic is an adequate substitute for the Croll? I ask because I've got a Basic in the toybox somewhere and would like to avoid buying the Croll needlessly.

The only appreciable difference I see between the two is that, based on web pictures, the Croll seems a bit shorter, but not by much. The Basic has a slight twist in the clip-in hole to provide some orientation adjustment, like the Croll. Your experience?

Do you use a half-round screwgate to attach the Croll (again keeping the Croll a bit closer to your harness point) or just a locking biner?

I suspect as well that you adapt your bigwall gear sling to serve as the Croll's chest harness. Any slick details on that?

Thanks in advance, and thanks in general for the great wealth of tech info you share here. This gives us a glimpse of how Tomaz must have felt when you revealed that topo to him.

BTW hope the editor in you appreciates the incomplete sentences at the beginning of the post. If you like, write your corrections directly on your monitor... perhaps in grease pencil?

[ This Message was edited by: glockaroo on 2002-03-15 17:49 ]


passthepitonspete


Mar 12, 2002, 3:33 PM
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Ask Dr. Piton about... substituting the Basic for the Croll [In reply to]
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Well, Glock,

It all comes down to how much moolah you can spare. There is no doubt that the Croll is indeed the better way when it comes to constructing the Petzl Frog Ascending System, which is what we use around here.

The Croll ascender is designed to lie flat against your lower torso, allowing you to better fit through tight cave passages.

It is ESSENTIAL that your lower ascender in the frog system be mounted as low as you can possibly rig it, otherwise the system will not work. It you have a harness with a very high tie-in point, it will be hard to get the frog system to work well. I always choose a harness with a low tie-in point.

It is for this reason that many cavers use a Petzl harness like the Avanti which uses the semi-circular maillon rapide, or the "half round screwgate" which you describe. This point of connection is used for no other purpose than to keep the ascender placed as low as possible.

Personally, I use a very small locking crab to attach my Croll to my harness.

On top of the Croll, you can use any number of points of attachment. It is important to note that this point of attachment is NOT a harness - its sole purpose is the LIFT the ascender when you stand up - nothing else!

You actually have at least four ways you can rig the top of your lower ascender, be it a Basic or be it a Croll.


You can use a full-on chest harness. I do not like this system so much - it is overkill, and does not give you that nice elasticity that pulls the Croll up the rope when you stand

You can use a bungy cord around your neck. This is the simplest, lightest, and the method I use. I have my bungy cord padded with a soft cloth. It's very compact, and surprisingly not uncomfortable. I use a small maillon rapide in the top hole of the Croll, and have the padded bungy in situ the whole time. I have no other use for my Croll when on the wall

You can rig up an elastic harness with an old bicycle inner tube. I used this to explore to -829 m in Mexico. You put your arm and head through the tube, pull it tight, and then put your head and other arm through the other hole.

You can rig a couple of straps over each shoulder, and clip them in to the back of your harness - please click here to see the standard caver harness and semi-circular maillon rapide.


The most important thing you must do when you adjust this lifting assembly on top of your lower ascender is to make sure you are HUNCHED OVER when you try to stand!

This is why the lower ascender must be mounted as low as possible - you need to feel hunched over when you try to stand on flat ground. It is this hunched over-ness that keeps you sitting comfortably as you jug, and also lifts the ascender as you stand.

If you are not hunched, it will NOT work.

If your lower ascender sits too high, it will not work.

Will a Petzl Basic Ascender work OK in place of a Croll Ascender in this situation?

I believe it will, as long as you rig it as described above - mounted as low as possible, and making sure you're hunched over.

Try it and let us know!

Cheers,

Dr. Piton

P.S. Tomaz was even happier when I showed him how to build a 2:1 Hauling Ratchet, and how to tie a Load Release Knot.

Funny how he ended up with my copy of Chongo's book, eh?

[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-12-14 17:34 ]


glockaroo


Mar 12, 2002, 6:27 PM
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Thanks, Pete. Very helpful as usual.

Have you gotten any wall-specific data from the field on the Pantin? It gets rave reviews from the subterranean (sp?) people on the caving newsgroups. More than one has said climbing with the Pantin is like "setting up for Frogging and then being able to go Ropewalker (and back if needed) in 2 seconds".


passthepitonspete


Mar 12, 2002, 6:52 PM
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When you need good information on ascending systems, you should check out Gary Storrick's Website.

You can click here to read about the Petzl Pantin.

The jury is still out on this one - you can click here to read my comments on the Pantin.

You'll find it in the brown box right at the very bottom of the page.

Cheers,

Pete


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