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Time-tested on the world's biggest walls.

There's a reason that the Petzl Ascension is the most popular ascender for big wall climbers. Its simple, functional, ergonomic design makes it the choice for any aid line out there. The thumb catch makes it easy to partially release the cam and ease your progress low on the pitch where rope weight isn't helping you yet. Wet, muddy, or icy ropes? Not a problem for this ascender's super-aggressive teeth. Petzl also added a top carabiner loop as an additional security measure for when you're cleaning the Great Roof.

  • Large thumb release lever for easy manipulation of the cam on traverses and lower outs
  • Top carabiner loop eliminates the chance of an accidental release on traversing pitches
  • Ergonomic, padded handle for superior comfort
  • Aggressive cam teeth add security on muddy and icy ropes

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Review Summary
19 4
4 3
1 2
0 1

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Petzl Ascension Handled Ascender

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Haven't really used it much.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I picked this up a few years ago and haven't had a chance to really put a lot of use into it yet. I may start carrying it with my rescue gear for a better chance to run it through the wringer. Like it though, easy enough to put into use.

5 5

Just buy it...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Perfect solution for canyoneering self-rescue. couple this with a Kong Duck and you have an amazing ascension tool. In addition, use it for down climbing assists, tree climbing, the list goes on. Best ascender made. You only really need one for vertical rope ascension - buy a smaller pocket ascender for your foot strap and you are good to go!

5 5

if you need to ascend, this is the way

works great. easy to use, easy to remove. sure it's harder with gloves, most things are. if they made it more glove friendly, i suspect it would also stand a better chance of getting in the way when in use.

4 5

does its its job.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

smooth thumb lever action, but is a bit difficult with thick gloves or mitts on. worked great with thin gloves and bare hands. teeth give a very secure feel on the rope.

3 5

Better with Bare Hands!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just used these on Denali West Buttress. Fixed ropes lead up to the Buttress itself, and we also had a section of fixed line to get up around Washburn's Thumb. Starting when we did several dry runs I noticed that with heavy gloves or mitts on, it was not that easy to disengage the rope from the ascender - the release trigger did not protrude enough to get as good a grip with my thumb as I wanted. With light gloves on it was less of a problem. But since I needed these for cold temps (and plan on more trips where heaver hand wear will be required), I'll be looking for a replacement for this device. Otherwise, it worked fine.

5 5

Works well

Took this to do Washington Column in Yosemite. Worked well and was comfy.

5 5

Not Just For Rock!

Got these primarily for rope soloing and as loaners for a second and I love them. Sooo much better than prusiks of course!

I really like how the teeth are hard to disengage unless you purposefully pull down and out. Makes it much harder to accidentally disengage.

Also, this is totally subjective, but these seem to tear up rope a little less quickly than the BD ascenders.

Not Just For Rock!
5 5

Works for me

I took this ascender caving and can't complain. The grip fit my hand well and I had no problems using it. I really like orange, so I'm glad I was able to find a reasonable priced ascender in orange, lol.

5 5

Slightly lighter than the BD Ascenders

I have used the BD Ascenders and these Petzl Ascenders. I really can't decide which one I think is better between the two but I have noticed that the Petzl Ascenders seem to weigh slightly less than BD. They are basically the same price too! If you are concerned about weight then I would go with Petzl.

4 5

Treats me well

Standard ascenders and have stood up to a bit of abuse. Mostly used for cleaning/bolting

5 5

Sweet Acsender!

I got to use one of these last weekend when the rope got stuck in a slot canyon. I used one of these and a tiblock to ascent up 100' of rope to retrieve it. I own the BD Ascenders which I LOVE, but I also really liked this ascender too! It seams a little lighter than the BD version, and is easier to open to put on and take off the rope than the BD version because there is no "Z pattern" you have to follow. It doesn't seem as smooth to open and close though, but there was no slipping and it worked great! The Petzl and Black Diamond Acsenders are both great ascenders and are the same price, but I would probably go with the Petzle because it is about 2oz lighter per ascender than the BD ones.

does this ascender tear up rope? looks...

Posted on

does this ascender tear up rope? looks like the teeth may cut into the rope.

Responded on

No, they roll up the rope then dig in a little when pressure is applied. Petzl knows what they're doing with this stuff.

Responded on


In my experience with this piece, the teeth have caused little/no noticeable damage to my rope beyond a little cosmetic damage to the sheath in the form of minor snags. These were usually in areas where the rope was already frayed, and were worst on my dynamic rope... avoid ascending on a dynamic line if at all possible.

Happy trails!

Happy trails!

Responded on

They're designed to just separate the fibers of the sheath without causing any permanent damage. Once Tension is applied to the rope again the previous splits are closed and the rope reverts to normal. That said, they will cause small snags occasionally, but nothing seriously damaging.

View all contributions... Be patient, it might take a while.