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There's a reason that the Petzl Ascension Handled Ascender 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.

  • Ergonomic-molded handle
  • Integrated safety catch
  • Toothed cam with self-cleaning slot
  • Wide carabiner hole
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  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I finally picked up a left-handed Ascension to complete my L/R set. I really like how the biner hole at the bottom is widened to fit two carabiners vs. the old style with two small holes. The ascenders grab the rope extremely well, and slide up with zero resistance. I've played around with these on ropes down to 8mm with no issues besides the increased pucker factor that comes with ascending skinny ropes.
The Ascensions are a little bulky for backups, but I still WAY prefer them and their bulk over a Tibloc or Prusiks in most rescue situations, especially on iced up ropes.