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Wild Country Ropeman

Ropeman ver. A Ropeman ver. B Ropeman II ver. A Ropeman II ver. B
Ropeman ver. A Ropeman ver. B Ropeman II ver. A Ropeman II ver. B
 
Ropeman Mk. 1F Ropeman Mk. 2F Ropeman Mk. 3F
Ropeman Mk. 1F Ropeman Mk. 2F Ropeman Mk. 3F

Overview


Ropeman, Version A
(#119, 121, 2133)

Front Rear Open for Rigging
Front Rear Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired one Wild Country Ropeman, Version A from Exkursion and one from J. E. Weinel, Inc., both in 1996. I acquired three more in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

Version A is 38 mm. tall, 53 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 60 g. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 11 to 32 mm. over an angle of 123°, giving a 26° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (Z)^10.

There are no markings on my Wild Country Ropeman, Version A.

Comments

The Ropeman is not a conventional ascender by any means, and I wouldn't consider it as the primary ascender for a caving rig. It was designed to be a lightweight ascender for emergency or occasional use. The ascender is placed on the rope by swinging the shell open, pulling the cam open with the cable, inserting the rope, closing the shell and securing it with a carabiner. The slings must be connected to this carabiner. The carabiner keeps the Ropeman from coming off the rope, but if the ascender must be removed, I recommend clipping the cable to the carabiner so that the Ropeman won't be dropped by accident.

The cam is aluminum with Z-shaped teeth. I find that the Ropeman II cam provides more predicable operation.


Ropeman, Version B
(#2309)

Front Rear Open for Rigging
Front Rear Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired one Wild Country Ropeman, Version B in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

Version B is 38 mm. tall, 53 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 60 g. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 11 to 32 mm. over an angle of 123°, giving a 26° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (Z)^10.

The front plate is stamped with "WILD COUNTRY," "Ropeman," and a Sieg Heil icon. The rear plate is stamped with "511," 0120 CE," "Ø10-11mm," "England," and "EN 567."

Comments

Version B has the same cam design as Version A, but the shell has the design used on the Ropeman II. The difference is the small nubbin above the cam axle. I don't notice this affecting the ascender's performance in any meaningful way.


Ropeman II, Version A
(#138, 2132)

Front View Rear View Top View
Front View Rear View Top View

Technical Details

I acquired my Wild Country Ropeman II from Mountain Gear in 1999. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Wild Country Ropeman II is 38 mm. tall, 53 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 90 g. The rope channel is 17 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 10 to 27 mm. over an angle of 142°, giving a 23° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.4)^2,(2.4)^4(2)^2.

The front plate is stamped with "WILD COUNTRY," "Ropeman," and a Sieg Heil icon. The outside of the rear plate is stamped with "CE96," 0120," "Ø8.5-11mm," and "England." The inside of the rear plate is stamped "922."

Comments

The Ropeman II cam is made out of stainless steel. Instead of the Z-teeth found on the Ropeman, it has conical teeth on a curved contact face. These seem to function fairly well, at least for an ascender of this size.

The Ropeman II weighs 50 percent more than the Ropeman, but is still considerably lighter than typical eccentric cam ascenders.

The Ropeman is a nice idea, but I'd normally save weight and use an RBS or helical knot instead. After all, this isn't the ascender I'd have with me if I expected to need an ascender, and why would I be carrying it otherwise? It's a niche piece, if you have the niche.


Ropeman II, Version B
(#138, 2132)

Front Rear Open for Rigging
Front Rear Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Wild Country Ropeman II from Mountain Gear in 1999. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Wild Country Ropeman II is 38 mm. tall, 53 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 90 g. The rope channel is 17 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 10 to 27 mm. over an angle of 142°, giving a 23° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.4)^2,(2.4)^4(2)^2.

The front plate is stamped with "WILD COUNTRY," "Ropeman," and a Sieg Heil icon. The outside of the rear plate is stamped with "CE96," 0120," "Ø8.5-11mm," and "England." The inside of the rear plate is stamped "905."

Comments

The only difference between this version and the preceding one is that the shell is anodized in this version.


Ropeman Mk. 1F
(#1935, 2134)

Front View Rear View Top View
Front View Rear View Top View

Technical Details

I acquired my Wild Country Ropeman Mk. 1F from Backcountry Gear in 2012. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Wild Country Ropeman Mk. 1F is 54 mm. tall, 37 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 63 g. The shell is forged from aluminum alloy and then anodized. The cam is anodized aluminum. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 12 to 29 mm. over an angle of 119°, giving a 23° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (Z)^10.

The front plate is screened with "ROPE MAN," a Reading is Dangerous icon, "MMA," and a Sieg Heil icon. The rear plate is screened with a Sieg Heil icon, "WILD COUNTRY," the Wild Country logo, "EN567," "Ø10-13mm," and "0120CE."

Comments

The forged shell plates look better than the previous stamped plates, but I see no real functional advantage. The cam is the same as the Ropeman cam.


Ropeman Mk. 2F
(#1936, 2135)

Front View Rear View Top View
Front View Rear View Top View

Technical Details

I acquired my Wild Country Ropeman Mk. 2F from Backcountry Gear in 2012. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Wild Country Ropeman Mk. 2F is 54 mm. tall, 37 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 92 g. The shell is forged from aluminum alloy and then anodized. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 10 to 27 mm. over an angle of 126°, giving a 25° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.4)^2(2.4)^4(2)^2.

The front plate is screened with "ROPE MAN 2," a Reading is Dangerous icon, "MMA," and a Sieg Heil icon. The rear plate is screened with a Sieg Heil icon, "WILD COUNTRY," the Wild Country logo, "EN567," "Ø10-13mm," and "0120CE."

Comments

The forged shell is the same as the Ropeman Mk. 1F shell, and the cam is the same as the Ropeman II cam.

Ropeman Mk. 3F
(#1937, 2136)

Front View Rear View Top View
Front View Rear View Top View
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Wild Country Ropeman Mk. 3F from Backcountry Gear in 2012. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Wild Country Ropeman Mk. 3F is 63 mm. tall, 30 mm. wide, 27 mm. thick, and weighs 69 g. The shell is forged from aluminum alloy and then anodized. The rear shell has a raised boss with a central carabiner hole. This boss acts as an anvil opposing the cam. The front plate has a raised rim on the inside that fits in a depression in the boss when closed. There is enough play to lift the front plate out of the depression to open the ascender. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide.

The cam is made from stainless steel. The cam radius increases from 14 to 28 mm. over an angle of 99°, giving a 23° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (Z)^14.

The front plate is screened with "WILD COUNTRY," the Wild Country logo, "Ø9-13mm," a Sieg Heil icon, a Reading is Dangerous icon, and "MMB," The front plate is screened with "ROPEMAN 3," a Sieg Heil icon, "0120CE," and "EN567."

Comments

The Ropeman Mk. 3F resembles the Kong Duck and operates on a similar principle. I find that I need two hands to rig the Mk. 3F. Only the top few teeth engage when I use 11 mm. rope, and the z-shaped teeth slip under unfavorable conditions.The cam has finer teeth than the Mk. 1F cam, and is more susceptible to mud and snow.