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Modified CMI UltrAscenders

Modified Small Modified Large
Modified Small Modified Large

Overview


Modified Small UltrAscenders
(#34, 35)

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
 
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

This is a modified CMI Small UltrAscender (Version C) that is 129 mm. tall, 78 mm. wide, 29 mm. thick, and weighs 190 g.

Comments

The small UltrAscender only had one deficiency that I could easily correct: the safety. I replaced the safety on a pair of Version C small Ultrascenders with the same style safety that I used for modifying the large UltrAscender.

The other deficiency, the lack of a tie-in hole, could not be corrected without starting with an unfinished frame. This really isn't a problem to lose sleep over.

Improving the ascender voids any warranty and
releases CMI from all liability. I don't care.

The modified small UltrAscenders, rigged Texas, are what I use for almost all of my caving except when I'm doing complex work in big pits and can justify a heavier, more efficient rig. So why aren't these scratched up? Originally, I modified a Version A and a Version B small UltrAscender, but in September, 2008, I restored those two to their original forms (I still had the parts), and then used the safeties to modify a new pair of Version C small Ultrascenders.


Modified Large UltrAscenders
(#115, 116)

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
 
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

This is a modified CMI Large UltrAscender (Version D) that is 186 mm. tall, 78 mm. wide, 29 mm. thick, and weighs 263 g.

Comments

I believe that the large UltrAscender has two deficiencies that are easily corrected. The first is the poorly designed plastic safety, which is hard to use and breaks easily. To replace it, I milled a 6061-T6 aluminum safety based on the early Jumar safety design. I always thought that these early Jumars had the easiest and most useful design, but I improved on it by shaping the safety so it could also hold the cam in the full-open position. This way I can have my cam locked open as I'm waiting for my turn to climb, then walk up, place the ascenders on the rope, touch the safety to close the cam, and I'm ready to climb in seconds. The second change was to eliminate the micro-finger-grips, and replace them with a piece of PVC filed to a rounded shape.

Improving the ascender voids any warranty and
releases CMI from all liability. I don't care.

The result is the ascender that I normally choose to use wall climbing or on heavy caving trips. So why aren't these scratched up? Originally, I modified a Version A and a Version B large UltrAscender, but in September, 2008, I restored those two to their original forms (I still had the parts), and then used the safeties to modify a new pair of Version D large Ultrascenders.