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Altius

Altius, v. A Altius, v. B
Altius, v. A Altius, v. B

Overview


Altius, Version A
(#123)

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

I acquired my Altius, Version A from an unidentified caver at the 1997 International Congress of Speleology. This was the same caver who sold me the Russian Interalp.

The Altius, Version A is 199 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 26 mm. thick, and weighs 207 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 3.8 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. A 15 mm. diameter rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 7 mm. semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a two-piece hard black plastic hand grip held in place with plastic rivets. The hand grip has four finger grooves. A 15.3 mm. sling attachment hole lies below the handle opening. A 22.8 mm. tall, 15.7 mm. wide hole passes through both sides of the rope channel, providing an attachment point just above the cam. A carabiner placed in this hole will probably drag on the rope. A 15.6 mm. hole beside this channel holes provides a second upper attachment point that does not have this problem. None of the attachment holes are beveled.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 39 to 52 mm. over an angle of 33°, giving a 26° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (2)(3.4)^2(3.2)^2(1). Like most eccentric cam ascenders, the inner cam face radius reduces from top to bottom to accommodate various sized ropes. A spring-loaded manual safety bar is mounted on the bottom of the cam. The normal action of the spring holds the safety against the cam. When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety bar, thus preventing opening the cam. If the safety bar is moved away from the cam (opposing the spring), it will clear the shell and the cam will open. At full open the safety can be released and the spring will hold the safety against the back of the shell. This provides a means of locking the cam open. A knob on the safety bar assists in operating the safety mechanism.

The ascender has "ALTIUS" molded into one side of the grip and "MADE IN USSR" and "MAX:500KGS" molded into the other.

Comments

This ascender is clearly related to the Russian Interalp. The frame is moderately well made, but the cam casting is the worst that I have ever seen: it is so full of voids that it resembles Swiss cheese.

I was only able to get a right-hand ascender.


Altius, Version B
(#257)

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

I acquired two left-hand Altius, Version B ascenders on eBay from C. Burford in 2008.

The Altius, Version B is 198 mm. tall, 91 mm. wide, 26 mm. thick, and weighs 206 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 3.9 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. A 15 mm. diameter rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 6 mm. semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a hard black plastic hand grip molded in place. The hand grip has four finger grooves. A 15.3 mm. sling attachment hole lies below the handle opening. A 21.8 mm. tall, 15.9 mm. wide hole passes through both sides of the rope channel, providing an attachment point just above the cam. A carabiner placed in this hole will probably drag on the rope. A 15.5 mm. hole beside this channel holes provides a second upper attachment point that does not have this problem. None of the attachment holes are beveled.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 39 to 52 mm. over an angle of 33°, giving a 26° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (2)(3.4)^2(3.2)^2(1). Like most eccentric cam ascenders, the inner cam face radius reduces from top to bottom to accommodate various sized ropes. A spring-loaded manual safety bar is mounted on the bottom of the cam. The normal action of the spring holds the safety against the cam. When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety bar, thus preventing opening the cam. If the safety bar is moved away from the cam (opposing the spring), it will clear the shell and the cam will open. At full open the safety can be released and the spring will hold the safety against the back of the shell. This provides a means of locking the cam open. A knob on the safety bar assists in operating the safety mechanism.

The ascender has "ALTIUS" molded into one side of the grip and "MAX:500KGS" molded into the other.

Comments

Both of my Altius, Version B ascenders are left-hand ascenders. They are moderately well made; in particular, the cam casting is far superior to the dreadful one on my Version A.