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Anthron and VauDe Ascenders

VauDe, Version A VauDe, Version B VauDe Version A
VauDe, Version A VauDe, Version B Anthron VauDe
 
Anthron, Version A Anthron, Version B Anthron, Version C
Anthron, Version A Anthron, Version B Anthron, Version C
 
Anthron, Version D Anthron, Version E Anthron, Version F
Anthron, Version D Anthron, Version E Anthron, Version F

Overview


Anthron and VauDe ascenders are the same.
It seems that VauDe was the original manufacturer,
but transferred the design to Anthron,
who later dropped the VauDe part of the name.
I see no easy or reasonable way to separate these, so I'm putting all of these together.

To add to the confusion, the Lucky ascenders were made by the same company.


Here is a quick summary of the versions in my collection:

Ascender Hand
Grips
# Holes
@ base
Cam
Style
Cam
Finish
Cam
Safety
Thumb
Pin
VauDe Version A
(#1992)
Hard Plastic 1 Old,
2 round holes
Plated Anodized Plain
VauDe Version B
(#1993)
Softer, more
"rubbery" compound
Plain
Anthron Vaude
(#133/134. 2190/2191)
New, bar Bare Anodized Anodized
Anthron Version A
(#2187)
Anthron Version B
(#155)
2
Anthron Version C
(#2188)
Stainless Steel
Anthron Version D
(#156/2189)
(Also Lucky
(#162)
)
Plated Anodized
Anthron Version E
(#2113/2114)
Hard Plastic Plain /w
Plain Pin
Plain
Anthron Version F
(#194/195)
Bare

Bob Thrun's files had a DMM ad in which they offered essentially the same ascender under their brand; however, I do not have their version in my collection.


VauDe Version A
(#1992)

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 VauDe, Version B from Michael Fisher in 2015.

Version B is 198 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 203 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.0 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. The stamping has one reinforcing rib behind the cam, but none along the sides of the hand opening. A 15 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 5 mm. roll rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft plastic hand grip molded into place. The hand grip has four shallow finger grooves. A 15.5 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening. A 13.8 by 19.6 mm. oval hole through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam, and a 15.7 mm. hole is punched through the rear of the shell beside it. There is no cam stop.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 40 to 54 mm. over an angle of 33°, giving a 28° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes approximately in line with the corresponding radius from the cam pivot. The tooth pattern is (2.3)(4.3)^2(2.3.2.1.2). Unlike some other ascenders, the inner cam face radius appears to be constant. A spring-loaded manual safety bar is mounted on the bottom of the cam with a small semi-tubular rivet. 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 pin on the safety assists in operating the safety mechanism.

The front of the left ascender has "Ø8-13mm" and "400 kp" stamped on the rope channel. "VauDe" and a three-leaf logo are stamped onto the front strap, and "1095 M is stamped behind the cam. The rear of the hand grip has a raised molded "VauDe" and a three-leaf logo.

Comments

They are well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simply holes in the shell, and although well-rounded, I consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching sling ropes. They are probably acceptably rounded for webbing (or could be made so), but considering the proximity of the attachment points to the main rope, I would recommend using a small maillon for most attachments in order to reduce the risk of sling abrasion. The lower attachment hole could theoretically have the same safety problems as the one on Clog Version A. The upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. Note that such a carabiner will prevent putting the ascender on or off rope, so one's climbing system must be designed accordingly.

The safety is reasonably easy to use with one hand. The ribbed handle is not comfortable for me because the ribs are spaced poorly for my hand. The cam is very well made.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders. The shell is thicker that the one on the Camp Pilot, Kong-Bonaiti, and Petzl Ascension but it isn't reinforced as it is on those.


VauDe Version B
(#1993)

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 VauDe, Version B from Michael Fisher in 2015.

Version B is 198 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 203 g.

There are two differences between these and Version A. First, this ascender has a cam stop. Second, the cam safety is not anodized.

The front of the left ascender has an undecipherable icon, "Ø8-13mm" and "400 kp" stamped on the rope channel. "VauDe" and a three-leaf logo are stamped onto the front strap. The front of the hand grip has a raised molded "VauDe" and a three-leaf logo.

Comments

I am not sure whether this version is earlier or later than Version A.


Anthron VauDe
(#133, 134, 2190, 2191)

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 this pair of ascenders from Inner Mountain Outfitters in August, 1999. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The AL-15 is the left-handed ascender and the AD-10 is the right-handed one.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.2 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. The stamping has one reinforcing rib behind the cam, but none along the sides of the hand opening. A rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 5 mm. roll rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft plastic hand grip molded into place. The hand grip has four shallow finger grooves. The front and back of the grip are not the same; however, the right and left ascender use the same grip so the pair has an odd, asymmetrical appearance. A 15.8 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening. A 14.3 by 19.8 mm. oval hole through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam, and a 15.8 mm. hole is punched through the rear of the shell beside it. There is no cam stop.

The cam is a skeletonized steel casting. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes approximately in line with the corresponding radius from the cam pivot. The tooth pattern is (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B) where "B" indicates a bar. There are two notches on each side of the cam face, presumable for mud relief. Unlike some other ascenders, the inner cam face radius appears to be constant. A spring-loaded manual safety bar is mounted on the bottom of the cam with a small semi-tubular rivet. 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 pin on the safety assists in operating the safety mechanism.

The front of the left ascender has a "AL-15," a triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13mm" stamped on the rope channel. "VauDe" and a three-leaf logo are stamped onto the front strap. The rear is stamped with "CE0123." "1697 B" is stamped behind the cam. The right ascender has similar markings with "AL-10" replacing "AL-15," no stamping on the front strap, and "0399-A" replacing "1697 B."

Comments

I call these "Anthron VauDe" because they are Anthron ascenders that came in a VauDe box.

They are well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simply holes in the shell, and although rounded they should have been beveled more; even so, I would consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching sling ropes. They are probably acceptably rounded for webbing (or could be made so), but considering the proximity of the attachment points to the main rope, I would recommend using a small maillon for most attachments in order to reduce the risk of sling abrasion. The lower attachment hole could theoretically have the same safety problems as the one on Clog Version A. The upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. Note that such a carabiner will prevent putting the ascender on or off rope, so one's climbing system must be designed accordingly.

The safety is awkward to use with one hand (like the Petzl). The ribbed handle is not comfortable for me because the ribs are spaced poorly for my hand. The cam is very well made. The notches don't seem to provide much help in muddy conditions - but nobody else's similar ascender works well either. I'm not sure what purpose the bar serves - several people have sent me emails telling me that the bar keeps the cam from closing and touching the shell. I agree, it does, but so what? Putting the ascender on rope does the same thing. Initially I wondered if the bar would interfere with using the ascender. It does not appear that it will, at least on 9 mm. and larger ropes.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders. The shell is thicker that the one on the Camp Pilot, Kong-Bonaiti, and Petzl Ascension but it isn't reinforced as it is on those.

The Lucky ascender is identical.

If you are looking for a stamped-frame handled ascender, this is yet another a reasonable choice to consider.


Anthron Version A
(#2187)

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 an Anthron AD-10, Version A in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Anthron AD-10, Version A is 197 mm. tall, 94 mm. wide, 28 mm. thick, and weighs 214 g. The rope channel is 15 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 38 to 52 mm. over an angle of 39°, giving a 24° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B). The handle material has been changed from a hard plastic to a softer, more "rubbery" compound.

The front of the ascender has "AD-10," the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13mm" stamped on the rope channel. The rear is stamped with"CE0123," "Anthron" and the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo. "2699-D" is stamped behind the cam.

Comments

The new handles feel "stickier" so in that sense they are an improvement, but not a significant one.


Anthron Version B
(#155)

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 a pair of ascenders from Inner Mountain Outfitters at the 2001 NSS Convention. This is the left-handed AL-15, the right-handed AD-10 is Anthron Version D.

My Anthron AL-15, Version B is 200 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 217 g. The rope channel is 15 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 38 to 52 mm. over an angle of 39°, giving a 24° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B).

This ascender has a second hole at the bottom. This hole is 10.9 mm. in diameter while the main hole is 16 mm.

The front of the ascender has "AL-15," the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13mm" stamped on the rope channel. The rear is stamped with"CE0123," "Anthron" and the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo. "1900-C" is stamped behind the cam.

Comments

I'm not sure the extra holes are needed at the base - except for the Petzl Pompe, I've never found a real need for a second hole. Some people like them, though. I might find it more appealing if it were large enough for a standard carabiner to fit through.

The following instruction sheet came with these ascenders, but it was written for and pictures an earlier version. The instructions also apply to this version.


Anthron Version C
(#2188)

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 Anthron AD-10, Version C in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

My Anthron AD-10, Version C is 200 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 217 g. The rope channel is 15 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 38 to 52 mm. over an angle of 39°, giving a 24° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B).

The front of the ascender has "AL-15," the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13mm" stamped on the rope channel. The rear is stamped with"CE0123," "Anthron" and the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo. "1900-C" is stamped behind the cam.

Comments

The pin on the cam safety is stainless steel instead of anodized aluminum.

The following instruction sheet came with these ascenders, but it was written for and pictures an earlier version. The instructions also apply to this version.


Anthron Version D
(#156, 2189)

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 right-hand Anthron AD-10, Version D from Inner Mountain Outfitters at the 2001 NSS Convention The left-handed AL-15 acquired at that time was Version B, but I was able to acquire a matching Version D in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

My Anthron Version D ascenders are 200 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 217 g. The rope channels are 15 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 38 to 52 mm. over an angle of 39°, giving a 24° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B).

The front of the left ascender has "AL-15," the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13mm" stamped on the rope channel. The markings on the right-hand ascender are the same except "AD-10" replaces "AL-15." The rear of each ascender is stamped with"CE0123," "Anthron" and the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo. Both ascenders have "2101-E" stamped behind the cam.

Comments

This version has plated cams.

I like the color change on the right ascender. It is a minor point, but sometimes helps me grab the one I want on the first try.

The following instruction sheet came with these ascenders, but it was written for and pictures an earlier version. The instructions also apply to this version.


Anthron Version E
(#2113, 2114)

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 this pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

My Anthron Version E ascenders are 202 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 28 mm. thick, and weighs 205 g. The rope channels are15 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 38 to 52 mm. over an angle of 39°, giving a 24° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B).

The front of the left ascender has "AL-15," the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES," "ø8 - 13mm," the Reading-Is-Dangerous icon, and "1609-B" printed on the rope channel. The markings on the right-hand ascender are the same except "AD-10" replaces "AL-15" and "0410-E" replaces "1609-B." The rear of each ascender is printed with"CE0123," "EN 567," "Anthron" and the Anthron triangle and double arrow logo. Both ascenders have "2101-E" stamped behind the cam.

Comments

This pair has plain cam safeties and printed markings instead of stampings. Neither change affects field performance.

I did not find instruction sheets for these ascenders. I presume that they were lost, but originally the same as those for Version D and Version F.


Anthron, Version F
(#194, 195)

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 this pair of ascenders from Inner Mountain Outfitters at the 2005 NSS Convention.

These Anthron ascenders are functionally identical to the VauDe Version B except that the handle material is changed back to the VauDe Version A material. Anthron chose a new color scheme as well: the left-hand AD-10 is blue and the right-hand AL-15 is black.

Each ascender has a triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13mm" screened on the rope channel. "VauDe" and a three-leaf logo are stamped onto the front strap. The rear of the left ascender is printed with "CE0123," "02-12-A98234," "Anthron," the triangle and double arrow logo, and "AL-15." The rear of the right ascender is printed with "CE0123," "Anthron," the triangle and double arrow logo, "AD-10," and "B-0156260."

Comments

I can't find any compelling advantage or disadvantage of this version over the earlier versions. I prefer the contrasting color schemes on Version D or Version E, since both Version F Anthrons look dark in a cave.

The following instruction sheet came with these ascenders, but it was written for and pictures an earlier version. The instructions also apply to this version.