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PMI Cat

Version A Version B
Version A Version B

Overview


Version A
(#2310)

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 ascender in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The cam safety on this version is 1.3 mm. thick compared to 2.2 mm. on Version B.

The front of the ascenders is stamped "M533." The back is printed with a design, a "feather" icon, "PMI," "WALES," an arrow with "UP," "Ø 8-13mm," "CE0086 EN 567," "NFPA 1983 (2001)," and the letter "L" inside a circle.

Comments

I assume that this is the older version, based mainly on the number stamped on the front.


Version B
(#164, 2163)

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 March 2003. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.2 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. 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 6 mm. rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet, along with a flat washer on each side of the cam. The handle below the cam has a soft "rubbery" two-piece hand grip riveted into place. The hand grip has four shallow finger grooves. A 15.8 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and a 9 mm. hole is punched below and outside the first. A 14.8 by 21.1 mm. oval hole through both sides of the rope channel provide an attachment point just above the cam. There is no cam stop.

The cam is a plated 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 (4.5)^3(4.3)^3. A spring-loaded manual safety bar is bolted to a cylindrical cam inset. 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 and right ascender obtained from Inner Mountain Outfitters are stamped "M7655" and "M8066," respectively. The ones from Bob Thrun's collection are stamped "M7494" and "M8540," respectively. The back is printed with a design, a "feather" icon, "PMI," "WALES," an arrow with "UP," "Ø 8-13mm," "CE0086 EN 567," "NFPA 1983 (2001)," and the letter "L" inside a circle.

Comments

The Cat is essentially the same ascender as the Hugh Banner, except that the bolt attaching the safety to the cam is much smaller. The Cat is also about 14 grams heavier - which I cannot explain.

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 one of the easiest to use with one hand. The finger ribs are not comfortable for me because the ribs are spaced poorly for my hand. In addition, the handle is too "square" for my taste. A file can address both objections. The cam is very well made, but the teeth are blunt, much like a worn Jumar's.

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.

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.

If you are looking for a stamped-frame handled ascender, the Cat is yet another a reasonable choice to consider - just take a file to the handle.