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Grivel

A&D, Version A A&D, Version B A1
A&D, Version A A&D, Version B A1

Overview


A&D, Version A
(#1981, 1982, 2087, 2088)

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 Grivel A&D ascenders from Backcountry Gear in 2014. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

The Grivel A&D is 204 mm. tall, 97 mm. wide, 23 mm. thick, and weighs 257 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.0 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. Instead of the traditional front strap, the frame has a slotted aluminum forging riveted in place. More on this later. A 16 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side of the shell and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 5.5 mm. rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft "rubbery" hand grip molded into place. The hand grip has a slight break to support the index finger. An 18.8 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and an 10.8 mm. hole is punched below and outside the first. A 13.3 by 19.5 mm. oval hole punched through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam, and a 15.6 mm. hole beside it provides a second attachment point.

The aluminum forging is 88.2 mm. long, 24.4 mm. wide, and 8.1 mm. thick. The ends are rounded, and a rectangular recessed area at each end provides a place for riveting the stamped frame to the forging. The forging has a 57 mm. long, 13.1 mm. wide slot that can be used for rappelling or belaying, much one would with a Sticht plate.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 37 to 56 mm. over an angle of 45°, giving a 28° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth. The upper teeth are parallel to the top of the cam, but the lower teeth have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (3)^3(1S1)^5(3)^2 where the S stands for a single slot.

A spring-loaded manual safety bar is riveted to 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.

The front of ascender shells are screened with an up-pointing arrow above the words "UP," "A & D," "CE," "0123," "EN 567," "UIAA 126-2," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "Rope 8,3≤Ø≤13." The front strap is screened "CE1019   EN 567." The forging is screened with "Rope 7,3≤Ø≤13," a rigging diagram, "PATENTED," "EN 15151-2," and "UIAA129-6." The hand grip has "GRIVEL" molded into each side.

Comments

From a broad perspective, the following ascenders are closely related, with a number of differences (sometimes significant) as indicated:

Image Ascender Frame Shape Frame
Reinforcement?
Cam Stop Cam Cam
Safety
Brasovia Brasovia "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Climb Tech Climb Tech "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Climb X X Ascender Climb X X Ascender "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Fixe Capitan Fixe Capitan "Fixe" No Yes Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Good Makings GM Climbing "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Plastic-covered Aluminum
Good Makings Good Makings "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
GrandWall GrandWall "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Grivel A&D, Version A Grivel A&D, Version A "Grivel A&D" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Grivel A&D, Version B Grivel A&D, Version B "Grivel A&D" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Ring
Grivel A1 Grivel A1 "Grivel A1" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Ring
NTR NTR, Version A "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Rock Empire Rock Empire "Rock Empire" Yes Yes Symmetrical Plastic-covered Aluminum
Vento Ascension Vento Ascension "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Yoke Yoke "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab

These are all well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simple holes in the shell. In some cases, the user may wish to round the lower attachment holes with a Swiss file; 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 with a file), 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. 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, especially ones that are too small for a normal carabiner, but some people like them.

The doubled upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper oval attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. The main purpose for this hole is when using the ascender as a safety on a fixed line. The axis of the oval hole is canted so that when trailing the ascender upward, the ascender pulls free of the rope, but it drags a bit if the used falls. I consider this practice dangerous and cannot recommend it. The single upper rope attachment hole, when used in conjunction with the frame side of the double hole, facilitates using the ascender as a chest ascender as shown in the Fixe Capitan instructions.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders, and there is no stamped reinforcing help prevent bending.

The rubber handle is comfortable enough for my large hands, but I don't climb by gripping ascenders at their handle. I think it is better to simply grasp the ascender from above and lift the ascender in the traditional manner (unless, of course, you are one of those people who climbs Frog).

The cam is very well made.

The safety is reasonably easy to use with one hand, but the cam drags on the shell, and since both have a frosted finish, it gives the ascender a gritty feel, but not to the extreme as for the Fixe Capitan. This is not a significant issue.

The forged plate:

The English portion of the instructions identify the forging as the "Rappelling forged plate," while the Italian and French versions do not mention rappelling. Rigging is simple. First, push a bight through the slot from the front, and clop a carabiner through it as one would with a Sticht plate. Let the standing rope pass through the rope channel and lock the cam open. Clip into the large lower hole on the ascender and descend. These are simplified instructions, so do not rely on these alone - seek qualified training before trying this on your own.

A quick look at the Sticht plate page shows that the slot on the Grivel A&D is longer than the slot on a standard Sticht plate, or even the slots on guide plates. One should expect less friction from the A&D. To some extent, one can compensate with additional braking carabiners.

One final caution: the plate on my right-hand ascender shows the anchor above and the braking hand below the slot, but the markings on the left-hand ascender show these reversed. This can confuse some people; if you are one of them, please don't try rappelling.


A&D, Version B
(#2337)

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 Grivel A&D, Version B from Sofia Goumas in 2017.

The Grivel A&D, Version B is 204 mm. tall, 97 mm. wide, 34 mm. thick, and weighs 258 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.0 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. Instead of the traditional front strap, the frame has a slotted aluminum forging riveted in place. More on this later. A 16 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side of the shell and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 5.5 mm. rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft "rubbery" hand grip molded into place. The hand grip has a slight break to support the index finger. An 18.8 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and an 10.8 mm. hole is punched below and outside the first. A 13.3 by 19.5 mm. oval hole punched through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam, and a 15.6 mm. hole beside it provides a second attachment point.

The aluminum forging is 88.2 mm. long, 24.4 mm. wide, and 8.1 mm. thick. The ends are rounded, and a rectangular recessed area at each end provides a place for riveting the stamped frame to the forging. The forging has a 57 mm. long, 13.1 mm. wide slot that can be used for rappelling or belaying, much one would with a Sticht plate.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 37 to 56 mm. over an angle of 45°, giving a 28° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth. The upper teeth are parallel to the top of the cam, but the lower teeth have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (3)^3(1S1)^5(3)^2 where the S stands for a single slot.

A spring-loaded manual safety bar is riveted to 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.

The front of ascender shells are screened with an up-pointing arrow above the words "UP," "A & D," "CE," "0123," "EN 567," "UIAA 126-2," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "Rope 8,3≤Ø≤13." The front strap is screened "CE1019   EN 567." The forging is screened with "Rope 7,3≤Ø≤13," a rigging diagram, "PATENTED," "EN 15151-2," and "UIAA129-6." The hand grip has "GRIVEL" molded into each side.

Comments

My order was for a right-handed Grivel A1, but I received this instead. Fortunately, it was a version of the A&D that I did not have, and so I decided to keep it.

From a broad perspective, the following ascenders are closely related, with a number of differences (sometimes significant) as indicated:

Image Ascender Frame Shape Frame
Reinforcement?
Cam Stop Cam Cam
Safety
Brasovia Brasovia "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Climb Tech Climb Tech "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Climb X X Ascender Climb X X Ascender "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Fixe Capitan Fixe Capitan "Fixe" No Yes Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Good Makings GM Climbing "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Plastic-covered Aluminum
Good Makings Good Makings "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
GrandWall GrandWall "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Grivel A&D, Version A Grivel A&D, Version A "Grivel A&D" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Grivel A&D, Version B Grivel A&D, Version B "Grivel A&D" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Ring
Grivel A1 Grivel A1 "Grivel A1" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Ring
NTR NTR, Version A "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Rock Empire Rock Empire "Rock Empire" Yes Yes Symmetrical Plastic-covered Aluminum
Vento Ascension Vento Ascension "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Yoke Yoke "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab

These are all well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simple holes in the shell. In some cases, the user may wish to round the lower attachment holes with a Swiss file; 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 with a file), 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. 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, especially ones that are too small for a normal carabiner, but some people like them.

The doubled upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper oval attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. The main purpose for this hole is when using the ascender as a safety on a fixed line. The axis of the oval hole is canted so that when trailing the ascender upward, the ascender pulls free of the rope, but it drags a bit if the used falls. I consider this practice dangerous and cannot recommend it. The single upper rope attachment hole, when used in conjunction with the frame side of the double hole, facilitates using the ascender as a chest ascender as shown in the Fixe Capitan instructions.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders, and there is no stamped reinforcing help prevent bending.

The rubber handle is comfortable enough for my large hands, but I don't climb by gripping ascenders at their handle. I think it is better to simply grasp the ascender from above and lift the ascender in the traditional manner (unless, of course, you are one of those people who climbs Frog).

The cam is very well made.

The large ring safety is reasonably easy to use with one hand.

The forged plate:

The English portion of the instructions identify the forging as the "Rappelling forged plate," while the Italian and French versions do not mention rappelling. Rigging is simple. First, push a bight through the slot from the front, and clop a carabiner through it as one would with a Sticht plate. Let the standing rope pass through the rope channel and lock the cam open. Clip into the large lower hole on the ascender and descend. These are simplified instructions, so do not rely on these alone - seek qualified training before trying this on your own.

A quick look at the Sticht plate page shows that the slot on the Grivel A&D is longer than the slot on a standard Sticht plate, or even the slots on guide plates. One should expect less friction from the A&D. To some extent, one can compensate with additional braking carabiners.

One final caution: the plate on my right-hand ascender shows the anchor above and the braking hand below the slot, but the markings on the left-hand ascender show these reversed. This can confuse some people; if you are one of them, please don't try rappelling.


A1
(#2327)

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 Grivel A1 from TradeInn in 2017.

The Grivel A1 is 203 mm. tall, 99 mm. wide, 36 mm. thick, and weighs 256 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.0 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. Instead of the traditional front strap, the frame has a slotted aluminum forging riveted in place. More on this later. A 16 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side of the shell and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 5.5 mm. rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft "rubbery" hand grip molded into place. The hand grip has a slight break to support the index finger. An 18.8 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and an 10.8 mm. hole is punched below and outside the first. A 13.3 by 19.5 mm. oval hole punched through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam, and a 15.6 mm. hole beside it provides a second attachment point.

The aluminum forging is 88.2 mm. long, 24.4 mm. wide, and 8.1 mm. thick. The ends are rounded, and a rectangular recessed area at each end provides a place for riveting the stamped frame to the forging. The forging has a 57 mm. long, 13.1 mm. wide slot that can be used for rappelling or belaying, much one would with a Sticht plate.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 37 to 56 mm. over an angle of 45°, giving a 28° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth. The upper teeth are parallel to the top of the cam, but the lower teeth have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (3)^3(1S1)^5(3)^2 where the S stands for a single slot.

A spring-loaded manual safety bar is riveted to 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.

The front of ascender shells are screened with an up-pointing arrow above the words "UP," "A & D," "CE," "0123," "EN 567," "UIAA 126-2," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "Rope 8,3≤Ø≤13." The front strap is screened "CE1019   EN 567." The forging is screened with "Rope 7,3≤Ø≤13," a rigging diagram, "PATENTED," "EN 15151-2," and "UIAA129-6." The hand grip has "GRIVEL" molded into each side.

Comments

From a broad perspective, the following ascenders are closely related, with a number of differences (sometimes significant) as indicated:

Image Ascender Frame Shape Frame
Reinforcement?
Cam Stop Cam Cam
Safety
Brasovia Brasovia "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Climb Tech Climb Tech "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Climb X X Ascender Climb X X Ascender "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Fixe Capitan Fixe Capitan "Fixe" No Yes Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Good Makings GM Climbing "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Plastic-covered Aluminum
Good Makings Good Makings "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
GrandWall GrandWall "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Grivel A&D, Version A Grivel A&D, Version A "Grivel A&D" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Grivel A&D, Version B Grivel A&D, Version B "Grivel A&D" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Ring
Grivel A1 Grivel A1 "Grivel A1" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Ring
NTR NTR, Version A "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Rock Empire Rock Empire "Rock Empire" Yes Yes Symmetrical Plastic-covered Aluminum
Vento Ascension Vento Ascension "Fixe" No No Symmetrical Aluminum /w Tab
Yoke Yoke "Fixe" No No Asymmetrical Aluminum /w Tab

These are all well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simple holes in the shell. In some cases, the user may wish to round the lower attachment holes with a Swiss file; 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 with a file), 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. 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, especially ones that are too small for a normal carabiner, but some people like them.

The doubled upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper oval attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. The main purpose for this hole is when using the ascender as a safety on a fixed line. The axis of the oval hole is canted so that when trailing the ascender upward, the ascender pulls free of the rope, but it drags a bit if the used falls. I consider this practice dangerous and cannot recommend it. The single upper rope attachment hole, when used in conjunction with the frame side of the double hole, facilitates using the ascender as a chest ascender as shown in the Fixe Capitan instructions.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders, and there is no stamped reinforcing help prevent bending.

The rubber handle is comfortable enough for my large hands, but I don't climb by gripping ascenders at their handle. I think it is better to simply grasp the ascender from above and lift the ascender in the traditional manner (unless, of course, you are one of those people who climbs Frog).

The cam is very well made.

The large ring safety is reasonably easy to use with one hand, but the cam drags on the shell, and since both have a frosted finish, it gives the ascender a gritty feel, but not to the extreme as for the Fixe Capitan. This is not a significant issue.