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Beal Hands Up

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 Beal Hands Up from Expé-Spelemat in 2016.

The Beal Hands Up is a right-handed ascender. Mine is 234 mm. tall, 105 mm. wide, 29 mm. thick, and weighs 271 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. A 16 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. rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft black "rubbery" hand grip molded into place. An irregular 20 mm. by 29 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening. A 15.7 mm. by 20 mm. oval hole punched through the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam. The shell has a stamped reinforcing rib that runs from the top of the handgrip over and down the front strap. There is a stamped cam stop. A black plastic piece riveted to the top of the shell provides a flat surface for placing a hand above the ascender.

The cam is a plated steel casting. The cam radius increases from 34 to 52 mm. over an angle of 37°, giving a 33° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical radial teeth. The tooth pattern is (3.4)(1S1.2S2)^2(3.2.1)(BB) where "BB" stands for two bars.

A stamped spring-loaded manual safety is riveted to the cam toe. A pin with a ball end is riveted to the cam to provide for thumbing the safety open. The normal action of the spring holds the safety against the cam. When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety, thus preventing opening the cam. If the safety 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 is printed with an up-pointing arrow and "HANDS UP." The rear is printed with the Beal logo, "EN 567:2013," "¤ Ø  8-13  mm," "100 kg," "IdN : 0520 05 16," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "CE0120."


The Beal Hands Up is rather strange-looking for a handled ascender. It is huge, being much taller than average, and the shape deviates from the common design in several ways.

The ascender well made. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are not very well-rounded, but even if they were, I would consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching sling ropes. They could probably be acceptably rounded for webbing, 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 oval attachment hole will probably drag on the main line.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders.

The safety is quite easy to use with the right hand.

The rubber handle is comfortable 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. The plastic piece above the cam provides a flat surface for placing a hand above the ascender, possibly increasing user comfort.