[poll] Knee ascenders- how do you tend yours? (also curious if anyone's using them *w/* handled ascenders?)

Where is your knee-ascender tethered for tending?

  • hitch/dorsal ring/micropulley area

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • chest harness

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • neck tether

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • over-shoulder flipline

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • hand-ascender

    Votes: 2 6.9%

  • Total voters
    29

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
I was doing just foot&hand ascenders for a while, micropulleys getting dusty / still brand new.... After making a batch of hitches recently, I decided to try something besides standard-prussik configuration (found VT's worked well) and realized the different 'jamming' of a VT, versus a prussik, would make a micropulley more effective so I dusted-off one of the small generic ones I'd had and was blown away at what a difference it made not having to tend my hitch by hand so much - but this got me to get a knee-ascender and now I see why it's different (I'd always figured my "loop from hand-ascender to left-foot" was about the same as a knee ascender anyways, but was manually tending my hitch then so the difference wasn't obvious!), with my other foot's connection being below my hitch there's now very consistent line-tension at the hitch which makes my over-shoulder tending tether (my flipline, from my side D brought over my opposing shoulder) tend the hitch soooo easily!

I made my knee ascender setup, actually 2 versions now lol, anyway I'm seeing that many aren't even using hand-ascenders when using knee+foot.....I'm finding it most-comfortable to tend my knee-ascender off of my hand ascender, since I'm moving my right hand & left leg upwards simultaneously....but don't want to do my "3rd and final" build based on this concept if it's redundant, just can't convince myself the handled ascender isn't worth having on the ascent (honestly it's usually just that last several feet, "getting up&over", that the handle can really shine!)

Thanks for insight on your setups, I can configure mine to either elastic (for my hitch//pulley area) or static to be tended by the hand-ascender, while the latter feels more comfortable it seems popular opinion says it's the less efficient, anyway thanks for input on how you setup yours!
 

Cereal_Killer

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I voted chest harness cause that's most technically correct description of what I do out of your poll options but I actually do the "clip everything onto my bridge ring" method. HH, knee ascender and chest harness all clipped to bridge ring. I've tried neck tether and over the shoulder lanyard as well.
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
Whew, came back to cast my own vote and already several cast - with chest-harness taking a quick lead!!

Would love to hear if the use of chest-harnesses are "just for pulling/tending" or if there's also a lot of advantage to their "body alignment" of 'pinning you' to the line? I'm getting some of that effect by tending my hitch with my adjustable-flipline (going from side-D, up my back & over my opposite shoulder and down to the micropulley)
I've got some extra materials to make a proper chest harness (have been playing w/ the idea for a while, for 'pinning to the line' so when I'm inactive on a line I don't have to keep such tension in my abs/core) so would real curious how 'big' an effect this is!

Have found that tending the hitch, and the knee ascender, seem to work better separately (ie having one to the hand ascender & one to the micropulley), seems 'smoother' once I'm moving...but norm seems to be pulling everything from the hitch area (although 'norm' also includes a rope wrench which I don't use, maybe that makes all the difference in this case....kinda like the knee ascender's line-tension made all the difference for a micropulley's efficiency!)
 

Sprucinator

New Member
Location
Olympia
Read the title the wrong way and selected hand ascender instead of chest harness. I use an old hand ascender (only because I already have one) for my knee ascender. It has a bungee chord attached to the top which attaches to my chest harness biner and always stays attached there.
 

G00p

Member
Location
Houston
I used to attach my knee ascender to the front suspended d on my harness, but now I attach it in between webbing on my side d with an xsre. Keeps it nice and tidy.
 

Cereal_Killer

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I already answered the poll and posted a response but since getting my RRP I changed up how I tend my SAKA.
I have a DMM PerfectO captive eye attached to the RRP and tend the RRP with its standard tenting point, then I clip my SAKA to the captive bar of the perfectO.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
I use a 15" 6mm bungee and a 23" tether/footloop, The bungee goes up through the left-side D and across to the right-side D. Doesn't need to be stowed after an ascent, just take it off the rope and it retracts up to the left D with just the foot loop hanging from there, never seems to get in the way. If I was battling through some brush infested spot in a tree I could clip the end of the footloop back on to my harness but despite being in some horrendous aerial thickets haven't needed to yet.


Been climbing on it for a year and it's smooth as can be. For my TM harness I'm now threading the bungee through the front left D before it goes through the left D, fair leads the bungee more directly over the ascender/left foot.
-AJ
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
SO glad I posted, thanks a ton everyone :)

tl;dr? I really hope someone can help me Re "Maximal Efficiency Ascension" (ie setting-up so that I can take the largest-possible strides the system alloww), I have a Q that I feel dumb asking but....
IF I'm aiming to take the largest strides possible,
THEN I should be setting my knee-ascender "dead center" between the foot ascender below it, and the hitch&micropulley above it, right?
Have, sadly, gotten too few chances to really test my setup but it felt like something was wrong actually am gonna post a photo in case anything stands-out (especially the position of the knee cam, I'd setup with it beneath-hitch, suspect it should be centered instead:
aaa.png
^to clarify a poor pic this is:
- yellow bungee from handled ascender is going to the knee ascender (I know it looks like it goes to the pulley)
- the "default"/at-rest state of my system (only the bungee is much shorter, this pic is "display", in-use the bungee is shortened so that, when in this position, the knee ascender is under active pressure upwards and I begin with my right foot's stride.

My problem, what I think I got backwards, was the placement of the knee ascender...you can see that I'd set it up so it's "default location" on the line is right-below the hitch, whereas now I cannot help but think that is wrong, that "optimal" is actually dead-center on the rope in-between the hitch above it, and the foot-ascender below it.
Would greatly appreciate help understanding that^, wish I had more times to mess with it right now, am using it when ascending and it "works" but it's not optimal something(s) are bottoming-out I can't take large strides...I'm aiming for the largest strides the system can support, to be clear (I mean the climbing system, would happily change any component of the knee ascender's accessories/parts, am suspecting I should reduce the ascender-to-foot sling by 50% so it sits in-between the foot ascender and the hitch, allowing equal back&forth steps!)

Thanks a ton for help understanding this, I imagine it's very very obvious to most/all of you I just haven't had chance to mess with it enough off-job and on-job tinkering of it hasn't proven too efficient (since "it works" I always tend to "just go with it" and get to work...hasn't been the best month, work-wise, growth is real slow right now --- wow I'm in FL just realized I have no right to make that complaint on a national/international forum sorry!!)


[side note/safety note: I found on multiple occasions that my hitch would see one of its legs/eyes start moving-up the carabiner once I began stuffing the micropulley in-between my hitch's legs on my primary 'biner, anyway I tried "messing with it" a bit but it happened multiple times with 2 different hitches a 28" and a 30" both 8mm ice tail E2Es one had plastic thimbles the other was tight-eye as can be, anyway will not put anything else on my hitch's biner again, the thought of my hitch not being positioned properly is terrifying, anyway it seems easy enough to simply tend that micropulley from the suspenders so no biggie!]


Keeping a knee ascender strapped to your left leg below knee is not on the option list. Who's rocking that?
Like @ClimbingArborist (hmm no presence/hyperlink?) does? Saw his vid, a unit that stays on your ankle all afternoon....I LOVE the idea, but where I am is so hot & humid during most of the year that minimalism is key, I much prefer being able to just "dissemble"/remove my "ropewalking" bits once I finish my ascent, takes half a minute and they stow nicely on a rear-clip on my belt for re-use if needed (sometimes I'll just drop them to the ground, if I know I won't be going to re-use them & know the spot is safe for them :p )

I used to attach my knee ascender to the front suspended d on my harness, but now I attach it in between webbing on my side d with an xsre. Keeps it nice and tidy.
This...this is kinda outta-box (noticed another person mentions similar but goes even further by having it go through one D before terminating at the other) The thing needs, what, 0.5lbs of pressure to be pulled up the rope? Half that?
To be clear....this means that, when setting-up to climb, you're putting your left foot into its stirrup, the knee ascender onto your rope, and then clipping the elastic/bungee to your saddle- this means that, before you've left the ground, "at default/rest position", that your knee ascender's bungee is already under tension right?

I attach mine to my harness - left gear loop. The bungee goes over my right shoulder en route.

Doesn't that feel weird? Can't you feel the bungee pulling-into you, stretching & unstretching? I know they're small & am not implying it'd hurt, just seems interesting to hear a bungee being elongated over your shoulder as you stride upwards :p (I could never do that, wouldn't want rubbery crap touching my bare skin and I climb in as little as I can get away with during summer, have been digging the "pulls me to the rope" effect of the suspenders but expect I'll ditch it once the heat pics back up!)

Been climbing on it for a year and it's smooth as can be. For my TM harness I'm now threading the bungee through the front left D before it goes through the left D, fair leads the bungee more directly over the ascender/left foot.
-AJ
This is a cool idea, I'm guessing no problems? To be clear this setup means that, when standing at ground level / when "at rest", that your bungee is under-tension?




Thanks again for such great replies everyone am so stoked I made this thread, w/ just the hand&foot ascenders I saw no point "optimizing" but damn it really is a big difference not having to touch the hitch, and not having to repeatedly push-off of the same leg (I always thought that using both legs, instead of 1, was the biggest advantage to knee ascenders, which made them less appealing to me since I can go quite far before tiring out 1 leg, but what I didn't realize then was that the knee ascender is required to keep the system as one where the rope is always under-tension, which is requisite for the smooth "micropulley pulls your hitch for you" function!)
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
SO glad I posted, thanks a ton everyone :)

tl;dr? I really hope someone can help me Re "Maximal Efficiency Ascension" (ie setting-up so that I can take the largest-possible strides the system alloww), I have a Q that I feel dumb asking but....
IF I'm aiming to take the largest strides possible,
THEN I should be setting my knee-ascender "dead center" between the foot ascender below it, and the hitch&micropulley above it, right?
Have, sadly, gotten too few chances to really test my setup but it felt like something was wrong actually am gonna post a photo in case anything stands-out (especially the position of the knee cam, I'd setup with it beneath-hitch, suspect it should be centered instead:
View attachment 72863
^to clarify a poor pic this is:
- yellow bungee from handled ascender is going to the knee ascender (I know it looks like it goes to the pulley)
- the "default"/at-rest state of my system (only the bungee is much shorter, this pic is "display", in-use the bungee is shortened so that, when in this position, the knee ascender is under active pressure upwards and I begin with my right foot's stride.

My problem, what I think I got backwards, was the placement of the knee ascender...you can see that I'd set it up so it's "default location" on the line is right-below the hitch, whereas now I cannot help but think that is wrong, that "optimal" is actually dead-center on the rope in-between the hitch above it, and the foot-ascender below it.
Would greatly appreciate help understanding that^, wish I had more times to mess with it right now, am using it when ascending and it "works" but it's not optimal something(s) are bottoming-out I can't take large strides...I'm aiming for the largest strides the system can support, to be clear (I mean the climbing system, would happily change any component of the knee ascender's accessories/parts, am suspecting I should reduce the ascender-to-foot sling by 50% so it sits in-between the foot ascender and the hitch, allowing equal back&forth steps!)

Thanks a ton for help understanding this, I imagine it's very very obvious to most/all of you I just haven't had chance to mess with it enough off-job and on-job tinkering of it hasn't proven too efficient (since "it works" I always tend to "just go with it" and get to work...hasn't been the best month, work-wise, growth is real slow right now --- wow I'm in FL just realized I have no right to make that complaint on a national/international forum sorry!!)


[side note/safety note: I found on multiple occasions that my hitch would see one of its legs/eyes start moving-up the carabiner once I began stuffing the micropulley in-between my hitch's legs on my primary 'biner, anyway I tried "messing with it" a bit but it happened multiple times with 2 different hitches a 28" and a 30" both 8mm ice tail E2Es one had plastic thimbles the other was tight-eye as can be, anyway will not put anything else on my hitch's biner again, the thought of my hitch not being positioned properly is terrifying, anyway it seems easy enough to simply tend that micropulley from the suspenders so no biggie!]



Like @ClimbingArborist (hmm no presence/hyperlink?) does? Saw his vid, a unit that stays on your ankle all afternoon....I LOVE the idea, but where I am is so hot & humid during most of the year that minimalism is key, I much prefer being able to just "dissemble"/remove my "ropewalking" bits once I finish my ascent, takes half a minute and they stow nicely on a rear-clip on my belt for re-use if needed (sometimes I'll just drop them to the ground, if I know I won't be going to re-use them & know the spot is safe for them :p )


This...this is kinda outta-box (noticed another person mentions similar but goes even further by having it go through one D before terminating at the other) The thing needs, what, 0.5lbs of pressure to be pulled up the rope? Half that?
To be clear....this means that, when setting-up to climb, you're putting your left foot into its stirrup, the knee ascender onto your rope, and then clipping the elastic/bungee to your saddle- this means that, before you've left the ground, "at default/rest position", that your knee ascender's bungee is already under tension right?



Doesn't that feel weird? Can't you feel the bungee pulling-into you, stretching & unstretching? I know they're small & am not implying it'd hurt, just seems interesting to hear a bungee being elongated over your shoulder as you stride upwards :p (I could never do that, wouldn't want rubbery crap touching my bare skin and I climb in as little as I can get away with during summer, have been digging the "pulls me to the rope" effect of the suspenders but expect I'll ditch it once the heat pics back up!)


This is a cool idea, I'm guessing no problems? To be clear this setup means that, when standing at ground level / when "at rest", that your bungee is under-tension?




Thanks again for such great replies everyone am so stoked I made this thread, w/ just the hand&foot ascenders I saw no point "optimizing" but damn it really is a big difference not having to touch the hitch, and not having to repeatedly push-off of the same leg (I always thought that using both legs, instead of 1, was the biggest advantage to knee ascenders, which made them less appealing to me since I can go quite far before tiring out 1 leg, but what I didn't realize then was that the knee ascender is required to keep the system as one where the rope is always under-tension, which is requisite for the smooth "micropulley pulls your hitch for you" function!)
I have the new saka minimax and i haven't modified it for over-the-shoulder yet. I've tried attaching it everywhere in front of me and it feels really annoying. So, we're the same, just opposite, lol.
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
To your point about “biggest stride possible”, turns out the biggest stride is less efficient something in the sweet spot middle of the possible stride range is most efficient as far as effort for height goes.
-AJ
Thanks that is cool to know (was thinking "My high strength//weight ratio will let me go so quick w/ high-step strides") but yeah that is just speed which isn't inherently = efficiency (IE you're saying "Sure you could take giant steps but that isn't the most efficient, the most efficient is a normal consistent ropewalking stride", right?)

Seems a lot is lost on stability during ascent ie energy to keep the body erect & in-line with the rope (would LOVE if my flipline-over-shoulder were symmetrical, it's perfect except that it's only 1 shoulder), chest harnessing is great, but yeah if I'm understanding then it's really just about making maximal efficient use of your energies, smooth ergonomic normal/comfortable strides, not wildly trying to take big strides and the inherent imbalances created when stretching-further for the taller stride, which you then need to stabilize yourself against...

Hope I'm following your thinking on this, makes sense / adds-up if I am getting it...I can see myself "test comparison" the two methods, what you said & what I'd initially proposed as "optimal" and, am guessing, that if I were to test both, that I'd find the "high stride" method didn't get me up there much faster (if at all), but that I'd also be an easy 1/4th or 1/2 more exerted from the ascent....am loving my pulley-tended hitch, am alllll about making it efficient not hard I just figured longer strides would be more efficient but see how they could be so imbalancing they become inefficient!
 

eyehearttrees

Active Member
Location
Tampa-Area
I have the new saka minimax and i haven't modified it for over-the-shoulder yet. I've tried attaching it everywhere in front of me and it feels really annoying. So, we're the same, just opposite, lol.
Whoa now I'm confused if I understood your prior setup-- when you had the bungee going from SAKA to your opposite shoulder, up&over the shoulder & back to the SAKA side's gear-loop....was the bungee, en route to the gear loop to terminate, was that last leg of bungee crossing your chest or your back?
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Thanks that is cool to know (was thinking "My high strength//weight ratio will let me go so quick w/ high-step strides") but yeah that is just speed which isn't inherently = efficiency (IE you're saying "Sure you could take giant steps but that isn't the most efficient, the most efficient is a normal consistent ropewalking stride", right?)

Seems a lot is lost on stability during ascent ie energy to keep the body erect & in-line with the rope (would LOVE if my flipline-over-shoulder were symmetrical, it's perfect except that it's only 1 shoulder), chest harnessing is great, but yeah if I'm understanding then it's really just about making maximal efficient use of your energies, smooth ergonomic normal/comfortable strides, not wildly trying to take big strides and the inherent imbalances created when stretching-further for the taller stride, which you then need to stabilize yourself against...

Hope I'm following your thinking on this, makes sense / adds-up if I am getting it...I can see myself "test comparison" the two methods, what you said & what I'd initially proposed as "optimal" and, am guessing, that if I were to test both, that I'd find the "high stride" method didn't get me up there much faster (if at all), but that I'd also be an easy 1/4th or 1/2 more exerted from the ascent....am loving my pulley-tended hitch, am alllll about making it efficient not hard I just figured longer strides would be more efficient but see how they could be so imbalancing they become inefficient!
It’s complicated, I don’t know all the reasons why but I think any animal’s big stride is either for the short distance life saving escape or the short sprint pounce to capture prey. For sustained maximum speed for a longer distance a full stride wastes energy and is unsustainable.

I believe that if an arm or leg is fully extended it loses some strength, if the knee or elbow is not straightened fully I think the muscles are in a stronger position for the next push.
-AJ
 
Last edited:

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Whoa now I'm confused if I understood your prior setup-- when you had the bungee going from SAKA to your opposite shoulder, up&over the shoulder & back to the SAKA side's gear-loop....was the bungee, en route to the gear loop to terminate, was that last leg of bungee crossing your chest or your back?
Back
 

TheTreeSpyder

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida>>> USA
In his initial book " Fundamentals of General Tree Work" Mr. Beranek (link) describes more towards yes a more slow and easy, keeping knees inline to body/not sides, mechanix of no extreme reach nor compression; just staying generously in region of most sustainable powerband, including breathing.
.
Striding straight up against gravity, is real work w/o ramp leverage or even more progressive stairs that alone can be fatiguing. And this is non-rigid device, so some loss there..
.
Leg input is more sustainable and powerful, but as compression against CoG more side force fought.
Arm pull weaker, but applied higher than CoG, so more of self centering, as side force now combs you more inline for more efficiency. Some sustainable arm input can help offset some of the leg input pushing you more out of line/or fighting from being so.
.
Compression side force urges equal/opposite endpoints more out of alignment i find.
>>While in contrast tension to same scenario, side force trues each towards center inline
Thus, trailer smooth pulling/tension, self aligning.
>>But w/o trailer brakes, and slow down truck, now is compression connection of trailer into hitch
>>side force now draws out of line/to the side
>>Remake to tension/pull truck ahead firmly and trailer grooms back into alignment more
Backing into trailer, is compression, side force autonomously makes trailer want to go to side/out of align.
.
Out of align is less efficient, and so is fighting that.
>>same happens in this climb, as in all !
(wrenching is bastardization/turning this upside down by capitalizing on being out of align)
 
Last edited:

moss

Well-Known Member
Excellent description and analogies TreeSpyder! A long time ago I watched my friend a 23 year-old woman take a test to qualify for a lifeguard job. She swam against four younger men just out of high school who were the area's top competitive swimmers. The test was swim 4 lengths of a 25 yard pool under a certain time. At the start of what turned into a race the young guys powered forward aggressively with impressive speed. My friend locked into her superb freestyle stroke as if she was making no effort. She was behind but closing in by the third lap, she beat them all by more than half a pool's length. They were quite surprised that the chill looking "old lady" completely destroyed them ;-) She didn't end up taking the job, better opportunities came up.

I think of rope ascent as vertical swimming, it's a whole body effort, core, legs, arms, everything in smooth synchronization. As TreeSpyder alluded to, the heart and lungs are the limiter, if your chest is exploding at say 60' on a long ascent you'll have to slow down.
-AJ
 

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