This year sees, among other gear innovations for other industries, Petzl adding to and refining their arborist range.
With all the thoughtfulness to ergonomic design, user comfort and safety Petzl have become synonymous of, their new suite of gear caters for both the traditional and Single Rope Technique (SRT) practitioners.
The updated SEQUOIA and SEQUOIA SRT harnesses are built for comfort, with ergonomically shaped padding in the waist-belt and leg-loops for working aloft for extended periods. The two gated attachment points allow easy connection of the ZILLON or MICROFLIP lanyards or the installation of multiple bridges that have full use of their lateral range, increasing mobility. The SRT version is specifically designed with a textile Ventral attachment point for installing the ZIGZAG, ZIGZAG PLUS with CHICANE and KNEE ASCENDER system and a rear buckle to install a chest CROLL integrated in the SECUR shoulder straps.
Conveniently adjustable, the Double Back Plus waist-belt buckles are quick and easy to use. The new FAST LT PLUS, leg-loop buckles ensure security and one-time adjustment for size with a new locking system that limits the risk of accidental opening.
The ZIGZAG and ZIGZAG PLUS mechanical Prusik devices are intuitive to use, mimicking classic Prusik pulley systems, automatically locking on the rope as their friction-chain section extends. Efficient movement is smooth and precise. Rope feed is easily managed by the subtle adjustment of the release-lever. Changes in pressure control the speed of movement.
The large, sealed ball-bearing pulley wheel makes rope tending smooth and easy. The ZIGZAG has a fixed, lower attachment point to ensure proper alignment with the axis of the user. The ZIGZAG PLUS, lower attachment is a high-efficiency swivel ensuring stable and correct positioning of the device and smooth rope-feed.
Both devices can be used on either doubled ropes or in SRT, thanks to the CHICANE auxiliary braking handle and the KNEE ASCENT assemblies. The upper attachment point for the rope end, in double rope use or the CHICANE, in SRT set-up, has a flexible positioning ring that helps keep the connector oriented along its major axis. They also have an auxiliary attachment point for adding a ZILLION lanyard, connecting a second system or the installation of the KNEE ASCENT assembly.
To this suite of gear, Petzl also introduces the CHICANE auxiliary braking handle and the KNEE ASCENT, CLIP and LOOP assemblies. The CHICANE allows the ZIGZAG and ZIGZAG PLUS mechanical Prusiks to be used in Single Rope Technique (SRT). It provides continuous additional braking thanks to the added friction of the two friction pins. Used with the Petzl Am’D or OK carabiners, whose H-shaped cross-section make the CHICANE and both ZIGZAG versions a fully compatible system. This ensures smooth rope glide during ascents, descents and when limb-walking. Its opening side plate makes it easy to install mid-line and its triple-action unlocking mechanism limits the accidental opening of the device.
Last but not at all least, the new KNEE ASCENT assembly is available in a foot-loop version or clip version for boots with integrated clipping point. They make ascending in SRT a breeze. The elasticated upper strap connects directly to the ZIGZAG and ZIGZAG PLUS and CHICANE, raising the whole unit. The integrated CROLL L (large), compatible to ropes 11mm-13mm in diameter, make for comfortable ascent and no back-slipping. The assembly has multiple setting to adjust to users of all shapes and sizes.
This entire suite of gear shows Petzl’s detailed understanding of the working arborist and their ever-changing work environment. Not all trees are the same as not all arborists, but in this range Petzl has catered for the traditionalist and SRT climber equally.