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VauDe AC-30

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 August 1999.

Cam faceThe shell is a tall sub-triangular shaped stamping made from 4.2 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. The stamping has one reinforcing rib behind the cam. The ascender is left-handed, as are similar chest ascenders made by others. A rope channel is formed in the right side and a smaller cam channel lies to the left. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 5 mm. semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. A 17 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the cam and a 15.0 mm. hole is punched above. Both holes are distorted by bends formed during the shaping process. 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 (3.2)^2(1.2)^2(B) pattern, where "B" indicates a bar. There are two notches on each side of the cam face, presumable for mud relief. Unlike some other ascenders, the inner cam face radius appears to be constant. A spring-loaded manual safety bar is mounted on the bottom of the cam with a small semi-tubular rivet. 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 ascender has a triangle and double arrow logo, "ROPES" and "ø8-13 mm" stamped on the rope channel. "AC-30" is stamped inside the shell, above the cam. The rear is stamped with "4898-H," "ANTHRON," the triangle and double arrow logo, and "CE0123."


This is another well-made ascender. It performs much like the Petzl Croll. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simply holes in the shell, and although rounded they should have been beveled more. They can 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 rope attachments in order to reduce the risk of sling abrasion.

The safety is awkward to use with one hand (like the Petzl Croll). The cam is very well made. The notches don't seem to provide much help in muddy conditions - but nobody else’s similar ascender works well either. I'm not sure what purpose the bar serves - several people have sent me emails telling me that the bar keeps the cam from closing and touching the shell. I agree, it does, but so what? Putting the ascender on rope does the same thing. Initially I wondered if the bar would interfere with using the ascender. It does not appear that it will, at least not on 9 mm. and larger ropes.

The Vaude AC-30 is essentially the same as the Anthron AC-30, being produced by the same company under a different name.

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