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Beal Hold Up

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed Top View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed Top View: Closed
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging Top View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging Top View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Beal Hold Up from Expé-Spelemat in 2016.

Cam faceThe Beal Hold Up is a right-handed chest ascender, but it has a rather unusual shape for a chest ascender. This ascender is 82 mm. tall, 72 mm. wide, 59 mm. thick, and weighs 156 g. The ascender shell is an irregular gold-anodized shape bent from 4.0 mm. aluminum sheet. The rope channel is formed by bending the right side of the ascender into a U. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The main sling attachment point is located behind the cam on a tab that is bent back perpendicular to the rear side of the shell, and a rubber pad covers the end of this tab. This accounts for the rather large thickness of this ascender. A second attachment point is located above the cam, also behind the rope channel. This hole is shaped like a "P" on its side, with the straight side on top. It is sized to accept 20 mm. webbing or a carabiner. A 13.9 mm hole is punched in the front of the rope channel, opposite the large area of the "P" hole in the back. The left side of the shell is bent on an inclined axis to form another U. A hole drilled through both sides of the U accepts a 6 mm. semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The head of the rivet is in the front. The pivot is centered 46 mm. from the inside of the rope groove. There is a stamped cam stop near the cam pivot, but it is placed too high to contact the cam.

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 the Beal logo, an up-pointing arrow and "HOLD UP." The rear is printed with "EN 567:2013," "Ø8-13mm," "EN 12481:2006-B," "Ø 10 - 13 mm," "100 kg," "CE0120," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "IdN : 0112 05 16."


The Beal Hold Up is strange-looking chest ascender. The shape deviates from the common design. The tab for the attachment point projects back toward the caver, and while not as painful as it looks, I still appreciate the rubber padding. Worse, locating the attachment point behind the cam causes the ascender to tip a great deal under load, reducing climbing efficiency. I do not like this design for that reason.

The ascender well made. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are not very well-rounded, but a small file or sandpaper can easily correct this.

The Beal Hold Up is essentially identical to the Edelweiss TB16.