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Alpidex Olymp


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 Alpidex Olymp on eBay from ShoppingMadeEasy2 in 2019.

The Alpidex Olymp is 100 mm. tall, 78 mm. wide, 33 mm. thick, and weighs 149 g.

Cam faceThe Olymp is left-handed, as are most chest ascenders I have seen. The ascender shell is subtriangular gold anodized shape bent from 3.8 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 below the cam and behind the rope channel. A second attachment point is located above the cam, also behind the rope channel. The shell is bent backwards at both points to provide clearance between the attachment slings and the main rope. This accounts for the rather large thickness of this ascender. The attachment points are irregular openings distorted by the stamping operation. The lower attachment point measures 24.9 by 16.9 mm. and the upper 28.8 by 17.1 mm. 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 semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The pivot is centered 47  mm. from the inside of the rope channel. There is a stamped cam stop above the cam.

The cam is a stainless steel casting. The cam radius increases from 37 to 57 mm. over an angle of 40°, giving a 31° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth set ito a recess in the cam face. The top four rows of teeth have their axes approximately parallel to the top of the cam, and the bottom three rows are perpendicular to the cam face. The tooth pattern is (3)(4.H)^2(3.H)^2(3.2.2). A spring-loaded manual safety bar is mounted on the bottom of the cam with a steel 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.

The front of the Olymp is printed with " ⇧," "UP," "ALTO," "HAUT," "OBEN," "ARRIBA," a Sieg Heil icon, "USE ROPE," and "Ø8mm-13mm ." The rear is printed with "113," "alpidex" inside a round-cornered rectangle, "CE0321," "UIAA 17P1," "EN567," and a book-with-an-"i" icon.


The cam and cam safety are essentially identical to those on the Ito-Rocky, save for finish, but the frame is different. The cam teeth are set in a depression, which limits their engagement with the rope. This leaves little room for wear. Worse, the teeth do not project far beyond the lateral surfaces of the cam face, and so the cam may tend to slip on the better hard-lay caving ropes like PMI Pit Rope.

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