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Ural Alp (Урал АлЬп) Mini
(#179)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Mini from Ural Sport in November 2004.

Cam faceThe Mini back plate is an irregular-shaped piece made from 3.9 mm. aluminum. There is a 16.7 mm. tie-in hole at the base and an 8.5 mm. accessory hole at the upper right. A titanium axle just below and left of the accessory hole supports the a nylon cam bushing and the cam and the front plate. The axle diameter is 6 mm. where it passes through the front and back plates, 15 mm in diameter for 1.5 mm. between the cam and front plate, and an intermediate size (perhaps 8 mm.) where the cam bushing rides. The axle is threaded at both ends, with a washer and nut outside each plate. Each nut is staked in place with two center punch marks. A 9 mm. long, 4 mm. (stepped to 2 mm.) diameter pin pressed through a 2 mm. hole the back plate under the accessory hole limits the cam motion.

The cam is spring loaded, but the spring is not visible except for where one end can be seen in a small hole in the base of the cam. The cam has 15 teeth arranged in a (3.2)^3 pattern. An 8 mm diameter mushroom head pin pressed into the cam slides in an arcuate cutout in the front plate. The spring action of the cam and position of this pin tends to close the front plate against the plate retaining pin mentioned later. The cam and mounting axle are identical to those on the Ural Alp Mouse.

The front plate is made from 2 mm. engine ruled titanium, and has a spiral perimeter truncated by a straight line and a notch. A second arcuate cutout allowed the manufacturer to bend the interior of the arc outwards to form a thumb tab. A 10 mm. hole lies to the left of the tab.

There is a nickel-plated aluminum anvil mounted on the left side of the back plate. The side of the anvil next to the cam has a shallow U-shaped rope groove. The top is secured with a 16.5 mm. mushroom-head titanium bolt that steps down to 6 mm. Like the cam axle, this is secured with a staked nut (but no washer). The notch in the front plate aligns with a 3 mm. rivet passing from back to front at the base of the anvil keeps it from rotating. The anvil has a 9.8 mm. diameter, spring loaded plunger that engages the 10 mm. hole in the front plate to keep the front plate closed.

Finally, there is an 8 mm. (stepped to 4 mm.) titanium guide pin pressed into the back plate below the anvil.

The front plate is stamped "RUSSIA" and "URAL-ALP." The back plate is stamped "KOZLOV DESIGNS."

Comments

The Mini is a nice, well-made and compact ascender. Naturally, to get such a small ascender, there had to be some sacrifices. The Mini holds well, although only the top few teeth are engaged when I use 11 mm. rope. The clip-in hole is quite close to the main line, so I suggest using a Maillon rather than tying directly to the Mini.

The mini is somewhat awkward to rig and operate. I can do it one-handed, but it really demands two. One minor nuisance is that the plunger must be pressed to close the front plate as well as for opening it. In other words, one cannot simply clip the Mini to the rope - one must consciously close the ascender.

For a small ascender, I like this one.