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Trango Passport

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 Trango Passport from Climbing CZ sro in 2015. These were next to impossible to obtain directly in the USA, and so my friend Ondřej Belica acquired these for me in the Czech Republic.

The Trango Passport is 194 mm. tall, 86 mm. wide, 27 mm. thick, and weighs 211 g.

The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 4.2 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. A 15 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 6 mm. semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft "rubbery" hand grip molded into place. A 14.8 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and a smaller 13.6 mm. hole is punched outside the first. A 20.3 by 15.8 mm.oval hole punched through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam. There is a punched cam stop that contacts the top of the cam on the left ascender, but misses by 2 mm. on the right. A stamped reinforcing rip extends from the bottom of the shell, up the front strap, behind the cam, and partly down the back strap.

Cam faceThe cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 39 to 55 mm. over an angle of 36°, giving a 29° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth. The upper teeth are parallel to the top of the cam, but the lower teeth have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (3.4)(1S1.2S2.(1S1)^2)(3.2.3), where the S stands for a central slot.

A spring-loaded plastic manual safety bar is riveted to the cam. The normal action of the safety 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 ascender is printed with "max 4kN," an up pointing arrow, a Sieg Heil icon with an "L" (respectively "R "for the right ascender) on it’s chest, "ROPE," "min ø8," and "max ø13." The rear is printed with "Made in Korea," "0147" ("0142" on the right), "TRANGO inside an ellipse, "Ascender-L" (respectively "-R" on the right), CE0120, and "EN 567."


These are well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simple yet well-rounded holes in the shell; even so, I would consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching sling ropes. They are probably 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 attachments in order to reduce the risk of sling abrasion. The lower attachment hole could theoretically have the same safety problems as the one on Clog Version A. The upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. Note that such a carabiner will prevent putting the ascender on or off rope, so one’s climbing system must be designed accordingly.

The safety is one of the easiest to use with one hand, and operates very smoothly.

This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders, although the reinforcing will help prevent bending.

I'm not sure the extra holes are needed at the base. Except for the Petzl Pompe, I've never found a real need for a second hole. Some people like them, though. At least these are large enough for a carabiner to clip into. Frog climbers might prefer clipping their cows tail in here.

If you are looking for a stamped-frame handled ascender, this one would make an excellent choice, but I found it nearly impossible to obtain in the USA.