|Front View: Closed||Rear View: Closed|
|Front View: Open for Rigging||Rear View: Open for Rigging|
I acquired the right-hand ascender from Jasmine Mikulecky in 2020 and the left-hand one from Vintage Climbing in 2022.
This ascender is 208 mm. tall, 94 mm. wide, 42 mm. thick, and weighs 258 g.
The C.A.M.P. ascender shell consists of a number of parts. The main piece is a blue anodized 2.7 mm. aluminum stamping which forms the rope channel, the upper portion of the ascender, and the side of the hand hole opposite the hand grip. Two reinforcing ribs are stamped into the upper part of this piece and reinforce the rope channel. A 13.5 mm. hole through the top part of the rope channel provides an upper sling attachment point.
The cam is mounted on the upper shell using a special 8 mm. shoulder bolt and special nut. The nut is center punched on the back side of the ascender to keep the bolt from unscrewing. A cam spring mounted on this bolt tends to close the cam. This spring is not visible without disassembling the ascender. The cam is a plated steel casting. The cam uses a combination tooth design. The top 60% of the cam face is a concave surface with conical teeth oriented parallel to the top of the cam. Below these are four convex "Z" shaped teeth. The resulting tooth pattern is (4.3)^2(2.1). The conical teeth are in contact with the rope, even for excessively small (e.g., 6 mm. ) main lines.
The cam extends past the pivot and downwards at a 40° angle to a second pivot pin located about 29 mm. from the main pivot. A second "L" shaped 2.7 mm. aluminum frame piece extends downwards from this pivot, forming the hand grip side and bottom of the hand hole. A well rounded 13.9 mm. hole at the bottom of this piece forms the main sling attachment point. This piece has a black plastic hand grip with four finger grooves molded onto it. It also has a small metal tab riveted in place above the hand grip. This tab engages the cam safety to hold the cam open.
The bottom of the main shell and the bottom of the "L" shaped piece are connected by a short, curved piece of 2.7 mm. aluminum. This piece is connected to the other two by one rivet each. The rivets are set loosely so the connections are free to rotate.
The cam and three frame pieces form a parallelogram where all four corners are free to rotate. As a result, raising the hand grip raises the end of the cam opposite the rope, thus lowering the end near the rope and pivoting the cam open. During this operation, the hand grip ("L" shaped piece) moves upwards with respect to the main frame piece. The cam spring opposes this motion, so it acts to raise the main shell. At first friction against the rope prevents this and the cam starts to open, but eventually the cam no longer has enough friction on the rope, and the ascender moves upwards. When weight is applied, the cam spring acts to close the cam, and this action coupled with the climber’s weight moves the "L" shaped piece downwards. The climbers weight is transferred to the cam by the "L" shaped piece. The cam exerts enough normal force on the rope to prevent sliding, and the climbers weight is held.
The cam safety is a small lever mounted on the bottom of the cam with a 3 mm. solid rivet. A small coil spring connects a second pin in the cam with a hole in the cam safety and pulls the safety upwards. This arrangement is opposite that used in the Petzl where the cam safety spring is in compression. A small cylinder mounted on the safety acts as a thumb knob. Under normal operation the cam safety hits the tab on the "L" shaped piece when the cam opens, thus limiting the amount the cam can open. By pulling down on the thumb knob, the safety can clear the tab. If desired a hook on the top of the safety can be latched around the tab to keep the cam open.
"STATIC ROPE ø 12 KG
↔650" and "UIAA ROPE ø 9 KG↔420" are stamped on the open side of the shell, and "CAMP - Italy’
is stamped on the back.
The CAMP is essentially identical to the Kong-Bonaiti Version B, with the only significant difference is that the handle is black instead of phosphorescent plastic.
This ascender operates on an entirely different set of principles than handled eccentric cam ascenders. The moving frame takes some time to get used to if you are accustomed to other handled ascenders. One disadvantage is that this ascender is more difficult to push up the rope, particularly if the rope is hanging against a wall with one’s weight on it. This situation can often be avoided by proper pit rigging. The two lower rivets appear rather small to the uninitiated, but they do not carry any weight so there is little cause for concern. The sheet metal shell has the same potential bending problem as all other sheet metal shells discussed in this site. The sling attachment holes could have the same safety problem described for the Clog Expedition ascenders. Like the Petzl Ascension, a carabiner through the top hole prevents putting the ascender on or off rope.
The workmanship on this ascender appears to be quite good. All frame edges are rounded. The two lower rivets have some sharp edges, but they are on the side opposite the rope so there is little chance for rope damage here.
This ascender gives a little more lost motion than the other
handled ascenders for two reasons. The first is the pivoting action
of the handle. The other is that the sling attachment point is
located farther from the main rope, so the ascender cants away
from the vertical with each step. On the other hand, the lever
cam design is less sensitive to rope conditions than eccentric
cam designs. In particular, the C.A.M.P. ascender can be
expected to hold under some mud and ice conditions where the handled eccentric cam ascenders ascenders