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5/8" Gibbs

#2 Prototype #2 Version A #2SS, Version A
#2 Prototype #2 Version A #2SS, Version A
 
#2SS, Version B #2SS, Version C #2SS, Version E
#2SS, Version B #2SS, Version C #2SS, Version E
 
#3 Version B #3S, Version A #3S, Version D
#3 Version B #3S, Version A #3S, Version B

Overview


#2 Prototype
(#112)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs #2 Prototype from John E. Weinel, Inc. in 1993.

The Gibbs #2 Prototype is 104 mm. tall, 76 mm. wide, 63 mm. thick, and weighs 244 g. The shell is made from 5.1 mm. aluminum sheet. Two holes were drilled into the shell, and steel roll pins were inserted. The appears to be forged from aluminum alloy plate, machined, and then hard anodized. The QR pin is 9.3 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

Each side of the shell is stamped with "UP," an up-pointing arrow, and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The QR pin is stamped "AVIBANK PUSH" and "BLS6B11SL5A6."

Comments

Possibly influenced by the "curved cam interface" on the Rock Exotica Rescucender, Gibbs Products tried several ideas for modifying the Gibbs Ascender. This is the first prototype idea. Two holes were drilled into the shell, and steel roll pins were inserted. Although the idea works well, the ends of the roll pins protruding from the curved area of the frame certainly didn't give the ascender a finished look.

Less obvious from the photo is that this is a 5/8-in (internal width) ascender instead of a 1/2-in like a normal Gibbs. Although I don't have any use for the extra size, at least it isn't as absurd as the 3/4" Gibbs are.


#2 Version A
(#72)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs #2, Version A from Karst Sports at the 1995 Kentucky Speleofest.

The Gibbs #2, Version A is 104 mm. tall, 76 mm. wide, 63 mm. thick, and weighs 239 g. The shell is made from 5.1 mm. aluminum sheet and has two dimples opposite the cam face. The appears to be forged from aluminum alloy plate, machined, and then hard anodized. The QR pin is 9.3 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

Each side of the shell is stamped with "UP," an up-pointing arrow, and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The QR pin is stamped "AVK PUSH" and "BLS6B11S."

Comments

This is the design that Gibbs put into production. Two dimples are stamped into the shell. This is a clean, professional-looking solution that works well, although I'm not sure it was ever necessary. This ascender also has the new punched cam, thankfully I acquired mine before the goo era.

The Gibbs #2 was later re-numbered as the #3. Gibbs #2 Version B is a smaller ascender so it does not belong on this page.


#2SS, Version A
(#2256)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs, #2SS, Version A in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

The Gibbs #2SS, Version A (5/8) is 111 mm. tall, 72 mm. wide, 63 mm. thick, and weighs 335 g. The shell is made from 2.9 mm. stainless steel sheet. The rope channel is 17 mm. wide. The appears to be forged from aluminum alloy plate and then machined. The cam radius increases from 15 to 32 mm. over an angle of 87°, giving a 26° cam angle. The QR pin is 9.5 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that is riveted to the shell, wraps around the QR pin, and is attached to the cam with a phillips-head machine screw. A piece of stainless-steel cable acts as a keeper for the QR pin, with the other end attached to a stainless steel teardrop riveted to the shell. Finally, an extra hole in the shell is plugged by a semi-tubular rivet and two nonfunctional washers.

Each side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "UP," and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The QR pin is stamped with "AVIBANK PUSH," and "BLS6B11S." The cam is printed with "HT2735A," "CAM," "C/I," and "2024-T6."

Comments

Model #2SS, Version E has a stainless steel shell. For general use, this merely adds weight without any providing any other real advantage. The "bigger-is-better" crowd may like it because it is stronger when used in a testing machine, but when was the last time any Gibbs broke from overloading? I wasn't aware that it was a problem.


#2SS, Version B
(#3419)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs, #2SS, Version B from Robert Quast in 2021.

This version is 103 mm. tall, 71 mm. wide, 63 mm. thick, and weighs 342 g.

The shell is made from 2.9 mm. stainless steel sheet. The rope channel is 18 mm. wide. The cam is forged from aluminum alloy and hard anodized. The cam radius increases from 15 to 31 mm. over an angle of 85°, giving a 27° cam angle. The QR pin is 9.5 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that is riveted to the shell, wraps around the QR pin, and is attached to the cam with a phillips-head machine screw. A piece of stainless-steel cable acts as a keeper for the QR pin, with the other end attached to a stainless steel teardrop riveted to the shell.

Each side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "UP," and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The QR pin is stamped with "AVIBANK PUSH," and "BLS6B11S."

Comments

Version B moves the teardrop lower on the shell. This brings the cable closer to the QR pin, making it slightly more difficult to remove the pin.

The spring on my Version B has been sprung and no longer sits flat like it originally did.


#2SS, Version C
(#3420)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs, #2SS, Version C from Robert Quast in 2021.

This version is 103 mm. tall, 71 mm. wide, 68 mm. thick, and weighs 346 g.

The shell is made from 2.6 mm. stainless steel sheet and has two dimples opposite the cam face. The rope channel is 18 mm. wide. The cam is forged from aluminum alloy and hard anodized. The cam radius increases from 15 to 32 mm. over an angle of 87°, giving a 26° cam angle. The QR pin is 9.5 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. A piece of stainless-steel cable acts as a keeper for the QR pin, with the other end attached to a stainless steel teardrop riveted to the housing.

Each side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "UP," and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The QR pin is stamped with "AVIBANK PUSH," and "BLS6B11S."

Comments

The plastic spring housing helps prevent the type of spring damage that occurred on my Version C.


#2SS, Version D
(#3549)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs #2SS, Version D from Kelley Deem at the 2022 Old Timers Reunion.

The Gibbs #2SS, Version E is 103 mm. tall, 76 mm. wide, 61 mm. thick, and weighs 335 g. The shell is made from 2.6 mm. stainless steel sheet. The rope channel is 17 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 14 to 33 mm. over an angle of 101°, giving a 26° cam angle. The QR pin is 9.5 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

Both sides of the shell are stamped with an arrow, "UP," and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The QR pin is stamped with "AVK," "PUSH," and "BLS6B11S."

Comments

The cam appears to be forged, undoubtedly increasing the strength. At least this doesn't add significant weight, but the steel shell and large QR pin do. This will please the "bigger-is-better" crowd but recreational users may not be as impressed.


#2SS, Version E
(#141)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs #2SS, Version E from On Rope 1 in 1999.

The Gibbs #2SS, Version E is 103 mm. tall, 76 mm. wide, 63 mm. thick, and weighs 342 g. The shell is made from 2.6 mm. stainless steel sheet and has two dimples opposite the cam face. The appears to be forged from aluminum alloy, hard anodized, and the teeth are covered with goo. The QR pin is 9.5 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

One side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "UP," and "GIBBS" with a double underline. The other side is stamped with an arrow, "UP," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "NOT FOR SELF BELAY." The QR pin is stamped with "LOCKWELL," "PUSH," "HARTWELL-LA.-U.S.A.," and "62060/L66CB1125."

Comments

The appears to be forged, undoubtedly increasing the strength. At least this doesn't add significant weight. More puzzling is the "goo" coating. For use as an ascender, this is totally absurd, all that happens is that the goo eventually rubs off. If you don't like it, a little time with a penknife gets rid of it all. Supposedly the goo helps the cam slip if you abuse the ascender by dropping loads on it. I don't do that so I don't care.

The quick-release pin is also stainless steel. Apparently Gibbs couldn't get the proper length pin, because this one is about 4 mm. too long (the stainless shell is thinner than the aluminum one).

The shell is stamped "NOT FOR SELF BELAY." Duh, no kidding. Maybe this is because the old Gibbs literature implied exactly the opposite. There are also arrows with the word "UP." If the ascender is used in a hauling system (about the only time the goo makes any sense), then the arrows should point down. Of course, if you do that, they are labeled "dn." The labeling is ambiguous enough to be worthless.

The Gibbs #2SS, Version E was later re-numbered as the #3SS.


#3, Version B
(#279)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs #3, Version B from On Rope 1 in 2009.

Version B is 104 mm. tall, 77 mm. wide, 63 mm. thick, and weighs 237 g. The shell is made from 5.1 mm. aluminum sheet and has two dimples opposite the cam face. The cam appears to be milled from aluminum plate and then hard anodized. The QR pin is 9.3 mm. in diameter. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

The left side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "UP," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "USE ONLY ON NON METAL ROPE FROM 7/16 TO 1/2." The right side is stamped with an arrow, "UP," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "NOT FOR SELF BELAY." There are no marks on the QR pin.

Comments

The Gibbs numbering scheme can drive one mad! At one point #3 referred to a 3/4" Gibbs (e.g., #3, Version A), now it refers to a 5/8" Gibbs with a thicker shell. The thicker shell may be stronger, but for caving use, the thinner shell is adequate and weighs less.

Instructions Instructions Instructions

#3S, Version A
(#2987)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs, #3S, Version A from Lee-Anne Kummerer in 2021.

Version B is 104 mm. tall, 75 mm. wide, 64 mm. thick, and weighs 331 g. The shell is made from 5.1 mm. stainless steel sheet and has two dimples opposite the cam face. The rope channel is 17 mm. wide. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. The cam appears to be milled from aluminum plate and then hard anodized. The cam radius increases from 14 to 34 mm. over an angle of 100°, giving a 27° cam angle. There are nine rounded teeth on the cam face. The QR pin is 9.3 mm. in diameter. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

The left side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "UP," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "USE ONLY ON NON METAL ROPE FROM 7/16 TO 1/2." The right side is stamped with an arrow, "UP," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "NOT FOR SELF BELAY." There are no marks on the QR pin.

Comments

This Gibbs closely matches the Gibbs #3SB.

Like all stainless steel Gibbs, I find this ascender too heavy for routine caving use. Mine has some sharp edges on the inside top that should be removed with a fine file.


#3S, Version B
(#2360)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Open for Rigging
Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Gibbs #3S, Version B from Jim Goodall Equipment in 2018.

Version B is 104 mm. tall, 74 mm. wide, 64 mm. thick, and weighs 331 g. The shell is made from 5.1 mm. stainless steel sheet and has two dimples opposite the cam face. The rope channel is 17 mm. wide. The cam is spring-loaded with a wire spring that sits in a plastic housing. The cam appears to be milled from aluminum plate and then hard anodized. The cam radius increases from 14 to 34 mm. over an angle of 100°, giving a 27° cam angle. There are nine rounded teeth on the cam face. The QR pin is 9.3 mm. in diameter. A piece of webbing riveted to the spring housing acts as a keeper for the QR pin.

The left side of the shell is stamped with an arrow, "LOAD," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "USE ONLY ON NON METAL ROPE FROM 7/16 TO 1/2." The right side is stamped with an arrow, "LOAD," "GIBBS" with a double underline, and "NOT FOR SELF BELAY." There are no marks on the QR pin.

Comments

The only differences between Versions A and B are the markings. Version B replaces the "UP" labels with "LOAD." This is more accurate when the ascender is used in a hauling system, but inaccurate when used as an ascender. Competent users don't pay any attention to the markings, since they know what they are doing without having to read instructions each time they go into the field.

Like all stainless steel Gibbs, I find this one too heavy for routine caving use. The shell on mine will require additional bending to bring the two sides essentially parallel. Fortunately, the QR pin is longer than necessary, so the sprung shell does not keep the pin from locking properly.