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I acquired my Cascade (Каскад) ascender from John E. Weinel, Inc. in 1990. I acquired two more in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.
This ascender is 109 mm. tall, 59 mm. wide, 74 mm. thick, and weighs 203 g. This ascender uses a stamped aluminum frame that wraps around one or two ropes. A milled aluminum lever is mounted in the center of the frame, and can be pulled through the back of the frame to allow rigging the rope. The lever is spring loaded so it will automatically return to the operating position. A 9.5 mm. round pin passes through the lever. In use, it presses the rope into a slight detent in the frame. There is a small hole in the back of the lever that one can attach a small cord to to allow remotely releasing the device. Bent steel straps on each side of the frame provide some support for the frame and the bolt that serves as an axle for the lever.
There are no markings on this device.
This is a Russian copy of the Petzl Shunt. The lever is milled instead of forged aluminum, and the machining marks are evident. The side plates are steel, and mine have rusted in storage, corroding the bolts as well. You can see this in the photos. Still, this shunt appears to be as usable as the original.
When Артём Бабин wrote that two of my Russian Bobbins and Stop Bobbins were made by Mikhail Dyakin (Михаил Дякин), a speleologist from Moscow and a programmer by profession, he also mentioned that Dyakin had made a third item, a copy of the Petzl Shunt. I asked Артём if this one of mine could be one of Dyakin’s shunts, and on January 12, 2021, Артём replied as follows:
Yes, at that time, no one else in Russia copied Petzl Shunt. Apparently this is also Mikhail Dyakin.
Артём met Михаил Дякин in September 2021, and provided this additional information:
Hello, Gary! Today I met Mikhail Dyakin, he is alive and well, now retired and lives outside the city [Moscow], we agreed to meet him in October there will be an interview, I will ask him about his equipment.
Dyakin’s firm was called Cascade (Каскад).