I acquired my first Bankl plate in the 1970s, but I don't have a record from where or whom I did. Chris Christensen gave me another one in 2007, as did Harald Müller in 2009 (I later gave the one from Harald to Артём Бабин). I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection, and one more from Chris Christensen in 2022.
The Edelrid Bankl forged from aluminum alloy and unfinished. It has a 52 by 37 mm. rope hole and two 15.3 mm. round eyes. My plates are 75 mm. long, 89 mm. wide, 11 mm. high, and weigh 89 g.
One side of the Bankl has "BANKL," a single-rope rigging icon labeled "sichern," a double-rope rigging icon labeled "abseilen," and "EDELRID," all raised during forging. The rear has no markings.
The Edelrid Bankl plate can be used on single or double rope. Directions for its use are forged into the plate. For belaying, a Munter belay is appropriate, while rappelling is done in a free-running configuration. See the Yates Belay Slave illustrations for details.
I tried a free running rappel on doubled caving rope one time. Our stiff caving ropes are not designed for such sharp bends, and it sounded like the rope was being torn apart. Perhaps it wasn't, but I still don't like to use this device on stiff ropes.
If you have seen the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, you obviously noticed that the white suits worn by the engineering crew have Bankl Plates attached to make the suits look a bit more futuristic.
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