|Front View||Rear View|
I acquired one THE 9 from Barrabés.com in 2007 and a second in 2009.
The THE 9 looks like it is forged from aluminum, and then bead blasted to give it a frosted appearance. It has a somewhat "9"-shaped rope hole which narrows at the base. The upper portion is rounded, but the lower portion is angular to provide a better wedging action. It is NOT sharp enough to cut the rope, as far as I can tell. The eye is 15.8 mm. in diameter. There are two horns projecting from the main body, one near the top, the other near the base.
There are no markings on the THE 9.
The THE 9 is different from a slotted ("Sticht") plate or belay tube, so it is important to read the instructions. Unfortunately, the THE 9 didn't come with any instructions. I found some illustrations on the Edelweiss web site that show how to use the THE 9. Unlike the very similar Cassin Logic, you do not want to run the rope over the upper horn while belaying, since it will not "fall off" as it does with the Logic.
Unlike the Logic, the manufacturer
shows that THE 9 can be used for rappelling by looping the
rope over the upper horn.
The Edelweiss web site once showed a similar device that they called the Universal 9. Here are some images taken from the Edelweiss web site:
I wasn't able to get one to evaluate so I won't speculate here about how it performed. Gertjan van Pelt wrote to me in 2009 to tell me that it never went into production:
I saw on your site that you are wondering about the old Universal 9 from Edelweiss. I can tell you the company has decided a year ago to not take this figure of nine in production because the selling price would be too high (around 30 to 35 euro) and they expected that climbers just would buy a figure of eight for a much better price.
I know this because I had the opportunity to try out the small and large version of this figure of Nine from Edelweiss for a year with climbing and canyoning.
The idea lived on though, and another company brought out a descendent as the 9Spirit.