Rock Climbing Devices Explained at Water Stone Outdoors

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The rock climbing world has lots of gadgets and some of you might be wondering what some of these things are used for. Here’s an introduction to some really useful climbing devices.


  • Petzl Tibloc – A compact ascender with no moving parts. Great for an emergency haul system or z-drag system for swiftwater rescue.
  • Petzl Croll – A chest ascender from Petzl. Has a slightly offset frame allowing it to sit flat against the chest with a carabiner.
  • Microcender- A compact, sturdy mechanical ascender.
  • Rescuecender – A larger version of the microcender. Like that device it is spring loaded.
  • Petzl Handled Ascender – A great all around ascender with an ergonomic handle.
  • Black Diamond N-Force Ascender – Black Diamond’s version of a handled ascender with extra linkage to ease the upward slide of the device.

Rappel /Belay Devices

  • Soloist – A self belay device for leading rock climbs alone.
  • Silent Partner – Another self belay device which enables the climber to leave the belayer at home.
  • Petzl Stop – A great Hands free rappel device for work and rescue
  • Black Diamond ATC – The standard in the climbing industry for all around belay and rappel devices.
  • Black Diamond ATC XP – Similar to the standard ATC but with the addition of a toothed groove to add friction, easing the load on the belay hand.
  • Black Diamond ATC Guide – An ATC especially for the climbing guide. Allows the guide to belay two seconding climbers at once. Locks off in the case of one falling but still allows the other second to continue climbing.
  • Petzl Reverso – Another guiding device working similar to the ATC-Guide. Takes a slightly different approach but essentially the same.
  • Petzl Gri Gri – The standard for a mechanical locking belay device. Has a variety of uses making it one of the most versatile devices a climber can own.
  • Petzl Verso – A super lightweight, compact rappel device
  • Mammut Smart – A non-mechanical version of a gri-gri, although it is not as versatile. But, for a lightweight locking belay device to ease the work load on the belay hand it’s hard to beat.
  • Trango B-52 – Trango’s version of the guide oriented belay device.An innovative approach to this climbing niche.


  • Petzl Minitraxion – A locking pulley for hauling systems. Also useful as a self belay device for toproping.
  • Petzl Protraxion – A beefier version of the minitraxion.
  • Petzl Mini Pulley – Light and compact this pulley is an easy one to take with you for emergency situations.
  • Petzl Tandem Pulley – Petzl’s Tandem pulley is perfect for tyrolean traverses on ropes. It has self lubricating bushings for good efficiency and an attachment point that allows for three carabiners.
  • Petzl Rescue Pulley – The Petzl Rescue pulley is a 2″ sealed bearing pulley for work, rescue, and rock climbing.
  • CMI Ropes Course Pulley – The CMI ropes course pulley is a double ended pulley with a bushing and a stainless steel sheave.

Welcome to Water Stone Outdoors
Providing quality gear and friendly advice to rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts in the New River Gorge of West Virginia since 1994. We are here for your needs to make your outdoor experience the best possible!

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