The Pilot Ascender from Camp
Italian climbing hardwear brand C.A.M.P. (Construzione Articoli Montagna Premana) have undergone something of a renaissance in recent years, taking the lightweight innovation bull firmly by the horns and creating market leading products such as the Air harness and the Nano karabiner, both of which are the lightest in their class. The impressive and very user-friendly Pilot Ascender would suggest C.A.M.P. have also looked at new solutions to old design problems in climbing gear, as well as creating all-new technologies.
The Pilot features a significantly wider handle than any jumar yet produced. This feature, combined with the clever push-button rope claw release, means that it is much easier to use wearing heavy gloves or mitts than its less accomodating Black Diamond and Petzl rivals. The claw accepts ropes from 8mm to 13mm, which includes virtually any climbing rope in use today. The Pilot is extremely well finished, which is very important on a jumar since it will be in constant contact with the rope, and hard edges can become dangerously sharp with rock abrasion over time.
The rope claw is very secure, with next to zero lateral flex. The only minor oversight C.A.M.P. made with the Pilot, in our view, was making the left option dark grey and the right option dark blue, rather than more contrasting colours. In snow or low light conditions it becomes difficult to tell them apart, particularly if buried in a pack. Otherwise, this is an excellent and innovative development to an old design, and should be seriously considered if you're going to be doing a lot of jumaring. In an alpine environment, when jumaring using gloves is often required, the Pilot will be a huge asset in comparison to the other models currently available.
* A poor product with design and functionality problems. Not recommended.
** An average product. Recommended only for its low cost or as a back-up item.
*** A good product. Certainly worth considering, although better products may be available at the same price.
**** An excellent product and among the best available in its category. Highly recommended.
***** An outstanding product defining the cutting edge of outdoor technology and design. You won't find a better one!
There are currently no comments on this article.