Ideal for the retro climber or Search and Rescue professional.
Works well with double 8.1 mm ropes up to 11 mm single lines.
Suitable for indoor or outdoor climbing.
Easy to handle.
Sometimes called "figure of eight" or just "eight", this device is most commonly used as a descender, but may also be used as a belay device in the absence of more appropriate equipment.
It is an aluminum or steel "8" shaped device, but comes in several varieties. Its main advantage is efficient heat dissipation. A square eight, used in rescue applications, is better for rappelling than the traditional 8.
A figure eight descender
Figure eights allow fast but controlled descent on a rope. They are easy to set up and are effective in dissipating the heat caused by friction but can have a tendency to cause a rope to twist. Holding the brake hand off to the side twists the rope, whereas holding the brake hand straight down, parallel to the body, allows a controlled descent without twisting the rope. An 8 descender can wear a rope more quickly than a tube style belay/rappel device because of the many bends it puts into the rope. Many sport climbers also avoid them because of the extra bulk a Figure 8 puts on the climbing rack. However, many ice climbers prefer to use the 8, because it is much easier to thread with stiff or frozen rope.
Last Updated @ 11/4/2016 10:06:02 AM
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