The classic eight ascender is essential kit for tree climbers but apart from the Petzl Piranathere has not been much improvement on the original design over the years.Now Italian climbing gear manufacturer Salewa has come up with the Nine (duefor release January 2011). The Salewa Nine is designed for rope diameters between 9-13mm and is suitable for right and left handers.
As well as being a self-locking descender, the Nine can also be used as a rope grab in emergencies.
Surely this will be the 'must have' descender for 2011.
Thanks to Elena O'Neill for telling us about the Nine - Elena will trial the Nine as soon as they are available on the market.