Most tree climbers are familiar with the Petzl ZigZag problems and subsequent recall. Around the same time as the ZigZag issue another potential PR disaster was unraveling for Petzl.
Pictures of the new lightweight 2013 Petzl Croll surfaced on the net showing severe cracking down the back plate.
Apparently, a bunch of Italian cavers, the SNS CAI Working Group, stress tested the new Croll, breaking the device under load.
Without approaching Petzl with their concerns the SNS CAI Working Group advised members, via SNS CAI website, "to use the 2013 Petzl Croll with extreme caution", implying the new Croll was potentially dangerous.
EN Standards brought into question
The Petzl Croll meets two EN Standards: EN 567 (rope clamp Ø 8 - 11mm) for recreational use and EN 12841 B (rope adjustment device Ø 10-11mm ) for professional use.
The 'EN Standards' process is rigorous and independent.
And, as you would expect from Petzl they also commit to internal performance requirements and testing far exceeding those described in the standards.
For SNS CAI to suggest an independently EN certified PPE product is potentially life threatening to climbers is a big call indeed!
Petzl response shows commitment
Petzl may have conceded defeat on the ZigZag but they have dug their heels in on the Croll.
Download the Petzl Croll report here and check out the break data, in particular 4.1 and 4.3, the dynamic performance requirements described in EN 12841 Type B.
The Petzl results are in line with Treetools internal testing of toothed-cam devices and those conducted by other parties in the region - see previous blog post on the subject here.
2013 Petzl Croll can be used with confidence
Following the comprehensive re-testing by Petzl is appears the SNS CAI report may have overstated the deficiencies of the latest, lightweight Croll.
According to Petzl the 2013 Croll can be used with confidence, as long as you read the instructions first!