As noted in a previous blog, Stein have a number of new products scheduled for release during 2010. One of those products is an SRT tree access system. The grainy image below is lifted from the ArbTalk forum as posted by Fletcher Stewart, the UK Stein Distributors and depicts a 'prototype' of the new system. At first glance the Stein SRT system looks to be similar to others on the market - but take a second look and you'll note some very interesting differences.Firstly, the mechanical ascenders do not look like anything currently available. The top and bottom ascenders appear to be identical and are jointed together with an eye-to-eye cows tail. ISC work with Stein for the production of other hardware so the ascenders are more-than-likely a new product derived from existing ascenders already offered by ISC.
The second difference to note is the 'hand loop' attached to the top ascender. One assumes this is held by the climber to drag the top ascender up the access line but it might have another purpose. A standard leg loop appears to be attached to the bottom hole of the top ascender.
A third difference can be found in the bottom ascender which does not appear to be attached to the swinging D on the bridge of the climbers harness. Instead it looks to be attached to the side D's via a couple of slings - a type of 'balancer' perhaps? The sling cinched into the top hole of the bottom ascender is probably a 'bungee' attachment to keep the bottom ascender under tension as the climber ascends the access line.
You cannot see clearly from the picture but it appears the climber has a foot ascender on his right boot, and that would certainly make sense.
Stein have not announced any date for the launch of this product but given the amount of attention being given to SRT the Stein SRT system is bound to cause a stir when it hits the market later in the year.