Johno Smith is trialling the Thompson Unicender in New Zealand and has suggested various modifications to its designer, Morgan Thompson in the USA.
Johno climbed on the Unicender in the Aerial Rescue event at the NZ National Tree Climbing Competitions held recently in Blenheim.
Unfortunately, Johno lost points because he used a (toothed) Petzl Ascender on a single line to support both Woody and himself. The demerit points were not due to the use of the Unicender.Most arborists climb using a doubled rope. The Unicender is designed to work on a doubled rope or a single line (SRT) - Johno prefers SRT for the Unicender (but he admits it is not suitable for every job).
Thilo Beeker, an international climbing official at the NZ NTCC considers SRT to be too hard on the climbers body for everyday use (as opposed to the 2-to-1 ratio in doubled rope) but Johno has devised a system which he says is very efficient. By using a Petzl Pantin, a foot strop and Petzl Ascender combined with the Unicender he can climb up the rope without too much apparent effort. Judge for yourself.