Solo climbers have wished for a speed sensitive device that would automatically feed out rope while the climber advanced, but quickly lock in any kind of fall. The Silent Partner accomplishes this. It has a speed dependent mechanism that allows rope to easily move through it at typical climbing speeds, yet lock up in a fall. The Silent Partner attaches to your waist harness; no chest harness is needed. The device resembles a pulley on steroids. To use, the climber ties a clove hitch around the wheel. Inside the wheel is the centrifugal mechanism that allows the rope to smoothly feed while climbing. The increased speed of a fall causes the wheel to lock and the clove hitch stops the fall. There are neither sharp teeth nor radical rope bends, so the device is very gentle to your rope. The Silent Partner has been proven on many diverse climbs by a variety of climbers. It can be used for leading or top roping. The unit is very strong and damage resistant. It will catch a fall in any attitude, whether upright or upside down.
- Like any device it must be backed up; never trust your life to a single tool
- Not for use in cold weather or with icy ropes. The internal clutch can malfunction in near or below freezing temperatures and fail to cinch the barrel tied with the clove hitch.
- The Silent Partner comes with an extensive instruction manual
- The device is totally CNC machined from aerospace alloys; no castings are used.
- Designed by Mark Blanchard who used it for the first one day solo of Half Dome's Regular NW Face. See the Silent Partner History page for a list of other notable ascents by Mark, Steve Schneider, and others.
Online Resources:Similar Products: Wren Industries Solo Aid, Wren Industries Soloist
- Rock and Ice (June 1999): "What sets the Silent Partner apart from other self-belay options is the relatively smooth feeding and the ability to hold any direction of fall. You won’t be able to free climb at your limit with this device, but you’ll be less hampered than with other solo systems. [...] For routes that are almost entirely aid, the SoloAid ($80, another Wren product) is still the best choice, because it’s so much smaller and lighter (6.4 oz./180g) - manual feeding required, though. [...] this is the best system going for free climbing by yourself."
- Climbing (August 1999): "Overall, Silent Partner performed wonderfully .... consider saving up for what Steve Schneider dubbed 'the coup-de-grace of solo devices.'"