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Tibloc Ascender
Gear Review

Tibloc Ascender


Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Tibloc Ascender

Manufacturer: Petzl

Your Opinion: 
 - 17 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Apr 6, 2002 / Apr 6, 2002

Object ID: 208

Hits: 12470 


A simple, effective, and compact rope clamp that works well in pulley systems, ascending a rope, or hauling. Also an ideal back-up for standard ascenders or for those who wish to travel as light as possible.
  • Much lighter and more compact than standard ascenders, plus faster to set up than prusik knots and works well in pulley systems
  • Tibloc should be used only with carabiners made of uniform oval or round stock in order to prevent damage to the rope
  • Caution: hot-forged carabiners with T-shaped stock, such as the Petzl Spirit, should NOT be used
  • The Tibloc is an amazing little tool when used properly, but can easily be misused; it is essential to read the instructions to prevent rope damage!


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mconnellUntitled Review

Voted 2/5

Tiblocs climb well, much easier to use than prussiks. They move easier when you want them to and don't slip when weighted.

On the down side, any shock loading will probably thrash your rope so be careful. This would rule out using them on fixed ropes. Also, they are designed to work on fat ropes (I haven't tried them on thinner ropes). Since I prefer to use a thinner rope for glacier travel, tiblocs may not be useful there.
Posted Apr 23, 2002 11:53 am

JScolesUntitled Review

Voted 2/5

The concept is great. An ultra light emergency mechanical ascender. IMHO its one large disadvantage is the need for the correct sized carabineer for its safe operation. In an emergency you may not have the right one handy where as with prussik cord you can always get it to work.

It is one of the very few climbing devices I have seen that has as many 'do nots' as 'dos' in its small instruction book. To use it without damaging your rope requires the correct size carabineer and the correct fingering technique which I found hard to pick up and which a novice will just get fouled up. As well you are limited to the rope size you can use and any fall or even a slip will most likely damage the rope.

Again in any emergency situation you want something 'fool proof’ which this device is not.

The advantages over a prussiks are limited to what Mconell says ‘they climb better’ and the way you can use two of them to back up a prussik free C pulley.

You are better off in the long run in taking two extra prussik cords with you than this device as any error in its operation will result in damage or failure of the rope.

I could see it being useful for rescue teams when used as a emergency replacement for a prussik or ratchet pully in haul systmems in case something breaks or is forgotten since it is light and versitile.

Posted Apr 26, 2002 4:53 am

miztflipUntitled Review

Voted 2/5

Too small and hard to handle, especially with gloves. For the price one might as well pay $20 more and get the B 17 which is much more versatile and easy to use and handle. It is a great concept that I did not find as useful as expected.
Posted Jun 7, 2002 4:33 pm

Alan EllisUntitled Review

Voted 1/5

For Sale: Petzl Tibloc.....or will trade for two 5 ft. pieces of 6 mm cord. Ropes are getting too thin for this thing. In the mountains, you need several (at least two) and they don't work very well with thin twin ropes. I've used mine once and did not like what it did to the rope....too aggressive.
Posted Jan 24, 2003 7:53 am

bigwallyUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I will ALWAYS have a Tibloc in my chockbag, and with me whenever I climb !!! I will always PRAY that I never have to use it!!! For me a Tibloc is a very functional, Emergency device. It will work when I'm out of Prussik cord or sling and it works smoother than a Prussik knot when I do have cord or slings. It will work very well on wet or icy ropes. It was never designed or intended to replace my full size ascenders for jumaring,or a Gibbs for fixed -line snow/glacier travel. Its not intended to replace the cam/rachet on my hauling pully, nor is it designed for thin ropes....But for $20 I will always have one in my chalkbag,along with my small but thick-bladed folding knife.I will have these with me at all times, if for nothing else than to be used when Life pitches that inevitable curve ball...and to keep my chalkbag from blowing upside-down with the updrafts ( a small rock works well, but what else can you use it for?)
Posted Jan 26, 2003 11:26 am

marcminishUntitled Review

Voted 1/5

Sounds good... lightweight, simple and from a reputable manufacturer. It's crap! Bite the bullet and get a real ascender or use prussiks.
Posted Jun 30, 2003 8:43 pm

dennyheadUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

As I said with the Petzl ATC-XP, I use two of these for my Tree Service job. There is nothing easier than sliding Tiblocs up a line when you're going 40 or 50 feet up. And better yet, there only 20 bucks - compared to the Ascension thats 60 bones. I do not find them hard to use because rather than trying to grab the Tibloc, I simply slide the entire biner up my line. I have been up and down many ropes with these lil guys and have not damaged the rope, even after falling 5 feet from a limb there was no mark on the rope - maybe I'm lucky but I think these lil guys work great for short climbs.
Posted Nov 21, 2003 12:40 pm

Martin CashUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I like to use these for simulclimbing. Basically, it protects the leader if the second should fall. You place the Tiblocs at 1 piece per ropelength. This should not be relied upon like a piece of protection. They are only for the rare occurance that the second would fall while simuling moderate terrain. If there is slack in the rope, and the fall is vertical, the Tibloc could severly damage or sever the rope. Know it's limitations before using.

Don't even think about using one of these with thin ropes like twins or halfs.

On steeper snow, moderate alpine ice, and moderate non-vertical rock, where the fall factors for the second are very low, I would recommend using Tiblocs with a running belay on ropes of 9.5mm to 10.5mm.
Posted Nov 21, 2003 4:09 pm

grandwazooUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

The tibloc works great for running belays and TR. You can constuct a crude but quick and smooth z-drag with two Tiblocs. You use one in the standard configuration in front and one in the hauling configuration. I use mine on a 10.5m rope and a meduim size biner. The combo locks quick and hard.
Posted Dec 10, 2003 4:44 pm

Nikolas_AUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Perfect if you buy it for what it is supposed to be: A small emergency ascender as Petzl says.

Quote:Bite the bullet and get a real ascender or use prussiks.
If you need a real ascender you don't need a Tibloc. It falls in the same category with prussiks, not real ascenders.

Prussiks are cheaper of course and have other uses too, but when setting up a pulley Tibloc is great.

If you belay with a self-locking device you only need one to make a C-Z pulley in seconds. And unlike prussiks, it slides smoothly down the rope under its own weight after every pull.

I always carry one on a locker when climbing trad routes
Posted Jan 23, 2004 10:29 am

Ruvi DeVasUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Tiblocs save lives. It is fast. Cheap and easy to use. It should not be a substitute for good, advanced knowledge, planning, and safe technique. It sure comes in handy when events are moving very fast and you need it. They just work well and even to hang gear on a long climb. I carry two.
Posted Apr 5, 2005 1:42 am

tommiUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Fast, easy to use and light. But it may happen that the pikes destroy the cover of the rope, its not my first choice. A good field of use is in combination with an ice screw and a biner, the leader place it and the following is seperate belayed. Its a fast way for ascending.
Posted Jan 26, 2007 8:35 am

nefariuscool device

Voted 4/5

These are great for simul climbing and always a good thing to have on your harness, just in case. Incredibly small, light and functional. Being a toothed ascender, it is, however imperative that you learn there proper use before hitting the rock or your rope could be core shot, or even worse, severed.

The idea behind using them for simuling is to prevent the leader from being ripped from the rock in the event the seconder should fall. When setup properly they will do this, as well as allow the leader to climb ahead, as the rope moves through the tibloc. It is imperative that there be no slack in the system or else damage to the rope will occur in the event of a fall.

Of course, make sure you know what you're doing before you even think about simul climbing.
Posted Apr 10, 2007 2:26 pm


Voted 4/5

Perfect as EMERGENCY ascender or just as self-belay. I have it with me all the time, but hope never will use it.
Posted Jan 15, 2008 6:59 am

stephofor foot

Voted 4/5

I use one of these as a foot ascender, it doesn't work perfectly but it is 20 bucks, it gets the job done for me, the teeth are a bit rough
Posted Jul 14, 2010 7:37 pm

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