At Outdoor Retailer last week, I had the opportunity to check out some new climbing gear from Petzl. The brand gets set to release a handful of new hardware in which both ice climbers and rock climbers will be interested. The ice specific gear comes out in January, while the more rock specific items will hit shelves in April.
First up, the Caritool Evo. While some harnesses feature ice clipper slots, they aren’t always in the exact place you want them. Not to mention the numerous harnesses out there that don’t include slots. Petzl has solved the problem by creating a clipper than can affix anywhere and on any harness. A simple wiregate wraps securely around your harness waistbelt and much like the regular Caritool, ridges at the top help you quickly get to that screw at the very bottom of the pile. Petzl claims that each Caritool Evo will hold up to six ice screws.
For those that are prone to dropping tools or just want that added security when climbing a long, multi-pitch route, the V-Link gives you peace of mind without hindering your climbing. The V-Link girth hitches through your belay loop and the elasticized webbing clips into the bottom of your ice tools. The webbing is connected via a full 360-degree spinner so you never have to worry about getting tangled when you switch hands.
Anyone new to climbing or for people like me who don’t use a GriGri that often (I prefer a Reverso), the GriGri + (pictured top) can quite literally be a lifesaver. We have all seen it before or heard stories — a belayer panics when lowering someone and instead of letting go of the lever, pulls on it harder. Petzl has now built-in an Anti-Panic function — if the belayer pulls down too hard on the lever, the brakes kick in and stop the descent immediately. The new belay device also includes diagrams for rope installation engraved directly on both the interior and exterior to eliminate any confusion. The GriGri + can be used with all single ropes, but is optimized for 8.9 mm to 10.5 mm diameter ropes. Unlike the other two products, this will be available come April 2017.
Other new hardware accessories include a variety of carabiners and lightweight slings.