Tree Climbers have always botched and borrowed their way to find equipment solutions and it is great to see purposefully designed and manufactured tools that suit our sometimes bizarre and always demanding needs.
You can see my own attempt on the right (red Distel gaff with green Petzl Pantin), about 1000 leagues below the Kiwi Klimber Spikecender on the left! Single Rope climbing seems to be booming in New Zealand and we get much exciting technique from many climbers over there and now product development is emerging too.
Dale Thomas has taken the bold step forward and manufactured this
beautiful aircraft grade aluminium (body) and titanium (cammed) foot ascender that is designed to attach to a gaff.
In fact he has designed a whole gaff too which you can see here.
Enabling 1:1 climbers to carry on as they would normally, fast and smooth ascents and safe and efficient slack tending while climbing the tree with spikes.
The cam/rope interface has been purposefully moved away from the line of the spike to stop inadvertent rope spiking.
The sprung cam is loose to let the rope run through smooth and fast.
Distel Aluminium, Carbon
Distel/DMM (with slight modification, a rubber riser from any home centre will do it)
Buckingham (with modification, the shank must be re-tapped)