Ascending: For regular and expedition use, handled ascenders are best, but for occasional use and self-rescue from crevasses etc, micro ascenders are cheap and much lighter. The cheapest and lightest ascender on the market is a Prusik Loop. For climbing a free-hanging fixed rope, ascenders need to be used in pairs (though not matching pairs) and at a minimum, two screwgate karabiners and a long sling are also required. Anyone climbing multi-pitched routes anywhere should carry two Prusik loops, a long sling and some screwgates at all times (and know how to use them), as there is always a risk of falling into a position where you are dangling free of the rock, and your partner cannot haul you, nor is the rope long enough to lower you.
Autobloc: A Prusik Loop or a Shunt can be used as an autobloc when abseiling or hauling/lowering loads.
Self Belaying: Some ascenders can also be used to protect a solo climber who is climbing along side a fixed rope. Unfortunately there is no simple answer as to what is the best device for self-toproping. Please see our advice page on Self-Belaying for more information.
Please note that prices are for a single unit.