Petzl Mini Traxion – Self Belay - Human Error almost tragedy


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Trad climber
Apr 24, 2012 - 10:58pm PT
Re ushba, it won't work unless it can freely rotate to engage the caming action.
So if anything touches it, it might not cam.
I experimented with it as a solo belay with an ascender as backup.
Decided it definitely wasn't for me as it seemed way to easy for something, anything, to keep the cam from engaging.

The guy that might not have been because he grabbed the rope.
Unless he grabbed the rope right above the ushba, grabbing would not interfere.
Report said the ushba was below his crotch.
Most people grab the rope at chest level.
Just sayin, maybe his t shirt or something else got in the way of the cam.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 24, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
Damn that looks high: The Soloist works for TR and lead solo.
What am I missing?

Be aware that on lead the Soloist can also fail if you just end up horizontal in a fall as opposed to fully inverted. Old partner of mine found this out the hard way decking to the tune of a couple of ribs, elbow and head.

Apr 25, 2012 - 12:15am PT
The Petzl website has all of the information that you need about top rope soloing with their products.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 27, 2012 - 04:55pm PT
Here is an article we just posted on setting up a Mini Traxion with a separate rope for safety which is the way Petzl recommends

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jun 28, 2012 - 12:22am PT
Note that running two devices on separate ropes à la Petzl eliminates the issue that KLK and DMT describe in which the top device jams and carries all further slack up with it.

Jul 12, 2012 - 06:41pm PT
Yates rocker with a loose prussik above works pretty good although I like the idea of a 2nd device above/ below on a sling that is probably easier to take on/off when switching to rappel than a prussik. If u grab above the rocker or ushba when falling it cannot cam properly & u will probably take a big ride.

Anyone have experience using an ushba/rocker type device with a Mini Trax above or below??

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Oct 6, 2012 - 06:35pm PT
One of my favorite threads.

Here's my setup:

After everything is rechecked, the purple sling goes over my head and ...
After everything is rechecked, the purple sling goes over my head and right shoulder.
Credit: Footloose

(1) Just my boots are usually enough to serve as a counter weight. (2) Always use a backup knot above ledges and every 20' or so. (3) I recheck engagements and links regularly as I climb. (4) At least in my book, the redundancy is absolutely necessary.

Once upon a time I almost started climbing without the bottom biner attached to my belay loop or harness loops. It was such a startle and eye-opener it's never been close to happening again since.

Thanks for the posts and the many heads-up.

Happy climbing!
Johnny K.

Oct 6, 2012 - 06:57pm PT


Oct 6, 2012 - 07:33pm PT
Has anyone had ANY problems yet with the lighter microtraxions? The new design helps eliminate the possibility of it accidentally locking the cam off the puley.

I see no problem having two microtraxions in tandem.

I think Petzl is being a bit conservative in requiring two different devices that function in different ways to prevent the extremely rare event of two similar devices failing simultaneously, in addition to suggesting using TWO ropes, one per device.
Johnny K.

Oct 6, 2012 - 07:43pm PT
^^ It's just top roping,why take chances with one type of device? I personally think Petzls suggestions are safe redundant back ups "just in case" something does fail.

The above options posted from petzl is for using 2 devices and only 1 rope.I personally use the this method and have no issues or complaints. Everyone has their own preference but the basic setup should always have safety redundancy of some sort.
Tommy D

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Ca
Feb 5, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
I find that the perfect set-up is a Pro-Traxion on top, and a Mini on the bottom. I use a 24" sling over my neck (I'm 5'10") with a small sling tied through the primary clip-in of the Pro to keep it lifted and lined up. The Pro can be opened without having to remove the locking carabiner, so once you have your sling attachment adjusted, you can leave it on for the rest of the session. For extra safety, use a small carabiner through the secondary clip-in point on the Pro to prevent the plates from being forced open from cross-loading.
Change-overs require removing only one device (the Mini) from its' locking carabiner, and are really smooth and fast. The system follows you effortlessly. Final safety note: always check your rigging by loading your set-up before leaving the ground and/ or unclipping your daisy at an intermediate belay. I have gotten in the habit of pushing down on both devices (separately) before I climb, and even while climbing, to verify that the cams are engaged (I ounce climbed with only one unit engaged because the top one held held when I load checked it).

Mini Traxion top-roping is one of the greatest gear/ training advancements of the last 10 years! So fun and efficient.

Trad climber
Schenectady, NY
Mar 15, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
I use a Petzl Ascention ascender attached to my harness also connected to a chest harness and a Petzl Min-Traxion as a back up.

I use this when doing climbs 90 ft of less with the rope anchored above of course and 2 strands for redundancy - 1 device on each separate strand!

Both feed well on a weighted rope and leave my hands free for doing harder climbs versus when I used to use a GriGri2 and backup knots every 10 ft.


Trad climber
Mar 15, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
is there any advantage of using a minitrazion (or micro traxion) over a microcender? I kind of prefer the second, not depending on teeth, and can be used in alpine glacier travel. but I have no experience with either. any thoughts.

Trad climber
East Coast
Nov 9, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
There have been accidents with Shunts and Gibbs on slightly overhanging terrain, especially if the rope was anchored at the base, causing the rope to press against the cam in such a way that it was held open. Or by people grabbing the device. Probably, a microscender can be made to fail the same way. That said, my favorite tools are a microscender low and a mini traxion high, plus running a back-up knot on the other strand of rope – although two devices plus a separate strand back-up feels like overkill.
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