Simple question, which has been prompted from this answer.

What is a bloquers?

I'm guessing it's some kind of prussik and it's a French term. But I'm not familiar with it. A quick google search returned no results.

  • 1
    I would guess it's some mechanical rope clamp, like Jumars, a Tibloc, etc. Cf. petzl.com/en/outdoor/ascenders – Benedikt Bauer Aug 7 '14 at 12:47
  • Ah, could be, I'd presumed it was some kind of knot but it could be mechanical @BenediktBauer . – user2766 Aug 7 '14 at 12:51

I can only assume, that it derives from bloquer which is french for blocking. What the "c" is doing in there I have no clue - but then, I am not a native french speaker.

In this case there are several devices that are generally used for this:

  • There is Petzls Tibloc, a very light device. But it is also very aggressive and may damage the rope so it has to be used with care.
  • There are various blockers like the Wild Country's Ropeman. They are more sturdy and somewhat less aggressive towards the rope, but also more expensive and heavier.
  • And there is Petzls Micro Traxion which works like a ropeman but has a pivoted roll for less friction (especially useful when doing a pulley). It's not even heavier but somewhat more expensive.
  • 1
    If it's a typo that'll be annoying... – user2766 Aug 7 '14 at 13:01
  • 3
    That might be, but if think this "cqu" sequence actuelly exists in French, so it might be valuable. Still I am absolutely not shure about this. Lets wait and see what Nick tells us. – imsodin Aug 7 '14 at 13:06
  • I am not certain they would be called "bloquers" but in addition to the devices listed above are the toothless cammed rope clamps such as the Rock Exotica rockGrab and Petzl Microcender (a licensed version of the former I believe). These weigh more but they are safer too as they won't cut your rope. – Mr.Wizard Aug 8 '14 at 16:55
  • @Mr.Wizard I do not know these and according to the rockGrab instructions they should only be used under constant load and not for falls, so I would not put them in them same category as the above. The term blocquers was first used in the context of self ascension and for that they certainly do not apply, so I wont add them to my answer, but thanks for the notice. – imsodin Aug 8 '14 at 19:20
  • Actually, when I look at Petzls instructions I kind of have to revoke the above comment, seems this is an ascender/safety device that therefore can take a fall. Still its industrial climbing gear of which I do not have any idea... – imsodin Aug 8 '14 at 19:26

It's what @imsodin said. Bloqueur is the french term for "blocker" in English. So when I talk about a bloqueur, I'm talking about blocking devices. The two that I use for ascending a rope are the Petzl basic and Petzl croll.

The use of French terms is a habit that I picked up from canyoning, which is by origin a French sport, so most of the terms used there are French.

Unfortunately I can only speak decent French, my writing sometimes sucks (since it's been 5 years that I learnt the language and only use the spoken version of it nowadays).

So long story short:

A bloqueur is a mechanical blocking device.

The reason that I prefer a bloqueur above the standard prusik is because in the situations that I need it (passing a knot during ascending or abseiling, switching from descending to ascending, ...) the bloqueurs simply work faster than the prusik.

And to fully answer the question, "bloqueurs" is just the multiple of "bloqueur".

Extra addition: the mechanical prussik

The bloquers presented above all have teeth that will (slowly but surely) damage the mantle of your rope. There also do exist other kinds of bloqueurs, for example the Petzl shunt, which is known as the mechanical replacement for the prussik. The advantage is that is doesn't damage your rope as much. The disadvantage is that it can slip when used incorrectly (training needed!).

  • I've reached my vote limit today so will upvote tomorrow. I've given imsodin the correct answer because he answered first. Thanks for the info! – user2766 Aug 7 '14 at 15:14
  • @Liam No problem at all :) – Nick Aug 7 '14 at 15:18

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