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Chicane VS Rope Wrench

These are two devices used to add some friction to a DDRT or moving rope system so that it can be used in a single rope configuration. If you are still unsure of the purpose I’d recommend you take a peek in the schoolhouse for a primer and examples of various moving rope systems compared to a couple single rope systems. The singing tree rope runner is the predecessor, and for many the entry point to single rope climbing because it can integrate easily with whatever hitch and pulley system you are most comfortable with. For the sake of the comparison however I will be using both devices with the Petzl zigzag to achieve the most useful comparison data. I have found I enjoy and utilize both devices and after extensive use of each on the job site I found I tend to reach for the Chicane more often, especially when used in conjunction to a zigzag, but I will still utilize the rope wrench along with the occasional hitch cord system or as a secondary tie in point. There is no clear winner here, and it will likely come down to preference as the prices are very similar after the purchase of the carabiner with the Chicane and the tether with the wrench, both of which are necessary accessories.



1. Very Smooth Compact

2. No loose hardware

3. Slightly more friction (at least in the ropes I typically use)

4. More Compact

5. Creates an ergonomic handle for advancing in the absence of a neck tether


1. Slightly Heavier

2. Compact (yes this is also a pro, but with a hitch-cord and pulley or other use it may be too compact and interfere with the action of the hitch.)

3. Slightly more difficult to pull slack through

4. Requires a Petzl carabiner

Singing Tree Rope Wrench


1. More Universal

2. Very smooth

3. Slightly more lightweight

4. Adjustable length between wrench and climbing device via different length tethers.


1. Slightly slower to install

2. Loose hardware when installing

Here is an old stiffy tether on the rope wrench on a Petzl zigzag

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