It isn’t exactly new on the scene, having been available for a year or so now, but people still ask about them so here's my short review of the Edelrid Ohm.

 

Being the weighty one in my relationship this review is written from the perspective of the catchee, not the catcher! Having a good 20+ kgs on my partner, she regularly got yanked around a bit when I took an inevitable lob, or just when lowering. The addition of the Ohm allowed her to catch me with little to no effect on her stance, even a 3-4m fall and a relatively hard catch didn't really move her much. After only a few routes using the device it became clear we wouldn't want to be without it. I knew I could take a fall wherever, whenever and my partner wouldn't be in danger of flying off her feet or need a ground anchor. It's just a lot less stressful knowing your belayer isn't going to get launched up into the first bolt, meeting you for a high five on the way down. This is especially crucial when falling off the first couple of bolts, her not moving means I stay further off the deck! I really can't recommend them enough.

 

It can take a little practice to get it on the hanger correctly and if it's a tricky clip it can add more than a little faff, especially indoors if they don't use hanger plates. This leaves you clipping through the maillon, so it's worth having a look before you set off. A note for the belayer: you need to be one meter back from level with the first bolt, closer than this and it wont add friction to the system in the event of a fall.

The other niggle I've found is if the first clip is directly under a small roof the device can end up bumping into the wall. This causes the device to almost pinch the rope, adding a lot of friction to the system whilst still climbing. If this does happen it’s usually because I pulled a lot of rope though a little quickly and my belayer didn’t have much paid out ready. To release the Ohm, the belayer needs to first spot the device is in the raised position and give the rope a little wiggle to encourage it back down the rope. 

 

Taking it off the rope after a climb is fine on a slab or vertical wall but if your first clip is under a roof you’ll just have to climb back up and up clip it. Not really a problem but worth considering if you didn’t fancy repeating the start again. 

 

To summarise, I fall off a lot. My partner is lighter than me and she doesn’t like getting thrown all over so I wouldn’t be without one now. The high wear components are all steel and the tape and maillon would be easily replaced so the lifespan should comfortably outweigh the upfront cost. Even after just a few uses we are totally convinced of it’s worth.

 

- Bertie