The classic piece of equipment for abseiling is a figure of eight so called because it looks like a number 8 - simple really!
Every climber should carry a set of Prusik loops for emergency use. It's unlikely you'll need a (pair of) ascender unless you are aid climbing, climbing up a fixed rope or mountaineering on very long routes. That said they do have a multitude of uses for constructing crevasse rescue pulley systems and hauling gear.
Via Ferrata / klettersteig
Via Ferrata devices are designed for use on the rigged high level routes with are becoming ever more popular with mountain visitors that do not require specific climbing skills but retain all the thrill of high level rock faces. Since there is no rope required to climb these routes it is essential to clip on to the safety line using system that will not only protect you from a slip or fall but will also allow a safe deceleration using a built in shock absorber.
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