Author Topic: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?  (Read 1799 times)

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Offline Wes Goulding

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Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:37:23 pm »
I have the Kong but never used it on a wall. We used a 2:1 ratchet and a Micro-trax on all multi day walls. On the shorter one or two day climbs the Micro-trax was sufficient. Just wondering when the KBR rules the show? Is there a specific time that this hauler is better than my other set-ups?

Seems kinda heavy, but maybe worth it to go to 1:1 sooner (big pulley)?

What do you do?

Or should I sell it?

Thanks
Wes

Offline johnmac

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 07:02:53 am »
Wes,  I haven't ever used one of these devices, but I've been tempted to buy one for a long time. The reason why I haven't is that it is a very specialized piece of equipment, whereas, using a more traditional 2:1 system, (especially now that Mark Hudon has refined and shared how to rig it property), seems a much more versatile system to me. Also having the extra pulleys, etc., provides a lot of options.

Sure, some people swear by it and I suspect they tag it up after they lead the pitch. I suspect that the only real way to figure out what works best for you is to try them one after the other with a heavy load (say 200lbs) at a crag or gym.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 09:23:59 am »
On shorter routes if I was going to haul 1:1, I'd go with a light pulley with a big sheave and use my Gri-gri as the rope grab. I have a CMI pulley that has a 2.625" sheave that must weigh only three or four ounces. The Kong Block Roll is way too heavy for anything, imho.

Offline Baltoro

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 11:53:20 am »
I have a KBR and have used the 2:1. The simplicity of the KBR is nice but like a lot of things, if you learn the better technique you can get away with a better tool.

Cons for both-
The KBR is heavy, not cheap and bulky.
The 2:1 isn't really cheap either when you account for all the components, it requires more practice and correct technique than the KBR. There's more to go wrong in terms of not having it rigged properly.

Pros for both-
They both move a lot of weight well though the 2:1 is better when properly set up and executed.
The Kong is faster, so long as you can move the weight and don't have to stop and rest.
The 2:1 allows for easier knot passing if need be.

Overall I'm a bigger fan on the 2:1 and will use that on future walls. I'd also say that if you're fast and have relatively light loads you're probably better off with a decent pulley and ascender combo.
Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am too lazy to do either.
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Offline Wes Goulding

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 12:11:18 pm »
John and Mark thanks. Early in my scramble to acquire big wall gear I was able to purchase this device. But then I went to the 2:1 ratchet. We did practice a bit with the KBR but the other system seemed to haul bigger loads easier.

I wonder what the guys and gals who use the Kong have to say about it?
Just saw your post Baltoro thanks.

I just weighed my haulers. 2:1 is about 2# 8oz. The KBR is 1# 2.25oz.

Wes

Offline mhudon

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 12:50:00 pm »
My total 2:1 haul kit, including the bag and all the biners you need to hang it from the anchor, weighs just a hair less that 2 lbs 4 ounces.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 01:53:02 pm »
I use the 2:1, the Kong, or a big sheeve pulley depending on the load, and route.

The kong is perfect for heavier guys, and normal wall loads.  Very high end sealed bearing sheeve.

The small guys, well don't have enough behind them so a big sheeve or 2:1 is the way to go.

Quote
The Kong Block Roll is way too heavy for anything, imho.

The Kong is a good product, and obviously somebody broke out the drug scale, and well the kong is not really that heavy.

Have you ever used the kong block roll Mark?  There are WAY more ways to skin a cat than the 2:1

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 05:41:44 pm »
I've got a KBR and have never used it. My 2:1 use a large CAMP pulley on top and a medium CAMP pulley on the bottom. I also use a Microtrax as the progress capture pulley on the 2:1 rig which has damn good efficiency for such a small pulley (Minitrax at 71%, Microtrax at 91%, Protrax at 95%) when you switch to 1:1. Works well for me and if I'm dying to get a larger pulley as part of my 1:1 then I can always use the top CAMP pulley from the 2:1 rig but that's never been the case thus far.

Piton Pete swears by the KBR and the 2:1 which makes me think that he uses the KBR as the progress capture of the 2:1 which makes no sense to me. But I've yet to come close to his level of freight hauling, nor do I ever want to.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 08:05:10 am »
I've held one but it just doesn't fit in to my system. I never haul 1:1. At the start of the route the bags are too heavy and at the top I'm too tired. Besides, I simply never want to work that hard.

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 09:43:37 am »
I hauled a bag with only 2.5 gallons of water and two rain flies in it up a pitch this last weekend. 1:1 hauling for lyfe in that situation!
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Wes Goulding

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 12:25:47 pm »
Yes! Good info.

I wonder how heavy a load, with respect to my own weight,  could be hauled with the KBR, or microtrax? Here's my point, on heavier hauls the 2:1 seems like the way to go. More weight or load due to longer routes, multiple people, low angle (high friction) hauls seem like 2:1.  What about the shorter walls or routes that are climbed faster. What about lighter loads due to less stuff, less days on the route, less people in the party, and steep frictionless hauling?  Say you want to climb routes in a couple three days, and spend one maybe two nights on the wall, with or without a partner, over a weekend so you can get back to work on Monday, which system/device would you bring?

I guess I probably should just put together all my stuff, weigh it and see for my self how each of these work.  :)

Wes

Offline johnmac

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 12:58:43 pm »
The stuff I do in Zion I use a 1:1. Most of the time it is two nights out, sometimes three. I can carry everything in one metolius half dome haul bag. I don't take any luxuries since I came from an alpine climbing background.

Offline Garbonzo

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 02:48:58 pm »
I have both, and I am a convert to the 2:1.  Once the bags get light enough you can even switch to 2:1 leg hauling even.  My goal with hauling is to haul fast enough to not be a big slow down, yet minimize how trashed you get.  Leading will trash you plenty on its own without destroying yourself with freight handling.  Generally speaking I am in wall camping mode, so 3-4 pitches per is all I am after anyway.

Walls are what I do for vacation, not self flagellation.  YMMV.

Offline lambone

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2014, 06:45:29 pm »
I love the Block Roll. I can 1:1 solo most loads after the 1st or 2nd day with it.

It's kinda heavy so I like to use a tag line and tag it up at the anchors.

Tried a 2:1 a couple times and got so frustrated with how long it took to re-set between each pull I quickly gave up. I'm sure I'm doing it wrong...but gimme the Kong.

Offline Chad

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2014, 08:23:16 pm »
The Kong Block Roll is beef and certainly effective. Good quality bearing in the pulley and a confidence inspiring rope grab. Like the Petzl ProTraxion, it is possible to load the rope without taking the device off of the master point/hauling carabiner because one side of the extended sheave has a snap hook and the other side has an elongated hole that allows it to move up, so you can disengage the snap-hook side.

The one thing I don't like about it that much is that if you end up pulling absolutely straight down on the unit, the rope rubs on the rope grab part of the compound device.

I find myself reaching for the microtraxion, Petzl ProTraxion, a CMI RP 103 Pulley/Ascender combo, most often, even though I own a Block Roll. I haven't tried Ammon McNeely's suggestion of piggybacking a 2:1 ratchet with a Petzl ProTraxion on a climb (running the 2:1 off of the lower carabiner hole), but that sounds really interesting as long as the Z cord doesn't rub.

Required Disclosure: part-time employee of REI, Inc.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 05:27:55 am by Chad »

Offline Skully

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2014, 11:42:49 pm »
I've used both & I probably will continue to, as I don't have a Kong......We used Caz's. Sweet unit, that. :mrgreen:

Offline Wes Goulding

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2014, 12:10:34 pm »
Good information thanks.

Lambone-In your estimation how heavy a load can you 1:1 with respect to your own weight? 

Thanks everybody.

Wes

Offline mhudon

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2014, 12:22:24 pm »
You're doing something really wrong, Lambone, the Chongo 2:1 system takes simply no time to set up between pulls.

Offline Garbonzo

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2014, 11:24:38 pm »
I concur.  It is about the same amount of frigging as it takes to tend to a 1:1.

Offline lambone

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2014, 11:49:42 am »
Ya I dunno, last time I tried it was with Keenan's rig hauling up the Heart Slabs to Mammoth. Some of those belay stances are kinda awkward for hauling. My progress was painfully slow and i couldn't get any sort of rhythm going so I bagged it and transferred back to the Kong. Counterweight hauling was much more efficient. Given that I had never practiced it and it was set up for Keenan's height reach and he's about 2ft taller then me.

Offline mhudon

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2014, 11:57:24 am »
Ultimately, in all of this big wall BS, it's what works for you and makes you happy, nothing else, and certainly no one else's opinion, really matters.

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2014, 12:35:40 pm »
The thing about the 2:1 is that different belay stances require different lengths on the Z-cord. This is why you clove the Z-cord to a carabiner clip in point so the extension or retracting of length is quick. After a while, it's easy to eyeball.
I've found that if you've got a ledge, then it works best to attach the biner to your belay loop and sit-haul. Without a belay stance, it's faster to clip one ladder to the Z-cord biner and the other ladder to the anchor then either leg-haul or standing-body-haul.

Basically, it took a few walls to really figure out the most efficient types of hauling with the 2:1, but since my low body weight made it impossible to 1:1, I had to devote the time to make it work. I live close (enough) to the valley to spend the time, if I was further away like Lambone, I'd probably just stick to the 1:1 since if works so that I'm not wasting precious valley wall time getting back to square one.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Wes Goulding

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2014, 05:46:36 am »
Thanks for the replies.

My way of setting the Z cord length.
Hang the device up on top bolt.
Figure out where I will be standing.
Put the Basic, that will be attached to the rope during hauling, right up to the micro-trax that is the progress capture portion of the ratchet.
Pull slack out of z cord.
Squat down and tie the clove to your belay loop biner.
This is a good start. Adjust as necessary.

YMMV M2C

Wes

Offline S.Richards

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2014, 12:58:51 pm »
The easiest way to adjust your z cord is clove hitching it around TWO beiners. Makes the knot sooo much easier to untie.  Just twist the beiners and the knot comes loose

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2014, 06:22:56 pm »
Nice trick Skot. That's going in my quiver.
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Offline S.Richards

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2014, 09:22:28 pm »
Anyone who's had stuck bags knows how tight that clove can get. Made even worse with fourth day 'wall fingers'

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Offline johnmac

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2014, 08:08:19 am »
Thanks for the tip!


Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2014, 07:58:30 pm »
Well, the benefit of the Kong is that you can haul heavier loads 1:1 than you could with any other hauling device, because it had the most efficient pulley.  But it is big and klunky.

So now - FINALLY - Petzl has redesigned their Pro-Trax with a much more efficient pulley, and hopefully improved the strength and design of the thing, because the old design was pretty crappy.  [Weak, inefficient, deformed easily, required carabiner through the hole, failed under heavy loads, etc.]

The new Pro-Trax could well supersede the Block Roll as my preferred 1:1 hauling device.  Anyone tried it?  It ain't cheap, either. 
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Kong block roll or 2:1 ratchet or both or what?
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2014, 09:55:59 pm »
I'm too light and small (118lbs) to even think about 1:1 for most of my stuff so it's a moot point for me as I just use a large pulley for my 2:1 and a micrtrax for my progress capture. I'll probably get the protracted at sons point because I have a serious gear habit. Currently not even the block roll is good for me, I'd be surprised if the new protracted changes anything.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.