Author Topic: Kong Block Roll  (Read 5480 times)

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Offline Baltoro

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Kong Block Roll
« on: April 08, 2008, 01:11:54 pm »
I picked up a Kong Block Roll recently and mentioned it in the Russian Aiders thread but I wanted people to be able to find this info if they're digging for it later.

Here's what you've missed in the other thread and I'll elaborate a little more here:

"The other new gear try out was my new Kong Block Roll or Roll Block I forget which. This is essentially a 3" uber-pulley mated to a camming toothed ascender. The front plate swivels nicely out of the way so you can clip the Kong in before loading the rope to prevent from dropping anything. This worked well as we practiced transitioning from hauling the bags to lowering the bags and passing knots. Dramatic difference between this and a ProCraption and less hassle than a pulley/ascender combo even though I ws only hauling 80-90lbs. or so."

First impressions:
It's heavy and big. Looking on the interweb I see it is 11" long, 3" wide and 1.4" thick which I consider pretty big (that's what she said) and at 18.5oz. it is not light.

It's cumbersome and definitely not something you'd want hanging on your ass while leading.

It's hard to get your hands on one.

It's more expensive than the other options

So I'll address each of the impressions with my thoughts:
As for the weight and bulk, it's lighter and smaller than the equivalent amount of water that you'd have to carry to replace the extra water you've sweat out using another pulley so if your load is big, the size and weight are worth it.

As for being cumbersome, for me I tag up my anchor kit and hauling gear towards the end of the pitch so I don't have to carry it the whole time. This is pretty standard practice I think for anything bigger than a Mini-traxion.

As for getting your hands on one, I went to the source so to speak and talked to PTPP. He raved about them so much and he hauls so much crap that I figured if anyone knows something about hauling efficiently it would be him. I'm not sure if he can still get his hands on them and I know it was a huge hassle to get so don't be surprised if he can't get one for you but I think he could at least point you in the right direction.

The cost is really minimal when you think about how much a compound pulley costs, this really isn't that much more and for me it is well worth it.

I'll post up more info as I get more time using it but so far it's been great.
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Offline johnmac

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 02:37:52 pm »
Thanks for the info...

How much it cost?

Offline Baltoro

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 06:03:43 pm »
Umm... I'm not sure. I rep for some outdoor companies and I figured Pete would be a good guy to get a product or two into his hands as he's pretty vocal when he likes something so I hooked him up with a Jetboil stove and hanging kit and I ended up getting the Kong at a discount. I think they retail for something like $120.

I've also seen a setup a friend has where he took a big 3" pulley and an ascender and had a metal shop friend combine the two without comprimising the strength which is pretty basic stuff for anyone who knows metal/welding.
Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am too lazy to do either.
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Offline Mike.

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 08:45:07 pm »
Mountainworks in Provo UT is the US Distributor for Kong. They had several BRs in stock when I ordered one last year.
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Offline Mike.

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 10:06:32 am »
BTW, mine was $125, I'm pretty sure including shipping.

Adam ("Scrunch") at Mountainworks helped me out...he was totally on the details and it could not have been an easier or more pleasant retail experience.



Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline johnmac

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008, 05:02:32 pm »
Mike,

How is the ascender attached to the plate. From the photos I've seen it looks like it would pop off. Is this correct.

Thanks.

John

Offline Mike.

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 08:29:42 pm »
Hi, jm,

Funny you should ask. The one thing that struck me about the unit was how light-duty it seems. (This coming from someone who used Wallhaulers and P-Traxes plenty.) And the most questionable aspect was that the ascender portion is riveted onto the main housing using three rivets. One reason I feel the unit is lite is that I own a true rescue pulley which is way more burley and beefy:

http://storrick.cnchost.com/VerticalDevicesPage/Misc/HaulingPulleyPages/HaulPulley642.html

As the site says, the KBR is rated way lower with the ratcheting jaw in use.

http://storrick.cnchost.com/VerticalDevicesPage/Misc/HaulingPulleyPages/HaulPulley720.html

The Storrick site is not hugely expansive or complete by all I could tell, but it's the best third-party comparison of this kind of gear I've found.


Don't get me wrong, I do like the unit a lot--overall it's the easiest-rigging pulley I've used. But if I were serious about mech-advantage systems and jugging weighted haul lines, I would get equally serious with the ratcheting pulley. I would cough up for a true rescue-rated pulley (the KBR is not). What does "life support" mean? From an engineering perspective I don't know. But when retreat is grim or not an option, when bad weather is pulling in, or when your third man is jugging up the weighted line, I'd call all those conditions "life support."

BTW, jm, the pic at the site looks like the ratchet mounts with some keyhole/post affair. I don't have mine in front of me, but I'm sure I would have noticed if it had that biz.

Cheers...
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 08:35:30 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Caz

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2009, 11:55:11 pm »
Sorry to hear that.

From an engineering perspective, nothing. I use the term on my site to tell readers what the manufacturer claims.

Gary Storrick

When did you make that site? It's got some great info on it...
I do this for fun...

Offline Mike.

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 04:47:22 pm »
"From an engineering perspective, nothing. I use the term on my site to tell readers what the manufacturer claims."

Thanks for that, Gary.



BTW...you have nothing to be sorry about. I have referred people to your site many times and will continue to as long as it's up.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Chad

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2010, 05:15:05 pm »
If you are thinking of buying a KONG Block Roll, be aware that there are two versions out there. The older version with the "keyhole slot" fastening is shown on Gary's site. The newer version is shown here:

http://www.kong.it/products/HI_QUALITY/818.jpg

I don't know if it's actually any stronger than the older one, but it looks a lot more reassuring. After ordering the Block Roll, and making a big point that it had to be the newer version, they sent the older one anyway, which was promptly refused.

Haven't used a Block Roll, yet.

Offline Mike.

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2010, 08:11:35 pm »
Wow, really useful point, Chad.

Maybe a good time to mention Adam at MountainWorks in Provo UT. He and MW gave A+ service at a nice price on my KBR. He posts as scrunch on ST.
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Offline lambone

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2010, 10:13:36 pm »
I got mine at the mountain shop for $130 or something.

I use a tagline with it.

Works great.

Offline Chad

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 07:03:26 pm »
Gary,

The place I was trying to get the Block Roll from was in Germany, and my friend Heinz was brokering the deal. I sent him pix of both types, and he corresponded by e-mail in German with the sport shop. It was a very good price for the block roll, but I wasn't psyched for the "picture hanger" version. This was in late spring 09.

Did you mean "CAVER" handle as per your website? Is it the darker blue one upper right? Do you want a lefty or another righty? If you want, I can have Heinz check availability for you.

Hope your shoulder heals up well.

Chad



Offline johnmac

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2011, 12:24:30 pm »
Any update on how you have found using the Kong since purchasing it. Is it your "go to" hauling device now?

Thanks.

Offline Chad

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2011, 01:46:37 pm »
I have one, now, but I haven't really been using it. All the stuff I do here in the northeast is one night out, or so, with loads that aren't too dreadful. In fact I've been adding weight (think bbq grill, cooler) to make it seem more wall-like. So, I have just been reaching for the ProTraxion. People get down on the ProTraxion, and I do think the Block Roll is stronger and safer that the ProTrax, but people have hauled some pretty beef loads on the ProTraxion (See THE ASGUARD PROJECT with Leo Houlding). If people are worried about it, I have heard of them backing it up with a Jumar (which begs the question why not just use the old school pulley/jumar or a Block Roll). However this set-up would make passing knots fast.

The pulley on the Block Roll is sweet with a very smooth bearing and bigger diameter pulley sheave than ProTrax (2.5" OD vs. 2.0" OD). And the integrated cam unit is very good as well. The big pluses are the ability to load the rope while the device is clipped to the anchor and the fact that you don't have to add weight like you would like the old-school pulley/jumar combo. It's sort of heavy/bulky and tends to hang down lower than other alternatives at the belay station.

So the question is when the loads are really big will you want to go with an all in one like the Block Roll, a 2:1 hauling ratchet or a Royal Robbins style pulley and Jumar rig. I kind of like the versatility and light weight of the latter. Plus, you'll probably at least have one 2" pulley with you, anyway?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 04:46:14 pm by Chad »

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: Kong Block Roll
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2011, 08:48:10 pm »
Block-Roll is super easy to add a 2:1 hauling ratchet to.  The nice thing about it is that because it is big and long [that's what she said!] the cam-ratchet is quite a bit lower than its point of attachment.  This means that when you add the zed-pulley, you get nice close tolerances and fit - the inverted ascender comes right up to the teeth in the Block Roll without you having to lower the Block Roll with a Frost Draw or wired stopper as I have suggested in the past.

Yet another negative for the POS Pro-Traxion - when you add a 2:1 hauling ratchet on top of it, you get a lot of slippage of the haul rope as the cam closes on each stroke.  Complete and utter junk, and I don't say this about very much climbing gear, do I?
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