Project Kong

The ambition to on-sight 7a by an older man returning to climbing.

Archive for the ‘equipment’ Category

Practice falls and damage to the rope.

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After doing loads of practice falls I’ve started getting a little bit more concerned about the wear and tear on the rope. I’ve found this great site which works out your fall factor based on your weight, length of rope and distance from last bit of gear.


But how many can I do before I need to change the rope???


Written by Journo

May 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

Beastmaker – the number one choice for all budding Kongs

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After extensive research, exhaustive research by a man with more money than power. The choice was made. Foregoing larger brands with more holds, or innovative uses  of plastic, metal, or wood. I have decided to buy and install the Beastmaker. It has arrived and it has overwhelmed my expectations.

The holds feel non tweaky, skin friendly with a nice progression from the bigger holds to the smaller ones.

I particlurly love the top of the board which has a couple of jugs which are great for warming up and for doing body tension and core muscle work. IE lifting my legs parallel to the ground to work the core.  But the rest is made up of these great sloppers. The middle one is quite easy but the two on the outside are just hard enough to hold but with any swinging around I peel off them. These are going to be great for encores and frenchies.

This is the beastmaker 1000 on it's frame.

I’m having a few problems on the smaller edges and pockets and can’t even hang some of them. So it’s great to have something to work up to. I’m new to finger boarding and paranoid about injury so i’m going to do a couple of months of slow acclimatisation and just mix it up with my other climbing and only during the 3 week power phase. I’m also going to combine it with the turntillburn heavy finger rolls to get some synergistic boost.

One final note is which board is best for any one person. I’ve just done a couple of font 6c in Albarracin in Spain and I feel the 1000  is the right board for me. The 2000 would probably be too hard, although I would like to try and hold the monster sloping slopper!

The beastmaker website is also great and has a full training program on finger boards and other stuff which is all really useful. I’m going to tailor it to myself and will report back with my own plan when it has been honed down. After all the number one rule is do not copy anybody else’s plan (unless they are your identical twin and stronger than you)

Written by Journo

April 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Turntillburn verdict

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I’ve got to give this product the thumbs up. I have noticed a real break through in my strength plateau using this product. Every week I can feel myself getting fitter on it and my forearms reacting really well to it. It’s the only thing I have which actually exercises the forearm muscles in a dynamic rather than static way. For a climber who spends all his time gripping and holding a static position it’s a totally new feeling. I feel that the synergy between this and my other static training is huge.

I found it after looking at Eric Horst’s books on climbing training which go on about heavy finger rolls using a hugely expensive ball bearing sleeved bar bell and massive weights and huge spotting rig. The turntillburn seems to do the same from a rotating pull up bar. Check out the website as it has loads of good articles on it.

Written by Journo

March 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Pump rocks

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manotracBought myself a pair of pump rocks or rather Fixe Manotracs, a name which carries no significance for me.  They are awesome for free floating pull up type exercises. I worry about doing more than a few days of finger work a week but want to build up the big pull muscles so i can show off a parties with a one arm pull up. Really useful climbing training!!

The free floating rocks are meant to be better for elbows and shoulders as they move into more natural positions. I use them mainly for either uneven height pull ups in the power training phase or doing five pull ups every minute in the power endurance phase. My aim is to do a one arm pull up on both hands in power and to do twenty minutes and a total of 100 pull ups in the endurance stage.

Written by Journo

September 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Turn until you burn

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Just found a link to this new product. I  have read in a book I am reading about a system of training where you use a really heavy bar bell with ball bearings and lift it up and down by curling and uncurling the fingers. The idea is that it reaches about 160% of your body weight. This causes the growth of forearm muscle much like weight training. This is something which does not happen with climbing or normal climbing training. I’m going to do more research and see if this is a piece of kit worth buying.

Written by Journo

July 15, 2009 at 2:33 pm

quickdraw decision

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Ok I’m a sucker for the most expensive kit. The winner of my extensive search for a new sport route quickdraw is Blackdiamond’s Livewire Quickdraw. Celebrations at Black Diamond will no doubt be continuing late on into the night. It was a close call between the Camp Nano 23 and Wildcountries Helium. But the blackdiamond won. Here’s why…

I decided that the most important thing was not the weight but how easy it was to clip. The Camp nano looked really light but the Krab looks small and fiddly. I am often quite desperate to clip and go and the thought of fiddling around with the feather light Krab and not being able to clip it gave me sweaty palms. The BD Livewire is heavier but it’s got all those ergonomic grooves and specialised shape for clumsy clippers like me to clip quick and move on for the big jug waiting for me two moves above!

The tape or dogbone is quite a factor for me. The skinny tape on quite a few of these quickdraws made me think about tendonitis and they look painful grabbing one of those if the on-site turns into a redpoint. I often try to on-site and if i fail then i try and redpoint it same day. The thick tape on my petzl’s at the moment is a godsend when i’m hanging on for dear life trying to clip. The BD livewire has got a jug like bit of tape. Oh yeah, i could swing around on that.
Snag free nose. Often found it annoying how hard it is to remove bolts. This bit of marketing really spoke to me. Yep, i want snag free.
Oh and they are cool colours. That sealed the deal. Going to order 10 today. Only problem is they are 18.95 euros. But i figure i’m going to cliping these things every week so they will get better and better value.

Written by Journo

July 1, 2009 at 10:37 am

Posted in equipment

The perfect quickdraw

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Organising a trip through europe visting some big crags with long routes and need a rack of 20 quickdraws. I have about a 12 at the moment and some are from the last time i climbed over 10 years ago.

I thought it was all about lightness. Started just looking for lightness.

Now i read that there are issues regarding the removing or cleaning of quickdraws from the cliff. True I have had problems, many problems cleaning routes after an ascent. It would be nice to have a crab which came away from bolts more easily.
Then apparently the wire ones are not as nice to clip. Well i’m often desperate to clip and move on without wasting energy. So the choice gets harder!
So what is the perfect quickdraw for on-site sports climbing and does it differ from a redpoint quickdraw. Ouch. Yes, it probably does. One should be light and easy to clip the other can be as heavy as you like as it can be preplaced and just sit there.
I have also found other info on how easily the rope runs through the crab. Light quickdraw which adds extra rope drag is worse than a heavy quickdraw through which the rope purrs through without any friction. Ouch. The mind boggles. So time to start some hardcore research and return with answers.

Written by Journo

June 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Posted in equipment