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Gear Review: Trango BallNutz - Next Adventure

Gear Review: Trango BallNutz

Value Rating: 8 Durability Rating: 5 Overall Rating: 7 Location of Test: Rock Creek, Tuolumne Meadows, Broughton Bluff Duration of Test: 1 year Product Name: Ballnutz Product Brand: Trango Best Use: Trad climbing where pro is sparse and small Sizes: #1 Weight: 31 g Strength: 7 kN Range: 3.7-6.4 mm #2 Weight: 39 g Strength: 8 kN Range: 4.8-9 mm #3 Weight: 49 g Strength: 8 kN Range: 6.1-11.6 mm #4 Weight: 58 g Strength: 8 kN Range: 7.8-13.8 mm #5 Weight: 73 g Strength: 8 kN Range: 10.3-17.5 mm, Trango BallNutz My rack of BallNutz The Full Review: One of the much-maligned pieces of climbing gear is the elusive BallNut. Manufactured by both Camp and Trango, BallNutz are far from a typical piece of climbing gear. Based on the same principle as a dynamically placed Tricam, BallNutz consist of a sliding brass semi-globe that is spring loaded and retracted by a trigger. The “ball” retracts into a grove of a crack and then release when the climber lets go of the trigger. Though rarely useful, BallNutz are a lifesaver when you need them. Because they’re so thin, they’re able to fit in tiny parallel cracks where a cam would be too big, and a nut wouldn’t lodge. While climbing a 5.8R in Rock Creek, I found myself attempting a sandbagged 5.8 move with only friction slab foot placements and tiny crimps. Of course, the only protection I was able to fit in was the second-to-smallest BallNut. The other cool thing about BallNutz is their strength rating. Unlike many small pieces of pro, BallNutz are rated at 8 kN (for reference, all but the two largest C3 cams are rated below 8kN). Admittedly, BallNutz are not the most practical piece of pro. That said, they are extremely useful in certain situations where other pro might leave you hanging, or not as the case may be.
The Good They can really save your ass The Bad: They aren't always practical The Bottom Line: Are you climbing where protection is thin? Think about picking up some BallNutz! Trango BallNutz The only photograph I have of a placed BallNut, which I placed in the dash of my car while practicing anchor building on the way home from Yosemite.
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