Climbers have long visualized the creation of a a dual-pulley friction saver. By using two pulleys the bend ratio on the rope would be significantly lowered and friction would be reduced to next-to-nothing!
All good in theory, but in practice the dual-pulleys do not behave well. Once installed in the tree it is almost impossible to get the them to 'line up', negating the benefit of having two pulleys. That's when Port-A-Wrap co-inventor Scott Prophett had a eureka moment! Why not get the two pulleys to align by using magnetic force. After some tinkering with the concept he got together with machinist Scott Winningham and the MagBloc friction saver was born.
Just like conventional friction savers, the MagBloc can be installed or removed quickly from the ground or an adjacent tree by using a throwline and weight. Once set, the two-part rope channel snaps together using powerful magnets inset within the system’s grooved, self-aligning frame. This brings the two smooth running pulley sheaves into line, virtually eliminating friction and enhancing the rope bend ratio.
But… climbers need to remember - by reducing friction elsewhere in your system all the heat will be concentrated on the only point where there is friction - that is, your hitch. Be prepared to invest in a 'heat' friction cord or expect the rapid burn-out of standard cords. See previous blog regarding friction cords.
Treetools has not seen one of these units in action so we cannot comment on how good it works! Thanks to Walker Mason for this lead.