Every climber has been faced with that difficult moment on a hard route when the last bolt is far below you, and the next one is just out of reach. You have no choice but to climb higher and hope to make the clip before your body inevitably gives way to gravity, risking a potentially dangerous fall. Italian climbing gear company Kong has advanced the sport with the invention of the Kong Panic, a climbing aid that provides extra reach to distant bolts and anchor points. The device essentially serves as a quick-draw extension with added technical safety features.
The Kong Panic is made from tubular webbing and an inner flexible bar which contributes just enough rigidity to stand up straight while still allowing enough flexibility for the shaft to be bent in any direction the user desires. A loop hole on the far end is wide enough to be attached to a carabiner or quickdraw which is used to clip into your rope, while the head is built into a carabiner that boasts a unique, spring-loaded mechanism.
With the slight push of a finger, this mechanism holds the gate of the carabiner open and keeps it in place beneath the lip of the spring as you perform the clipping process. An open gate makes for easy, stress-free clipping. Once connected to a bolt, the pressure on the inside top portion of the carabiner releases the spring and shuts the gate closed. That maintained pressure prevents the gate from accidentally opening while clipped, even when forces are applied from the outside. The gate will not open until it is lifted free of the bolt for removal during route cleaning.
The Kong Panic is ideal for use at the sport climbing crag. The innovative aid is perfect for reaching distant bolts when onsighting, providing that extra reach for clipping bolts on hard projects, or when you’re exploring unknown territory and want to take an extra measure of safety.
Kong has long stood by its mission to provide safer climbing technology to an industry where risk is a prevalent factor. The device is available in both standard 30-centimeter and extra large 45-centimeter lengths. You can purchase the Kong Panic for $30 through Barrabes and other online retailers.