Author Topic: popular cams  (Read 1649 times)

Offline Schandy

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: popular cams
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2004, 07:06:11 AM »
My theroy on vegitation...if I could hit it on the way down I can pull on it on the way up. ;)
     I've been using BD 0.5-3 and a rigid WC #4 as the big pieces on my rack. Going to double up on the 1 and 2 BD as soon as I can get the new fancy ones.  Probably get another 3 or 3.5 rigid friend.  Those big friends can't be beat, small ones suck.  I have a mix of micro cams that I have bought one at a time.  I have the purple TCU, green alien, yellow TCU, and the grey 'gunks' alien.  Green alien is my favorite piece, followed by the grey alien and the yellow TCU.  
     The rock empire cams are kinda odd.  The two innermost lobes are right next to each other, making a giant TCU.  They kind of wobble a little and have flimsy weak triggers.  You get what you pay for to some extent.  They would be a great starter rack or if you were planning on going to the desert.  
    The DMMs seem like a classed up rock empire cams.  One of my partners has them and I can't quite get the feel of them.  They are nice cams, just not my favorite.  I think they are sized exactly the same as the WCs, but I've never compared them (shocking...made by the same company and all).  I didn't like the zero cams that much, ok, but no alien or TCU.  Just my opinion.  Hexes and tri-cams rule.  I'm looking for one of those monster tri-cams for my rack.  Something in the range of a #4 BD.  Think about how much more fun wide crack climbing would be with one of those to futz with.     ;D

Offline scottie_c

  • NEClimbs Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: popular cams
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2004, 07:21:35 AM »
without a doubt, all the most popular cams have already been mentioned...

Offline Tim

  • NEClimbs Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Good thing its run-out, or i'd run out of gear!
Re: popular cams
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2004, 07:44:39 PM »
Okay!  Yer all a bunch of Gear Happy Weenies!
First my credentials;  I've been climbing my entire life, and leading for half of that, and guiding for a quarter of it!  I on-sight lead 5.11 trad, 5.12 sport, have climbed to 6000 meters numerous times, and have FA's above 15,000 ft., and I climb 300-plus days a year. 8) (and i'm not a trustafarian)  I'm a climber!
Here is what I've learned.  Without endorsing any one brand (but surely dissing some).
1) You get what you pay for.  $20 cams work like $20 cams!  $60 cams work like $60 cams!
2) Don't double-up on shit!  Unless the pitch contains a "splitter" or 4 plus-inch crack that is longer than two body lengths, or if the belay isn't bolted (which never happens anymore)  Thin-air doesn't count, the belay takes thin gear that you don't use on the pitch.  On all of Cathedral, the only one that comes to mind is Retaliation; It's hard to build an anchor after the crux lead.  Most people bring way too much shit up the wall with them.  Be crafty with your nuts and you won't need more than one set of cams.
3) I have safely climbed the Prow, the Mordor Wall, Recompense, Moby G, and all of the North End Cracks without a cam on my harness.  They aren't as essential as you all think!  Remember way back...They were designed for Indian Creek-style climbs.  Next time you climb, put your cams on the back of your harness and try to use nuts as much as possible.  You might find that cams aren't as important.
4) I have fallen on every piece of gear I own (from the 00 Metolius and numerous small nuts, to the 6 friend that I borrowed from a friend last week) and (knock on wood) since I started leading in '92, have never had a piece "blow".  
5) If your brand of gear determines whether you succeed or fail on a route, you're gettin' soft brother!  It's all personal preference!
6) If it's not a "locker" it has a wire gate on it!
7) My students can always get $60 cams out of the rock.
8) All you need is right here!
1 set of thin stuff up to yellow TCU or Alien.
1 set of cams from grey to yellow.
Rack each cam on its own Neutrino or Omega Jr.
1 set of nuts (double the 6-10 if needed)
pink and red Tri-cams. (if you're climbing with someone who's familiar with how to get them out) I never guide with them!
4 quick-draws
6 runners(one biner each)
3 lockers
Two cords
9) When you attain an "eclectic" mix of cams you end up too much over-lap in some areas and not enough in others.  One rack should consist of two brands one brand for the thin stuff and one brand of mid-large stuff (Though W.C. and BD have the mid-large stuff figured out, they don't know how to make thin stuff.  And though TCU's and Aliens have the thin stuff wired, stay away from their bigger stuff)  Well, i guess i did it, I endorsed!  Really folks, those are the only brands you need to know.  All that other cheap stuff works well when you need four sets of each size in Indian Creek or if you haven't started making a five digit income yet, but around here they don't matter.  I own cheap cams, but they get used in Utah only.
I'm a bit oppinionated, but it comes from experience.  Take from this what you will!
Just about everyone I climb with used to climb with two sets of cams (at least the popular sizes) I have weened them off of this bad habbit, they bitched a little at first, but now they are true believers!
If you can't stop eating the fast-food and twinkies, it's the quickest way to lose 1-2 pounds!

« Last Edit: September 28, 2004, 07:48:23 PM by Tim »


  • Guest
Re: popular cams
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2004, 10:22:18 AM »
Well said Tim.  100% in agreement.

Offline Stickyfingerz

  • NEClimbs Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Goosfraba!!!
Re: popular cams
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2004, 12:36:24 PM »

4 quick-draws
6 runners(one biner each)

Does this mean that you never place more than 10 pieces per pitch? Or do you not extend every placement even with a quickdraw? How about extending pieces in a belay anchor to reduce vector forces? Just curious.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. - Mark Twain

Offline DWarriner

  • NEClimbs God
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
  • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Re: popular cams
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2004, 12:47:47 PM »
RE: Tim you make a lot of good points - I particularrly agree with #5.

One thing though.... Point #2 Doubling up on cams....

Although I agree with you in principle, there is one very important thing to keep in mind.

As you state you climb 300 days out of the year.

Try leading 25 days out of the year and see what your rack looks like.

I used to keep one of everything and spent too much time dicking around with stoppers.  Once I started doubling up on cams I started climbing 2 grades harder.  Cams might be heavy, but they're fast.  Speed is as important as weight.  I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I don't think the issue is as black and white as someone with your experience might think.

If I climbed 300/days per year, I'm sure my rack would be a lot like yours.

There are no stupid questions - only stupid answers.

Offline Tim

  • NEClimbs Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Good thing its run-out, or i'd run out of gear!
Re: popular cams
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2004, 04:18:49 PM »
Good point DW!  But my girlfriend and most of my friends don't climb nearly as much as I do, and they've learned to deal.  Doubleing up cams as an early leader will help increase your grade, but once you get more comfortable, size down, the lack of "clutter" will then give you another boost in the grades.
The first time I tried to free the Prow, I had doubles of finger to hand sized cams.  The first time that I freed it, I had one set of cams to about 2 inches and a set of wires. I really feel that the weight reduction made a huge difference.
And Mr. Stickyfingers... To answer your questions.  You don't need to put a runner on every piece.  Only the ones that need them.  If it's a straight crack (I.E. Airation, Chicken D, They Died, etc.) you don't need to worry about reducing drag with runners, and most of the placements are in "pods" in which your gear would have difficulty walking out of, or deaper into.  On these I bring enough quickdraws for the amount of stoppers I'm going to place.  Each cam is on its own beaner, and those placements which don't need draws, get the rope clipped directly into them.  Just be concious that when you climb past a cam with no runner, there is a good chance that you will produce an outward tug on it, make sure it stays put!  When you clip a shoulder length into the cam, it gets clipped into the biner that was the "racking" biner, and the rope gets clipped into the one you had hanging on the runner.  If you need to clip the shoulder length into a nut, canabalize one of the biners off of another runner.  
If you clip directly into cams that don't need runners or draws and use draws where needed, you can get 15+ placements per pitch.  And most of our pitches here aren't even 60 feet!  As with anything there is room for flexibility.  I bring 10-12 draws on rope-drag nightmares like the Whitney G and leave all but two quickdraws in the truck.  With this it is very reasonable to do the ridge in three pitches.  
I almost never use runners in the anchor.  If you do, you are screwing the leader of the next pitch out of essential gear.  If it is essential to reduce "V" forces, use a spare prusik, or a piece of your rope (you're gonna pull up 40 to 100 feet of it before putting your partner on belay) you can probably find a four foot piece somewhere near your end to extend one piece of the anchor.  My two anchor cords are tech-cord, one is a eight-foot loop and the other is a 10 foot loop.  If used on the right belays, you can safely equalize any anchor.
Hey consider your asses lucky!  Most people who get this kind of beta out of me are paying $200+ a day!
Take care out there!  Understand that this is all my opinionated opinion, and usually when i get rambling on this thing that there is an empty beer or two in front of me!  Take from it what you will.