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Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien?
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cantbuymefriends


Jul 8, 2010, 4:12 AM
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Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien?
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I'm currently working a route that's about 50 ft long.
The crux is 1/4 from the top, and the only gear is a perfect parallell-sided crack about 1/2-way up, that's JUST too small for my green Alien.

I figure, were I to take a fall, even with an attentive belayer, with some reasonable slack not to hinder my movements I would end up hanging just above the ground, with rope stretch and all. Making the fall factor at least close to 1.0.

Just above the crux is a good rest with good gear, so don't worry about cratering from the top.

What do you say, would you trust a blue Alien in this situation?(provided I can get my hands on one...)
Or do you have other suggestions?
The WC Zero in the corresponding size (#4) is only rated to 6 kN, as I can see, while the blue Alien is rated to 9.3 kN.

Edited to add rope info and some theory:
Beal Booster, Impact force 7.3 kN
A guesstimate is that a FF1 fall gives 70% (sqrt(2)) of a UIAA fall, hence 5.2 kN
Double that with the pulley effect of the biner = 10.4 kN hmmm...UnimpressedUnimpressed

The friction not making the pulley effect equal to 2, and that the fall is in reality some less that 1.0 might put the force below the rating of the Alien...

(This post was edited by cantbuymefriends on Jul 8, 2010, 4:34 AM)


spikeddem


Jul 8, 2010, 4:39 AM
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Re: [cantbuymefriends] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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Can you place two?

Edit: I realize your number's describing the route are mostly estimates, but: 1/4 of 50 = 37.50. 1/2 of 50 = 25. 25/37.50. = 2/3 With an attentive belayer giving a dynamic belay, I think the fall factor would likely be much less than one.


(This post was edited by spikeddem on Jul 8, 2010, 4:42 AM)


Jnclk


Jul 8, 2010, 5:07 AM
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Re: [cantbuymefriends] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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I've taken a number of falls onto blue aliens from various heights. The little guys (blue alien, tiny TCUs, etc.) have very little room for error in the placements. My point is that I'd be much more concerned about the quality of the placement than the fall factor. If it's a bomber placement, I'd say go for it. Of course you could wire the climb on toprope, but that's no fun.


joeforte


Jul 8, 2010, 5:18 AM
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Re: [Jnclk] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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As said above, I'd place two if possible. If a green Alien is BARELY too big, a Blue might be slightly too small, although they do overlap better than most cams. I'd try a few different types of cams and see what fits best. For example, my TCUs and Aliens seem to cover the sizes in between each other's overlaps (does that makes sense?) If I find a placement between two of my TCU sizes, an alien will usually cover it, and vice versa.

BTW, I have taken a 10 footer, on a blue as my first piece, and touched the ground with my feet as rope stretch. My belayer did not give a very soft catch (it hurt actually), and the alien didn't even deform (often the lobes will deform in hard falls). I think that fall came close to factor 1, but the placement was good.


cantbuymefriends


Jul 8, 2010, 5:38 AM
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Re: [spikeddem] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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spikeddem wrote:
Can you place two?

Edit: I realize your number's describing the route are mostly estimates, but: 1/4 of 50 = 37.50. 1/2 of 50 = 25. 25/37.50. = 2/3 With an attentive belayer giving a dynamic belay, I think the fall factor would likely be much less than one.
I haven't measured precisely. The gear might a foot (or two?) below the halfway mark. Length of cam, (short) sling and biner lowers the pivot point maybe another foot. And every 1 ft lowering of the pivot point brings me 2 ft closer to the ground in a fall.

The rope stretches too, you know. So I don't think a soft or dynamic catch would be a good idea here.


kachoong


Jul 8, 2010, 5:48 AM
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Re: [cantbuymefriends] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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Have you looked into Wired Bliss TCU's? I believe the range of the 0.4 blue is 0.4-0.59 inches. The blue alien is 0.33-0.54 inches. Maybe too big? The plus side is that the blue Wired Bliss is rated to 11kN.

[edit to add] Also think about Ball nuts. I've whipped on these a few times down to the number 2 size. Problem is they are rated to 8kN, but work really well in thin parallel cracks. You may also be able to put in a couple.

What type of rock is it?


(This post was edited by kachoong on Jul 8, 2010, 5:52 AM)


cantbuymefriends


Jul 8, 2010, 5:50 AM
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Re: [joeforte] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
As said above, I'd place two if possible. If a green Alien is BARELY too big, a Blue might be slightly too small, although they do overlap better than most cams. I'd try a few different types of cams and see what fits best. For example, my TCUs and Aliens seem to cover the sizes in between each other's overlaps (does that makes sense?) If I find a placement between two of my TCU sizes, an alien will usually cover it, and vice versa.
Thanks, are the small TCU sizes rated somewhere near the Aliens?
Problem is I don't have any cam smaller than the green, and I'm hesitant to buy 3-4 at 60$ each just to try'em out in this slot Wink
But I'll try and look around in the community to see if I can borrow something.

I'd say the green is about 2-3 mm too big, and the min range for the blue is 4 mm smaller than for the green, so I think it'd be a good fit. (It's also a good place to examine the placement so I wouldn't place it blindly and go.)

joeforte wrote:
BTW, I have taken a 10 footer, on a blue as my first piece, and touched the ground with my feet as rope stretch. My belayer did not give a very soft catch (it hurt actually), and the alien didn't even deform (often the lobes will deform in hard falls). I think that fall came close to factor 1, but the placement was good.
Thanks again, That's what I'm talking bout here, possible "feet-touching-the-ground"-fall with similar fall factor, so that's what I wanted to know. Smile


adatesman


Jul 8, 2010, 5:52 AM
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gothcopter


Jul 8, 2010, 6:02 AM
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I say double up if at all possible.

Also, I would seriously consider buying a screamer.


livinonasandbar


Jul 8, 2010, 7:07 AM
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Re: [gothcopter] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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A study undertaken by Metolius found that, generally, 1 out of 20 BOMBER cam placements will fail. The reasons for such are myriad. Which one of the 20 will you take a fall on? Without redundancy, you're playing Russian Roulette. Your call...


tradmanclimbs


Jul 8, 2010, 7:10 AM
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Re: [gothcopter] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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Perfectly placed micro cams are pretty good but they are not 100% bomber. Purple #0 TCU is about that same size. If the result of a blown piece is bad in that spot I would consider fixing a lost arrow or #1 angle YMMV


cantbuymefriends


Jul 8, 2010, 7:10 AM
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Re: [livinonasandbar] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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gothcopter wrote:
I say double up if at all possible.

Also, I would seriously consider buying a screamer.
Doubling up is an option, if I can find suitable gear.

I have screamers, but as i said before, I'm hesitant to ANYTHING with the possibilty of lengthening the fall.

livinonasandbar wrote:
A study undertaken by Metolius found that, generally, 1 out of 20 BOMBER cam placements will fail. The reasons for such are myriad. Which one of the 20 will you take a fall on? Without redundancy, you're playing Russian Roulette. Your call...
So I'll just go for 19 practice falls before going all in...


(This post was edited by cantbuymefriends on Jul 8, 2010, 7:21 AM)


cantbuymefriends


Jul 8, 2010, 7:18 AM
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Kachoong and adatesman: Thanks alot for all the info! Smile
Edited to add: Oh, and it's granit.

Tradmanclimbs: Thanks, but I'm a total noob with hammering gear so I think I'll pass Blush


(This post was edited by cantbuymefriends on Jul 8, 2010, 7:24 AM)


tradmanclimbs


Jul 8, 2010, 7:31 AM
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Re: [cantbuymefriends] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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Slide the piton in about a 1/3rd of its length with finger pressure to find the correct size. Hammer it in. It should ring loud and clear with the tone riseing in pitch. When the tone stops riseing and stays the same for 2 or 3 blows it is in as good as it will get. Stop hammering and clip. Over hammering may compromise the placement.

If your GF is from the alps she may get arroused by the sound of hammer ringing on piton Cool


dynosore


Jul 8, 2010, 7:42 AM
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I would use a ballnut in this case, backed up with the alien.


Alpine07


Jul 8, 2010, 7:44 AM
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I know that I have not been climbing enough lately by the fact that I saw that as Firefighter 1.


forkliftdaddy


Jul 8, 2010, 8:00 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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My choice would be a BD 0 C3 and/or a Metolius 0 Powercam.

Usually 4 lobes are better than 3 and the Powercam offers wider cam lobes than the Mastercam or TCU. But the C3 is just smaller than the green Alien and bigger than the Metolius unit, a perfect fit perhaps.


jt512


Jul 8, 2010, 8:37 AM
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Re: [cantbuymefriends] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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cantbuymefriends wrote:
I'm currently working a route that's about 50 ft long.
The crux is 1/4 from the top, and the only gear is a perfect parallell-sided crack about 1/2-way up, that's JUST too small for my green Alien.

I figure, were I to take a fall, even with an attentive belayer, with some reasonable slack not to hinder my movements I would end up hanging just above the ground, with rope stretch and all. Making the fall factor at least close to 1.0.

Just above the crux is a good rest with good gear, so don't worry about cratering from the top.

What do you say, would you trust a blue Alien in this situation?(provided I can get my hands on one...)
Or do you have other suggestions?
The WC Zero in the corresponding size (#4) is only rated to 6 kN, as I can see, while the blue Alien is rated to 9.3 kN.

You can use this calculator to compute the theoretical impact force on your gear. FWIW, you'll see that the theoretical impact force is close to the rated strength of the blue Alien. Based on that, I would not trust even a perfectly placed Alien to hold a fall.

However, you have said that the green Alien just barely doesn't fit. That means that you will probably not be able to get an optimal blue Alien placement: halve the rated strength. Now the theoretical impact force is nearly double the likely strength of the placement. Therefore, I would not trust the Alien.

Furthermore, where have you been for the last two years? Have you slept through Aliengate? Enough failures of Aliens under little more than body weight loads have occurred to cast doubt on every Alien in the field. Therefore, I would not trust the Alien.

Furthermore, where have you been the last twenty years? Hasn't anyone mentioned to you the rule of thumb never to have only one piece of gear between you and death? That's one piece of any gear, never mind a micro cam, never mind a micro cam with a history of grave manufacturing defects. Therefore, I would not trust the Alien.

So, there you go, four reasons not to trust the Alien.

Jay


tradmanclimbs


Jul 8, 2010, 8:55 AM
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Furthermore hammering the piton will will look super cool and get your woman all worked up for youCool


Partner climboard


Jul 8, 2010, 9:02 AM
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I agree with most folks here, use 2 non-alien cams and place them carefully.

I'd also recommend equalizing them with a knotted sliding X setup.


fresh


Jul 8, 2010, 9:06 AM
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Re: [livinonasandbar] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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livinonasandbar wrote:
A study undertaken by Metolius found that, generally, 1 out of 20 BOMBER cam placements will fail. The reasons for such are myriad. Which one of the 20 will you take a fall on? Without redundancy, you're playing Russian Roulette. Your call...
link to the study? I read in a metolius cam info packet that 1 in 20 cam placements can fail, but I thought that counted crappy placements, or was complete BS.


tradmanclimbs


Jul 8, 2010, 9:17 AM
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I placed what looked like a decent yellow alien a few weeks ago and gave it a yank test and it greased right out. teried it again, same result so i ran it out to a good pin about 10ft higher. Shit can happen. Most of the time cams are bomber but there are exceptions and with micro cams there is not much room for error.


dugl33


Jul 8, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Slide the piton in about a 1/3rd of its length with finger pressure to find the correct size. Hammer it in. It should ring loud and clear with the tone riseing in pitch. When the tone stops riseing and stays the same for 2 or 3 blows it is in as good as it will get. Stop hammering and clip. Over hammering may compromise the placement.

If your GF is from the alps she may get arroused by the sound of hammer ringing on piton Cool

If you are going to bring it down to your level why not just bolt it?

The OP should buy or borrow some gear. Pretty simple, really. Wired Bliss is making TCUs again and the pricing is good for the quality and the strength ratings are pretty high. Place two good pieces, equalize or put screamers on them, and make sure your belayer is fast on the slack pull. Put a bouldering pad in the LZ even. Unless you've calculated wrong you should at least be slowing down by the time you deck.


Partner cracklover


Jul 8, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Re: [dynosore] Fall close to FF1, trust a Blue Alien? [In reply to]
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dynosore wrote:
I would use a ballnut in this case, backed up with the alien.

^^^ this, except I'd equalize the two. And then I'd get the climb as wired as I could to try to avoid falling.

GO


tradmanclimbs


Jul 8, 2010, 11:12 AM
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Not bringing it down to my level. It sounded like the guy was working on a new climb. if that is the case and the gear sucks at the crux, fixing a pin when he is establishing the climb may be a good idea. I would shy away from the bolt unless the pin sucked. All part of the game. If the climb is allready established then you most will be stuck with the crappy gear.

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