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timpanogos


Jan 1, 2003, 5:44 AM
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Im thinking about tripling up on my smaller cams please give advice on what you would do. I currently have:

3 sets of nuts from micro to largest (mix of Metolious, ABC, and Wild Country)
2 sets of micro offsets (mix of DMM and HB)
2 sets of cams to size 3.5 DB/4 Friend (mix of zeros, tcus, ridged friends and Camalots)
3 hybrid aliens

Expected short to mid term playgrounds solo C2 quartzite, and granite in BCC, LCC, Rock Canyon and C2 sandstone in Moab, Zion and Red Rocks

Im thinking about adding the Metolious Technical Friends from 00 to 2, but Im also wondering if I should do the Offset Technical Friends for a 3rd set on the larger ones, and triple up on the smaller TCUs (or zeros) or do I need doubles from my current top to 6 friends?

I think one of my greatest fears in trad or aid, founded or not, is to run out of needed gear to continue upward and start leaving the likes of PTPP some incredible booty as I leave all my precious gadgets all over the place trying to bail off the darn thing.

I remember too well my multi-pitch trad beginnings with two sets of normal nuts and 1 set of cams, getting pretty sketched out, and using less than optimal placements because the needed pieces were in your belay or route below you.

The last short c2 I did required extensive back cleaning on my rack, and hence Ive added another set of nuts and a set of HB brass offsets and the hybrid aliens.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and what I need to do to round this thing off. (Damn this more expensive than my full blown boozing/druging alcholic days of past!)

Chad






epic_ed


Jan 1, 2003, 10:00 AM
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I think you'll find more small cams are necessary on a lot of C2 pitches. My preference is Aliens over TCUs. I think you'll also find the full set of HB offsets to be useful (the aluminum), especially in Yosemite for pin scars. Skip the Offset Friends; go with more Hybrid Aliens if you're looking to double up on the small offset cams. And cam hooks will allow you to get through some tight stuff without leaving the precious small stuff as pro. Just my thoughts...I'm still gumby aiding myself. Can't wait to get back to the Valley!

Ed


nimo


Jan 1, 2003, 10:13 AM
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It looks like you have a good start. Now foe beefing up and expanding your rack I would suggest the following; 1 set of aluminum offset nuts, fill in so you have 1 set of aliens (black through red), finish your set of hybrid aliens through y/r, fill in so you have 1 set of TCUs, 1 set of tricams .5-2 and #5&6, at lest 1 set of Lowballs, doubles in your cams to #4 friend, 1 to 2 each size and side Toucans. So to sum it up, for your small sizes have 3 of each size at lest 1 tcu and 1 alien per size the 3rd your choice along with your hybrids. This with a set of lowballs, tricams and nuts should give you 6 or so placement choices for each size. For cams other than your small stuff; you want doubles and preferably triples of each size to #4 Friend. I would suggest rigid friends #2 and up for their price, durability, and weight. I would also consider the Ocune cams for their price and they have a slightly longer stem for long or deep placements, you can get then for $25-28 each. The #5 & 6 Tricam are light for their size and cheep. The tricams are good for belay stations and the odd placements. The lowballs are great for clean aid the #2 & 3 are vary helpful. The Toucans are great for clean aid, they are a lot more secure in sandstone in place of micro nuts if they will fit. For larger cams get the #5 & #6 Tech Friends when you get to doing larger cracks and doubles when you get to it, go with the friends because they have a wider axel and are more stable then the camolots. And cam hooks.

[ This Message was edited by: nimo on 2003-01-01 10:14 ]


crack_head


Jan 1, 2003, 11:12 AM
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get some HB offsets, and as many aliens and you can afford


wallrat


Jan 1, 2003, 12:41 PM
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   Go get yourself some Leeper Camhooks too...they're cheap & fast. Also, I agree with the idea of buying more Aliens. All you can afford. I'd pass on the small Tech Friends, Aliens & TCU's are both better.


johnhenry


Jan 1, 2003, 6:26 PM
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One of the best pieces of advice I have read on here was from Ammon. For speed climbing he recommended keeping one cam hook, a rivet hanger, the green, yellow, and red alien on each lead beaner attached to your aiders. This is not nearly as bulky as it sounds and it works great for moderate aid. Look at Ammon's times! Use rubberbands to tame the slings from getting in your way.

If your a fledgling aid leader like me, you are probably slow as can be and this keeps you back-cleaning and from chewing through the stuff. I just clip the fixed stuff and anything that isn't this size (until I get sketched and then I place a non-aid piece a waist level).

I highly recommend acmeclimbing priced version of the flex cams to augment your stash. These are great, cheap units that allow an aid climber to clip the wire instead of the sling for added reach.

Rock on, john



[ This Message was edited by: johnhenry on 2003-01-01 18:31 ]


atg200


Jan 1, 2003, 7:17 PM
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camhooks are good, but bad karma in the desert. stick to cams as much as possible.

buy another set of aliens black to red, and i like the orange as well. you need some bigger cams if you are going to climb in the desert - pick up a 4 camalot and a 5 and 6 friend. you cannot possibly own enough cams if you are going to aid in moab or zion.


timpanogos


Jan 1, 2003, 9:32 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input, Ive bagged the offset friend idea, and laid out my cam spread sheet/color coding scheme to include a set of aliens (to red) on the smaller cams giving me a zero, alien, tcu and alien hybrid on each of the first 4 sizes (.33 to .67)

Im thinking about trying the 1 and 1.5 DMM 3cus. This will give me a 3cu, Alien and TCU triple on the 5th size (.75 to 1.33). The 6th size (.9 to 1.58) then has a triplet of TCU, 3cu and the .75 BD.

Im then thinking about trying the DMM 4cus as a triple up with my ridged friends and BDs through #4 BD.

The numbers/overlaps/and biner color coding look great on the spreadsheet, which shows min/max/range, sizes at 50% and 66% compression, percentage of next size up numbers etc. if anyone is interest in the excel spreadsheet, let me know.

I actually have about 2 full sets of hooks and cam hooks (I bought KrustyClimber out), took my first aid fall popping on a large pika cam hook. I have a lot of practice to do here cant wait to try out the Russian aiders on the hooks/cams, verses the ladders I was on.

Nimo, what are Toucans? I searched the web and had a hit on Toucan Cam Blade Piton I have not heard/seen of this before, please elaborate.

I did not get any hits on Ocune cams I assume when you say Tricam you are referring to Ocune cams and not the passive tricams (pinky). Is there a different name for the Ocunes? Where can I find these?

Thanks

Chad


brutusofwyde


Jan 1, 2003, 11:44 PM
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Get some Ball Nutz too.

Brutus


atg200


Jan 2, 2003, 7:47 AM
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i wouldn't bother with ocun cams - i much prefer trango flexcams, which don't cost much more. the narrow heads on the flexcams make them work better in huge pin scars than any other medium sized cam i have ever used, and in hand zied or below they are pretty stable.

personally, i would rather have more aliens than the dmm tcu's. especially in the red/orange alien size the aliens work a million times better than TCUs in boxed out angle scars, which you will find a lot of on the desert towers near moab. i have three red aliens besides the corresponding size TCU and offset alien, and i want more.

ball nuts are good, though i've never needed them on C2 or below on the desert. 2 sets were really handy to have on the Sundevil though - i would have nailed for sure without them.

toucans from pika are cool, but you do not need them for C2. great for A2 or hand placing for C3 or above trickery. the newer ones are far better than the old ones - sharper and tapered instead of just being stamped out. pika camhooks suck - replace them with leepers right away. i've blown pika camhooks several times but have always been super solid on leepers.

lots of rivet hangers are pretty much mandatory for the manky "bolt" ladders on moderates in the fisher towers.


timpanogos


Jan 2, 2003, 10:35 AM
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Andrew,

No experience here, but Ive heard that there were better choices in the larger alien sizes I arbitrarily picked the Red alien as the biggest before moving into this vague larger realm.

To date, my system is logically based (not experience/practically based). The system has been to work out combinations of top-brand gear that leaves minimal size holes between cams at optimal compression.

Typically any given brand has about a 20% size difference (at 66% cammed) between their sizes. Carefully picking brands/sizes, I was able to reduce this to a 10% (or less) difference between any two cams with my first 2 sets of cams. I then mapped these to a color coded biner sizing scheme that matches my finger/hand/arm parts.

In several crack sizes (mostly large finger thru hand) this sizing allowed for 3 cams to safely (50% - 90% compression) fit the required size. Mathematically, adding a 3rd set of a different band has improved the numbers even more.

Im looking at the two 3cus based on them fitting sweetly into my color-coded biner sizing scheme. The 23% size jump from a Red to Orange alien actually skips one of my color biner ranges (gray), and the two 3cus add a 3rd cam to these two color ranges perfectly (gray, green)

Red alien 0.67 0.94 (yellow biner)
1.0 3cu 0.75 1.1 (gray biner)
1.5 3cu 0.91 1.4 (green biner)
Orange alien 1.03 - 1.63

This theory has worked nice for trad, but I must admit, Ive never placed pro in a pin scar. There have been several comments mentioning scars, head shapes and twin verses single stem.

Starting one color biner size over green (red 1.14 2.0 tight hand) is where I currently have Forged Friends and Camalots (single stem). So my theoretical brain fart here is to triple up with a dual stem for versatility (DMM 4cus) in these sizes.

So one question is how darn big do these pin scars get? Sure, ganging pins could lead to some pretty big holes, but as far as picking cams based solely on pin scars, is there an upper limit (is 1 + over this limit)?

Also, please comment more on the virtues/vises of dual verses single flex stems in the 1 + sizes).

Brutusofwyde Ive added the ball nutz to my list.

Thanks

Chad


P.S. Andrew, I have about 4 of the slip on hangers, and about 6 of the synch up wires for manky bolts/rivets - please elaborate on what you would suggest count and types of "rivet" hangers.

[ This Message was edited by: timpanogos on 2003-01-02 11:10 ]


spiffdog


Jan 2, 2003, 12:20 PM
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Big fan on ball-nutz here too. But I'd like to offer the cheapest advice so far. If you find yourself doing a lot of backcleaning on moderate routes, you might not be getting high enough in your aiders. Top-stepping as much as possible can really save on pieces. I try to average four feet between placements, but I am 6'1. Adjust accordingly.

Spiff


atg200


Jan 3, 2003, 7:00 AM
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Personally, I really like cams with narrow heads for aiding, and your spreadsheet - although cool - is just not a substitute for getting out and using these things. I love the orange alien, but I do not use any larger than that.

Pin scars are highly variable depending on where you are climbing. On Sundevil in the Fisher Towers, the scars were huge and boxed out, and really nothing but aliens worked period.

I don't bother with the cinching hangers in the desert - they are far more useful in Yosemite. Up to ten is useful to have even on moderates in the Fishers.


twrock


Jan 3, 2003, 7:46 AM
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(Disclaimer: I don't own any Aliens; I haven't done a lot of C2 aiding; so here's some BWT.)

If I had big money and was starting all over again with cam purchasing, I would own either Aliens or Splitter 4 cams in the small sizes for pin scars, mutiples of each. The issue here is head width and single stem. You get nice and narrow heads on the TCU's, but the problem is the U shaped stem. When you shove the U stem unit into the boxed out pin scar, the cable and swage hit the bottom of the hole and the unit sticks out horizontally. Granted that they seem to stick anyway, but it is un-nerving and really mangles your stems after a while (or after a single fall). A single stem allows the unit to rotate downward into a more natural/vertical position.

Another thing about "C2" boxed pin scars is that a number of them seem to have been made with sawed off angle pitons (at least the ones I encountered). So you are looking at a U shaped scar (the "u" on its side). So how you orient your cam is quite important. The somewhat horizontal placement of a TCU actually fits quite well with the three lobes of the cam sitting in the three "grooves" of the scar. (It's kind of hard to explain.) I bring that up to wonder if maybe this is where an Alien is superior to a Splitter 4 cam. The Splitter lobes are directly opposite each other while the Aliens have the two inside lobes on the same side of the head. But I'm only wondering since I don't own either of these units. Maybe someone who does can do a comparison test.

So, I would agree with what others have said and tend toward more single stem units for pin scars. But I would still have TCU's. A variety is a good thing.


rocknpowda


Jan 3, 2003, 8:20 AM
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Why do you need more gear? I've climbed most of the trade routes in Zion with a smaller rack than what you have. Back cleaning on C2 isn't a bad thing. most of the time you are just leap frogging cams anyway.

If there is other stuff you need, borrow it.

Things that I've never had to use, ever:
cam hook
ball nuts
hybrid cams

Spend more of your money on gas and taking days off of work than gear and you'll be able to play with all that cool gear rather than looking at it while you collect more.

Good luck.

Climb on.

Pete


Partner tim


Jan 3, 2003, 8:33 AM
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Cam hooks are cheap as dirt. I can't imagine climbing without them, although all of the aid I have done is on granite.

For about $11 x 4 (regular + micro, one per side), or a couple of tanks of gas, you can crack jug like a monster. Worth it, IMHO. Bike or walk to work for a week and you've equalized out the cost of gas for them. (of course I bike to work every day, but that's just me... I was a messenger in college)

No disagreement about most of the other stuff, although traversing thin baby-expando flakes do appreciate the occasional ballnut.

I may consider doubling up on the Aliens ala Ammon, but god damn, that's an expensive idea. Maybe if someone was selling them on eBay or something, or if I still lived in CA.

Personally my idea of crack jugging is a micro camhook and a regular camhook on each aider, plus the rack for safety, on C2 and below.


atg200


Jan 4, 2003, 10:43 AM
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Yeah, but do not crack jug on sandstone with camhooks. Camhooks destroy soft sandstone - nailing produces cleaner scars.

Someone brought up a really good point about the shape of boxed out scars from angles and sawed off angles. The scars have two deep grooves on one side and one bigger one in the middle on the other. I have found that TCU's are not stable in these, but aliens are with a lot of fiddling. The symmetrical splitter cams wouldn't work nearly as well for these - I don't see any compelling reason to ever get the 4cams for that reason.

You can get away with backcleaning on Zion trades, but backcleaning is psycho on Cutler or Entrada sandstone on desert tower aid routes.


leec


Jan 10, 2003, 10:41 PM
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Not a lot to add other than a set (or two)of DMM peanuts works pretty well on the thinner pin scars.
And don't trust anything in the sand!


climbhigher


Jan 11, 2003, 12:06 AM
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holy gear!!! Batman!! remember back clean alot when aiding C2. One cam every 20 to 25 feet seems good. Hybrid Aliens and off set nuts and lowe balls for the tricky C2 and cam hooks is great gear for clean aid.


agentoffortune


Jan 11, 2003, 12:18 AM
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Aliens.


gawd


Jan 14, 2003, 9:11 AM
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HOOKS ARE KEY


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