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wet cracks?
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sneville


Feb 17, 2003, 9:00 AM
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wet cracks?
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I am new to trad climbing(past 3months). I was protecting a 5.7 crack with a small camelot and stopper. Both placements seemed good but the crack was wet. I slipped not far above the protection and pulled the stopper then weighted the cam which held for a second and also pulled. I was close to the ground so I did not get hurt. I was wondering if the camelot was weakened due to the wet crack or was my placement poor.


deafclimber


Feb 17, 2003, 9:27 AM
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i would not do that on wet crack ! look for dry spot !


imagineero


Feb 17, 2003, 9:42 AM
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I'm pretty sure this question has been discussed before, but let's do it again anyways.....

placing natural pro is as much an art as a science, but there are a few basics you can get down i guess;

1) Wet is always bad, not just for gear, but for you; who climbs in the rain? It also depends on the type of rock, which you didn't mention. I know the crappy sandstone we get in oz is horrible. The granite I'm climbing on in south korea seems more trustworthy (but often cracks less so there are fewer placements available). I've heard that limestone is pretty good.

2) don't start with active gear if you want to go trad. 6 months on passive gear with a friend (no pun intended) who knows what they are doing will help you infinitely when it comes to evaluating placements. too many new climbers are grabbing cams and other active gear and literally taking their lives in their hands without thinking. Cams are great, but only if you know how to judge the situation. Go passive from the start, your mind, body and wallet will thank you. Apart from that, there are plenty of situations where I'd take a good nut over a cam any day.


sneville


Feb 17, 2003, 9:51 AM
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thanks for the input. Just to set the record straight. I was not climbing in the rain. The crack was damp but did not have water running down it.


danskiz


Feb 17, 2003, 9:56 AM
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I have to agree with going passive at first. Even better learn how to aid climb. Just pick a crack climb to start preferably a small crack(finger) and try to use as much passive gear as possible. Doing this not only teaches you how to spot good placements, but also teaches you to trust your gear.


kennoyce


Feb 17, 2003, 10:00 AM
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what kind of rock was it? also i have to agree with passive pro first.


sneville


Feb 17, 2003, 10:07 AM
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The rock was granite. I have been trying to place as much passive pro(hexs and stoppers) as I can the last couple of months. But I guess I will have to leave the cams at home. Thanks for the advice.


dino


Feb 17, 2003, 10:18 AM
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Definately do the aid thing. You might want to top rope a few short pitches to get used to the ladders etc. It isn't as easy as it looks when you're starting out. I would take the cams too. They don't place the same as passive and you will be using them anyway. So, get 'em out and learn how to place them too. Watch out, you might get hooked on aid climbing. Oh, you will need some extra gear for aid if you plan to go very far...getting stuck halfway up a 5.11 crack with no more gear sucks; unless you lead 5.11.


danskiz


Feb 17, 2003, 10:32 AM
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yea, and switching from aid to free sucks anyway, especially when the first move is 5.11.


mitchal


Feb 17, 2003, 10:36 AM
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WET CRACKS......MMMMMMMMMMMM


bandycoot


Feb 17, 2003, 11:04 AM
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I wasn't sure if this was going to be about climbing or not....


petsfed


Feb 17, 2003, 11:04 AM
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A wet crack will have nothing to do with a stopper blowing. A cam I can see, but not a stopper. Cams often work based soley on friction between the lobes and the rock. Stoppers need a constriction to keep from popping out. It sounds like your placement wasn't so good. Always pull test your pieces (with yourself in a good position so you don't fall). I've placed plenty of pieces that seemed solid enough but when I gave them a good stout jerk they flew right out. Keep practicing and always test before you need to know how good it is.


rprp


Feb 17, 2003, 1:17 PM
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I'd guess that your main problem was with the placement. The friction might be lower when the rock is wet, but the cam should still sqeeze tight. This is particularly true if there was any corseness to the rock.

Granite stays strong wet, but sandstone and some other rocks don't.


climbingcowboy


Feb 18, 2003, 12:51 AM
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I would have to agree that it was your placement of the piece that caused it to fail not because it was wet. Try setting up a top rope some where and placing gear and learning what will hold and what wont, you can even do it on aid, BUT DO NOT go and try to start aiding up pitchs of some crack some where until you know what your doing, you just blew 2 pieces and hit the ground imagine blowing 6 or more PRACTICE ON TOP ROPE first, and have stick with it belive me passive gear is your freind.


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