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Setting Tri-Cams
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biff


Mar 13, 2003, 11:23 AM
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Setting Tri-Cams
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I got a pink and red tricams, and am very excited about using them.

Last night I was climbing at the gym, and was placing my tricams, in pockes/cracks, whatever I could find. (The Gym I climb at is soid concrete, and climbers are able to lead any pitch on trad gear which is really cool)

One thing I noticed, is that tricams don't set nicely like nuts/hexes, so it seems to me that they are really easy to dislodge and come loose.

Is there a trick to getting these things to set these things solidly?

Is it safe to just throw a sling on them and hope that they don't get pulled by the rope?


jumaringjeff


Mar 13, 2003, 11:46 AM
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hmmm...pro in concrete...i could be wrong in thinking this, but it sounds sketchy. concrete seems so brittle...that's why it's reinforced with steel rebar when it's poured.

as far as placing tricams, i've found that you can set them with a tug like you would with a nut, but it highly depends on the placement. extended slings help too. you can also clip something heavy to it (i.e. large cam) to weight it so it doesn't wiggle loose from rope drag.

i've never had one dislodge, nor have I ever seen it happen.


gyngve


Mar 13, 2003, 1:02 PM
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hmmm...pro in concrete...i could be wrong in thinking this, but it sounds sketchy. concrete seems so brittle...that's why it's reinforced with steel rebar when it's poured.

as far as placing tricams, i've found that you can set them with a tug like you would with a nut, but it highly depends on the placement. extended slings help too. you can also clip something heavy to it (i.e. large cam) to weight it so it doesn't wiggle loose from rope drag.

i've never had one dislodge, nor have I ever seen it happen.

Yeah, pro in concrete is kinda sketchy. Concrete has a high compressive strength but a low tensile strength.


biff


Mar 13, 2003, 1:32 PM
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Concrete [In reply to]
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It is a special concrete .. I personally haven't tested it, but it seems that they have been teaching people to lead on trad there since 1986, without problems.

One thing about the concrete is that it is really smooth, which makes me think that a Tricam placed on real rock will "stick" a bit better than it will in the concrete.

Thanks for the feedback.

Next time I go .. I'll take some photos of a typical tricam placement, and post them here.


quickclips


Mar 13, 2003, 1:43 PM
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Agreeing w/ gyngve concrete is strong in compression, but is very weak in tension (~1/10 as strong), the rebar is put in to transfer a tensile load to a compresive load, and to take some of the loading. I would think that it would be alright.

As far as tricams go, I aways place them and give them a small shock load to keep them in place. But I haven't used any in trad, so I don't know about that.


tcollins


Mar 13, 2003, 1:49 PM
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Here is what I could find from a quick search. I know there is more out there though about this subject:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3155

Personally I look to place them in little dents in the crack. Something to get the littlle point into or behind. A little tug and they tend to set nicely. Yet every placement is different. Take them outside to some real cracks and play around with them. You'll quickly see what will work best in a real world situation.

TD


texplorer


Mar 13, 2003, 3:59 PM
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I place tricams on a shelf at the back of my closet with all the rest of my booty gear and climb on aliens.


naturalhigh


Mar 13, 2003, 7:59 PM
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I love my tri-cams! [In reply to]
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My tri-cams, particularly the smaller sizes, come with me on just about every trad lead. A tri-cam can fit into a wider range of placements than, say, a single nut or hex, and is easily as bomber as any solid placement. They also are great for horizontal cracks and are really the only thing that will work in pockets. Either as a chock or in camming mode - I'll place a tri-cam over a slcd if I have a good stance anyday - and trust it more too. Try yours in real rock before passing judgement.


Partner cracklover


Mar 13, 2003, 8:08 PM
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The main thing is you want to try to seat the nose, or "stinger" of the tricam either in a little divot in the rock (best) or behind a little bump. Give it a tug in the direction of force to seat it, and voila!

In the real world I use them most when setting anchors, as they can be bomber, but sometimes take a little more time (or a second hand) to get nicely set. They're also really good in round pockets like you'll see on Whitehorse (I've never seen anything but a tricam that will protect those pockets) and in horizontal cracks (because you have nylon, rather than metal bent over the edge of the crack).

GO


arlen


Mar 13, 2003, 8:30 PM
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In rock that has friction, a tug will do. I wouldn't use a tri-cam in Devil's Lake quartzite or other smooth rock, because as you've seen it's easier to bump a tri-cam out of placement than an active device.

One thing not to do is push a tri-cam into a shallow horizontal crack. Somebody did that on Sabre at Leavenworth WA and basically welded two red tri-cams in. You need to get at the tri-cam from both top and bottom in order to clean it. And a stuck tri-cam is useless to other climbers, because there's no wire to clip, so you're left with the nylon sling that's had unknown UV exposure.

BTW, anybody been up Sabre recently and seen if they're still there?


onamission116


Mar 16, 2003, 5:15 PM
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depending on the rock and crack, they usually set pretty good, especially in horizontal cracks. I've fallen on ones that I considered sketchy when placing them, and they caught me without a problem. Not to say that they are always bomber of course, but a little tug on the sling should set it well enough for most placements. Be sure to do this in camming mode just to be sure it's stable.
Thats cool about the concrete if it's indeed stable and safe. Where is this gym located?


brutusofwyde


Mar 18, 2003, 5:10 AM
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Lots of good comments in this thread...
Smooth concrete sucks for placing tricams... or cams for that matter.
I've seen cams in optimum retraction (80%) skid out of smooth, parallel-sided concrete "cracks".

Tricams can also be a bear to clean.

What I do on the smaller sizes is tape a coathanger wire stiffener to the sling. This allows the second to use the wire to push the tricam deeper in the placement while using the hook of the cleaning tool to pull the stinger of the cam out of the placement. This reduces the effective "width" of the cam (just like pulling a trigger on an slcd) and the tri-cam can then be cleaned easily.

without the stiffener, a well-jerked tricam can require at least two nut tools to remove.

Brutus (And yes, they go om most every alpine climb I do).


dirtbag


Mar 22, 2003, 5:12 PM
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brutusofwyde -

A clarification please. Wouldn't a nut-tool serve much the same purpose?


brutusofwyde


Mar 23, 2003, 12:04 AM
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Re-read my post:
The wire is used in addition to a nut tool to clean the tricam. The key is to be pushing "back" on the rails (with the wired sling) while pulling "out" on the stinger with the nut tool.

This is not necessary in all placements of course, but in the smallest sizes (pink, red and brown tricams) where my fat fingers can't reach and manipulate the metal "egg", the wire stiffener makes a huge difference.

If you own some tricams, try it out and you'll see what I mean. Using two nut tools will work just as well, but the wires are more convenient, and also allow placement of the tricams in boxed-out pin scars just out of reach.

"But that sounds like it requires two hands."

It does. Cleaning ANY hard-to-clean placement requires two hands. That's what the word "Tension!" is for. :)

Brutus


gyngve


Mar 23, 2003, 1:30 AM
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In rock that has friction, a tug will do. I wouldn't use a tri-cam in Devil's Lake quartzite or other smooth rock, because as you've seen it's easier to bump a tri-cam out of placement than an active device.

One thing not to do is push a tri-cam into a shallow horizontal crack. Somebody did that on Sabre at Leavenworth WA and basically welded two red tri-cams in. You need to get at the tri-cam from both top and bottom in order to clean it. And a stuck tri-cam is useless to other climbers, because there's no wire to clip, so you're left with the nylon sling that's had unknown UV exposure.

BTW, anybody been up Sabre recently and seen if they're still there?

Two of them were there back in October.


davidji


Mar 23, 2003, 10:44 PM
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Re: Setting Tri-Cams [In reply to]
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I got a pink and red tricams, and am very excited about using them.

Last night I was climbing at the gym, and was placing my tricams, in pockes/cracks, whatever I could find. (The Gym I climb at is soid concrete, and climbers are able to lead any pitch on trad gear which is really cool)

One thing I noticed, is that tricams don't set nicely like nuts/hexes, so it seems to me that they are really easy to dislodge and come loose.

Is there a trick to getting these things to set these things solidly?

Is it safe to just throw a sling on them and hope that they don't get pulled by the rope?

Are you sure you know how to place them properly, and that you were using the correct sizes in your placements? I rarely if ever see tricams pop. The more common complaint is the opposite--hard or slow to remove.

I mostly use the 4 smallest sizes (probably red the most), but the #7 (yellow) is incredibly useful sometimes too. I guess it depends what you're climbing...

David


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