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How does a cam hook work?
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cryptoboy


Feb 11, 2002, 3:40 PM
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How does a cam hook work?
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(not sure if this belongs in aid or gear heads)

I understand how a hook works (you place the hook over an edge and hang) but how does a cam hook work?

c


passthepitonspete


Feb 11, 2002, 7:16 PM
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First of all, you are in the right forum because cam hooks are used in aid climbing.

But let's see if YOU can figure it out.

Why don't you try? This is fairly elementary.

Here in the Aid Climbing Forum, we teach the better way. If you are going to be an aid climber, you must learn to be an engineer. Engineers are people who solve problems - and this is a problem which you can solve without the help of Dr. Piton, or anyone else for that matter.

You will learn far more if you do your own research. While you may not be able to find technical big wall solo systems anywhere else but here, basic aid stuff (like cam hooks) is out there on the internet to be found.

It is important to try to figure stuff out, because when you are on the wall, it is a continuous problem-solving process. The reason Dr. P. is pretty good at solving problems, is because he has been forced to do so many times on his own!

So why don't you go hunt down some cam hooks, find us some links, and post them here? I can help you with the html if you like on the links.

I do not mean to be patronizing - I merely mean to be practical. I'm also busy working on some other stuff, and am trying to delegate responsibility to a "patient". Aid climbers must be especially wise in the use of their resources!

In the same way as climbing big walls is just a different kind of suffering, here in the Aid Climbing Forum we have a different way of asking questions and posting answers than you will find in other forums. So please help us out and see what you can find, eh?

This is a good question, as the correct use of cam hooks is FUNDAMENTAL to learning how to practise clean aid climbing.

After you tell us the better way to use cam hooks, then Ammon can tell us how to whip from them!

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! [Diabolical Dr. Evil laughter]

[Hint: Cam hooks are made by Leeper. Put this into various search engines and see what you can come up with. A preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with.]


atg200


Feb 12, 2002, 5:24 AM
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Pika makes cam hooks too. I don't like them nearly as much as the Leepers however(I figured that out while whipping 40 feet or so while rope-soloing because my pika camhook blew).

andrew


stroker


Feb 12, 2002, 6:21 AM
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Are cam hooks considered clean climbing? At least not in sandstone. Have you ever tried to place something in a pod, where a cam hook had blown. In other words, I'd rather use a rurp, beak, head, or anything else a madman could dream up. I save the cam hook for the last resort. Sure, it does deserve props for getting me out of a few binds, yet it has caused blow-outs damn near unusable. Basically, I do not care for these Ed Leeper designs.


atg200


Feb 12, 2002, 6:47 AM
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camhooks are definitely clean in granite - i love the things in yosemite and at devils tower(not granite, but just as hard).

i don't use them in soft sandstone if i can avoid it though. nothing unusual about that-my aid racks for granite and the desert are completely different.

andrew

[ This Message was edited by: atg200 on 2002-02-12 07:29 ]


cryptoboy


Feb 12, 2002, 12:16 PM
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I assume you are saying that as a general
rule and not to me specifically, since I
always try to find the answer somewhere else
first. It's not there, at least not to my
satisfaction. Leeper doesn't have a web site
and my copy of "Big Walls" by Long and
Mittendorf doesn't quite cover it. I take it a cam hook is an "L" shaped hook
that you stick into a vertical slot that
is held into place by the torque of the load?

Is it possible to put two cam hooks into
opposition (one on top needing downward
pull and one on bottom needing upward pull)?

So cam hooks are for hard rock? Do they have
any advantages (over the obvious size/weight)
over a regular cam?

c


atg200


Feb 12, 2002, 12:24 PM
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no, you wouldn't put them into opposition. they aren't going to be anymore bomber that way, and it takes away the speed advantage.

the main advantages in moderate are that they are light and very fast to place and remove. they also works in places where other gear will not-wierd pods and other specialty placements.

you don't use them in soft sandstone because it is easy to blow out placements. blown out camhook placements can't be constructively cleaned to take clean gear like pin scars, so they often end up as rivets. still, you should have a few for the odd tricky placement where nothing else will work.

andrew


cryptoboy


Feb 12, 2002, 12:34 PM
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Ok. Now I have a probably silly question.

What's a "pod"?

c


atg200


Feb 12, 2002, 12:43 PM
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a pod is just a generic term for any strange hole-type feature. examples would be a blown out pin scar, strange round flaring part of a crack, a hueco, etc.

andrew


spike


Feb 12, 2002, 1:00 PM
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Inverted cam hook.
Horizonal crack under a roof.
Good example - Top of 1st pitch on Zodiac.


[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-02-12 13:12 ]


krustyklimber


Feb 12, 2002, 11:40 PM
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 They work really good! Like fingerlocks with steel fingers, only they never get pumped! They come in a few sizes and brands.
Jeff


passthepitonspete


Feb 13, 2002, 4:51 PM
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C'mon guys, please get with the program.

It only took me about fifteen minutes to find some links, eh?

A cam hook is nothing more than a strip of steel bent ninety degrees, and with a hole in one end. Rig a piece of half-inch webbing through the hole, the same way as you would rig a regular hook, doubled and with the knot facing outward. Keep the sling short.

Click here to see a cam hook.

They come in three different sizes, I believe. I'm not sure how keen I'd be on using the smallest size.

Cam hooks sometimes fit well into Lost Arrow pin scars, and can save you a ton of time when you could instead be nailing. I find them scary, but I'm a bit of a chickenshit, and would usually want to sink a bomber pin. Then again, I tend to climb hard aid most of the time - were I on A1 or A2 more often, I would likely use cam hooks more often.

They work well in vertical cracks, and they even work upside-down beneath roofs!

Although I have never had the bollocks to try this, Warren Hollinger of Polar Sun Spire fame, told me he likes to use cam hooks on expando flakes! Yikes!

Warren told me,

"They spark like hell when the flake opens up, but they don't pull....."

Sheesh.

When you place a cam hook, it is a good idea to tap it in with your hammer. Such placements can be remarkably sound, and can be used for pro.

But be careful - you can fix them this way, too.

Cam hooks will allow you to make a lot of clean moves where you would otherwise have to nail.

Please click here if you would like to read more about how to use Leeper cam hooks.

Cheers,

Dr. Piton


krustyklimber


Feb 13, 2002, 11:18 PM
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 I've never been lucky enough to use them at night! Sparks!?! That would be so cool! When we did the Leaning Tower, I did my first climbing by headlamp, it was not bad at all, but I was cleaning.
I don't think being afraid of cam hooks in A-2 territory is chickenshit I think it's smart, and I love cam hooks!
I own four sizes of Leeper cam hooks. I stopped hitting them with my hammer, so they don't become fixed. Instead I hit them with the heel of my hand so I can feel when they get tight. If they do become fixed, I'll use my cleaning tool to hook them.
Jeff

[ This Message was edited by: krustyklimber on 2002-02-14 02:41 ]


elcapbuzz


Feb 15, 2002, 6:02 PM
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Haaa haa ha, very funny, Pete.

Do you really want to know how to whip on cam hooks?

First of all put a cam hook on each of your aiders/daisies (when speed climbing, I usually have a rivet hanger, green/yellow/and red alien and cam hooks on each daisy).

Ok, here's how to whip:

First put a fresh piece of webbing on your cam hook. Place them on your daisies and don't take them off, for the entire route. Make sure you use them EVERY chance you get. Don't even bother checking the webbing to see if it's wearing through.

Half way up the route (El Cap) you will most likely be involved in some kind of whipper.

Reason: Even when using super tape, the webbing will eventually wear through because of it scrapeing against the rock so much.

Good luck and Happy Whipping, Ammon



cryptoboy


Feb 15, 2002, 10:34 PM
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You have a rivet hanger, cam hook, and 3 cams on each (both?) daisies?

doesn't that get heavy?

Maybe spectra instead of webbing?

chris
(who's entire list of climbing equipment includes shoes, harness, locking biner, and an atc)


elcapbuzz


Feb 16, 2002, 12:51 AM
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Heavy?

That's not the half of it. When you speedclimb you bring 1 1/2 - 2 sets of gear. That way you can lead in blocks. You get to the belay, pull up all the slack in the rope, tie it off and start rope soloing with the extra slack you have.

The idea with the cam hooks, etc. on my daisies is, I never take them off. Never leave them for pro. It's way faster if what you need is ready to place.

The down fall is, it's very hard to free climb anything harder than a 5.10 with all the extra gear, BUT it's usually faster anyway to aid 5.11 and up.

Ammon


passthepitonspete


Feb 16, 2002, 6:17 PM
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Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!

I remember hearing that oh-so-familiar sound of falling gear + climber, and looking over from the Sea to see you falling off of South Seas!

"What happened?!" shouted I.

"Ah, dude, my cam hook ripped....." you replied.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

And then ya drrrrrrrank all me beer, ya baaaaaaaaastard!


elcapbuzz


Feb 16, 2002, 6:50 PM
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Dude, you sure get a kick out of telling everyone I drank all your beer, which you bootied from the Curry bear lockers. Haa haa ha.

Ok, yeah. I like beer. Ok, I LOVE beer, but you guys drank just as much as I did.

Besides, I told you already. That is what you get for inviting a couple of pirates on board.

Cheers Pete.


glockaroo


Feb 16, 2002, 8:12 PM
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Have a #2 rivit hanger installed through the eye of your camhooks. I did this after I had a new camhook web sling get chewed through in 100' of abrasive NC granite.


elcapbuzz


Feb 16, 2002, 8:39 PM
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Yes, I have done that.

It lasted two El Cap routes before the wires frayed and I had to replace it anyways.

Plus, I've seen the swedge blow a lot. When I'm run-out 50 or 60 feet, I like to see the wear and tear on the webbing. It's hard to see if a swedge is going to blow.


[ This Message was edited by: elcapbuzz on 2002-02-16 20:42 ]


passthepitonspete


Feb 17, 2002, 8:46 AM
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OK.

Oh - KAY!

I mean, like, I never said I like PAID for that beer, eh?

Sheesh.

And Glock - like welcome aboard, eh? Update yer profile and tell us who you is.

Cheers,

Pete

[Man, you guys shoulda seen how fast Ammon put his Big Wall Improvisation Skills to work.

"Gee, Ammon," says I, "we don't have an extra cup for your beer, you'll have to wait til I finish mine....."

That boy whipped his knife out and chopped the top off of that water bottle so fast, I didn't even have time for the head on my beer to settle before he had his newly-manufactured cup under that keg's spigot!]

And as for cam hooks? I'm still a chickenshit and whack in an LA when I can! No fifty footers for Dr. Piton, at least not yet!


elcapbuzz


Feb 17, 2002, 10:51 AM
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BWWAAAA HAAAA HAAA HAAA HAA haaa haa ha ha!

Hey, it wasn't my first rodeo.

Ammon


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