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Quiz..who invented the cam?
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curt


Sep 15, 2004, 8:23 PM
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ABALAKOV!!!
The next time you play trivia, make sure you know what you are talking about, or at the very least, phrase it correctly. You did neither in this case

I just chatted with Greg Lowe a couple weeks ago (at the OP booth, OR show). Said Middendorf got the history of the logrithmic spiral and Abalakov wrong (which I was always curious about). I think he mentioned that Jeff took a Lowe cam to the USSR on one of his climber exchanges. Anyhoo, Greg said that the cam the Abalakov cam up with was basically a pulley cut in half with a cord attached. No logrithmic spiral involved.

I question that version of events, only because I remember seeing an article about the Abalakov cams in th late 70s--that was already an old article at that time. The photos of the Abalakov cams were indeed logrithmic spirals and the text described them as such.

Now I only wish I could remember exactly where that article appeared.

Curt


chads93gt


Sep 15, 2004, 9:35 PM
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Henry Ford.

either that or it was that guy from Europe. . . . .


edge


Sep 16, 2004, 6:11 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
ABALAKOV!!!
The next time you play trivia, make sure you know what you are talking about, or at the very least, phrase it correctly. You did neither in this case

I just chatted with Greg Lowe a couple weeks ago (at the OP booth, OR show). Said Middendorf got the history of the logrithmic spiral and Abalakov wrong (which I was always curious about). I think he mentioned that Jeff took a Lowe cam to the USSR on one of his climber exchanges. Anyhoo, Greg said that the cam the Abalakov cam up with was basically a pulley cut in half with a cord attached. No logrithmic spiral involved.

I question that version of events, only because I remember seeing an article about the Abalakov cams in th late 70s--that was already an old article at that time. The photos of the Abalakov cams were indeed logrithmic spirals and the text described them as such.

Now I only wish I could remember exactly where that article appeared.

Curt

I have seen the old Abalakov cams and they were indeed logarythmic spirals.

The article that Curt is referring to is "Abalakov Cams" in the February 1978 issue of "Off Belay", or possibly the February 1976 article "CCCP Spells Friendship". In the 1978 article, the author duplicated the Abalakov cams and made his own, which look very much like tri-cams. It is interesting that the article states "It would be difficult to set up a high production manufacturing operation to produce Abalakov cams, so it is unlikely that they will ever be available commercially." Riiiight...

For what it is worth, Abalakov was active in the thirties, so I doubt that he got the idea for the V thread or the cam from Lowe.


gambler


Sep 16, 2004, 7:47 AM
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I think it is pretty obvious that the ONLY person who could have Possibly invented the cam is........



MCGUYVER

In short, you are all entirely wrong.

thank you, and goodnight.

That MacGuyver dude was a hellova climber,he may not have invented the cam but I think he invented the stick-clip :wink:

Did anybody see that episode when MacGuyver was climbing at Squamish with a girl and she took a big whipper and her harness ripped out,falling to her death(he really blew it,why didnt he invent something to save her in mid-fall).

Trivia...did he have a first name at all?I dont ever remember them using it!


curt


Sep 16, 2004, 9:27 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
ABALAKOV!!!
The next time you play trivia, make sure you know what you are talking about, or at the very least, phrase it correctly. You did neither in this case

I just chatted with Greg Lowe a couple weeks ago (at the OP booth, OR show). Said Middendorf got the history of the logrithmic spiral and Abalakov wrong (which I was always curious about). I think he mentioned that Jeff took a Lowe cam to the USSR on one of his climber exchanges. Anyhoo, Greg said that the cam the Abalakov cam up with was basically a pulley cut in half with a cord attached. No logrithmic spiral involved.

I question that version of events, only because I remember seeing an article about the Abalakov cams in th late 70s--that was already an old article at that time. The photos of the Abalakov cams were indeed logrithmic spirals and the text described them as such.

Now I only wish I could remember exactly where that article appeared.

Curt

I have seen the old Abalakov cams and they were indeed logarythmic spirals.

The article that Curt is referring to is "Abalakov Cams" in the February 1978 issue of "Off Belay", or possibly the February 1976 article "CCCP Spells Friendship". In the 1978 article, the author duplicated the Abalakov cams and made his own, which look very much like tri-cams. It is interesting that the article states "It would be difficult to set up a high production manufacturing operation to produce Abalakov cams, so it is unlikely that they will ever be available commercially." Riiiight...

For what it is worth, Abalakov was active in the thirties, so I doubt that he got the idea for the V thread or the cam from Lowe.

Thanks edge,

It was the 1978 article because I now remember that its topic was about the author making his own cams based on Abalakov's design.

Curt


edge


Sep 16, 2004, 9:30 AM
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Yeah, and how anal am I to still have the mag and dig it out? Actually, I wrote a few pieces for Off Belay in the late 70's when I was in high school, and used them later to test out of my college English Comp class.


ben87


Sep 16, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Maybe Ray Jardine is the Christopher Columbus of cams.

far from the first person to get there, but the one who really blew the whole thing wide open.

(and that's where the metphor ends-- I'm not trying to get into a debate about "discovering" the western hemisphere, columbus, etc)


brianinslc


Sep 17, 2004, 9:44 AM
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Hey, lets poke at this a tad...

In reply to:
The article that Curt is referring to is "Abalakov Cams" in the February 1978 issue of "Off Belay", or possibly the February 1976 article "CCCP Spells Friendship". In the 1978 article, the author duplicated the Abalakov cams and made his own, which look very much like tri-cams. It is interesting that the article states "It would be difficult to set up a high production manufacturing operation to produce Abalakov cams, so it is unlikely that they will ever be available commercially."

Article in '76 was based on a trip the Soviet climbers took to the US in 1975. This was AFTER a trip of US climbers in 1974 to the USSR (seem to recall another prior to that?) . Greg claimed (and I may have this slightly wrong, pardon the lack of a tape recorder and my bad memory) that Jeff took a Lowe cam to the exchange in '74. Then, when the Soviets came over in '75, folks drooled over all the Abalakov inventions...which, were pretty cool. Comment in the article about the jumar was kinda funny. Anyhoo...see pic below:

http://mtncommunity.org/dc/user_files/604.jpg

You can see from the picture, that the Abalakov cam is there....and...right next to it, is a modified Forrest Foxhead. So, did Abalakov invent Foxheads? Nah. Did he perhaps run with the Lowe cam idea he saw in '74 and make some passive cams? I dunno. Maybe?

From the '78 article...

http://mtncommunity.org/dc/user_files/605.jpg

Anyone know if the Abalakov cams were in use prior to '74? Anyone know when the Lowe Tricam patent came out?

I think Greg was using his spring-loaded cams in the late 60's, or there abouts (in the City of Rocks, Idaho). Early 70's no doubt. Supercrack in '76.

Great history. Kinda muddy.

As I perused the old Off Belays...noted an article on Yosemite by bvb...too funny...

Brian in SLC


edge


Sep 17, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Great response, Brian. Too bad I used up all of my "rate this post" earlier, next time I get to vote I'll come back and give you a thumbs up for this one.

Abalakov died in 1987, so I guess if he did expand on Lowe's idea, he did it late in life. Totally possible.


curt


Sep 17, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Yeah, nice post Brian. Didn't you see anything in either of those articles that mentioned when Abalakov began using his cams?

Curt


brianinslc


Sep 17, 2004, 10:23 AM
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In reply to:
Abalakov died in 1987, so I guess if he did expand on Lowe's idea, he did it late in life. Totally possible.

Thanks!

As the kids say (probably last summer...), "mad props" to Vitaly. Be neat to see a book (in English!) on his life/climbing career. Really the father of Soviet climbing. Feller had a long and amazing run. Almost surprised there isn't one out there...(maybe there is?).

Was an interesting conversation with Greg. He was adamant that Middendorf, in the Ascent article, had gotton the history of the cam wrong.

One thing that was apparent to me, in reading about the climber's exchange here in the US in '75, was that Vitaly wasn't quick to dismiss a good idea (hence the jumar comment, where he chastised one of his own for dissing them before he tried them). Inovator, for sure. Even late (relatively speaking, especially "back then) in life.

Not that maybe the US climbers didn't take something from the Soviets, either. Latok Ti pitons?

I kinda miss them ol' Off Belays...was neat to peruse through them... Was kinda cool how much semi unbiased product testing and review was done in each or every other issue. Lots of busting of gear, new knots, new techniques. I see a bit of that in some of the newer Rock and Ice stuff with DR's testing. Good direction.

Fun...

Brian in SLC


brianinslc


Sep 17, 2004, 10:28 AM
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In reply to:
Didn't you see anything in either of those articles that mentioned when Abalakov began using his cams?

I didn't, and I looked pretty closely...but...who knows? Kind of expect to see someone from the former Soviet Union pipe up about using those things back in the 50's or something... But, like I said, Greg kinda dissed the Abalakov cams as just being cut up pulleys that came here after his cam went over there. So, dunno.

Tricams looks just like the Abalakov cams. Patent history is probably out there. That'd be interesting (at least a data point).

A Lowe cam is high on my list of "wants"....!

Cheers,

Brian in SLC


edge


Sep 17, 2004, 10:41 AM
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SMC also came out with the "Camlock" sometime around the late 70's as well. I bootied this one off of some fist crack. Who fixes one of these in a fist crack? It took me all of 30 seconds to pull out, although it didn't see too much time on my rack.

Bottom center, green sling.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=15110


robbovius


Sep 17, 2004, 11:17 AM
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y'know, looking at the picture of those abakolov cams, I can remember seeing a set of wired "tricams" on ebay, back around last february that looked pretty much identical in shape and curvature to the pics in that old mag article...I recall several of the MASS CLIMBERS commenting on how they looked like crap, and I can recall myself commenting on how they loked like sectioned industrial pulleys ;-)

...how 'bout that?


g-funk
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Sep 17, 2004, 11:18 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I think it is pretty obvious that the ONLY person who could have Possibly invented the cam is........



MCGUYVER

In short, you are all entirely wrong.

thank you, and goodnight.

That MacGuyver dude was a hellova climber,he may not have invented the cam but I think he invented the stick-clip :wink:

Did anybody see that episode when MacGuyver was climbing at Squamish with a girl and she took a big whipper and her harness ripped out,falling to her death(he really blew it,why didnt he invent something to save her in mid-fall).

Trivia...did he have a first name at all?I dont ever remember them using it!


MacGuyver's first name was Angus! Don't you remember from the episode where he got hit in the head by a falling object on the street, and in a fit of unconciousness traveled back in time to King Arthur's court. Anyway, he hooked up with Merlin and made a Ben Franklin action kite, and used electricity to blast his way out of prison and at the same time found the dead body of his great, great, great, great. . . . .great grandfather Angus MacGuver from whom both family names originally sprang.

Lowe, and that Russian dude could have learned a lot from MacGuyver.


yosemite


Sep 17, 2004, 11:20 AM
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Edge,

I have a couple of the SMC Camlocks as well. I think I got them around 1974. I graduated from college that year and then left the USofA for about 3 years. I remember them from my pre-expat days but could be wrong.

If you take a Camlock and hold it next to a Camalot, you will see that the cam curves are identical.

Gene


punkrawkclimber


Sep 17, 2004, 11:21 AM
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Fibbonachi was a cheap bastard!!!


brianinslc


Sep 17, 2004, 11:21 AM
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In reply to:
reference above photo

Whats the green shoe? PA?

Nice Titon.

CMI had a cam of sorts, too, along those lines, come along in around '79 or so?

Good ol' gear...

-Brian in SLC


edge


Sep 17, 2004, 11:30 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
reference above photo

Whats the green shoe? PA?

It's a Dolomite GB. I bought it in Cham in 1985 when I forgot my Fires back in the States. The rubber sucked, and the fit was horrible, but it was the only model in town that came in my size 12 shoe size.


rockitjeff


Sep 17, 2004, 8:04 PM
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brian- i think the cmi cams actually came out b4 the smc's...
i recall using one in an aid placement . fall of '76?
single lobe = very narrow; very tippy... but hey. innovation, no straight lines, etc

and me being a newbie, i bought a full rack of those damned smc cams
(they came out maybe winter of '76? they went well with my titons, foxheads and... remember some wierd rounded, 8 sided hex-replacements from britan? forget if they were moacs or what...


mikeasca


Sep 20, 2004, 8:42 PM
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Wow! surprised someone had the facts nice post brian.
cams, slcd, fcu, tcu, all thanks to greg lowe.
brian I owe you some beer you won the quiz.
What did you think of the new link cams?
mike


brianinslc


Sep 21, 2004, 7:15 AM
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In reply to:
Wow! surprised someone had the facts nice post brian.
cams, slcd, fcu, tcu, all thanks to greg lowe.
brian I owe you some beer you won the quiz.
What did you think of the new link cams?
mike

Nah...put the beer money in the rebolt can! And...I think the jury is still out on when the Abalakov cams first appeared. Who knows?

Link cams? Well...version two looked a lot better than the first proto they had. Lighter, way less moving parts. But...I think kinda heavy still, lots of moving parts (prone to sucking up a bunch of sand, dirt, etc), limited ap.

So, seems to be coming along, but, I can't imagine they'll ever be super popular. Maybe for someone who needs one size for a climb, but, that's pretty rare. Be fun to play with one a bit more than in the booth, though. Range is pretty impressive. But, so is how long it gets strung out. Might be real prone to gettin' stuck? Dunno.

-Brian in SLC


numbnut


Sep 21, 2004, 8:50 AM
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Did inventing the cam make Ray Jardine rich?


dingus


Sep 21, 2004, 8:52 AM
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Did inventing the cam make Ray Jardine rich?

Yes.

DMT


bengt


Sep 26, 2004, 10:16 PM
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Can anyone tell me of any articles or books that describe the progression of climbing gear from the early pitons and nuts to today's equipment. I am writing a report on the development of climbing gear for an engineering class. Thanks.

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