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Reviews by cracklover (5)

The Cam Doctor (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.75/5 Average Rating : 3.75/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Active

Not perfect, but damn helpful 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: cracklover, 2007-02-02

I agree with those who say that the swaging tool is not the best for the job. With that said, the kit does do a decent job, and the price is right! I've fixed three cams, and am very happy with how they came out. The truth is, you don't need a perfect swage for a cam trigger wire.

Also, they accidentally sent the wrong swager when I ordered it online. I took a photo of it and sent that to the manufacturer. He apologized - said something about getting a bad batch and not noticing - and sent me the right one. All at no charge. Didn't ask for the other one back to send back to the company he bought from. So he basically ate the whole cost of the kit. Plus, he included some extra Alien wires for me at no charge.

Phoenix - discontinued (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 3.51/5 Average Rating : 3.51/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Climbing Shoes: Lace Up

Review 2 out of 5 stars

Review by: cracklover, 2005-08-17

Took 'em to Indian Creek. The artificial leather wore through in two climbs. My footwork is honestly not that bad - I had climbed lots of crack in Yose and Jtree in other shoes without any effect on my other shoes at all. But within a few days, there were huge holes in both shoes from the sandstone eating through the cheap artificial leather uppers.

Yosemite Bum Average Rating = 4.23/5 Average Rating : 4.23/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Resolers

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: cracklover, 2005-07-26

I sent them two pairs of shoes, based on the good reviews I'd heard. I wish I could give better feedback. Here's the deal: the rubber is excellent, the workmanship was very good, BUT, the shoes came back between a half size and full size larger than when I sent them. Both were high-performance shoes, and now they're comfort shoes. So now I'll need to buy a new pair of performance shoes. Sigh...

D7 Average Rating = 4.29/5 Average Rating : 4.29/5

In: Gear: Shoes: Approach Shoes

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: cracklover, 2005-03-14

So far so good! I bought these shoes so I could do free moves while aid climbing, which doesn't work in my hiking boots. So far they've been excellent, and I've also used them for route-setting in the gym, where I've set routes as hard as 5.11 (and climbed them, too). They don't seem to fit my arch perfectly, otherwise I'd rate them a five. I'll update this review when I get back from my first big wall this spring.

TRE popular Average Rating = 4.38/5 Average Rating : 4.38/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Belay Devices & Descenders

Review 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: cracklover, 2004-05-03

One more review edit. The others are still listed below:

Okay so PMI sold me the new version with the sliders at wholesale price. It does everything the old version did, but it seems to lack the failure mode of the old version. four stars.

{Okay, after several years of use, I need to radically change my review. I'll leave the old one below for posterity}

I used the first generation device, before the brass sliders were added. My experience was extremely good at first, but then the device completely failed, and the company refused to do anything for me. I felt as though I was an unwilling beta tester. Their new product may or may not be better than the old one - I'm not willing to shell out more cash at this point. Here was the problem:

The moving bar wears away metal on the frame, up to the position where it typically stops (the point where it pinches the rope). Think of that worn part as a valley. At the end of that valley is a, well a sort of terminal morain, where the metal not only is at its original elevation, but it has kind of been pushed up to form a slight ridge. This "morain" acts as a block to the bar pinching further down, right at the point where the bar should be hitting the rope. As time goes by, the ridge takes more and more of the force, until I have to sand it down, or the bar literally will not move over the ridge at all in normal operation. In addition both the bar and the body get quite rough, and the friction between them increases dramatically over the entire range of motion.

If I were to use my TRE, right now, without doing another round of sanding, I would get *way* less friction than I do from my standard ATC (which is what I went back to for doubles). To the point where it is quite sketchy to rappel. Good concept, poor execution.

I give the device a 2/5

Old review (rated 5/5)
For trad climbing on double ropes, this device is clearly the best.

Several features:

1 - The harder the fall, the more the device locks up. According to their website, this has an upper limit of about 3kN, at which point it maintains a fairly constant force until the fall is stopped. This acts as a limiter on the force your gear feels.

2 - In rappel mode, it locks off completely. At least in my experience, when I take my hand off the device, I stop moving. This is *very* handy for all the stuff you may have to do on the way down on a rap. Of course you would tie a backup knot, just in case.

3 - For bringing up two seconds simultaneously directly on the anchor, it is a superior device.


1 - Too much friction when using ropes over around 10.5, or very fuzzy 10.5 ropes.

2 - After holding a fall, it may lock off completely at bodyweight, or it may creep, depending on the rope. Don't expect the device to work hands-free, *even after it has locked down*.

This is not a good device for a complete beginner.