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Cam or Big Bro?
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By Tom Lausch
From Madison WI
Sep 24, 2012
Chips and Salsa
Am I better off getting a #3 big bro or a the respective camalots. I climb mostly at the slippery devils lake. I am on the fence and just looking for opinions.

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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Sep 24, 2012
cams certainly inspire more confidence...

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Sep 24, 2012
For the largest sizes, where the Big Bros are the only option, the choice is easy.

In the middling-large sizes, where you are choosing between a big bro and a #5 or a #6 Camalot, I would definately start witht the big Camalot. These are a lot more versatile (flares, etc), easier to place, and, most importantly, you can scoot them for the moving-ow-toprope strategy.

If you become one of those sick-puppy OW freaks, you can fill in the rack with big bros later, but start with the big cam(s).

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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Sep 24, 2012
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capitan
+1 to jon, have you ever tried placing a big bro? go all the way to at least #6 camelots if not the big dudes

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By mrbiscoop
Sep 26, 2012
Bolts are the way to go. Fuck gear.

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By thomas.w
From Denver, CO
Sep 26, 2012
Another option to big bros if you can afford it and are getting into the really big stuff.

valleygiant.com/no9cam.html

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By randy88fj62
Sep 27, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Cams are faster to place and can be walked along side you with very little effort. Big Bros cannot do that. I would definitely start with cams and then add big bros to your rack in the future if you really want them.

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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Sep 27, 2012
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl
If you're climbing at the Lake there are only a handful of routes that require the use of big cams or Bros. I really don't think buying big cams for specifically climbing at the Lake is really necessary. But honestly in my opinion you're better off using big Camalots if large pro is ever really necessary.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Sep 27, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I think the bigger the cam, the more likely it will slip on that smooth sided DL quartzite. A well fit Big Bro' might do the job better considering the rock will NOT crush or erode at all from the pro against it. They're bomber. Not sure why you need that big a size, but check out someone selling some 'bros here at MP.
mountainproject.com/v/fs---big...

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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Sep 27, 2012
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
Tom, so a #3 big bro is about the same size as a #6 c4, maybe a little larger?

You have to be pretty broad-minded to even find stuff that size at the Lake ...!

The C4 will be easier to place well and easier to place quickly. Definitely heavier and bulkier to pack around.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Sep 27, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
+1, can't think of anything off the top of my head that absolutely requires gear that big at the lake. I'd rather have the cam though. For me big bros are harder to climb past and kicking them out scares the crap out of me. Big cams you can also walk.


Not that I think any of that is necessary at the lake but for your travels...

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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Sep 27, 2012
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl
What's up with people thinking cams will slide on the DL quartzite? I would like to hear a first-hand account of this ever happening. To me this just seems like a myth.

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Sep 27, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Andy Hansen wrote:
What's up with people thinking cams will slide on the DL quartzite? I would like to hear a first-hand account of this ever happening. To me this just seems like a myth.



Never climbed at DL, so no first-hand experience there, but I have seen perfectly placed cams slide out of quartzite in another area (rock canyon, UT). This is certainly a possibility if the coefficient of friction between the lobes and the rock is too low, and a cam with a bigger camming angle like BDs certainly doesn't help the situation.

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By ccerling
From Boston, MA
Sep 27, 2012
me
Andy Hansen wrote:
What's up with people thinking cams will slide on the DL quartzite? I would like to hear a first-hand account of this ever happening. To me this just seems like a myth.


I've never seen one slide out but the bigger sizes of C4s will walk real easily at DL if you're not careful about placement and rope drag.

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By Cactus Moonshine
Sep 28, 2012
Carnegiea gigantea
Can't bump a Big Bro.

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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Sep 28, 2012
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl
ccerling wrote:
I've never seen one slide out but the bigger sizes of C4s will walk real easily at DL if you're not careful about placement and rope drag.


I think this is true in most cases regardless of rock friction or cam size. But, regarding friction coefficient... (Mu?) I guess I'd really need to see some empirical evidence or data. This isn't something I geek out about usually but I've heard this so many times coming from people well versed and not so well versed about placing cams at the Lake. Personally I think it's sort of bogus as it's never happened to me on any route at the Lake and I almost exclusively was leading there.

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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Sep 28, 2012
Andy Hansen wrote:
I think this is true in most cases regardless of rock friction or cam size. But, regarding friction coefficient... (Mu?) I guess I'd really need to see some empirical evidence or data. This isn't something I geek out about usually but I've heard this so many times coming from people well versed and not so well versed about placing cams at the Lake. Personally I think it's sort of bogus as it's never happened to me on any route at the Lake and I almost exclusively was leading there.

As I recall there was a Climbing mag article at some point with first-hand info about cams slipping at Devil's Lake. I could be completely misremembering though, so I'd recommend checking it out yourself. Left most of my climbing mags at home instead of bringing them to my dorm.

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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Sep 28, 2012
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
Andy, I think sometimes people confuse the problems of Baraboo quartzite with the problems of shallowly placed gear.

Personally, I've blown more shallowly placed small nuts than anything else in this rock. Maybe that's just me.

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By Greg D
From Here
Sep 28, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />
Big bro is a more reliable placement. Plus you can't do that complex top rope bs. You gotta climb.

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By JMo
From Tucson, AZ
Sep 28, 2012
vertebrae roof
Both. You still saved 1000's over being a golfer. Or boater.

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By Christiney
From Wheat Ridge, CO
May 2, 2013
Horseman
JCM wrote:
These are a lot more versatile (flares, etc), easier to place, and, most importantly, you can scoot them for the moving-ow-toprope strategy.


LOL love that "moving-ow-toprope strategy." Thanks for the advice (another old thread I revived, but easier than asking the same already-answered questions)

Are you ever concerned about falling before placing the first piece, and having a giant #6 cam spike you in the back?

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