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Does water in a crack effect a cam's holding power
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By JSlack
Oct 3, 2010
O Yeaaaaaaa
So I was climbing in Yosemite yesterday, 2/3 up Bishop's Terrace when clouds rolled in and started to pour rain. The rock became wet quickly and I got to wondering, "Is a cam placed in a wet crack as effective as a cam placed in a dry crack?" Luckily, I didn't have to find out first hand. Anybody know?

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By redlude97
Oct 3, 2010
Jake Sahl wrote:
So I was climbing in Yosemite yesterday, 2/3 up Bishop's Terrace when clouds rolled in and started to pour rain. The rock became wet quickly and I got to wondering, "Is a cam placed in a wet crack as effective as a cam placed in a dry crack?" Luckily, I didn't have to find out first hand. Anybody know?

yes.

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By yak
Oct 4, 2010
No, water does not effect a cam's holding power. If this were the case, climbers would have to carry spray bottles to wet down cracks before placing cams, especially in dry areas.

You're thinking of friction and translation of downward pull to outward expansion.

If anything, I would think water would decrease the placement's efficacy. What a strange question...

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By slim
Administrator
Oct 4, 2010
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
stranger answer.... but yes, water does decrease a cam's holding power as it generally reduces the friction between the lobes and the surface of the crack. water in a sandstone crack is even worse, as it it decreases the strength of the sandstone.

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Oct 4, 2010
Gear
yak wrote:
No, water does not effect a cam's holding power. If this were the case, climbers would have to carry spray bottles to wet down cracks before placing cams, especially in dry areas. You're thinking of friction and translation of downward pull to outward expansion. If anything, I would think water would decrease the placement's efficacy. What a strange question...


Why would climbers carry spray bottles if it decreases the efficacy, no one said it made the placement better.

Water in a crack would have to have a negative impact on gear placements. Instead of aluminum on rock (in a dry scenario) you now have aluminum on a thin film of water on rock. Just like climbing shoes on wet rock has less friction, but obviously 2 different materials

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By Bryan Gilmore
From Your Mama
Oct 4, 2010
Beagle
Shouldn't you be asking if water in the crack would affect the cam's holding power. Because it would be the effect of water that would affect the cam.

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Oct 4, 2010
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Jake Sahl wrote:
So I was climbing in Yosemite yesterday, 2/3 up Bishop's Terrace when clouds rolled in and started to pour rain. The rock became wet quickly and I got to wondering, "Is a cam placed in a wet crack as effective as a cam placed in a dry crack?" Luckily, I didn't have to find out first hand. Anybody know?


Yes, water will decrease the holding power of a cam. Cams rely on friction to keep them in place, water decreases the friction and therefor decreases the holding power. As was mentioned earlier, this is even worse when climbing sandstone becasue water weakens the sandstone as well.

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Oct 4, 2010
For those randomly seeking life and death advice on the internet, please take note that we have received two completely contradictory answers delivered with equal authority and confidence.

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Oct 4, 2010
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Mike Anderson wrote:
For those randomly seeking life and death advice on the internet, please take note that we have received two completely contradictory answers delivered with equal authority and confidence.


The only contradictory answer was that given by yak which I have quoted below. By reading his statement, even a second grader would be able to tell that he has absolutly no clue what he is talking about and doesn't even understand the OP's question, so really there is only one coherent answer given in this thread.

Quote by yak: "No, water does not effect a cam's holding power. If this were the case, climbers would have to carry spray bottles to wet down cracks before placing cams, especially in dry areas.

You're thinking of friction and translation of downward pull to outward expansion.

If anything, I would think water would decrease the placement's efficacy. What a strange question..."

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By Hansel
From Boulder, CO
Oct 4, 2010
My ride
Agreed, cams rely on friction with the rock, and anything that affects or reduces that friction is going to reduce the effectiveness of the cam placement.

Perhaps Yak is making a joke of the misuse of the word 'effect', when the poster meant to say 'affect'?

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By Perin Blanchard
Administrator
From Orem, UT
Oct 4, 2010
Racking too much gear, as usual.
kennoyce wrote:
The only contradictory answer was that given by yak which I have quoted below. By reading his statement, even a second grader would be able to tell that he has absolutly no clue what he is talking about and doesn't even understand the OP's question, so really there is only one coherent answer given in this thread.


Yak was sarcastically pointing out the grammatical error in the thread title.

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By Will Gordon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 4, 2010

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By yak
Oct 4, 2010
kennoyce wrote:
The only contradictory answer was that given by yak which I have quoted below. By reading his statement, even a second grader would be able to tell that he has absolutly no clue what he is talking about and doesn't even understand the OP's question, so really there is only one coherent answer given in this thread.


Well, I'm no second grader, so I could be way off base here, but I just re-read my answer and stand by every word of it.

How do you think cams work?

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By Arnold Braker
From golden, co
Oct 4, 2010
love xkcd!

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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Oct 4, 2010
I would think that dry rock is better. Just place a good stopper and be done with it.

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By J.J
Oct 4, 2010
yak wrote:
No, water does not effect a cam's holding power. If this were the case, climbers would have to carry spray bottles to wet down cracks before placing cams, especially in dry areas. You're thinking of friction and translation of downward pull to outward expansion. If anything, I would think water would decrease the placement's efficacy. What a strange question...

Is this sarcastic? I honestly can't tell

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By RyanO
From sunshine
Oct 4, 2010
and to think that all along i've carried around this spray bottle to lube up tick marked holds in over-used bouldering areas.. boy was i wrong. well, better late than never i guess, thanks for the solid advice, yak. :)

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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Oct 4, 2010
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
yak wrote:
Well, I'm no second grader, so I could be way off base here, but I just re-read my answer and stand by every word of it. How do you think cams work?


As a mechanical engineer who has designed, built, and tested cams (not professionally, but as a hobby), I certainly do know how cams work. In your reply you stated, "No, water does not effect a cam's holding power." Now I'm assuming that you meant to say water does not affect a cam's holding power. If this is the case than you would be wrong due to the fact that cams rely on friction for holding power and water would lower the friction between the cam and the rock (generally speaking of course).

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Oct 4, 2010
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
wow? an ME in the house? I guess engineers are still notoriously bad at grammar/spelling.

You all realize there are two definitions to effect:

1)something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence: Exposure to the sun had the effect of toughening his skin.

2)power to produce results; efficacy; force; validity; influence:
His protest had no effect.

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By bearbreeder
Oct 4, 2010
tricams in wet ... only way to fly

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By yak
Oct 4, 2010
kennoyce wrote:
Now I'm assuming that you meant to say water does not affect a cam's holding power.


Ah, see, I was assuming that the OP knew all the definitions of 'effect.'

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By Andy Novak
From Golden, Co
Oct 4, 2010
Living the High Life.
I cant believe I just read every post in this thread. Excuse me while I go shoot myself in the face.

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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Oct 4, 2010
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
Doesn't a cam rely on friction for the initial force, but only the initial force? I thought the cam's whole design was to create a lot of force outward, which wouldn't be friction, it would be the force pulling down translated from the y direction to the x direction. I know I should be able to phrase this a whole lot better, but I think if the cam held for the initial jerk, it would be safe. I know this doesn't have much to do with the op, but it got me thinking...

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By Cota
From Bend OR
Oct 4, 2010
Josh Olson wrote:
Doesn't a cam rely on friction for the initial force, but only the initial force? I thought the cam's whole design was to create a lot of force outward, which wouldn't be friction, it would be the force pulling down translated from the y direction to the x direction. I know I should be able to phrase this a whole lot better, but I think if the cam held for the initial jerk, it would be safe. I know this doesn't have much to do with the op, but it got me thinking...


Actually it relies on friction the whole time just because it has an outward force does not negate the friction. Just think if the spring was much stronger or weaker, friction would still be what keeps it in place.

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By Cota
From Bend OR
Oct 4, 2010
Josh Olson wrote:
Doesn't a cam rely on friction for the initial force, but only the initial force? I thought the cam's whole design was to create a lot of force outward, which wouldn't be friction, it would be the force pulling down translated from the y direction to the x direction. I know I should be able to phrase this a whole lot better, but I think if the cam held for the initial jerk, it would be safe. I know this doesn't have much to do with the op, but it got me thinking...


Actually it relies on friction the whole time just because it has an outward force does not negate the friction. Just think if the spring was much stronger or weaker, friction would still be what keeps it in place.

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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Oct 4, 2010
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
But if a spring breaks, the cam will still hold, won't it?

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