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Does water in a crack effect a cam's holding power
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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? JSlack
Joined Jul 22, 2009
144 points
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.
redlude97
Joined Jun 21, 2010
8 points
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...
yak
Joined May 20, 2010
4 points
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. slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,071 points
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
RockinOut
From NY, NY
Joined May 8, 2010
106 points
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. Bryan Gilmore
From Your Mama
Joined Nov 7, 2005
1,115 points
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.
kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
1,504 points
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. Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Nov 15, 2004
3,249 points
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..."
kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
1,504 points
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'?
Hansel
From Boulder, CO
Joined Mar 26, 2007
25 points
Administrator
Oct 4, 2010
Green Monster  Photo by Thomas Holmes.
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.
Perin Blanchard
From Orem, UT
Joined Oct 1, 2005
8,418 points
Oct 4, 2010
Will Gordon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Aug 28, 2009
15 points
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?
yak
Joined May 20, 2010
4 points
Oct 4, 2010
love xkcd! Arnold Braker
From golden, co
Joined Jun 28, 2007
289 points
Oct 4, 2010
I would think that dry rock is better. Just place a good stopper and be done with it. Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Joined Jul 7, 2004
47 points
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
J.J
Joined Aug 23, 2008
185 points
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. :) RyanO
From sunshine
Joined Jun 9, 2009
131 points
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).
kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
1,504 points
Oct 4, 2010
Crux Move
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.
Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Joined Jun 20, 2008
2,173 points
Oct 4, 2010
tricams in wet ... only way to fly bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
2,143 points
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.'
yak
Joined May 20, 2010
4 points
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. Andy Novak
From Golden, Co
Joined Aug 22, 2007
337 points
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... Josh Olson
From Durango, CO
Joined Mar 7, 2010
362 points
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.
Cota
From Bend OR
Joined Dec 12, 2008
1 points
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.
Cota
From Bend OR
Joined Dec 12, 2008
1 points
Oct 4, 2010
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
But if a spring breaks, the cam will still hold, won't it? Josh Olson
From Durango, CO
Joined Mar 7, 2010
362 points


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