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doubling trad rack
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By Canyon
Sep 24, 2012
I have a standard trad rack and for my larger cams I use BD C4's, there are a few climbs that I have been wanting to get a few doubles in a few different sizes of my cams (#2 and #3). I went to the climbing store and the "expert" employee recommended to never get doubles in the same brand of Cam. The reasoning he gave me was to cover close but slightly different ranges or fits that I may encounter. I am fairly new to trad climbing and when climbing with my buddies, we always end up with a largly mixed bag of brands, but I have yet to come across a situation where I would take one brand of the same size over another. My question is, do any of you intentionally climb with different brand cams in the same size range? or do you use the same brand? And what is your reasoning? For the climbs I have been looking at, the C4's would work fine, I am just curious if further down the road I would have rather gone with two different brands in the same size range.

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By Josh Kornish
From Missoula, MT
Sep 24, 2012
Humboldt Bouldering
Eh, for say sizes .5 up there isn't a big deal IMO

For small sizes I find that Alien style cams and C3s compliment eachother extremely well.

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 24, 2012
OTL
I like how my WC Tech Friends are different enough than the Camalots to really act like 1/2 sizes at times. Sometimes a #2 Friend fits better than either a .75 or #1 c4.
Some people like true doubles, though. Sounds like you have some variety available, so keep feeling it out and see what you personally prefer.

[edit]Nevermind - you should totally buy a set of double BDs. Especially from this ?guy.?

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Sep 24, 2012
As a post above mentions, from 0.5 (Purple Camalot) upwards, there isn't much advantage to diversification. An exception to this is at Indian Creek, where the slight gaps in the Camalot sizing become obvious. Still, for your second set of cams, I'd just get another set of C4s from 0.5 upwards.

Below 0.5, in the finger sizes, diversification of you cam rack helps a lot, since placements in these sizes are much more finicky. Aliens or Master Cams would be a great choice for supplementing your BD cams.

It might help if you say where you usually climb, since this affects rack choice.

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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Sep 24, 2012
Evans Aprons
I am on the tail end of being a "new" trad climber. My rack is:

-BD C3 Green, Red, Yellow
-A Metolious TCU Set
-Doubles .3-.4---doubles not necessary, I use singles mostly now
-Doubles .5-3---I agree a good range for doubles
-3.5---get this if you can find it!!
-4

I have found this to be adequate for anything I have been climbing. I climb in Eldo mostly, but have been around the Front Range a bit. There have been only a handful of times I wished for an in-between size. I may mix my rack at some point, but I find it easy to climb with mostly BD since I learned with BD cams. If i get more cams, I am leaning towards Mastercams for the more flexible stem. I certainly dont need them now though.

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By Canyon
Sep 25, 2012
Thank you all for the replies. I only use the C4's in my large cams 0.5-4, for smaller cams I have a bit of a mixed bag that I am very happy with. I am very happy with the C4's for the rock that I have been climbing, but when my local climbing shop said "never", it made me hesitate.
Jon Moen- My trad experience is climbing mostly wasatch front (Quarzite, Limestone, and Granite), but I hope to get into the desert (indian creek, moab, Zion) during the winter months.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 25, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
I can't imagine why someone would say "never" do something when so much of what you do on a route is dependent upon the scenario. If you're climbing nothing but uniform cracks, or you climb them alot, it makes sense to have multiples of the same cam.

To echo what Matt N said, WC seems to fit in nicely between BD sizes, at least from the .75 to 3 range where I have them. For example, every once in a while I'll find a placement where a BD 2 is a little more flared than I want it to be, but a BD 3 is a little overcammed, a purple WC Helium fits great. It seems as though this is an intentional design- to fit in between BD sizes. To each his own. IMO you'll be fine with any BD, WC, or Metolius cam. They're all good.

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By coldatom
From Cambridge, MA
Sep 25, 2012
Jurassic Park
Get some hexes. DMM or Wild Country.
A slung hex is the most confidence inspiring piece to climb above, IMO. It won't walk like a cam or get wiggled out like a wired nut. It is easy to remove. It is cheap and light. DMM and WC hex sizes are color matched to BD C4s.

If you are climbing sustained routes at your limit, then never mind. Yes, hexes take longer to place then cams. I just don't climb that hard that it matters.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Sep 25, 2012
Bocan
Do a MP search and you'll find this has been discussed in length on pretty much every cam thread.

But hell I love to talk about gear.

I most definintly have my doubles in different cams and that's from top to bottom. One rack is all C4s. The second rack consists of:
000 C3
00 C3
Old school BD # 1&2 Micros, but sometimes I switch these up with mastercams.
Metolius TCU's 1- 4
Wild Country 2 & 2.5

It works well as one side has the BD 4 lobes with a wider head and great range. The second rack is a similar range however slightly offset, so boths racks are actually more linear and less of a mirror. The TCU's and WC's are excellent in comparison because they fit in more of the shallow cracks and pods that the wide head of the BD do not work in, while still maintaining a similar camming range. It's great to be able to plug a WC 2.5 that has the same camming range as a BD #2 but can fit in a crack half the depth.

I can't say how invaluable and awesome it is to have variance on your rack.

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By randy88fj62
Sep 25, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
I have been trad climbing for roughly four years. I have noticed that my rack of metolius cams and my gfs rack of WC friends are roughly the same size. I have noticed that our sets are rough half sizes of BD C4s. If you ever plan on doing alpine routes I recommend getting a light set of WC friends or Metolius TCUs.

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By Canyon
Sep 26, 2012
Scott- I agree that some of these topics have been covered ad nauseum! and I have tried not to turn this into a "whats the best cam" or "what do you use in your rack" thread. My OP questions are to figure out the pros/cons to carrying different brands of CAMS in the same size on the same route. For example, is it better to use two bd c4 #3's or one c4 #3 and one WC,DMM, etc. of the same size/range? I feel pretty set in my small Cams, This question is more to target the larger Camming ranges. The experienced climber I go with recommended to go with doubles of the same c4's for those larger sizes that I am needing, but the Local climbing shop employee threw me off by saying never. I am posting this to get your feedback and gain multiple opinions before I make my own judgement call. I apologize if you feel this thread is redundant.
Coldatom- I do like hexes, tricams, and passive pro and try to use them as much as possible, but that discussion may take this thread off topic.
I can see how using a WC cam as a double to my C4 can add diversity to my C4's with a the slightly different range for my larger cams. I like this idea. Thanks

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By bearbreeder
Sep 26, 2012
theres no real need to double when new ... if yr partners already have key sizes, as a bonus it will give you more exposure to different cams

for the med/larger sizes i see no issue with doubling up with the same type of cams or their copies ... ie C4, Dragons .... since there is a very good overlap in range generally

for micros, the cams are more finicky and different cams can make a difference ... ie range, 3 vs 4 lobes, flexibility, etc ...

at the end of the day though, good climbers can climb on any brand of cam

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Sep 26, 2012
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
This "expert" is correct. It is dumb to carry doubles of the same brand. There are gaps in the gear for sure. I carry singles of BD and supplement TCU's or master cams. They fit nicely in between the BD sizes. I don't carry anything above orange or yellow tcu when I am onsighting, but I carry tri-cams. Tri-cams are similar to the metolius sizes and in between the BD sizes. There are also gaps in the stoppers from BD. I like to supplement some of the medium to small size stoppers with the WC rocks.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Sep 26, 2012
Bocan
Canyon wrote:
The experienced climber I go with recommended to go with doubles of the same c4's for those larger sizes that I am needing.


I won't go as far as to say your friend is "wrong", but unless you're in Indian Creek I wouldn't recommend that at all. As everyone else stated the WC fit fantastically in the places the BD won't. You get the benefit of similar but yet offset sizes and additionally the actual head size is smaller. As I previously stated the WC will fit in a placement considerably smaller than the BD.

Quick comparison on the the Gold and Red sizes. Not only do you get variance in range, but some weight savings as well.

BD #2
37.2-64.9mm
155g
WC 2.5
33-55mm
122g

BD #1
30.2-52.1
136g
WC # 2
29-44mm
111g

I know you are only looking for larger sizes, but I agree with everyone else as well to diversify the whole second rack. My TCU's are AMAZING and fit in so many pods and flaring cracks that my smaller C4's can't even get into.

I'm no cam expert, so this is all based on my personal experiences.

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By Sam Stephens
Sep 26, 2012
Top half of Melifluous
For what it's worth I typically have doubles of BD 1-3, then a .75 and red TCU, then double aliens red to green and a gray and purple Mastercam. This has served me extremely well eveywhere I've climbed.

I found anything below .75 to be wider than needed so I carry one of that and a Red TCU to double up that size but give me options. The aliens, well they work 95% of the time I need something that size and the Mastercams in the smallest sizes are narrower than the same size aliens. If I'm going somewhere I think might be a little fickle on gear, I'll swap out half the aliens for TCUs

I climb primarily at the New if that helps, but I've used that rack all over the nation.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 26, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
This chart will help illustrate what everyone is talking about with the different manufacturers and sizes.
This may help.
This may help.

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By Sam Stephens
Sep 26, 2012
Top half of Melifluous
Jake Jones wrote:
This chart will help illustrate what everyone is talking about with the different manufacturers and sizes.


No alien love?

Is the mastercam 00 really different in range than a TCU?

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 26, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Sam, those are the first two things that I thought about viewing this chart as well, and I agree with you. The range/size of TCUs and Masters are identical as far as I know. If I had made this chart, I would have definitely included Aliens. However, for all its shortcomings, it still does exhibit ranges between select brands pretty well, and I thought it would be a good visual aid to the OP.

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By Sam Stephens
Sep 26, 2012
Top half of Melifluous
Got it, the screen shot made me wonder if youd whipped it out right fast.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Sep 26, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Ha. I hadn't thought about that. When I tried to save the image (the original was a PDF) this dookey work machine wouldn't let me, so I pasted a ss in Paint and saved it that way. It's a good reference that I look at once in a while when I'm considering filling in blanks on my rack.

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By Canyon
Sep 26, 2012
Thank again for all the input! For my small cams I do use TCU's and mastercams and am personally very happy with them, I am also very happy with my set of C4's. So far they have gotten in everywhere that I have needed. As far as doubling, I think I'll hold off for a bit and gain some more trad XP on the rock. Thanks for all the input. Now to get back out climbing tomorrow and scratch some gear!

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By bearbreeder
Sep 26, 2012
heres a better cam range chart

steimann.li/climbing/slcd.html

also note that many of the sponsored climbers climb on their sponsored brand cams ... its kinda funny how they can climb harder stuff than anyone here yet MPers would call em stupid for using the same types of doubles ;)

wise decision to spend more money climbing than on doubles, yr partner if experienced should have a partial rack anyways

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Sep 26, 2012
Bocan
bearbreeder wrote:
also note that many of the sponsored climbers climb on their sponsored brand cams ... its kinda funny how they can climb harder stuff than anyone here yet MPers would call em stupid for using the same types of doubles ;)


I don't think I've ever seen a picture in a magazine or in a film of a guy climbing on a double set of one brand. Most of their racks are as mixed matched as anything. Of course they also have like 6 racks.

Not to say it doesn't happen, I just haven't seen it.

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By bearbreeder
Sep 27, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
I don't think I've ever seen a picture in a magazine or in a film of a guy climbing on a double set of one brand. Most of their racks are as mixed matched as anything. Of course they also have like 6 racks. Not to say it doesn't happen, I just haven't seen it.



hes got doubles of C4s if u watch the rest of the film ...

course he also color codes his biners, so hes obviously a newb ... so im sure MPers can outclimb these newbs ... they only ran up the nose in 4 hours slow by MP standards ;)

its the climber that matters ... good climbers can climb on any brand of cam, or doubles of em



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By frankstoneline
Sep 27, 2012
bearbreeder wrote:
hes got doubles of C4s if u watch the rest of the film ... course he also color codes his biners, so hes obviously a newb ... so im sure MPers can outclimb these newbs ... they only ran up the nose in 4 hours slow by MP standards ;) its the climber that matters ... good climbers can climb on any brand of cam, or doubles of em


UNPOSSIBLE!!!!! This is obviously photoshopped.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Sep 27, 2012
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
bearbreeder wrote:
hes got doubles of C4s if u watch the rest of the film ... course he also color codes his biners, so hes obviously a newb ... so im sure MPers can outclimb these newbs ... they only ran up the nose in 4 hours slow by MP standards ;) its the climber that matters ... good climbers can climb on any brand of cam, or doubles of em


This is completely out of context. He is not onsighting the climb. The gear is already set for this climb and the style. So regardless of who it is, it doesn't accurate portray a good onsight rack. There are climbs on granite locally that will only take specific size cams, where having one of the others it will not protect even if you are Honnold. So this picture is worthless to this discussion.

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