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Placing Cams straight in
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By Hamlet73
From Boulder, CO
Feb 25, 2012
pic taken in J-tree

I remember one instance in which I have fallen on a straight out placement, a yellow alien in a granite crack, one of the first free pitches of the Salathe wall (2nd maybe, it had two parallel cracks). I remember placing it horizontally since there was not any other better placement, or I was not able to find them. The cam inspired confidence to me since Aliens have a really flexible stem and I thought there was no way it could come out of granite. When I fell, that piece caught my fall, but as soon as I got back to it I noticed with horror that the cam had turned 90 degrees and two lobes were at that point outside of the crack. I was lucky since the next piece that I had confidence in was about 10 feet down.

Since then, I have tried to avoid horizontal placements unless there were absolutely no other option.


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By s.price
From PS,CO
Feb 25, 2012
 Morning Dew ,self portrait

Hamlet73 wrote:
This is a well placed cam ...

That is a WELL placed cam.


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By Ball
From Oakridge, OR
Feb 28, 2012
Sam Perkins; Ground-up FA; named because it's big and smooth

Daryl Allan wrote:
and in case you're wondering if cams can catch on just one lobe pair


Actually, even just one lobe can catch a major fall. It'll cam in there like a tricam. I bootied a piece in which that obviously happened.

Probably not that common, though.


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By Copperhead
Feb 28, 2012

Greg-Az,

Sounds like you've been climbing on sketchy placements, and I'll bet the strait in cam isn't the only thing you're doing that is sketchy.

The best thing you could do is seek out some competent instruction. Try a guide for a day and they'll show you how to place gear.


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By Ball
From Oakridge, OR
Mar 7, 2012
Sam Perkins; Ground-up FA; named because it's big and smooth

Conor Byrne wrote:
not an engineer or scientist as well but the topic reminded me of reading something from BD about their C3 cams a while back. fwiw Alpine Exposure C3 Review


That's thought provoking info.

I recently climbed with someone who SHUNNED my TCUs because the U-wires "sucked" and put torque on the lobes, instead preferring his friend zeros (which I have a set of but took off my rack because I trust the TCUs more). Yea, this guy was more opinionated than me which was previously thought impossible.

So anyone here think a zero is stronger/weaker than a similar sized TCU? I also have the old BD .1 and .2 FCU I sometimes take out of cold storage for scary sandstone placements.


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By Ball
From Oakridge, OR
Mar 7, 2012
Sam Perkins; Ground-up FA; named because it's big and smooth

PS: I did place the 2nd to smallest zero on lead once and took a tiny fall on it. Never placed it since, though. I'm considering a #1 ballnut as a replacement.


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By DanP
From Georgia
Apr 22, 2012
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What about climbs, especially slabby/vertical granite, that have mainly shallow horizontal cracks that TCU's naturally seem to fit perfectly? Most of the time, placing in these cracks has the stem pointing straight out. I've always felt pretty good about said placements mainly because horizontal cracks like these are the reason I bought TCU's. Would you say that tricams would be a safer bet?

Thanks


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By Pine Sap
Apr 22, 2012
Jaws RMNP - 3/3/12

Elijah Flenner wrote:
I don't see what you are talking about. I see pictures of cams that have one or more lobes not cammed at all, and those get dangerous markings; as they should. I don't see any of unequal but cammed lobes at all. All lobes should be within the proper range.


My understanding is that the most ideal cam placement is when the rotation of all lobes contact the rock at the same point in their expansion range (like in a perfectly parallel sided crack) and at 10% to 50% of that expansion range. If not within that range, choose a larger cam for the most effective holding power. I believe this is from John Long.

Clarification if needed - that is to say, that if one lobe is at 50% of it's full expansion range when making contact with the rock, each of the other lobes for the most ideal placement should also be at 50% of its expansion range. Strive for this ideal.


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By Scott Phil
From NC
Apr 22, 2012

Daniel Parkerson wrote:
What about climbs, especially slabby/vertical granite, that have mainly shallow horizontal cracks that TCU's naturally seem to fit perfectly? Most of the time, placing in these cracks has the stem pointing straight out. I've always felt pretty good about said placements mainly because horizontal cracks like these are the reason I bought TCU's. Would you say that tricams would be a safer bet? Thanks


With horizontal cracks (like Looking Glass eyebrows or at the Gunks) all the cam lobes should be engaged. Also, you are often able to place the cam so that "enough" of the stem is still be oriented toward the direction of fall--outward in this case because the base of the crack keeps the stem oriented that way. (FYI, this is why the "gunks tie-off" was used with rigid stem friends. Otherwise, the end of the stem could extend beyond the lower edge of the crack resulting in failure or damage of the stem during a fall.)

If the horizontal crack is so shallow that the lower edge of the crack is near the cam's axle, I would want to find an alternative--either use a tricam or find a different placement.


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