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#41185 - 11/04/08 07:15 PM small gear preferences
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
All this small gear talk has gotten me thinking about what preferences people have developed and why. The black alien seemed to be the standard for a while, but C3s have become my standard and I no longer carry the blue or black alien. I am a firm believer in sewing up a scary climb and have been impressed with what I can protect with the smaller 3 sizes of C3. Can someone (or everyone) educate me with when you prefer ballnutz or other small, active gear and why? I've only placed ballnutz once and thought it was pretty unstable and unlikely to stop anything more than a brassy would, but the crack wasn't parallel. I carry a selection of brassies and a #4 and #5 brass offset all the time which are rarely used but are really great when needed.

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#41188 - 11/04/08 09:09 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
Architect Offline
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Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 210
Loc: north by northeast (from jerse...
I use a ball nut under the roof of jean as it just slides in so nice and no nut I can think of would fit. I even had to lower off it one day 9 not the smartest thing I have done). also there is a placement on "On any Monday" to back up a pin that the only thing I could get in was a ball nut. other then those placements my astro nuts are by far some of my favorite pieces of gear. and anywhere the book say 'R' or over .10 they are definatly on my rack.
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#41190 - 11/04/08 09:42 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Architect]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
HB Brassie offsets. They go where nothing else does. Despite their small size they are very strong and as long as the rock is solid the gear will be solid. I've used small brassies where nothing else would go on such climbs as Comedy in Three Acts, Wooly Clam Taco, Wild Horses to mention a few.

I also prefer the small aliens for cams as I have used them for years, always found them to be reliable, easy to place and they go where most other gear won't due to their profile.

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#41191 - 11/04/08 09:48 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Coppertone]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks guys. What do you look for in a ballnutz placement that is different from other gear, ie. constricted in some certain way or a more parallel crack? Is it just that they are thinner than any of the micro cams that makes them useful? Is it better for a crack that doesn't have enough depth for cam lobes?

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#41193 - 11/04/08 09:51 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Architect]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I think the C3's are much better than Aliens and are likely to be more reliably constructed as well. Perhaps the Metolius Aliens are competition, but the narrower C3 heads and stiffer springs really seem to me to make a significant difference. There is, however, a gap in the C3 range between red and yellow that, I think, also requires carrying a green Alien.

Ball nuts will go in lots of places you can't get small cams. Sometimes, but not always, opposed brassies can be arranged rather than a ball nut, but I've never seen such a placement that I judged better than the corresponding ball nut. Ball nuts are tricky to place and require a lot of detailed inspection of the placement before and after insertion, but the same is true of opposed brassies.

Ball nuts or other small gear, if I want it for something more than overhead protection, I'm going to try to get a double placement or have some kind of backup very close.

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#41196 - 11/04/08 10:17 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
As for placements, you want ideally a crack with a little taper and no flair, with good contact for the ball face and the paddle, neither of which can be allowed to sit on pebbles or ridges. Given that things are rarely perfectly uniform, especially in the Gunks, go for getting full contact for the ball face at the expense of some paddle contact if you must compromise. You have to get really up close and personal with the placement. Be careful not to get the ball or paddle hung up on small features that are enough to resist a jerk but which will likely shatter in a fall. Some people recommend filing the sharp edges on the ball so they can't catch on little nothings as easily and fool you into thinking you have a solid placement. Obviously, you can't have any kind of crumbly surface or any lubricants.

The ball has to be approximately 1/4 of the way up the paddle on insertion, ending up 1/2 to 3/4 up the paddle after a good vigorous jerk or two. If the ball ends up higher than that, there is a risk that it will pull past the top of the paddle and the placement will fail.

A badly placed ball nut will blow with a vigorous jerk; make sure you are positioned so this does not cause a fall.

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#41205 - 11/05/08 02:29 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
empicard Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
There is, however, a gap in the C3 range between red and yellow that, I think, also requires carrying a green Alien.


do you?
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#41207 - 11/05/08 02:43 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: empicard]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
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Green alien is my favorite piece!
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#41208 - 11/05/08 02:47 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: quanto_the_mad]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
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Thanks all. Being the gear whore I am, I'll probably have to buy a set of Ballnutz now so that my wife can give them to me for Christmas.

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#41212 - 11/05/08 01:30 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
Smike Offline
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Registered: 05/01/01
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Ballnuts will go on my rack when I think I need them, but man, fall on one and your second is in for a fun time cleaning it, but then again, if you have to leave it, it’s worth the 30-35 clams to kept you off the deck. I also carry a set up RP’s sizes 2 thru 5. Purple C3 has replaced my black Alien. I think it’s a much better choice in that range. From there up its Aliens for the next couple of sizes.

The key to small cams in the gunk’s (other then not breaking ;\) is a narrow head. C3’s have pretty much everyone beat in that category.


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#41223 - 11/05/08 04:22 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Smike]
Chas Offline
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Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I go with C3's from the red all the way down to the smallest one, which is grey (I think its their 000). On a 5.13a crack that I have tried a few times, at the beginning of the crux, all I can get in is the purple (00) C3 and then part of the way I can get a grey (000) C3. Nothing else fits except a ballnut and the C3's gives me more confidence.

For me the C3's rule since a) they are well made and engineered, b) they are thinner width wise so they can place in cracks where other pieces can't.

The metolius TCU's are well made but valuable real estate is taken up with the brazes

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#41228 - 11/05/08 05:35 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Chas]
Frank Florence Online   content
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 529
Loc: moved to Bend
I occasionally carry one or both of the two smallest size ballnuts, but, like RG, treat them as a specialty item, intended to solve the pro issue on a particular pitch. I used to carry a 00 TCU, but as Chas mentioned, it requires a relatively wide span of crack in order to be placed. I switched to the 0.1 and 0.2 Camalots, which are only a little less wide. They're now obsolete and the better mousetraps, in my opinion, are the C3s. Their narrow head design increases opportunities for placement and placing and cleaning are generally quicker than with any of the other items I mentioned.

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#41251 - 11/06/08 11:12 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Frank Florence]
LarE Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 45
I've never really felt the need to place a ballnut. In fact, the only time I've used a ballnut in the Gunks was the one that was fixed on Jean for a long time... that one I clipped happily and used gratuitously. I have also happily led Jean without the fixed ballnut in place. When the going gets thin, I tend to (a) place a LOT of RPs, HB offsets and #2 and #3 Stoppers; or (b) continue upward until I can get something reasonable.

I guess the second time Hugh Herr did Condemned Man, he fell and ripped out all but ONE of his dicey RP placements. There's a moral to that story, but darned if I can think of it...

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#41260 - 11/06/08 04:09 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: LarE]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
The moral is that dicey placements are dicey.

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#41275 - 11/06/08 07:14 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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I was trying to figure out how much force would be felt on the first piece, and went looking for a fall force calc. This was the first one that comes up in google.

http://www.myoan.net/climbart/climbforcecal.html
Uh... is it me or is the fall factor calculation wrong?

Plugging in numbers, say 180lbs, 10' rope and 1' above the pro gives just over 5KN on the climber, which is almost 8KN on the top piece? That's almost twice the rating of the smallest ballnutz. Guess you definitely need a screamer for those.
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#41286 - 11/06/08 08:13 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Mike Rawdon Offline

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Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: quanto_the_mad
I was trying to figure out how much force would be felt on the first piece, and went looking for a fall force calc. This was the first one that comes up in google.

http://www.myoan.net/climbart/climbforcecal.html
Uh... is it me or is the fall factor calculation wrong?

Plugging in numbers, say 180lbs, 10' rope and 1' above the pro gives just over 5KN on the climber, which is almost 8KN on the top piece? That's almost twice the rating of the smallest ballnutz. Guess you definitely need a screamer for those.


Yea, it looks fishy. A 2' fall on 100' of rope still gives 4.6 kN.

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#41302 - 11/06/08 11:09 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Mike Rawdon]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
A cursory inspection suggests that the turkey who produced this bit of silliness thinks that if d = distance from last anchor and L = length of rope, then

Fall factor = 1 + (d/L).

Some consequences of this are that the fall factor is never less than 1 for any fall, and that the fall factor is 1 if you don't fall any distance at all (i.e. if d = 0.)

I guess this is an object lesson in not believing everything you see on the web.

I think the Petzl calculator is ok; sorry not to have a link but someone will, no doubt, post one. I'll consult the Goldstone calculator tonight when I get home and post some numbers.

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#41303 - 11/06/08 11:36 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
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Thanks. Since you posted the pic of DW leading above two ballnuts (which you never did identify), and the other post about not going too high above them, I was just curious to see the forces involved as you moved above the piece(s), if they would actually hold a fall doubled up or with a screamer.
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#41312 - 11/07/08 04:12 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: quanto_the_mad]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
QtM, I didn't identify the picture because I forgot the route. Perhaps someone will recognize it.

Here are some calculations for a 4.5 kN piece like the #1 Ball Nut. I assumed a static belay (which is reasonable), a rope with an 8 kN UIAA rating, the standard 80 kg leader, and friction over the top biner equal to 1/3 the load on the leader's side. These assumptions mean that the leader fall impact must be less than 2.7 kN, and with the assumptions mentioned that corresponds to a fall factor of about 0.1.

What this means is that the piece is likely to break (assuming it stays in) if the leader advances more than a foot above the Ball Nut for every twenty feet of advance from the belay (a foot above the protection means that the tie-in is a foot above the protection).

This ain't much, of course---you have to be 80 feet out or so before you could contemplate letting such a placement get as low as foot level---but if you think about using such pieces as overhead protection, they may enable you to step up to better holds and/or better placements in a situation that would otherwise be far worse protected. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, such an overhead protection strategy could add more danger than it is worth (in the form of longer fall potential) if you aren't using double ropes.

I think that in the picture in question, Dick had a #3 and #4 placed near each other and clipped together. (When doing this, the pieces have to be placed and set with their directions of pull in mind, because Ball Nuts do not seem to tolerate rotation very well.) Those pieces are, I think, rated at 8 kN each and together should be physically strong enough for almost any impact.

A number of people have mentioned Screamers. By and large, Screamers are overrated and cannot be expected to make much difference in medium to large falls. The one situation they might make a genuine contribution to load reduction is for short falls, which is what we are talking about with small gear. So I think putting Screamers on Ball Nuts and brassies is a good idea if you do it with the mind-set of increasing the chance that the gear will hold a short fall. But imagining that the Screamer will in any meaningful way increase the size of the fall you might take is probably wishful thinking.

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#41316 - 11/07/08 04:56 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Ah, thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. I'm sure that there are a lot of us who have looked at the new guide and contemplated getting ballnutz.

I'd never really given a thought on how to use small gear, mostly have tried to avoid using them since I wasn't sure if they would hold. The overhead strategy makes sense with small gear.

Guess I have all winter to think about it. Thanks again!
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#41322 - 11/07/08 05:43 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
HR1 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 34
Loc: New Paltz
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

I think the Petzl calculator is ok; sorry not to have a link but someone will, no doubt, post one. I'll consult the Goldstone calculator tonight when I get home and post some numbers.


http://en.petzl.com/petzl/SportConseils?Conseil=56&Activite=15

The Petzl calculator seems to limit the force generated by a tube type belay device to ~2kN. This is kinda nice as far as limiting the forces on the gear, but has the side effect that the climber decks because of rope slippage on any fall greater than ~.8 Fall Factor for the 80 kg climber (or .75 FF for those of us who are more like 90 kg)

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#41323 - 11/07/08 06:13 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: HR1]
GOclimb Offline
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Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
I quite like the #2 and #3 Ballnutz. I only carry the #1 when aid climbing.

Aside from that, in cams, I carry Aliens from black up.

And in RPs, I don't carry anything I particularly like. I use the BD micro-nuts, but find them way too hard. Will probably pick up the new DMM brass offsets when they come out, and hope I like them better.

What do other folks like for small nuts? (BD #4 and smaller)

GO

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#41327 - 11/07/08 07:45 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: GOclimb]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Since brassies weigh so little and are soooo dependent on a great fit, I carry an ole RP, I think #4; all but the tiniest BDs and a #4 and #5 HB offset, that I've had for about 20 years. I may add another, larger RP and offset. I only seem to break them out when I'm really feeling the drop coming and have always been very grateful to have them. I will always prefer the siver and purple C3s when I can get a good placement, as they seem so much more stable in most circumstances. I love a great nut placement but seems that they are hard to find when getting down to the tiny stuff because the cracks are then fairly shallow and never seem to have the right taper to fit real well.

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#41329 - 11/07/08 07:55 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
3 15 yr old HB curves. These confidnee inspiring nuts have the heaviest stainless cable you would want.

Also carrying Metolius Astro-Nuts but have climbed so little in recent years I won't comment till I use them more. I do remember liking them way more tha the BD micro that I also have but don't carry.

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#41331 - 11/07/08 08:41 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: mworking]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
One of the difficulties in placing brass nuts and the like is that the cables are close enough to the nut size to get in the way of a taper or so thin they aren't worth carrying.

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#41388 - 11/10/08 06:18 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
Julie Offline
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Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
These assumptions mean that the leader fall impact must be less than 2.7 kN, and with the assumptions mentioned that corresponds to a fall factor of about 0.1.

What this means is that the piece is likely to break (assuming it stays in) if the leader advances more than a foot above the Ball Nut for every twenty feet of advance from the belay (a foot above the protection means that the tie-in is a foot above the protection).

.... (When doing this, the pieces have to be placed and set with their directions of pull in mind, because Ball Nuts do not seem to tolerate rotation very well.)


Putting these pieces together: it would seem that one should use at least some extension on Ballnutz, to prevent rope movement from nullifying the piece, especially since the unit itself is so stiff.

Yet, almost any extension renders the smaller sizes ... not so useful, according to the fall factor calculator: even an overhead piece, extended to your chest or waist, is often useless by the time you pass it.

Edit - add: I've climbed on the Superlight Rocks, which are nuts with one cable instead of two, and found I could fiddle them in where a cable kept a normal nut out. However, the single cable does mean a reduction in strength (see above): the smallest one, which I think is ~ the size of the largest BD micronut, clocks in at 4kN instead of 6-8 for the largest BD micronut. However, getting any nut in is preferable to no nut.


Edited by Julie (11/10/08 06:30 PM)

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#41395 - 11/10/08 07:14 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Julie]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
You don't need extension if you are climbing more or less directly over it. And given that, clipped short, it may be useless a foot or two below waist level anyway, there is really no need to arrange an extension in most cases. And if extension nonetheless seems worthwhile, you don't use it while the nut is in overhead mode, and only extend after you pass the placement. (This applies, of course, just as well to non-manky placements). A typical way to do this is to clip the overhead piece with a quickdraw and a long sling and then unclip the quickdraw from the rope as you move past.

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#41398 - 11/10/08 08:56 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
GOclimb Offline
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Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
Another way to get that marginal piece up into the better range is to equalize it with another piece. Even if the only other thing you can get in is a tiny nut in an ok placement, link 'em together with a crossed sling, and you're really increasing the chances of the the whole shebang holding a small fall.

Keep in mind, too, that this whole issue is specific for the smallest (#1) Ballnutz only. #2 Ballnutz are rated at 8kN. This is, typically, better than the equivalent sized cam, and should hold a moderate fall.

GO


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#41403 - 11/10/08 09:38 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Smike]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
The only time I've ever placed a C3, I exited the thin crack where I placed it and got above 15ft above on a Tuolumne slab (something on the south flank of Daff, I forget which line) into the glacial polish to a bolt, and THEN my belayer announced that it had fallen out. So I was at least 20ft out and looking at a plenty big ride. About the only time I remember a cam of any kind falling out of any kind of rock. The placement looked fine and I've certainly fallen on and not blown some that seemed worse. Yes, cams tip out all the time, but I'm going to blame the tool and I am, of course, a bad workman. Net result, they're not high on my list of faves though many, as here, swear by them. I do love that Black Alien.

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#41451 - 11/11/08 08:48 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: ianmanger]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
Is anyone making the equivalent of HB brass offset nuts? (I understand HB isn't around anymore.) I have two sets and after 15 years, they are pretty ratty.

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#41452 - 11/11/08 09:05 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Jim Lawyer]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
http://www.yosemitegifts.com/hboffsets.html

Being made by one of the climbers at the Yos rock shop. I've heard good stuff but haven't seen them myself.

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#41453 - 11/11/08 09:05 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Jim Lawyer]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Yes - the Yosemite Mtn shop has been selling the smaller brass ones since about the time HB quit. Right now their website says "temporarily out of stock", but it's worth a phone call.

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#41454 - 11/11/08 09:08 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Just saw that they are all listed as out of stock, but I would call the shop to see if they know anything.
Some have gone to the DMM offset nuts, which are also pretty good but what I can tell are just a tad harder and maybe not as easy to then keep in place. Maybe someone who actually uses them can comment?

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#41455 - 11/11/08 09:08 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Jim Lawyer]
HR1 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 34
Loc: New Paltz
I think that DMM is going to start making them.

http://www.dmmclimbing.com/newsArticle.asp?id=93

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#41456 - 11/11/08 09:16 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Julie]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
I have a set of the four larger ones from the Yos shop. Never had the originals so I don't know how they compare. Minor annoyance, the shrink plastic that makes the loop keeps sliding down towards the nut.

Mountain Tools says they've got DMM Brass offsets coming spring 09, guess they finally got the licensing figured out.
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#41458 - 11/11/08 10:03 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: quanto_the_mad]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
The small DMM alloy Peenuts come in an offset version and these are the ones I've seen on a few racks. I would wait for the brass nuts.

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#41462 - 11/11/08 11:11 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
I called -- the Yosemite Mountain Shop no longer carries the item, and it's no longer available. They will be replaced with the DMM version in the spring.

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#41833 - 11/19/08 05:16 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Jim Lawyer]
GOclimb Offline
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Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
Just did a route in the desert last weekend. Small placement up against an expando flake. Blue Alien held bodyweight but ripped from a small (ff .1) fall. But a pair of equalized Ballnutz didn't budge in the slightest in the same placement, with a harder (~ff .2) fall.

Not too many expando flakes in the Gunks, but it's still worth noting - Ballnutz seem to put less outward force on the rock.

GO

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#41835 - 11/19/08 06:50 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: GOclimb]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Or maybe more? I think the ballnuts might have a greater effective expansion range than the alien.

Then again, maybe a pair of equalized aliens wouldn't have pulled either.

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#41840 - 11/19/08 07:18 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks for posting. Experience still seems to guide how most of us feel about various placements, since it is so very difficult to account for all the variables in real life. Most folk would trust a blue alien in any decent placement, but expando? Hard to tell if this was simply spreading out the load or if the nature of the ballnuts was the real reason for success.

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#41847 - 11/19/08 09:32 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
Chas Offline
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Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Do aliens have less expansion range then a ballnut? The range of ballnuts is REALLY small in real world practice.

I'm still a fan of C3's. This is the route that only C3's work through the crux (which is 15ft long, my topo says black aliens and smaller, but I can only get three lobes of the black alien in- and its still crappy, whereas the C3 goes in like butter). http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/404797.JPG http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/383719.jpg For me I'm not running it that far out on 5.12d terrain (and I've taken the fall just fine.). Aliens that aren't defective are just fine (I'm picky on this since I've seen a braze fail and the guy smashed his brains), as are C3's. If a cam fails from anything outside of total cam failure, its most likely operator error and having NOTHING to do with the cam (including when the cams track through soft rock).

The images are of a guy I know doing a pick point on my gear, and two days later came back and got the second ascent of the route.


Edited by Chas (11/19/08 09:39 PM)

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#41853 - 11/19/08 11:58 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Chas]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
That's a proud looking line. Congrats.

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#41854 - 11/20/08 12:26 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: chip]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
The small ballnuts have 2:1 expansion range from bottom to top of the paddle. It is true that, when placing them, you feel like there is either one way they'll fit (with ball at bottom of the paddle) or none. But, if the flake they are behind expands a little, I suspect there is a greater chance the ballnut will stay in as opposed to, say, an alien. But this is just hypothesizing.

I agree about C3's; they are just a better mousetrap than other small cams.

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#41855 - 11/20/08 03:13 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
Dude, you catch mice with your gear? And I thought it was only for climbing rocks!
_________________________
tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#41858 - 11/20/08 04:07 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: empicard]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
A fundamental old-school tenet, now largely abandoned, is that all gear should be multipurpose.

And since even a mouse can break the brazed joint on an Alien if tempted by a sufficient quantity of cheese, well you can see that C3's are really the only alternative.

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#41864 - 11/20/08 03:13 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Techrock Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 5
Loc: New Jersey
I find it curious that no one has mentioned Wild Country Zeros in this discussion thread. Has anyone used them it similar situations where Ballnutz, C3s or Aliens are placed? Why or why not? Their flexibility is supposed to be an advantage so as not to rotate out of small cracks. I have no experience with the Zeros.

Thanks

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#41868 - 11/20/08 04:55 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Techrock]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I used Zeros for a long time, starting with the Moritorium and Rostrum in Yosemite to elsewhere. They are just as good as any other piece of gear (ie: among Aliens, Metolius, BD). For me, I just found C3's faster to place (and narrower which in places have a distinct advantages), but Zero's are a decent piece of gear.

Chip, the line is pretty good, but if you are ever out my way, drop me a line if you want to check out this thingie: (best route I've been on yet; and is really not that well known) http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/463325.JPG


Edited by Chas (11/20/08 04:59 PM)

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#41870 - 11/20/08 06:30 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: rg@ofmc]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
Or maybe more? I think the ballnuts might have a greater effective expansion range than the alien.


I wasn't talking about expansion range. I was talking about outward force on the rock relative to the downward force on the cam. I know a cam typically creates twice the outward force (am I right, RG?) I don't know how much outward force a Ballnut creates relative to the downward, but I suspect that, like a nut, it creates less. This is why they're so finicky to place, and require a good set. There just isn't an efficient transfer of outward force like the rotation around the axle gives you in a cam.

 Quote:
Then again, maybe a pair of equalized aliens wouldn't have pulled either.


Possible, but I doubt it. Since the failure mechanism of the cam was that it expanded the flake and then just pulled right out, two cams would have put exactly as much force on the flake as one cam, just over a larger area. I don't think that distributing that force over a wider area would have made any difference in this case, as the expando flake was big.

GO

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#41871 - 11/20/08 06:34 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Techrock]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
I bought some Zeros and used them for a while. I hated them, and wound up getting rid of them. The trigger action was poor, they were too wide, and the range was too small. This, relative to the Aliens I had on my rack at the time.

GO

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#41872 - 11/20/08 06:38 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: GOclimb]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
By the way, I'm not suggesting that Ballnutz are some kind of be-all-end-all small gear. On this same climb, I tried for several minutes to get a #1 Ballnut to fit in a placement that was exactly the right size for it. I was at a big ledge, and had all the time in the world to fiddle it into exactly the perfect spot. However the rock was too soft, and the piece ripped out every single time I tried to set it. In a placement like that, the only good gear (that I'm aware of) would be a pin.

GO

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#41873 - 11/20/08 06:46 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: GOclimb]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
My very meager overall experience is similar to Go’s. I don’t hate Zeros (they are usable) but compared to other small cams:

they are too flexible to place easily,
they get stuck more easily than any other small cam I’ve used
they are wide
small sizes are not strong (specwise)


Edited by Mark Heyman (11/20/08 09:49 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification

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#41874 - 11/20/08 07:30 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Mark Heyman]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
I have an extra blue Z5 Zero Cam if anyone wants it. About the same size as a green Alien, very lightly used. $30. I personally find the Zeros to be quite acceptable and they go on my rack when I expect to need lots of fingertip-size cams.

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#41875 - 11/20/08 08:05 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I agree with Mike on this one. On the very last picture I posted (the single link within a post), the first pitch goes with 6 green C3's (or blue aliens). I have 3 green C3's so I supplement them with 3 yellow zero's.

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#41876 - 11/20/08 08:52 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Chas]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/463325.JPG

That route strikes me as a western version of Bonnie's Roof! (Although looks a wee bit stiffer). Gorgeous.

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#41877 - 11/20/08 09:55 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
I personally find the Zeros to be quite acceptable and they go on my rack when I expect to need lots of fingertip-size cams.


I have a couple of Zeros I occasionally use, and recently used a partners.

But, what are you using for small cams when you don't need lots of fingertip-size cams?

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#41879 - 11/21/08 02:12 AM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Mark Heyman]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
My main small cams are blue through red Aliens and/or purple through black Metolius.

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#41883 - 11/21/08 12:52 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Mike Rawdon]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Chuck, have you done Monkeyfinger in Zion yet? Seems like you'd be all over that line.

RR

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#41886 - 11/21/08 02:17 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: RangerRob]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
looking to do Moonlight Buttress this spring (had knee surgery last spring) before Monkeyfingers since Moonlight Butt is suppose to be a far more aestetically pleasing route.

It is a gorgous lines. One of the best lines I've done anywhere in the world (and its just outside of Sedona). You could probably say that its a bit more difficult then Bonnies, P1 goes 5.12a (6 green C3's) P2 goes 5.11d (1 0.4 C4 and 5 0.5 C4's) P3 goes 5.12d (either 7 bolts or the 6 green C3's and a 0.5 C4 if you skip the bolts) P4 goes 5.11b (hand size pieces) and P5 goes 5.11c (wider stuff and hand size pieces)


Edited by Chas (11/21/08 02:19 PM)

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#41891 - 11/21/08 09:32 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Chas]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Smike and I did the first 2 pitches of Monkeyfinger, the second being my first 5.11 lead. The rest of it looked oh so sweet, but oh so hard! Good luck with Moonlight. I have not crossed the river to look at it closely yet, but it definitely stands out

RR

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#42029 - 11/29/08 08:49 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: RangerRob]
pazreal Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Just got back from Zion and ended up doing ML. Man oh man do things sloooowwwww down when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.

Wish we had offset nuts to speed some stuff up. Ended up fixing a black alien and ripping a 0 HB Brass offset.

Used a 000 C3 for the first time and it was really cool and I am very impressed with it especially over edges. It perfectly flexes over an edge and instills confidence.

Pics below
http://gallery.mac.com/arthurdebowski#100241&bgcolor=black&view=grid&sel=0

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#42036 - 12/01/08 02:12 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: pazreal]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Nice job Arthur!!

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#42038 - 12/01/08 02:25 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: RangerRob]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
He's got some sweet photos up on his facebook...

Maybe he'll write up a little TR?
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#42040 - 12/01/08 02:43 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: pazreal]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Arthur,

Nice pics

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#42041 - 12/01/08 06:46 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: Chas]
pazreal Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
I may indeed type something up. These next few weeks suck for me but any distraction from finals is welcomed.

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#42043 - 12/01/08 07:17 PM Re: small gear preferences [Re: pazreal]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I quess it is only natural to forget just how stunning and beautiful a place can be. Thanks.

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