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#42610 - 01/16/09 07:40 PM Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks?
mr.tastycakes Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/07/08
Posts: 25
Hey all. I'm a novice leader looking for a little advice on filling out my rack. Some sources (gunks.com FAQ, grey dick for example) say that your basic gunks rack should include cams up to #3 camalot. But out on the rocks I regularly see racks without the #3, and the two leaders i've followed didn't carry one. On the handful of pitches I've lead I neither carried nor felt I needed one. I realize that without the #3 i'll be SOL when it comes to protecting that size crack...but I'm thinking: too expensive, too heavy, just borrow one if the guidebook mentions it would be useful for a particular climb. So, what's your opinion? Do you carry your #3 when climbing at the gunks (particularly when onsighting/you don't remember the gear for a climb)?

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#42611 - 01/16/09 08:05 PM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: mr.tastycakes]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
many don't, it's true, but I always carry it unless I know it's NOT needed, rather than the vicey-versey... never can be too careful. What puzzles me is the leaders who have 5 #1's, and no #3.

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#42612 - 01/16/09 08:14 PM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: mr.tastycakes]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I always have one in the pack, but don't carry it unless either the guidebook (or a friend) mentions the need for it, or else I suspect for some reason that I might need it.

On a few occasions I've had to pull it up after starting up as usual without it. I've also managed to protect some climbs just fine without it even though it is supposed to be necessary.

All in all, I'd say you don't need one 90% or more of the time. But if you are a novice leader, it might be important to have it on that other 10%. Of course, if you do carry it, you'll find places for it, and one strategy for pitches where you don't anticipate needing it is to place it early and make the second lug it up.

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#42613 - 01/16/09 08:51 PM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: rg@ofmc]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2954
Loc: LI, NY
not always on the rack, but always in the pack, along with the 3.5!
_________________________
tOOthless

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

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#42614 - 01/16/09 09:51 PM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: empicard]
Timbo Offline
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 694
Loc: Delaware
 Originally Posted By: empicard
not always on the rack, but always in the pack, along with the 3.5!


ditto

TS
_________________________

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#42615 - 01/16/09 10:39 PM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: mr.tastycakes]
Bill Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 85
Loc: Mass Land
Sixth year of trad, much mileage at the Gunks, knocking back 5.8's aspiring this year to 5.9's. Haven't carried my #3 at the Gunks in two years, probably haven't placed in in four years. YMMV.

I have been filling out the small end of my rack with green, red and yellow C-3's, I have sworn off Aliens. Looking this year to get small nuts, brass, regular and offsets.

I would be interested in knowing what would be the trade-off if you didn't get the #3. I do remember the "adventure" involved as a novice leader at the Gunks with a thin rack, a handful of nuts and a few cams. Often the length of the pitches was limited not by the rope but by the amount of gear I had and how bold I wanted to be.

Conventional wisdom is to go with nuts. Cheaper to cover appropriate range and double and triple up in appropriate sizes, #6 to #9 nuts, than cams. Worked pretty well for me in Mass and New Hampshire; less well at the Gunks.

For the Gunks, due to the prevalence of horizontal cracks, I would look to double up on pink, red and brown tricams; get cam coverage in the yellow C3 up to the #2 and then start doubling in the in the .75 and .5 range on down. Of course by the time you get too far into doubling up on the cams you will know what you need.

Good luck, have fun. Bill

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#42616 - 01/16/09 11:03 PM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: Bill]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
If you're leading routes in the easier to moderate range, you're not going to need a #3 Camalot often. Yes, there are climbs with wider cracks or that have placement opportunities for larger gear, but on almost all you can protect the routes safely with smaller pieces. I had been climbing at the Gunks for almost a decade before I bought a #3. If you're assembling your rack on a budget (as most of us have) you'd do better to build up an adequate collection of nuts and cams in the size range that Bill describes before getting big pro.

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#42619 - 01/17/09 04:06 AM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: Frank Florence]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
I’m the perpetual gumby, so I always carry a #3 Camalot because I never know I won’tneed it. Correlating carrying less gear as progress, then that is still progress for me since I no longer always carry a #4! I do find I can get away without ‘big’ gear more often than I used t, but I find ‘large’ gear really convenient and safe at Gunks belay ledges where the horizontals at the bottomof the ledges tend to be large.

Now I often carry a shiny new new #4 in my pack for someone to steal. It’s ideally sized between an old #3.5 and old #4. But I think lighter than the old #3.5!


Edited by Mark Heyman (01/17/09 04:08 AM)

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#42620 - 01/17/09 04:47 AM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: Mark Heyman]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
There was a time when I thought that the only cams needed at the gunks were a .5 and 1.5 rigid Friend. I was also deluded into thinking I could cam an SMC camlock in real solid whenever needed. Things change. I always carry the #3 C3 now and fulfill the prophesy by placing it a lot. It is a great belay anchor matrix piece, especially on the GT ledge.

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#42621 - 01/17/09 04:49 AM Re: Do you carry a #3 camalot at the gunks? [Re: chip]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thank God there is an active thread on here. I thought you had all gone over to rc.com and I would have slit my wrists if I had to read that all the time.

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