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Fixe Alien (Umbrella failure)
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By Tradoholic
Oct 4, 2012

caughtinside wrote:
That's some impressive baseless speculation. Sounds to me like a sub par placement busted the cam. Stops or a different brand doesn't mean it would have held, (or even fit!) it still could have skated. If you're relying on cam stops to catch you you're dreaming, and you've already f'd up.


You are right, but the chance to hold is a whole lot better than no chance. I think the fact that these other cams have at least tried to accommodate these problems shows their superiority.


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By slim
Administrator
Oct 4, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i wouldn't really classify .3 and .4 camalots as micro, kind of talking about apples and lawn furniture here......


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By Karsten
From Sacramento, CA
Oct 4, 2012
FA's can be scary.  Photo by DeAngelo

caughtinside wrote:
Those other designs have improved small cam options but they are still not as good as aliens. C4s, still too wide sometimes. C3s, basically an overpriced TCU. No stem flexibility in the direction you want it. Mastercams probably the closest but have the lower range metolius cam angle, a poor trigger design and the harder lobes. Still would probably be my top pick as an alien alternative. That new X4 looks cool, but honestly the stuff I was using 10 years ago, camalots and aliens has stood the test of time and new designs. Clyde Soles told me on here years ago that 'everythign you think you know about cams is about to change.' Well, I tried the Links, the Max and the Supercams, and they basically all suck compared to older cam designs. Even Dragons got worse than the thing they copied. So while I'm sure the X4 will be a fine cam, at this point I am doubtful it will be a significant improvement, or maybe even a slight improvement, on the current state of the cam art.


+1

I primarily use the Metolious Masters now as they are sturdier and work for most free climbing routes but for aid and those tough placements I got to the aliens. They just stick in there like nothing else.


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By bearbreeder
Oct 4, 2012

dragons are "better" than the C4s IMO for the stuff i use anyways ... as to small cams ... its about what fits and yr preference

if you look at what the best use, theyll use whatever fits and whatever the can get their hands on ... i personally find it utterly amazing that some people say somethings dont work when clearly another climber is using em in the same place


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Oct 4, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

bearbreeder wrote:
dragons are "better" than the C4s IMO for the stuff i use anyways ... as to small cams ... its about what fits and yr preference if you look at what the best use, theyll use whatever fits and whatever the can get their hands on ... i personally find it utterly amazing that some people say somethings dont work when clearly another climber is using em in the same place

Ya, well, there are plenty of people who can climb right through my projects (or even solo them!) and not stop to place gear too. That doesn't mean that some gear won't place better than others in those spots where I need to stop.

It is especially true that some gear is better than others when aiding. There's a world of difference between getting a bomber piece of gear in and quickly moving up or hanging out for half an hour trying to get in a piece that doesn't quite fit. Aiding on flaring pin scars with offset Aliens or without is a perfect example of this.


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By bearbreeder
Oct 4, 2012

csproul wrote:
Ya, well, there are plenty of people who can climb right through my projects (or even solo them!) and not stop to place gear too. That doesn't mean that some gear won't place better than others in those spots where I need to stop. It is especially true that some gear is better than others when aiding. There's a world of difference between getting a bomber piece of gear in and quickly moving up or hanging out for half an hour trying to get in a piece that doesn't quite fit. Aiding on flaring pin scars with offset Aliens or without is a perfect example of this.


im not saying that small gear doesnt make a difference ... hell i even plug in a tricam on certain routes ...

but ask yourself if this is a route where you MUST have aliens/TCUs/C4s, etc ... and that without it anyone who does it is "unsafe" ... more often than not someone who aint a sponsored climber has probably done the route just fine without that particular piece of gear

one thing i will say is that offset nuts are da bomb ... but plenty of my partners seem to get by without em

it all depends what youre doing


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By Tradoholic
Oct 4, 2012

slim wrote:
i wouldn't really classify .3 and .4 camalots as micro, kind of talking about apples and lawn furniture here......


I believe the cam in question is a yellow alien, just a hair smaller than a .3, agreed neither are micro.

To get small grab some C3s, no cam stop breaking issues that I'm aware of. I've whipped pretty good on the purple, second to smallest.


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Oct 4, 2012

S.P.L.T. Image wrote:
You are right, but the chance to hold is a whole lot better than no chance. I think the fact that these other cams have at least tried to accommodate these problems shows their superiority.


You either sent or you didn't.


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By Eric Krantz
From Black Hills
Oct 5, 2012
smoke break, pitch 5 or 6 (or 7??) of Dark Shadows

Place the cam correctly and you won't need the "safeguard" of the camstop, which will shear off because it's only a safeguard in your mind. It's not engineered to hold a fall. It's engineered to stop the springs from springing the cams open too far and while you're dinking it into place. The why the multiple shearing failures of the camstops haven't made front page news like the alien failures.


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By Tradoholic
Oct 6, 2012

Where did you get your information from? You think you can front when revelation comes?


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By Gunkiemike
Oct 6, 2012

S.P.L.T. Image wrote:
You think you can front when revalation comes?


WTF?


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By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Oct 8, 2012
Thumbtastic

Don't let one random comment stop the flow of stupid, guys.

Keep 'er going. Talk about the importance of cam stops on Ballnutz or something.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Oct 8, 2012
Cleo's Needle

Now would be an ideal time to discuss micro cracks.


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By patto
Oct 10, 2012

This is quite entertaining really. SPLT. Can you name ANY micro cams that have rated cam stops that will hold a fall?

S.P.L.T. Image wrote:
When the camstop breaks on a Metolius then you have yourself an Alien.

LOL! No then you have a broken cam.



Personally I'm not a fan of Aliens. I like my zeros (cause nothing else goes that small) and master cams. But the criticism here is totally unwarranted.


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By rogerbenton
Oct 10, 2012
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible.

Gunkiemike wrote:
WTF?




beastie boys lyric.


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By skiclimber
Oct 10, 2012
jibbing at chasm lake

My Aliens caught on fire, has this happened to anyone else. I was just climbing along and all my aliens caught fire at the same time. I think it was spontaneous combustion.


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By Tradoholic
Oct 10, 2012

patto wrote:
This is quite entertaining really. SPLT. Can you name ANY micro cams that have rated cam stops that will hold a fall? LOL! No then you have a broken cam. Personally I'm not a fan of Aliens. I like my zeros (cause nothing else goes that small) and master cams. But the criticism here is totally unwarranted.


Cams are rated as a cam not as specific parts, ie camstops aren't rated, except maybe in the case of Camalots or Dragons with duel axls, which I believe BD rates at full strength. What I'm saying is that in the case of the likely placement in the OP a cam stop will be stronger than the trigger wires. It would certainly be interesting to see a study where all cams are placed passively in the open position and then strength tested. I'm sure Aliens would fail this test miserably.

It would be ideal to simply place the cam correctly with the size applicable to the crack but sometimes it's all that's left on the rack so I would opt for cams that won't umbrella, not to mention cast $20 less ;)

I can see how the argument could be made in the case of micro cams (Met #0 and smaller) that camstops might be useless for holding a fall, they are just too small but most certainly in the case of the OP a C4 could have been used and would have been much less likely (or not at all) to umbrella.


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Oct 10, 2012

skiclimber wrote:
My Aliens caught on fire, has this happened to anyone else. I was just climbing along and all my aliens caught fire at the same time. I think it was spontaneous combustion.


Nah but I've had the whole thing just melt.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Oct 10, 2012
Cleo's Needle

Umbrella ella ella aye aye aye


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By John Husky
Oct 10, 2012

Machete don't text.

Hexes don't umbrella.


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By Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 10, 2012
Great quality rock on this one!

skiclimber wrote:
My Aliens caught on fire, has this happened to anyone else. I was just climbing along and all my aliens caught fire at the same time. I think it was spontaneous combustion.


My aliens be on fiya!


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By barnaclebob
Oct 15, 2012

How do most cams fail when they are placed nearly tipped out? I'm not sure that cam stops will have any effect in a near tipped out placement if the failures are due to axle deformation or lobe shearing.


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By Tom Grummon
From Golden, CO
Oct 15, 2012
Top of Montezuma's Tower

Look at the C4 instruction sheet and it only says that the cams are safe in a passive configuration if the rock is contacting the cam close to the stem.

In the case of a tipped out cam the rock is father from the stem and axle increasing the torque on the cam stops and making the placement unsafe. As for how much this reduces the placements strength, I have no idea. But the fact is that a tipped out cam is not safe, cam stops or no.


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By Aric Datesman
Oct 16, 2012

barnaclebob wrote:
How do most cams fail when they are placed nearly tipped out?


Sigh.... So much speculation in this thread and so little hard fact. Shouldn't this be on RC?

In my experience, the answer is *it depends*. I've broken more cams than most here, and frankly double axle doesn't automatically mean holds better when tipped out. Personally, I won't willingly climb with U-stem Camalots due to an inherent design flaw (that BD refuses to acknowledge) which causes the axles to bend while the lobes tip out, thereby reducing the holding power and allowing the cam to skate out of the placement at well under rated strength.

Mind you, this issue was limited to the U-stem Camalots and was rectified when they came out the single stem ones. That said, I keep seeing/hearing about people climbing with U-stem Camalots though, and BD seems uninterested in doing anything about encouraging people to upgrade to newer equipment and that really sticks in my craw. Irresponsible IMO, but what do I know; I only watched it happen multiple times in a lab environment. Best I could get out of them was "the cams I was testing were of unknown history, so the test results were invalid". IMO that doesn't change the fact the axles would turn u-shaped when loaded past 60% expansion, but what do I know.... They're double axle and therefore bomber. Apparently. And any questioning of it is not allowed, according to the BD sales rep I had the (mis)fortune of discussing the topic at length with. At which point I was asked by the event manager to remove all the broken BD gear from the display, in spite of having the test data showing how and why it failed.


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By AnthonyM
Oct 16, 2012
Maroon Bells-Bell Cord Couloir

bearbreeder wrote:
one thing i will say is that offset nuts are da bomb ... but plenty of my partners seem to get by without em it all depends what youre doing


Always liked these but got by with a regular set of Black Diamond nuts... It wasn't until I took a whipper on my buddies red offset (my favorite one) that I realized how amazing they are. I bought some a few weeks later and love them.

I agree you can get by with a variety of types of cams/pro but it is really up to the original user. Hopefully they're weighing the cost and benefits of each piece as well as each placement.

I have seen the "Umbrella Affect" occur a couple times. It happens when the cam walks (to a wider opening) and then you put weight on it/pull it. It was when I first learned to place as well as when I was following a buddy...

When the "umbrella affect" occurs it is usually because of user error... (I am not saying that mechanical failures don't happen)

I agree with the above comments that the rocks need to be close to the stem for an effective passive cam placement... It also needs to be a relatively flat area (what the back of the cam lobes are resting on) for it to work. If the placement walks into an area shaped like a 'V' (assuming it is working its way from narrow to the large opening) it can trigger the cam to umbrella. In other words, don't place it there.


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