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Ball nuts instead of micro cams in sandstone splitters

Original Post
Phil Sakievich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 118

Earlier this year I was climbing in Zion and placed a ball nut in a flared relatively/shallow crack. It was incredibly bomber. Unfortunately it was an old piece and the end cap on the trigger wire came off when removal was attempted. I wrenched and schemed for 30 minutes trying to get it out before leaving it for a resilient and better equipped pirate. I only have one left (bought two used ones several years ago)

Anyways, just curious if people are using these at the creek and what not? Lots more surface area than a tiny cam and not too much taper. I'm hoping to go to the creek this winter and may stalk up on a few more. Who knows, maybe a ball nut could have saved Grog's tips?

Thoughts? comments? etc.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

I love my ballnuts with 2 caveats:
1) flares...can be hard to get the max contact
b) you take a whipper on them and they are fixed gear.
If you are climbing that thin, ballnut thin, there is nothing like. In basalt, granite or sandstone.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

I've used the two smallest ones (original lowe ones not the camp/trango) a lot on SW colorado sandstone both free and aid. I've used them on sandstone harder and softer than wingate (creek sandstone). I love them as the local sandstone tends to form these really shallow grooves and sometimes you can get a ballnut in where you could only fit 2 lobes of a micro-cam. Also, the additional surface area helps on really soft sandstone. I've only whipped on the larger one twice and, although they both ripped, it was because the rock crumbled around them so i think they would have held if I wasn't climbing choss. I don't know how they work on totally parallel cracks, though, as I've always been able to find at least a slight constriction to slot them in.

Justin Headley · · Tucson · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 330

I love my ballnuts and have used them in granite and sandstone while free and aid climbing. I've never whipped on one, but even putting body weight on them while aid climbing kinks them so much that you need pliers to get them straight again. So for the cracks smaller than a 000 cam, you can't beat them, but given the choice of a ballnut or a cam, I'd rather use a cam.

Ball · · Oakridge, OR · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 70

They're bomber IF the rock doesn't blow.

I once placed a #2 ballnut in Indian Creek, but it probably wasn't good pro because that sandstone is SOOOOOOOOOFT!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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