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How old are these cams?


Original Post
Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

I recently bought some used trad gear from a friend getting out of the game.  I don't know much about trad, and I don't plan on using the gear until I get some more experience.  I was hoping to get the cams reslung, but I fear they may be older than 10 years, and most services won't resling them.  The majority of the cams are Clog, but there are also a handful of smaller Metolius, a couple BD Camalots, and a Chouinard Camalot.  The only information I can find on clog is that they're owned by Wild Country, but do they still even exist, or make cams?  And if not, when did they stop?  I've included some pictures of the cams.

The clog cams are all this era.

The metolius are all like this as well.

There are two BD in this style, one #1 and a 0.75

The last one is the Chouinard.  I know Chouinard was acquired by BD in like 1989?  Does that mean this one is at least 28 years old?

Any help on these would be appreciated!  Advice on where to get reslings would be great as well!  Many thanks!

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

I'm not sure you can find anyone to re-sling the Chouinard camalot (1st or 2nd gen). 

Metolius will most likely re-sling that TCU- it looks fine.

BD will most likely re-sling the red and green Camalots (gen 3). I had mine re-slung recently. You can always call and ask first.

Clogs look like they're of mid 2000s make (or round about there)- my buddy had a set that looked exactly like those back when I first started climbing in '02. 

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
John Wilder wrote:

I'm not sure you can find anyone to re-sling the Chouinard camalot (1st or 2nd gen). 

Metolius will most likely re-sling that TCU- it looks fine.

BD will most likely re-sling the red and green Camalots (gen 3). I had mine re-slung recently. You can always call and ask first.

Clogs look like they're of mid 2000s make (or round about there)- my buddy had a set that looked exactly like those back when I first started climbing in '02. 

That's a huge help.  Thank you, John!

Abram Herman · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 20

My best guess would be Pleistocene. Have you submitted them for carbon dating?

Really, though, if it were me I wouldn't bother getting them professionally reslung (but you should definitely replace that tat if you are planning to climb on them). They aren't particularly awesome cams, so I would probably just get some webbing and knot it and call it good, and save the money I'd spend on having someone else resling them to eventually buy better gear as my primary rack.

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105

Chounaird cams don't have a sling. What makes you say cams over 10 years won't be reslung? I don't see anything about that at Mountain Tools or Runout Customs.

http://www.mtntools.com/cat/rclimb/cams/mt_camresling.htm

http://www.runoutcustoms.com/cam-repair-resling.html

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772

The last one is the Chouinard.  I know Chouinard was acquired by BD in like 1989?  Does that mean this one is at least 28 years old?

Yeah, that Chouinard Camalot would be late 80's vintage.  Look for cracks in the forged aluminum head (top between the cam lobes).

You might find a lot date code on the cams.  On the BD/Chouinard cams look closely at the underside of cams, etc, for a 4 or 5 digit number.  I think the first number would be the year (ie, 5XXX would be manufactured in 1995).

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Abram Herman wrote:

My best guess would be Pleistocene. Have you submitted them for carbon dating?

Really, though, if it were me I wouldn't bother getting them professionally reslung (but you should definitely replace that tat if you are planning to climb on them). They aren't particularly awesome cams, so I would probably just get some webbing and knot it and call it good, and save the money I'd spend on having someone else resling them to eventually buy better gear as my primary rack.

Yeah, this makes a lot of sense.   Probably not the best purchase, I'm realizing, but what's done is done!  Thank you for the input!

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
steverett wrote:

Chounaird cams don't have a sling. What makes you say cams over 10 years won't be reslung? I don't see anything about that at Mountain Tools or Runout Customs.

http://www.mtntools.com/cat/rclimb/cams/mt_camresling.htm

http://www.runoutcustoms.com/cam-repair-resling.html

That must be my mistake.  I thought I had read somewhere on here that some places don't resling old cams, but I guess that's definitely not always the case.  Thank you so much for the references!  As for the Chouinard, just noticed a cracked head, so I won't be climbing on that one it seems.  Nice to know that slings arent used on those, though.  Thanks!

ClimbBaja · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 25

Inspect your old #2 U-stem Camalot for cracks. See this thread for more info:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=101473&msg=101666#msg101666

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Brian in SLC wrote:

Yeah, that Chouinard Camalot would be late 80's vintage.  Look for cracks in the forged aluminum head (top between the cam lobes).

You might find a lot date code on the cams.  On the BD/Chouinard cams look closely at the underside of cams, etc, for a 4 or 5 digit number.  I think the first number would be the year (ie, 5XXX would be manufactured in 1995).

Thanks for the advice.  I just checked, and it does indeed have a cracked head, so I guess that one is no good!  I'm not seeing the numbers anywhere, but thank you for confirming the era!

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
ClimbBaja wrote:

Inspect your old #2 U-stem Camalot for cracks. See this thread for more info:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=101473&msg=101666#msg101666

Cracked, indeed.  Appreciate the info! Thank you!

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 13,772
Bryce Wilson wrote:

That must be my mistake.  I thought I had read somewhere on here that some places don't resling old cams, but I guess that's definitely not always the case.  Thank you so much for the references!  As for the Chouinard, just noticed a cracked head, so I won't be climbing on that one it seems.  Nice to know that slings arent used on those, though.  Thanks!

The old Camalot Juniors had a black plastic wire protector on the loop of wire at the bottom of the cam.  I used to retrofit my larger camalots with that plastic protector and have a sewn sling added.  Eventually, was just easier to upgrade my cams to the newer models.

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 234

Agree with John that the Clog cam looks like early/mid 2000s. It's basically the same as a Flexible Friend from the era. Wild Country acquired Clog back in 1986 but for a while they kept the brand name alive as a cheaper version of Wild Country gear. IIRC there were some recalls on the earliest generation of Flexible Friends (circa 1988) because of problems with the stem attachment to the head, but those issues were all sorted out within a year or so.

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 580

Why not resling?

Aside from manufacturing or materials defects, hardware is just that: hardware.  It generally doesn't fatigue because of age, it fatigues because of use.  The only reason, in fact, to update this sort of gear is betterment of technology and ease of use.  The stuff that you've acquired is perfectly fine as you're getting into the sport and learning to place gear, build anchors, etc. If you reach the point where you're pushing yourself, you might appreciate a newer rack.

Ragged Mountain in Intervale, NH will replace the slings and their workmanship is quite good. 

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 290

Yeah, those double stem camalots sucked balls even when brand new. I had a new one blow up on me back in the day - put me off Chouinard / BD cams to this day. 

Anyone finding one in their possession for any reason should just shit can them (and please don't sell them on ebay to folks who don't know anything about them).

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

I bought a bunch of clogs in the early 2000's. Basically the same as the friends but only had pin cam stops instead of machined, so no strength when open.

Over the years they didn't age as well. Springs got mushy and it became increasingly difficult to keep the lobes in line. They got super hard to place. I remember jettisoning one off a route once, never even looked for it.

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45
Bryce Wilson wrote:

Thanks for the advice.  I just checked, and it does indeed have a cracked head, so I guess that one is no good!  I'm not seeing the numbers anywhere, but thank you for confirming the era!

I'd be interested in buying it off of you.

Stein Pull · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 0

The Metolius TCU should have the month and year of manufacture stamped on it.

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Martin le Roux wrote:

Agree with John that the Clog cam looks like early/mid 2000s. It's basically the same as a Flexible Friend from the era. Wild Country acquired Clog back in 1986 but for a while they kept the brand name alive as a cheaper version of Wild Country gear. IIRC there were some recalls on the earliest generation of Flexible Friends (circa 1988) because of problems with the stem attachment to the head, but those issues were all sorted out within a year or so.

Awesome, thank you for the history!  That's nice to know.

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
chris magness wrote:

Why not resling?

Aside from manufacturing or materials defects, hardware is just that: hardware.  It generally doesn't fatigue because of age, it fatigues because of use.  The only reason, in fact, to update this sort of gear is betterment of technology and ease of use.  The stuff that you've acquired is perfectly fine as you're getting into the sport and learning to place gear, build anchors, etc. If you reach the point where you're pushing yourself, you might appreciate a newer rack.

Ragged Mountain in Intervale, NH will replace the slings and their workmanship is quite good. 

Ragged Mountain looks pretty solid!  $6 per cam seems super reasonable.  Thank you!

Bryce Wilson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion wrote:

I bought a bunch of clogs in the early 2000's. Basically the same as the friends but only had pin cam stops instead of machined, so no strength when open.

Over the years they didn't age as well. Springs got mushy and it became increasingly difficult to keep the lobes in line. They got super hard to place. I remember jettisoning one off a route once, never even looked for it.

Fair enough!  I see the pins, that makes sense.  I'm thinking they may be ok for easier routes just getting into trad.  Upgrades will almost certainly be in order it seems, though.  Thank you! 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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