Omega pacific link cams


Original Post
Eric Yergenson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

Figuring out whether or not to invest in link cams, seem like a really solid idea of owning a few and they cover such big ranges.

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116

They're cool devices, and some people love them, but there are lots of negative comments out there about them.

A few based on experience before I sold mine:

  • The largest one always seemed to want to walk and had loose trigger action, but maybe it was just that cam.
  • Heavy-- you probably don't want these on long routes.
  • The downside of carrying fewer pieces is that you have fewer pieces to place. Maybe if you know exactly what you're going to need, these make sense.

It's also easy to google stories and pictures of the cams breaking. Placements have to be a little more perfect than they do with other cams or you risk the cam breaking or failing.

And although I didn't get any stuck, I think I've seen more stuck Link Cams than any other type. So they make good permapro.

The most-touted benefits are as anchor pieces and as oh-shit pieces when you're getting pumped and don't know exactly what you need, but they're awfully expensive and heavy to haul along if you mainly use them as anchors.

If you already have a set of other cams, the Links might make sense to supplement your rack while conserving space, but I certainly wouldn't get them as a primary set unless, as stated before, I was doing short routes and pretty much knew what I needed.

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I've been using the largest and smallest sizes for nearly a year now. I actually like them mostly for long routes where I want to go light. You may think this makes no sense because they do weigh more per cam but hear me out. I consider it a good middle ground between bringing a single rack and a double rack. Adding the largest and smallest link cams to a normal single rack gives me a second piece approximately in the #2, #1, and #0.75 range and another in the #0.5, #0.4, and #0.3 range. So it is much lighter than bringing a whole second rack of those sizes in situations when I'm not expecting to need doubles in all of those sizes at once, which for me tends to be long moderate routes with long approaches.

But it is true that they do need to be placed more carefully and so I am very mindful of being a little more choosy about making sure the stem is pointed in the direction of anticipated loading of the cam.

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116
Ronald B wrote:

I've been using the largest and smallest sizes for nearly a year now. I actually like them mostly for long routes where I want to go light. You may think this makes no sense because they do weigh more per cam but hear me out. I consider it a good middle ground between bringing a single rack and a double rack. Adding the largest and smallest link cams to a normal single rack gives me a second piece approximately in the #2, #1, and #0.75 range and another in the #0.5, #0.4, and #0.3 range. So it is much lighter than bringing a whole second rack of those sizes in situations when I'm not expecting to need doubles in all of those sizes at once, which for me tends to be long moderate routes with long approaches.

But it is true that they do need to be placed more carefully and so I am very mindful of being a little more choosy about making sure the stem is pointed in the direction of anticipated loading of the cam.

Good post, Ronald. I actually thought of keeping or re-buying the purple and yellow for the exact reasons you describe, but I didn't like the action and the walking I found with the yellow and figured it would be easier to sell the whole set. I do kinda miss the purple and red, though.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

I used to like them.  Then I broke one and it pulled out in a routine placement in a routine fall with low forces.  I kept the red and the yellow, thinking they would at least be good in Indian Creek.  But even the Creek has routes that are not pure splitters and I found myself thinking about them whenever I climbed over them. Sold mine after that trip. Good idea, but they are just too fragile.

Alyssa K · · South Lake Tahoe · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 20
Ronald B wrote:

I've been using the largest and smallest sizes for nearly a year now. I actually like them mostly for long routes where I want to go light. You may think this makes no sense because they do weigh more per cam but hear me out. I consider it a good middle ground between bringing a single rack and a double rack. Adding the largest and smallest link cams to a normal single rack gives me a second piece approximately in the #2, #1, and #0.75 range and another in the #0.5, #0.4, and #0.3 range. So it is much lighter than bringing a whole second rack of those sizes in situations when I'm not expecting to need doubles in all of those sizes at once, which for me tends to be long moderate routes with long approaches.

But it is true that they do need to be placed more carefully and so I am very mindful of being a little more choosy about making sure the stem is pointed in the direction of anticipated loading of the cam.

If it makes you feel any better, the 0.5 and 0.75 link cams actually weigh less than their C4 counterparts.

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Robert Michael wrote:

I didn't like the action and the walking I found with the yellow

Yeah, I found that they walk less when they're at least retracted until the first link starts hinging. For placements closer to the wide end of the range they're much more finicky. 

Alyssa K wrote:

If it makes you feel any better, the 0.5 and 0.75 link cams actually weigh less than their C4 counterparts.

Ah, good to know!

Mike Womack · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 1,297

As mentioned previously, They get stuck very easily.  I don't fully understand why they do get stuck, but I see more fixed link cams than anything else  - even stoppers.  

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470
Mike Womack wrote:

As mentioned previously, They get stuck very easily.  I don't fully understand why they do get stuck, but I see more fixed link cams than anything else  - even stoppers.  

I think it is because the cams compress beyond the range of the trigger. So if you shove your link deep, or if it walks into the overcammed part of its range, the trigger will not help.

Rick Lewis · · Indianapolis, IN · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 50

I've found the Yellow to be a useful addition to my rack, but i mainly bought it because it was stupid cheap at brand new for 65 bucks. They are a neat addition to the rack but I wouldn't recommend going out and buying a set at full msrp. If you find them on sale go for it just learn how to place them.

Erroneous Publicus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 5

I've owned and used them for several years now, although I haven't had them on my daily rack for a while, mainly because many partners do not like them.  They get stuck because they have so much more surface area.  If you place them at nearly full retraction and they walk in at all, they are nearly impossible to retrieve.  So, don't do that.  I've never gotten one stuck FWIW.  They are also more fragile than C4s, especially if you use them in horizontal cracks or for aiding.  For me, they really shine when I am only bringing a single rack on an alpine climb or most especially when plugging gear on a layback, where you can't see the crack size from the plugging stance.  I see them as a great add on piece to an already complete rack.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

I got a purple one for free from a friend.  They seem like great pieces to supplement a single rack on moderate alpine climbs when you think that doubles might be nice to have, especially for anchors.  That said, every time I am packing for a trip and pick up my purple link cam, I see how tiny the individual parts of the lobes are and it frankly freaks me out.  Am I just being paranoid?

pjc30943 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I used to use link-cams on alpine routes as well, but the newer C4 Ultralights have made them less useful (to me). That's because the combined weight of two C4 ULs is lower, for the equivalent link-cam range, than the weight of the one Link-Cam. Twice the pro is better in many ways (volume aside), for twice the distance for simulclimbing.
This didn't use to be the case until the ULs, but now I find myself taking two C4 ULs instead of one equivalent link-cam.

Matt Westlake · · Durham, NC · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 588

If you are interested, I've got an extra gold one that is lightly used I'd be willing to part with for a reasonable price.  PM me. 

I got a good deal several years ago but eventually realized I only ever wanted one. I used the whole set for a while but settled into using just the gold. For what it's worth I've taken a good whipper on my gold one and it didn't explode (not the one I'm talking selling, that one has never been fallen on)  It was my first piece and I unexpectedly slipped off a boulder problem start right over it. I also managed to get a red one stuck on a route when I was panicked and slammed it in too deep. It's still lodged firmly in place 6 years later, even after everyone has taken turns hammering on it so maybe they aren't *quite* as fragile as folks seem to think?  

Through that incident and a few near losses, I've found the fastest way to get one stuck is to try to use it at the smallest size. I think this is because of several factors. When you retract it down the extra lobe pieces are dangling off the back and have a tendency to get hung up on stuff, making them more prone to walking by jamming those pieces against odd rock bits and nudging the cam along and those same dangling bits are prone to getting hung up when retracting. They are pointy and when you pull the trigger they all move and irregular rock can grab them. It is also MUCH harder to evaluate the quality of your placement for the smallest size because those arms are often blocking your view. They don't get stuck if you just get the active lobes in the placement but usually folks are stuffing something deep in a flared out crack way back out of sight and get all the lobes in out of reach, somewhere a nut tool may not be able to reach either. 

Also, maybe this is obvious but, I run into folks every now and then who maybe haven't used these and seem to think that when you are using the smallest part of the cam that the dangling pieces are somehow engaged. It's just like a normal cam and only the smallest set of available lobes work at a time. 

One placement they are excellent for that you don't hear much about is a C- shaped pocket. These are the sort of placements where you can pull the trigger to shrink the cam down to get past the lobes guarding the bigger part of the crack and then expand it back up to a bigger size range inside the pocket. These are great and not something you can normally get good gear in if it doesn't have a wider opening off the side, or you can finagle a nut in and turn it sideways. They are also really nice in cases where a flaring crack has a sweet size you need to find, although i don't try to use them in an offset way. 

I've got the smallest two sizes as well but don't really use them much anymore - as stated above those really do seem a bit fragile looking and I kind of want pro I have a lot of faith in below me when the going gets small. Maybe if we had more straight in splitters in my area I'd use them more though. There are just too many irregular cracks that would load them badly. 

Mostly if you just use common sense and envision the fall line and how they will be loaded they work fine. Just remember that those long dangling links can create leverage and break things if your placement puts sideways pressure on them during a fall and avoid that. Sling them so they won't walk and don't try to make blind placements (this is good in general though!) 

In the end, I am sitting on my set of link cams now deciding at some point if get into aid climbing they may become really useful again. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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