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WC 00 cam - stem snapped in half


Original Post
Logan Schiff · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 60

A couple weeks ago at the gunks I saw a guy working a 00 WC cam he had just gotten stuck for about half an hour, really wacking on it to no avail.

After he left my partner lead the route and clipped the piece thinking we would work on it. But as he climbed past it the metal stem snapped right off merely from the weight of the rope. 

I don't plan on buying any of these but figured I would share if of interest. I got a good look at the piece and it didn't look too worn. Couldn't get it out...

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 484

 Which version of the friend was it? Old tech friend, really old flexi friend, helium, new double axle friend? Got any pics?

Seth Monteleone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 46

Don't blame the cam for beating on it for 30 mins as hard as you can! Wtf kind of logic is that "I got my car stuck in the mud so I set it on fire to get it out. It wouldn't come out and then I found out it was burnt, what a piece of shit car"

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

PSA - hitting a stuck cam is typically NOT the way to get it  out. It only F's it up so no one else can salvage it, As we see in this case.

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 553
eli poss wrote:

 Which version of the friend was it? Old tech friend, really old flexi friend, helium, new double axle friend? Got any pics?

If it was a 00, it would have to be a Tech Friend, no?

Zeros were Z1 to Z6 and Forged were 1.0 to 4.0

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 484
wivanoff wrote:

If it was a 00, it would have to be a Tech Friend, no?

Zeros were Z1 to Z6 and Forged were 1.0 to 4.0

I dunno, I'm not super familiar with the size numbers except for the zeros. Did they not have that size in the helium? My gut feeling was that it would probably be flex friend or tech friend because they're older and IME less flexible. Just seems crazy to me that those cables would snap under such low load unless they somehow became super britttle

Beean · · Canmore, AB · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
eli poss wrote:

I dunno, I'm not super familiar with the size numbers except for the zeros. Did they not have that size in the helium? My gut feeling was that it would probably be flex friend or tech friend because they're older and IME less flexible. Just seems crazy to me that those cables would snap under such low load unless they somehow became super britttle

Ya I agree, I think it'd be a tech friend. Heliums only go to 0.


It'd be interesting to know where the failure occurred so I can not repeatedly hit that spot next time I'm freeing my stuck cams. 

baldclimber · · Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1

Technical Friend 00.  Rated to 10Kn

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 484
Beean wrote:

Ya I agree, I think it'd be a tech friend. Heliums only go to 0.


It'd be interesting to know where the failure occurred so I can not repeatedly hit that spot next time I'm freeing my stuck cams. 

I really hope you're just joking with this comment, but you really should not be hammering on a cam at all when trying to clean it. Instead, try pouring water over the lobes to get some lubrication effect and/or try to manually retract 1 lobe at a time with your nut tool while simultaneously  pulling the trigger. Usually these methods can buy you like a millimeter of movement which is often just enough to be able to work the rest out of the crack.

Logan Schiff · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 60

As I stated in my post, it broke before my partner and I got to work on it.

I did not get to observe what exactly the guy did while he was working on it for approx. half an hour, since we were on a different climb, but he was making a lot of noise. FWIW, my partner vaguely new him and said he was a notable gunks old timer/legend whose name I do not recall, not that this makes him necessarily an expert at cleaning stuck cams.

Logan Schiff · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 60

Beean · · Canmore, AB · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
eli poss wrote:

I really hope you're just joking with this comment, but you really should not be hammering on a cam at all when trying to clean it. Instead, try pouring water over the lobes to get some lubrication effect and/or try to manually retract 1 lobe at a time with your nut tool while simultaneously  pulling the trigger. Usually these methods can buy you like a millimeter of movement which is often just enough to be able to work the rest out of the crack.

I was just taking a jab at the blacksmith working the cam. He'll probably never see it. Must've been quite a feat to break a cam trying to pull it out. 

Beean · · Canmore, AB · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Logan Schiff wrote:

I've seen some well used tech friends with some frazzled wires at that point. Is that the swage or what?

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Logan Schiff wrote:

As I stated in my post, it broke before my partner and I got to work on it.

I did not get to observe what exactly the guy did while he was working on it for approx. half an hour, since we were on a different climb, but he was making a lot of noise. FWIW, my partner vaguely new him and said he was a notable gunks old timer/legend whose name I do not recall, not that this makes him necessarily an expert at cleaning stuck cams.

notable gunks old timer/legends don't use cams

Logan Schiff · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 60
ebmudder wrote:

notable gunks old timer/legends don't use cams

Very true though he appears to have upgraded at some point...

Logan Schiff · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 60
Beean wrote:

I've seen some well used tech friends with some frazzled wires at that point. Is that the swage or what?

This was the piece connected directly to the cam head. Popped off while i was belaying my partner from the movement of the rope in what was otherwise a solid albeit very overcammed placement. If there is no other takeaway here at least one is to be very suspicious of fixed gear.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 484
Beean wrote:

I've seen some well used tech friends with some frazzled wires at that point. Is that the swage or what?

Tech friends don't have swages. Aliens and other thumb loop style cams have swages. I'm pretty sure the cable is brazed into the head similar to RP cables.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Logan Schiff wrote:

This was the piece connected directly to the cam head. Popped off while i was belaying my partner from the movement of the rope in what was otherwise a solid albeit very overcammed placement. If there is no other takeaway here at least one is to be very suspicious of fixed gear.

+1 for being very suspicious...but if the rope-rub was enough to dislodge the stem, I'm not sure how he could have clipped it and not had it pull out when he tested it? As with any fixed gear, you should yank hard on it in all directions to make sure it really is fixed, and even then not trust it implicitly. On trad routes I usually back up any fixed gear I come across and use it only for load sharing, unless there's no other choice than to rely on it exclusively...but then you have to expect that you're free soloing above that piece.

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,395
eli poss wrote:

Tech friends don't have swages. Aliens and other thumb loop style cams have swages. I'm pretty sure the cable is brazed into the head similar to RP cables.

Nope.
Tech Friends  definitely have swage.  Aliens, Totems, TCUs have BRAZES.  


Swage = Metal Sleeve or Terminator is COMPRESSED around the wire.

Braze = Wire is fixed into metal sleeve or terminator via soldering.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 484
mattm wrote:

Nope.
Tech Friends  definitely have swage.  Aliens, Totems, TCUs have BRAZES.  


Swage = Metal Sleeve or Terminator is COMPRESSED around the wire.

Braze = Wire is fixed into metal sleeve or terminator via soldering.

Don't you need 2 strands for a swage?

And also where are TCUs brazed? The only place I can think of would be the axle termination,  but I thought that the axle needed to be free to rotate, which a braze wouldn't allow.

Alexander Blum · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 132

You don't need two parelled pieces of wire for a swage - it's just a method for connecting two lengths of wire using a metal sleeve. They can be in a loop, which is what I think you are describing, or in line with one another, like this.

The axle on a TCU doesn't rotate - the cam lobes rotate around the axle. The axle is brazed to the u-wire at the terminating point, as you said.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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