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Grandfathers old gear


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Graham Haynie · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

My grandfather just gave me all his old gear, which is all nice gear but Im not sure how safe it all is: since I dont think hes used it for 10-20 years, in which time its been in his basement. I know I probably shouldnt trust the ropes, but is there any thing I can do to determine whether the cams, nuts, etc. are still safe?

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 1,114

If it's metal, barring any obvious defects, it is fine.

Soft goods should be retired.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Graham Haynie wrote:

My grandfather just gave me all his old gear, which is all nice gear but Im not sure how safe it all is: since I dont think hes used it for 10-20 years, in which time its been in his basement. I know I probably shouldnt trust the ropes, but is there any thing I can do to determine whether the cams, nuts, etc. are still safe?

Replace the soft goods, including reslinging the protection devices. All the hard goods - nuts, cams, biners, etc - are fine. Whether you want to use them as compared to modern designs is something only you can decide.

Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,186

Pics or didn’t happen

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187
Graham Haynie wrote:

My grandfather just gave me all his old gear, which is all nice gear but Im not sure how safe it all is: since I dont think hes used it for 10-20 years, in which time its been in his basement. I know I probably shouldnt trust the ropes, but is there any thing I can do to determine whether the cams, nuts, etc. are still safe?

I have gear on my rack that is older than that. Post up what gramps gave ya. 

David House · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 200

As noted above, cut off and discard all nylon/cord/webbing/rope components. 

Carabiners: Check for any cracks looking closely at the nose and where the gate connects to the frame. Check for excessive grooves where the rope ran over the 'biner - if it starts to form a sharp corner it's time to retire it.

Stopper/hexes: I've never seen any cracks in the aluminum parts of stoppers or hexes, but you might as well look. Check the cables for any fraying, I would retire anything with frayed cable.

Cams: Check for smooth action, clean and lubricate if the action is sticky (if the cam does not expand smoothly on its own). Retire any cams with frayed main cables. Frayed trigger wires can be replaced, some companies sell trigger replacement kits which will include new trigger wires.

Re-slinging cams: Several companies will sew new slings on old cams, tri-cams are probably the trickiest because they have very specific widths on the webbing. You can also tie new cord or webbing on some cams, stoppers and hexes, but the knot can be annoying. Never tie webbing or cord onto a bare cable.

Would love to see pics as well!

Graham Haynie · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks for the responses guys. Biners look ok to me, maybe a little heavy. Cams seem good, but what is recommended to lube them with? Definitly gonna look into re-slinging some stuff. here are some pics: 


Graham Haynie · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Graham Haynie wrote:

Thanks for the responses guys. Biners look ok to me, maybe a little heavy. 

Yeah, those are garage / gear hanging biners. Modern ones are far lighter as I'm sure you know.

Cams seem good, but what is recommended to lube them with?

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/107543709/cam-lube-does-it-need-to-a-special-type


King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

All that stuff looks as new and I would use it in a heartbeat. If you don't want any sewn runners just send them my way. :)

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187

So Gramps gave ya a bunch of late 80s early 90s era gear. Much of it was slung with spectra cord. I'd probably resling everything but the tricams - I'd just sell them. Do all the re-slinging yourself, none of it is worth sending out for a professional job.

Only one word of caution, the #1 Chouinard Camalot cannot be slung. You always need to clip a biner to it. Direct wire cable to sling is a no-no, too sharp of a bend.

Eli . · · GMC3500 · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,199
Allen Sanderson wrote:

Only one word of caution, the #1 Chouinard Camalot cannot be slung. You always need to clip a biner to it. Direct wire cable to sling is a no-no, too sharp of a bend.

I've never heard this, why is that the case? could you just wrap the wire in duct tape and double wrap the sling on it to mitigate danger of cutting?

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 1,509
King Tut wrote:

check for odd spots stiff or super soft, but it looks pristine, there is not one fuzzy sling or cord, that stuff is, as the quote says":looks as new"


There are hardly any signs of use at all! Ask your what ? 50 year old grand father, if he ever took a fall on any of it. I still climb on that same vintage stuff, and some things older


I doubt that you generate enough force to tear any of the slings or cord and if you did Ithink you would have bigger issues. There is no reason to change anything. Learn on that rack and you'll be following the histoic path.

Graham Haynie · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Michael Schneider wrote:

The Tied 9/16 !! is death knotted,MUST BE TRIPLE GRAPE VINE/FISHERMAN'S  - - and cable to sling is for racking only

check for odd spots stiff or super soft, but it looks pristine, there is not one fuzzy sling or cord, that stuff is, as the quote says":looks as new"


There are hardly any signs of use at all! Ask your what ? 50 year old grand father, if he ever took a fall on any of it. I still climb on that same vintage stuff, and some things older


I doubt that you generate enough force to tear any of the slings or cord and if you did Ithink you would have bigger issues. There is no reason to change anything. Learn on that rack and you'll be following the histoic path.

Man he sure wishes he was 50, hes 70+ ;)

Walter Edly · · Thomasville NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

Definitely have stuff just like it on my rack.  Replace the soft goods and climb.  Gramps karma is all over that sh*t.

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 1,509
Graham Haynie wrote:

Man he sure wishes he was 50, hes 70+ ;)

Well I stand corrected & your stuff is fine.  The Cord and knots must be taken care of;  kept tied tightly and with Longer tails.  Others here are all way beyond talking to on this issue, but given  that, Both King Tut and I  (edit to add: Marc801 for sure, as well)  (prolly Allen Sanderson  too) have been climbing since the '70s and the gear made, up till this century;lmo, was super over built. While in some ways the beefy construction was confidence building, some things were lacking.Not cam weight, though Modern cam material and surface area contact is superior, it is not necessary,  some climbed easy 5.13 trad, -now down rated to 12d- , with that exact rack.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 502
Eli wrote:

I've never heard this, why is that the case? could you just wrap the wire in duct tape and double wrap the sling on it to mitigate danger of cutting?

The tape isn't going to last very long and probably won't do anything anyways on a very high force fall. It's just something you don't want to have to worry about when you're climbing above your gear. Also, those first gen camalots were known to have issues with the axles cracking. 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Michael Schneider wrote:

All The Tied 9/16 !  tape is death knotted,the green one on the #1 cable loop camalot  (pink-ish purple & raw  Al. cams) &  Yellow in one in other pix,   MUST BE TRIPLE GRAPE VINE/FISHERMAN'S 

Those look like water knots to me, and that was the absolute standard for knotting slings. Triple grapevine is just not necessary and waaaaaay bulky. A water knot is fine, even in 9/16th tape, provided it is inspected often, tightened under body weight with slight bounce, and has sufficiently long tails (which the slings in the photos do not).


eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 502

Marc, if you don't intend to ever untie the webbing, it's better to just go with a double grapvine. Sure, a waterknot works, but the tails WILL creep over time and humans are fallible. I'd rather not worry about whether I checked the tail length when I'm climbing above my gear.

For webbing on a cam sling, there really no reason not to use a grapevine, so it's preferable over a water knot.

Also, here's a picture that shows some of the problems that occur with the U-stem Camalots:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/107635214/older-bd-cams-safe#ForumMessage-107635586

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

@Eli and Marc you are both right even if Eli is being a little pedantic (as usual).

1. Water knots in tied runners are vastly preferable as the whole reason you have them along is to untie them to leave as needed for rappels. Tied slings like these are required gear for multi-pitch climbing, imo. The ease of untying them is they key to their use, and consequently you are more prone to use them when you should.

2. But, for slings on gear, you might want something that stays tied a little better. I've used both knots at various times.

Needless to say, a competent climber checks all knotted gear before leaving the ground. And YES, I have untied cams to use even that short of a sling to rappel. But if you use water knots for your cams you simply have to check them regularly, there is nothing inherently unsafe about them. Once you've hung on the piece the knot isn't coming loose on its own again. People that say otherwise need to go climbing more and if they say they never hang on their cams then they should be pushing their limits more. :P

The tails I see there are perfectly fine if the knots are tight. If they aren't then lengthen them.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
King Tut wrote:
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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