odd racking/extending cams

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slevin

Trad climber
NYC, NY
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 7, 2013 - 11:47am PT
I went climbing first time in 2+ years yesterday, yahoo! Well, I did go to the gym a few days over the last two weeks, but that does not count.

My one-day climbing parter was this Italian woman with mad skills. Aside from being pretty (and pretty strong), it was interesting to discover that she likes to place cams 90% of time ("nutes only for very smalle crackes"). The other interesting bit is that she extends her cams directly from the loops, without using a quick draw. The process looks more or less like this:
(a) before doing a route, she scopes it out very carefully so she only carries gear that she might need and figures out what runners she would need at different placements,
(b) uses slings looped directly through the ear of the cam (or sling to sling for pre-slung cams) with a single biner
(c) if the sling is long, uses a quick release knot of some sort to compress it into a bunch so it would not be too long (looks like a monkey knot of sorts)
(d) racks each cam with a sling and single biner separately, sorting them by size on the loops (5 loops - 5 sizes)

All of it sounded very logical and very smart, but I have doubts about safety of sling on cam extension and overall, would like to hear what people feel about this way of organizing the rack for shorter trad climbs. Am I gunna die?
Deekaid

climber
Apr 7, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
looks good on paper
slevin

Trad climber
NYC, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
How come nobody else seem to do it? Is it because it's bad for onsighting since you have to know the runner length at the start of the climb?
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Apr 7, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
I've seen racking done all kinds of messed up. If it doesn't make sense to you, don't do it.
slevin

Trad climber
NYC, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
Actually, it makes perfect sense. I am thinking of switching to that method for shorter/straighter climbs.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Apr 7, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
Good for you. Only a few things about her system don't jibe to me, but maybe it was an insufficient description (e.g. "monkey knots").
slevin

Trad climber
NYC, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2013 - 01:28pm PT
>> monkey knot
When the sling is very long (longer then two palm lengths), she folds it into this bizarre knot that can be undone by simply pulling on one end. This way, I guess, the cam with a long sling does not interfere with the moves whilst hanging on the harness.

PS. today, we're going bouldering in the Central Park, will ask her how to tie it and where this method comes from
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Apr 7, 2013 - 01:30pm PT


"we're going bouldering in the Central Park"...

Pick me up some "Crack" while you're there please!!!...

tooth

Trad climber
B.C.
Apr 7, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
I did that on Epinephrine. Colin P. from BD happened to be on the route at the time and didn't like the looks of it. He went back, tested it, and posted them on black diamond's website.

Sling's hitched over the cams or cam slings are very weak.

Here is an updated version of what he has posted a couple years ago...

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb//qc-labthe-dangers-of-modifying-your-gear#comment-8335
slevin

Trad climber
NYC, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Yup, "sharp landing" in the park means more then just rocks - I actually carry a tarp in my bouldering pad. For example, one of the new boulder problems we are going to check out is located on the Hepatitis Rock. This said, it's not bad to have a fair amount of rock within 15 min walking distance. Problems from 5.6 slabs to hard-core V11 roofs.

Ok, off to shred my fingertips

>> Sling's hitched over the cams or cam slings are very weak.
Interesting. According to her, she's taken some fairly big falls on this setup and never had any issues (different manufacturer of cams, though).
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Apr 7, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
Yes, that was the other thing, I didn't understand the cams were hitched. Why not just pre-clip draws to them? The monkeyeing with knots, etc. just sound like a time-waste to me.
NorCalNomad

Trad climber
San Francisco
Apr 7, 2013 - 02:46pm PT
Sounds like she's girth hitching slings (either to other sofgoods or the cam loop) which both DMM and BD have proved with testing is no bueno.
slevin

Trad climber
NYC, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
Well, so considering all of the above, the best bet is not to do it. I now understand why she does it this way:
(a) it decreases the time it takes to place and clip protection which is a big consideration on sustained overhanging stuff
(b) it saves her the weight of a bunch of biners - not sure I buy it, assuming she places pro every 10 feet, on a 100 foot route that's 400 gram
(c) she only does it using nylon 25mm slings, not dynema. Apparently, she feels that unless the route is poorly protected, a 5kN fall is improbable and will probably cause placement failure first anyway.
(d) she feels there is more danger in having a biner rub against the sides of the crack, since it can open

I guess she's an 8a trad climber and I am not, so I decided not to argue with her. I did like the organisation and knotting of the slings idea, so I might modify the method to include cam-biner-sling-biner combination and see if it works out for me.

PS. Was a fairly short bouldering session. On the positive side, I can still apparently boulder V3ish even after 2 years in bed. On the negative side, what used to be nice clean bouldering spots two years ago are back to needles, condoms and broken glass.

TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 7, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
She also probably weighs all of 95 lb soaking wet as well.

Which would explain why she's gotten away with whipping on slings girth hitched to cams.

NOT! a good idea.

(Particularly with Polyethylene shoe string slings)
TheTye

Trad climber
Sacramento CA
Apr 7, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
OK so that BD article was pointing to the narrowness of narrow slings causing the thumb loop to pinch... That doesn't explain to me why girth hitching the thumb loop or factory sling with a wider sling is bad. Is a girth hitch really that compromised? Isn't the Girth Hitch fairly standard for slinging knobs?

Not starting arguments, just honestly curious and wanting to be as un-stupid about placing pro as possible.

-Tye
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 7, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
If you look closely BD cams are slung with an extra layer of webbing on the cam end.

They are sewn that way for a reason.

Carabiner to cam (either short or thru the loop = Bomber!

Nylon to nylon girth hitch = OK

Poly (Dynemeea) Girth hitched to anything = Yer Gonna Die.

TheTye

Trad climber
Sacramento CA
Apr 7, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
Got it. Thanks. smiley face.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 7, 2013 - 10:48pm PT
For short single-pitch climbs with an obvious crack system and bolted belay stances, maybe. For long pitches, devious face-climbing, stances that need gear anchors, and multipitch routes in general, it will either be ineffective, slow because of the all the sorting and rigging at each stance, or both.

Since you guys are down in NYC, you should come up to the Gunks and try the system out there. (PM me if you want someone to show you around.) It might work in some places, but there are lots of climbs where you can't tell from the ground what size gear you'll use or even where the placements will be.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 7, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
Hardly ever extend cams......only when necessary.
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