It takes balls to use nuts...

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nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Feb 7, 2011 - 04:50am PT
Please Steve, may I correct a little mistake.
The Bi-Caps were not marketed by Salewa but by Bergsport International. They were created by Stefan Engers. (Patent DE 35 26 402, 5 February 1987).
This company also marketed the other Stefan Engers’ creation, the Joker (Patent DE 35 17 741, 5 March 1987).

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 11, 2011 - 08:09am PT
How long were these two designs on the market?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 11, 2011 - 08:30am PT
Steve, it is not that easy to answer your question. I would say, in Europe, four or five years, maybe a little less. I am sorry not to be more accurate this time.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 11, 2011 - 08:31am PT
What does the Joker look like?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 11, 2011 - 08:40am PT
Here they are... But, of course Steve, you know them!

BERGSPORT Jokers
BERGSPORT Jokers
Credit: nutstory
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 11, 2011 - 09:04am PT
I've known a lot of Jokers along the way but none that I would trust to catch a fall! LOL

Interesting design! I actually haven't seen those before. I wonder who imported them in North America, if anyone did?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 11, 2011 - 09:07am PT
I wonder who imported them in North America, if anyone did?

Obviously nobody with a clue about marketing. That assumes that they did
work, up to a point which appears debateable.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 11, 2011 - 09:09am PT
Steve, I can't believe that you haven't yet read my article, "Nuts' Story: Clockwork Friends", on the history of mechanical protections...
http://needlesports.com/NeedleSports/nutsmuseum/camsstory.htm
The Joker is mentioned here...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 11, 2011 - 10:15am PT
So many cams, so little time!

I did read your excellent history but didn't keep the Joker in my hand! LOL

I am a bit surprised that they were able to obtain a patent.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Mar 12, 2011 - 12:49am PT
Steve, once at home yesterday evening, I dug in my archives. In France, the Joker was marketed from 1986 to 1990.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 12, 2011 - 11:32am PT
Thanks Stephane.

I would assume that the Bi-Caps had a similar run.

Did Bergsport Int. make and market any other hardware?
miwuksurfer

Social climber
Mi-Wuk
Feb 11, 2012 - 06:52am PT
Can't get enough ball nuts...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 11, 2012 - 02:12pm PT
I love them too.

The crux of the Muir Wall when Jay Ladin and I did it hammerless was a #2 Ballnut that finally stuck after three hours of trying everything on the rack five times in a miserable little scar.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 15, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Way back in the early 70's I bought a bunch of used gear at Culp's shop, The Boulder Mountaineer. Among those mixed nuts was a tiny CMI hex. Somehow it didn't get used beyond my X gear stamp.


Recently I landed the rest of the set short one.


The two smallest sizes #610 and #620.




The next two sizes with the #640 missing in between. If anyone has a #640 in good shape to sell or trade please let me know so I can fill this set out.




Designed by a machinist, every bit of material was milled away leaving the central web.








Despite the same old hexagonal shape, these nuts are beautifully crafted and lovingly finished much like Dolt gear.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Apr 15, 2012 - 01:45pm PT
The crux of the Muir Wall when Jay Ladin and I did it hammerless was a #2 Ballnut that finally stuck after three hours of trying everything on the rack five times in a miserable little scar.

Is that accurate, Steve? That's some pretty good dedication!

I've been thinking if a beak or pecker and a small upside down nut would get you up some wierdo pin scars or parallel cracks.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 15, 2012 - 01:51pm PT
Out came the headlamp and I kept working into the darkness looking at a good dive all the while. No regrets now looking back just a smile.

Difficult aid climbing and especially clean aid is all about tenacity under fire and it starts on the ground.
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
Apr 15, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
"it takes balls to use nuts"


...not if you climb at Lumpy Ridge. Hot damn! Forget cams in a place like that. That place is tailor-made for nuts!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 15, 2012 - 03:46pm PT
Henry Barber still won't stoop to gizmos...they make some routes "critically easy" you know. LOL


Henry walking the walk on True Grit!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 21, 2012 - 10:33am PT
Pretty blue bump...
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Apr 21, 2012 - 10:48am PT
Difficult aid climbing and especially clean aid is all about tenacity under fire and it starts on the ground.

I love this line! Especially the "starts on the ground" part.
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