Moses Cam Hooks - anyone try them out?


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Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Apr 16, 2009 - 03:06am PT
Cam Hooks hanging to dry after a dip in corrosion inhibiter:

Is that done in a hot salt bath, to produce the black oxide?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2009 - 12:58pm PT
I got my Moses Cam Hooks from Mountain Gear and went straight out to my local crumbly beach cliff to try them out.

The come in three sizes:
Mini - $7.95
Narrow - $8.95
Wide - $9.95

Shipping from mountain gear was $4.95 and they took 2 business day to arrive.

I bought the Narrow and Wide. I found that the Mini Leeper Cam Hook just never was that useful. There were only a handful of times I remember using it on El Cap. I would say only get Mini Moses if you are doing some cutting-edge clean aid and want every possible tool. Otherwise, I find that the narrow size works 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time i use the wide. So if you can only buy one, get the narrow.

After the Moses Cam Hooks arrived, i pulled out my old Leeper Cam Hooks for a size by side comparison. But i couldn't find my wide Leepers...Doh! ( If anyone is borrowing them from me, please return to me.)

Ok, so for this comparison we will only be looking at the Narrow size... which is cool because that is the most useful size anyway.

As you can see, in the photos below they are pretty much identical. Only by very care comparison can you tell that the bend is only slightly different, the eye on the moses is a little smaller, and moses is a little shorter... but they are essentially identical.

In full disclosure, i was testing in crappy coastal rock. A real test is necessary in granite, where these will generally be used. I will do that next week on El Cap. So for now, this is just a "first look" report.

In bigger cracks, the Moses cam hooks worked just as well as the Leepers. Sweet!

I then put them both in some pretty crappy shallow placements:

Here i discovered that the Leepers did hold a little better. What? How could this be? They are almost identical, right?

I was pretty surprised at first. Even a little worried. But then i noticed a key difference:

As you can see in the photo, the edges of my Leeper Cam hook are worn down. (I am pretty sure they started out just as square as the Moses edges). Just that little difference made the Leeper more secure in a few super tenuous spots.

So is it time to file down my Moses cam hook a little to make it more like the Leeper? Not yet. Like I said, this was crappy ocean rock. not an ideal test environment. Ill go to Yosemite next week and let you guys know how they turn out... in the mean time, i will still be looking for my missing wide leeper!!

Social climber
The Deli
Apr 19, 2009 - 08:19pm PT
Hey, thanks all!

Nice field-testing on the cam hooks, Chris! The bent versions of the Tomahawk are designed for use in corners – the top bend allows for greater hammer contact and reduces glancing blows when placing the piece and the bottom bend provides clearance for the cable, so that it doesn’t get pinched between the stem and the rock and start to fray. The bottom bend is not intended to add camming action. I have tried to stay away from any significant camming action with a beak-type piton of this size and am not sure, but think that the “blade” of a Tomahawk, Beak, Pecker, etc. is the wrong shape, too thin, and not strong enough to be seriously torqued on – compare the metal thickness between beaks and cam hooks. Any engineer types out there have any comments on this? As far as clean placements go, the Tomahawk was designed to be used as a hook in beak scars or constrictions in thin cracks, and has better hooking action than a #1 Pecker or Beak.

“Is the head hole for help with cleaning it if hammered? Room for a small quicklink to funkness cable?”

Clint, the “hole in the head” is mostly for tying-off the Tomahawk if it is placed in a horizontal crack. The hole can also be used to “funk” the Tomahawk out but I hadn’t thought of using a quick-link – just webbing. Great idea! Although it is possible to use a funkness device for cleaning, the Tomahawk was designed with several hammering surfaces, which make it much easier to clean and reduces the chance of it becoming fixed. A funkness device should be used gently and as a last resort, to preserve the placement for future use. A “pull tab” made of 1/2" tie-off webbing can be threaded through the hole to assist in the removal of hammerless placements.

3/16” quick-link, $1.97 at Home Depot.

Back to your regularly scheduled cam hook program…

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Apr 19, 2009 - 11:36pm PT
Stellar new aid gear!

I still have a couple Beaks hanging around.

But the Tomahawks will be better than my amputated Crack-N-Ups because like Bryan mentioned, in the corner, your hammer bounces off the wall!!!

So big thanks to Theron & Bryan!!

P.S. I always try to hand place aid gear first before breaking Mjolnir out!
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Apr 22, 2009 - 08:14pm PT
A continuation of the previous back story behind the cam hooks:

I have to give Larry at Mountain Tools a big thanks for his initiation of the process. He put me in contact with Ed Leeper and also helped me source the material. I couldn’t find the right thickness for the narrow cam hook. A genuinely nice guy and he has kept the needs of us climbers in mind. I forgot to credit Larry with the really nice pic I posted at the begining of the thread, sorry!

Thanks to Chris for bringing this up. I look forward to the field testing . Hopefully the weather holds for you to get up some rock. Your cam hook has seen some serious use! Mine pictured below has seen some light use.

The differences that Chris pointed out are very subtle. Leeper made all his hooks by hand using template pieces for measurement. It is an old school method that allows for a little variation in the parts.

Moses on the left/front in the next three photos.

I did my best to not mess with perfection. I recreated the cam hooks faithful to the original design.

The hole is a little of an optical illusion. If you can actually see 0.010 of an inch difference then you've got good eyes. Coarse black human hair is about 0.005 of an inch. The hole is 0.375 on mine and 0.385 on Leeper's.

Sorry for the low quality but my camera isn't good at close up.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2009 - 11:44am PT
looks like someone else also has a clone of the Cam Hooks

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Apr 27, 2009 - 12:08pm PT
Looks like Brasovia knocks off lots of items. Anyone have any experience with them?


Big Wall climber
Apr 27, 2009 - 12:38pm PT
Yes, we have used them last year in Zodiac and they we liked them
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2009 - 09:20pm PT
I tested out the moses cam hooks on El Cap last week and found they worked just like the old Leeper cams. The only difference is that my leeper cams worked their way into slightly better tenuous placements because the corners are worn down (see explanation above)

here are some photos

Moses Cam Hook In Action

Leeper Cam Hook
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2009 - 11:40am PT
I just noticed on the Mountain Gear website that the Moses Cam Hooks now come in the fourth size: F.F. that retails for 14.95... anyone know what those are?
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Idaho, also. Sorta, kinda mostly, Yeah.
Oct 13, 2009 - 11:46am PT
Fragile Flake.
Extra wide, I believe, Chris.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2009 - 12:17pm PT
ahh, yes, i found this web site that explains it all

Mountain climber
Nov 16, 2009 - 11:10pm PT
looks like someone else also has a clone of the Cam Hooks

I've never used cam hooks, still learning the aid game, but I actually ordered a set of these...

Still don't have them yet, but I did get this, I wonder what a better version means...

"but we will have a much better version available in 3 weeks or so"

So I waited and got these new ones for a steal, the company is in Canada so a whole set of these is like 20 bucks...

I will try and get them out with a big wall veteran (who will hopefully teach me how to use them like a pro). I think some sizes are shipping on Friday..
Auto-X Fil

Mountain climber
Oct 1, 2010 - 08:07pm PT
Rock and Snow has 'em!

I got mine!

Social climber
Oct 1, 2010 - 10:11pm PT
Thanks for continuing such awesome designs, Moses... I have a number of Moses hooks.

My Leeper and Moses hooks seem identical all except for the mini camhook. Am I the only one who's noticed this? The Moses Mini is a bit wider, longer, and significantly thicker. I had to grind mine down. With how thick they are, it doesn't appear that you can get them into much smaller placements than the medium sized one. It would be nice if you could make them the size of the old Leeper.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2010 - 04:40pm PT
we now have a Moses Cam Hook review page where you can post your reviews. You can post them here too, of course. But this thread won't be as easy to find in the future.

And you can post a review of the Moses Tomahawk and Moses Rivet Hangers on their respective review pages.
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