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Rock Climbing : Comments

Comments by healyje (9)


Article: DMM to begin production of Alloy Offsets!!!!!
John, looks like all our ragging, bitching, and whining at least managed to serve to let them know we're still interested in the product - good to finally hear the news...

Article: Metolius Master Cam Editiorial Review
John, in horizontals the trigger assembly 'auto-rotates' 90 degrees as the stem bends which I've found not to be a problem at all. And I second you're "general purpose" comment - I never switched from to their Ultralights from their original FCU / TCU's and at the moment I prefer the Master Cams to either the original or Ultralight U-stem units. I will probably end up with a mix of Master Cams, Master Cam Offsets (whenever they appear), and Ultralight TCUs.

With regard to the trigger assembly, folks should note the trigger assembly sits considerably further back on the stem away from the cam lobes than on an Aliens (see John's picture above) - I personally like difference and it makes the size of the upper trigger piece less of an issue than it would be if it were closer to the cam lobes. If they maintain the same trigger assembly front-piece on the #0 and #00 then it will mean you can't sink them really deep, but I suspect the need to do so won't be all that common or necessary. In all honesty, overall I would have preferred a stainless woven sheath over the wired design they ultimately shipped with.

I have no qualms about the kevlar at all though it will be interesting to see how it holds up at places like JTree and Vedauwoo given it is more 'exposed' than it is on the Super Cams. Trigger wires on all cams are a pain in the ass at some point or another and I don't really see how the kevlar cord could be any worse a solution then broken, frayed, and mangled tirgger wires.

Haven't really run into your 'head tilt' problem but I haven't used them on as many pitches as you so maybe that will show up but is a pretty minor deal if it ever does.

A significant difference between Master Cams and Aliens is Metolius obviously felt Aliens were too 'floppy' and so chose coarser / thicker stem cable stock by design so that Master Cams would be stiffer. And the principal performance differences with Aliens are that stiffer stem, softer Alien cam lobe aluminum grade, and Aliens larger cam angle (range). The 'Alien advantage' that comes from softer lobes (stickier) comes at the price of faster and more severe wear and the greater range (cam angle) at the expense of holding power. Stem flexibility either way is pretty much a toss up depending on individual placements in my opinion.

I have two sets of Alien Hybrids and don't do much aid and don't climb on granite, so there is little-to-no advantage to me in using Aliens as a general use cam. I've largely, but not entirely, ditched the Alien Hybrids in favor of Metolius Offsets, but would switch entirely if Metolius would switch Offset production to the Master Cams from TCUs which I hope they do quite soon.

In sum I'd say each company made design decisions which mean the products still feel and perform a bit differently by design and so if you want that exact Alien 'feel' on stone and their specific [specialized] performance you should stick with Aliens; if you want a great general purpose cam that does 90-95% of what Aliens do then I say jump on the Master Cams.

Also, I've personally never liked the Camalot double axle design from it's original Chouinard days on through to the C4's as I just can't come to terms with what I perceive as the flimsy and floppy feel of their business end. So for me it's nice to have a new single stem option with that Metolius bomb feel about them.

Article: Metolius Master Cam Editiorial Review
John, yeah, both work fine - but so far I'm liking the Master Cams well enough to dump my FCUs in the same sizes at this point. I'll have to see if I feel the same way about the #0 and #00 when they come out. I suspect I'll still be carrying the FCU/TCU versions in those along side the Master Cams.

Oh, and I see I forgot the "walking" issue. I haven't experienced any sign of that at all in my short three weeks of using them, but then my take on any cams walking is that cams don't walk - people simply inadequately sling whatever gear you might be talking about relative to the placement (whether one is talking about passive or active pro).

I essentially hardly ever directly clip any cams and given these cams heads function identically to the regular Metolius line-up I wouldn't say they have anymore propensity to 'walk' than the TCU's, FCU's, or Ultralights. However long the stem and slings on them are - they are that long and I'd say use them appropriately.

To me this is a lot like the busted Link Cam issue; it is what it is and I'd say don't expect them to operate other than how they exist in you're hand when you pull them off your rack - place and sling them for the reality of the piece of gear - not how you hope or wish it might work. As I said, I haven't experienced them walking, but again I basically never directly clip cams unless they are dead on the fall line. I consider this a really bad habit in general to get into outside of somewhere like the Creek, and even there it can get you in trouble if you aren't paying attention.

Article: Metolius Master Cam Editiorial Review
wmfork - could you clarify these two statements?

- Unsubstantial head feel of dual axle? Check. [I assume you're speaking of Camalots]

- Soft metal and too large cam angle? Check. [Here I'm guessing Aliens]

The way you originally wrote it, you seemed to be somehow implying they referred to Master Cams which neither would. I agree both WC and Metolius cams feel 'burlier' than the rest. Nothing particularly 'wrong' with Tech Friends, they just never ringed my bell and I was an original Friend owner. As for the Zeros, in the #1-4 I'd take a Lowe Ball over them any day.

John, I had the all the slings on my two sets of Alien Hybrids shortened so they hung the same length as my Metolius cams which shortened them to about the same length as the Master Cam slings and never had the problem with them either. Again I'd say this is more an issue of folks developing the bad habit of directly clipping cams - so, it may be worth noting - but also worth reiterating folks should sling all gear appropriately.

Article: Outdoor Retailer Summer '09, Day 1
a-e-jones: I could be wrong, but I doubt they will continue making TCU Offsets.

Article: Outdoor Retailer Summer '09, Day 1
John, good reporting, but I will say that this phrase "swaged right there in three spots" is anything but "very slick" - personally I consider it a dubious way to shave weight and just creates another quality point of concern. Is swaging rocket science? No, but I don't consider this 'innovative', but rather a tweak driven by competitive motives and one that makes deliberate trade-offs chasing numbers.

Article: Sandstone Crack-climbing
"I think that those who got discourage by the first scratch or burning pain have to feel they have deprived themselves of the large part of the climbing heaven, which is as crossed by cracks as pumped hands are by swelled veins."

Coming from a similar sandstone area minus the cracks, I'd have to say in 36 years of climbing I've never felt even slightly deprived. But I have always wanted to get over there and get on some of that rock.

Article: Roped Solo Free Climbing - The essence of self-reliance, one path among many
I should note that I've settled on the Maxim Glider 9.9mm rope as optimal for use with the Eddy. In fact, need to order another one.

Article: Roped Solo Free Climbing - The essence of self-reliance, one path among many
You could do without the screamer I suppose, I personal like having it in the system.

You could hang loops off your harness, but in my case I started using a backpack so I wouldn't have to.

Can the Cinch be made to work, sure, but Malcolm has been pretty clear he would prefer folks not use it in that manner.

In the matter of all these questions and opinions it's definitely a case of 'to each his own' as you have to work out what's best for you.