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Omega Cam Breaking!
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longdraws


Nov 20, 2007, 2:07 PM
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Omega Cam Breaking!
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yesterday (11/19/07) i witnessed a ground fall on intersection rock; left ski track, J-tree. the climber was only 8 ft or so off the ground and only two ft or so past his first placement. the climber fell and then the cam popped out of the crack. myself and a few of his friends/family came up to find the climber a bit scratched but for the most part unharmed.

the omega link cam 1 that he had placed had broken on the red first cam.

the climbers were video taping so i hope they will send the footage and the cam to omega for further investigation.

i don't know if it was placement error or cam failure. i was wondering if anyone else has heard about the link cams having issues.


shoo


Nov 20, 2007, 2:37 PM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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http://www.omegapac.com/...limbing_notices.html
Check that to see if it sounds familiar.

You're also going to have to be specific about the breakage. Did the rivet binding them break or did the cam lobe itself break? More importantly, do you have pictures? If you know the climber, it's important that he/she report the breakage immediately.


trenchdigger


Nov 20, 2007, 2:47 PM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Hmmm... haven't heard anything about them breaking other than some issues with the trigger wires.

I really don't think I'd want to place a link cam in the flaring, slick pods at the bottom of left ski track. The steel inner lobes of the link cam wouldn't likely generate as much friction as an aluminum lobe in the same orientation. Additionally, the lean of the crack leads me to believe a more flexible cam would be less likely to torque out of the crack, and the roundness of the pods suggest a cam with a narrower head may fit the crack better.

The question is, then, did the cam's structural failure cause the placement to fail? Or did a bad placement pulling cause the damage to the cam?

I wasn't there and I didn't see the placement, so your guess is as good as mine. It would be interesting to see the video and some photos of the damaged cam.


longdraws


Nov 20, 2007, 3:11 PM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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the break happened along the drawn line. i don't know the climbers as i just happened to stop by to look at the route.


(This post was edited by longdraws on Nov 20, 2007, 3:12 PM)
Attachments: linkcam2_sm2.gif (4.27 KB)


the_climber


Nov 20, 2007, 3:27 PM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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I've PM'd Michael Lane of OP with a link to this thread. He hasn't logged on since Early October, but should get the e-mail notification. He's typically prompt to respond.


davidbr


Nov 23, 2007, 7:58 AM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Anyone got a story about whipping onto a Link that has a happy ending?

I've had mine two seasons, and actually like them a lot. Have sat on them plenty of times, but only whipped once. The cam didn't break, but the placement didn't hold. The placement was on the outer lobe, but in a well-retracted position - nowhere near being tipped out. The crack was parallel. The rock was solid but limestone, and without a ton of friction.


dirtme


Nov 24, 2007, 11:25 PM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Hey, I was on Intersection Rock that day too and saw the exact same thing. I wish I had your angle on it because it hurt from where I was sitting, staring at the route on my ass. Other then my pride being bruised and getting a lashing from my wife for climbing routes while I was out of climbing shape, no harm was done. Well, no harm was done other then the cam of course. I'll take pictures when I can. I'm waiting for my buddy to send me the photo of the actual placement. It was in a pin flare like pod with 4 points of contact. The cam before the fall was in a downward position, in the direction of the fall. The cam failed at one of the thin connections between the cams. Anyway, I've removed them off my rack and climbed a few more days. I think I'll stick with my camelots with the solid cam heads.


longdraws


Nov 25, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Re: [dirtme] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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good to hear that you were all right! and you still got some climbing in!

definitely put some pics on here and send that back to omega for some evaluation.


dirtme


Nov 25, 2007, 10:48 AM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Here are two pics. Notice it snapped right by the peg? There was no warping of the lobes, it just snapped off at that point.

My friends are still in J-Tree so I won't get any pictures of the actual placement. Once I get everything together and an OP contact, I'll send the stuff in.

I wasn't actually going to post about this because I didn't want to start a flame war but I did a search on cam failure and found this thread.

Just want to add that I'm fairly experienced, 10+ years of climbing, and have led 5.11 trad routes, and predominately climb in the Sierras and Yosemite. This is probably my 6-7th trip to J-Tree. I'm currently not in the best of climbing shape and have only been climbing in the gym for the past 4-5 months due to a birth of a child. I'm not a noob and I'm also trying not to blame anyone or any company. Shit happens. I could have put another piece in as a backup so the deck was preventable. Everything I say is just what I experienced, nothing more. Angelic
Attachments: cam_1.JPG (105 KB)
  cam_2.JPG (129 KB)


JohnCook


Nov 25, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Re: [dirtme] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Needs to be returned quickly to the manufacturer. It is difficult to see from the pictures, but looks like brittle fracture initiated by a material defect/inclusion.
Return it for immediate envestigation!


giza


Nov 25, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Re: [JohnCook] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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This is nothing new with these cams. We have been through three of them: two of them had issues with the trigger wires and on one of them we noticed that one of the lobes was fractured after one year of light use. I think they're great cams but OP seems to have some problems with quality control.

To be fair, the cams we were using were the first generation with the 'clip on' trigger wires. On the newer version cams this system has been replaced but the fractured cam lobe raises questions about their safety.


nivlac


Nov 25, 2007, 1:35 PM
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Re: [giza] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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giza wrote:
This is nothing new with these cams. We have been through three of them: two of them had issues with the trigger wires and on one of them we noticed that one of the lobes was fractured after one year of light use. I think they're great cams but OP seems to have some problems with quality control.

To be fair, the cams we were using were the first generation with the 'clip on' trigger wires. On the newer version cams this system has been replaced but the fractured cam lobe raises questions about their safety.

That's an understatement. I'd say the earlier problems raised safety questions about OP cams; not good to see, but fixable. Unless otherwise explained, this looks like outright evidence of unsafe workmanship or severe quality control/design issues that really need visiting by OP if they want continued confidence in their gear.

OP, hoping for a quick reply here or on your website. I own OP linkcams.


longdraws


Nov 25, 2007, 2:38 PM
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Re: [longdraws] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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thanks for putting up the pics. it seems like this is an issue that needs to be addressed very soon


JohnCook


Nov 25, 2007, 3:02 PM
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Hope the manufacturers read this post. From the number on this site alone who have had probs with breaking lobes it warrants some investigation. Prob could be with forge/press operation at early stage of production, and defects not being picked up during subsequent inspection. Any fault, whether with material quality or manufacturing process, will only get worse with use. A slight micro crack (caused by too rapid pressin/forging etc), or stress concentration point (sharp based groove/cut/scatch in part) or inclusion (foreign matter trapped inside material), will propagate, brittleness will increase the speed of this propagation, stress loading will encrease speed of propagation, rapid variations in temperature will increase speed of prop. etc etc etc.
Most cracks in gear can be spotted by very carefull examination of parts, especially where a load may be applied to it, eg. near pivot point on cams, in curve at end of crabs. Deep scratches should be treated as cracks. Smooth wear can, if not deep and showing no sign of over heating (blueing on surface or crazing) usually be ignored. In the ideal world all metal parts shound be highly polished to reduce stress concentrating scratches, however small. (A stress concentration point is a groove which allows any stress to concentrate, like the mark in glass cutting, or making a small nick in a metal bar, piece of wood etc. which will then break much easier.
I now feel better for this little lecture, and I hope it helps when you next inspect your gear.


bent_gate


Nov 25, 2007, 3:16 PM
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Re: [dirtme] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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First, Whew! I'm glad you're alright.

I don't know if you inspected your cams per the Omega Pacific Inspection Notice (or were even aware of it), but one of their pictures has a resemblance to where your cam broke around the pin.

From OP Inspection Notice http://www.omegapac.com/...limbing_notices.html
OP Inspection Notice wrote:
...During the course of the inspection, we subsequently discovered three units which have a small fissure in the steel linkage of the cam lobes.



As unlikely as it sounds, destruct-testing of these units revealed that the defect does NOT reduce the overall strength of the units. In fact, the units we tested failed ABOVE rating. However, since the goods, obviously, do not conform to our specifications, we would like any units with this defect returned for replacement under warranty.

For comparison, your pictures:





In the short term, it would be worthwhile for others check their cams per that inspection notice as well.

If you look at the original thread that prompted the Inspection Notice http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25; Michael Lane at OP was very responsive with his responses. Per his posts you should contact:

In reply to:
Michael Lane
Sales & Marketing Director
info@omegapac.com
800.360.3990 toll-free
509.456.0170 international

As soon as possible. I'm sure he would appreciate the chance to take positive action.


medicus


Nov 25, 2007, 3:44 PM
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wow...


ja1484


Nov 25, 2007, 4:20 PM
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Re: [medicus] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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This is why I hung back on these things for a while. The more moving parts you add...


dirtme


Nov 25, 2007, 4:27 PM
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Re: [bent_gate] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Here's another photo that gives you a closeup of where it snapped.

Also I just reread a few of the posts. I wouldn't say the pods are slick. They might be for J-Tree but not by Yosemite standards. Also, my wife thinks it's closer to 15 feet up.

I also emailed Michael at work to ask whether he'd like more information or if he wants the cam.




(This post was edited by dirtme on Nov 25, 2007, 4:32 PM)
Attachments: cam3.JPG (73.9 KB)


medicus


Nov 25, 2007, 6:10 PM
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Re: [ja1484] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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ja1484 wrote:
This is why I hung back on these things for a while. The more moving parts you add...
I'm glad I hung back as well.


michaellane


Nov 26, 2007, 9:27 AM
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Re: Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Hi, Everyone ...

Sorry for coming in late ... I just found this thread. For some reason, I'm not getting email notification when I get PM'd ... so please don't rely on that to contact me going forward. Didn't receive dirtme's email, either for some reason.

Nevertheless, I've PM'd dirtme in an attempt to get some more background and get the cam back for inspection.

We are, of course, extremely glad that nobody's hurt and appreciate everyone's concern. We take reports like this very seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation into it.

As you know, there was an inspection notice regarding Link Cams and this incident may or may not be related to that issue. Once we are able to examine the gear, we may be able to determine if this was the case or not.

Dirtme ... please call me at 800-360-3990 as soon as possible so that we can connect. Since you said you emailed me already, I'd suggest phoning since there may be a problem with email that prevents us from talking right away.

Again, we take quality control very seriously and do everything possible to ensure safe products. You can count on us to provide all available information regarding our investigation once it's complete.

Regards,

--ML

______________
Michael Lane
Sales & Marketing Director
Omega Pacific
Airway Heights, Washington


(This post was edited by michaellane on Nov 26, 2007, 9:30 AM)


xtremst80


Nov 26, 2007, 9:38 AM
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Re: [medicus] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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medicus wrote:
ja1484 wrote:
This is why I hung back on these things for a while. The more moving parts you add...
I'm glad I hung back as well.

I agree! I will take a cam with fewer moving parts over these any day. Ill give OP another year then I give one a try.


boymeetsrock


Nov 26, 2007, 9:52 AM
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Re: [michaellane] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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It is refreshing to see a company standing by their products and consumers, and owning any possible mistakes. Thank you Michael!


ddt


Nov 26, 2007, 11:32 PM
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Re: [michaellane] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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michaellane wrote:
For some reason, I'm not getting email notification when I get PM'd ...

Michael, be sure to turn on e-mail notification for PM's on our Forum settings page, which can be found by clicking "Settings" in the secondary navigation bar on top of this page. Here's the direct link: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ser_profile_display;

Then you also need to make sure the e-mail address on you account is correct (it looks right to me) and that your spam blocker doesn't block e-mails from rockclimbing.com.

Cheers,
DDT


ja1484


Nov 27, 2007, 4:37 AM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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boymeetsrock wrote:
It is refreshing to see a company standing by their products and consumers, and owning any possible mistakes. Thank you Michael!


Michael/OP have always been very responsive to concerns regarding their gear. That's why I still buy OP products, but not hardware from...certain other manufacturers.


wanderlustmd


Nov 27, 2007, 6:32 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
It is refreshing to see a company standing by their products and consumers, and owning any possible mistakes. Thank you Michael!

It'd be even better to see said company make stuff that doesn't disintegrate under load. Customer service doesn't mean much to people who've decked.


dirtme


Nov 27, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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I sent the photos and cam to Michael. I'd reserve judgement on the quality of the equipment or my climbing ability until everything has been sorted out.




(This post was edited by dirtme on Nov 27, 2007, 11:47 AM)
Attachments: placement.JPG (80.4 KB)


shrug7


Nov 27, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Re: [dirtme] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Just for curiosity... was the lobe that broke on the top or bottom of the placement.

And any top shots of this placement you're willing to post now?


wanderlustmd


Nov 27, 2007, 12:00 PM
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dirtme wrote:
I sent the photos and cam to Michael. I'd reserve judgement on the quality of the equipment or my climbing ability until everything has been sorted out.

[image]http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do=post_attachment;postatt_id=1646;[/image]

I meant nothing negative in regard to your ability at all. I've used link cams a few times and they seem like a really good idea, but this isn't the first time something like this has happened (as I'm sure you know).

Like you said above, nothing is perfect or 100% reliable, but you can see what I'm saying. When was the last time a camalot busted under load (knock on wood)?

Keep us posted!


dirtme


Nov 27, 2007, 12:10 PM
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When I was falling, I didn't have the concentration to notice which cam broke, the top or bottom. Looking at the pictures, I'm fairly certain it was the bottom one. Either way I can't imagine the top one being the one that broke.

"Top shots"? I climbed 2 feet past the cam and was adjusting my stance and I just popped. I didn't have a chance to whip out a camera. :)


shrug7


Nov 27, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Thanks Smile

I figured as much but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Glad you are alright.

And please keep us all posted what OP says.


dirtme


Nov 27, 2007, 1:03 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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I've second guessed my placement and the cam myself. My wife second guessed my second guesses. I wouldn't blame anyone out there to doubt my placement or ability at all.

All in all, I still remain pretty confident that this placement was solid. The lobes were deep. The cam didn't walk. The direction of fall is towards the left side of the crack so the alignment of the cam is fine. The fall wasn't long, about 2 feet past the piece. The cam was about 12 feet up so there was approximately 14-15 feet of rope out. The climber and the belayer both weight about 160. The rope was "relatively" new. I haven't taken any long falls on it. I think it is a 10.2 sterling.

My primary rack consists of camelots and aliens. They are older aliens, previous to 2001, but now my wife is going to make me swap those out for the micro camelots but that's a similiar but different story. Mad

I also agree that camelots can't break this way. The lobes are solid and don't have these areas of weakness where the cams are connected. That was the risk I was willing to take for an extended range. They didn't replace my camelots but they supplement my rack well. I also thought that they would be better in flares because there are more points of contact. In hindsight, I don't know if that's the case since a fully extended cam won't pivot but will instead snap at the weaker points. Or better stated, have a higher probability of snapping.


Partner angry


Nov 27, 2007, 1:25 PM
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dirtme wrote:
but now my wife is going to make me swap those out for the micro camelots but that's a similiar but different story.


Too bad, it looks like a perfect purple or orange alien spot to me.


dirtme


Nov 27, 2007, 1:30 PM
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I only use aliens from blue to red. I've never been fond of the larger ones.


Partner cracklover


Nov 27, 2007, 1:46 PM
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angry wrote:
dirtme wrote:
but now my wife is going to make me swap those out for the micro camelots but that's a similiar but different story.


Too bad, it looks like a perfect purple or orange alien spot to me.

To be fair, it looks like a perfect placement for the cam he placed there, too. And as it's a pod, I can see why having a cam that's got that much range could be a plus.

I look forward to finding out what OP has to say when they look at the cam.

GO


stoehnercd


Nov 27, 2007, 2:20 PM
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ja1484 wrote:
This is why I hung back on these things for a while. The more moving parts you add...
Amen brother, I wont be buying any for a while. Glad I went with some new Camalots instead.


trenchdigger


Nov 27, 2007, 2:46 PM
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dirtme wrote:
I sent the photos and cam to Michael. I'd reserve judgement on the quality of the equipment or my climbing ability until everything has been sorted out.

[image]http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do=post_attachment;postatt_id=1646;[/image]

We all appreciate your proactiveness with this, regardless of which side of the fence we sit on.

I'm not trying to point a finger at you, dirtme, but I still question the placement of this cam. From the photo of the placement, we can see that the cam is placed at an angle about 45 degrees from vertical. Though you're climbing up and left, when you fell, gravity pulled you straight down and likely pulled nearly vertically on the cam as the tension in the rope peaked.

My engineering background <non-scientifically based speculation follows> tells me that although these link cams are just as strong as others when loaded in a lab setting (a "perfect" crack, and loaded inline with the placement) they may not be as durable when it comes to off-axis, torqueing loads such as this case. I own the same red link cam, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure I would have had so mouch faith in it in that placement.

While the rounded pod is an ideal seat for the lobes of a regular cam, I think it may have contributed to the failure here. By preventing the cam head from rotating to take the load of the fall on its main axis, the cam lobes were forced to take a portion of the load parallel to the cam axle. Loading a segmented cam in this way is far from ideal. I'm still confident in OP's unique design, but I think this incident may highlight an inherent weakness in cams with this segmented lobe design.</non-scientifically based speculation complete>

I wonder if O.P. did any testing with link cams in these types of loading orientations. If so, I'm curious about the results. It will definitely be interesting to see what results come of this investigation.


(This post was edited by trenchdigger on Nov 27, 2007, 2:49 PM)


donald949


Nov 27, 2007, 4:04 PM
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Thats what it looks like to me. With the stem acting like a lever on the head.
Don


dirtme


Nov 27, 2007, 4:27 PM
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It may be but consider that the initial force of the fall, when it failed, would be to the left of the cam. It was never weighted in the absolute vertical position. I also think that a flexible stem would help eleviate this type of leveraging. Anyway, if the cam pulled out it would make more sense then it breaking.


nivlac


Nov 27, 2007, 5:05 PM
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trenchdigger wrote:

I wonder if O.P. did any testing with link cams in these types of loading orientations. If so, I'm curious about the results. It will definitely be interesting to see what results come of this investigation.

I'm curious too. While I can't see the pod perfectly, it looks like a solid placement to me, given the orientation and width of the pod relative to what was said about the direction of the climb.

Given the trade-offs we make in placing gear within a presumably limited amount of time with gear we expect (hope?) is solid, I'm not sure what else he could have done.

Trenchdigger, are you implying that he could have placed that cam differently or 'better'? I'm not sure I see how, short of perhaps placing a different size/brand cam in there, and that only looks like good advice with the advantage of hindsight. Of course, I'm not an engineer or mechanically inclined.

My two cents.


michaellane


Nov 27, 2007, 6:10 PM
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Hi, Everyone ...

As Dirtme has stated, he and I have been in contact ... several times, actually ... and although we don't have a lot to go on, yet, we've begun our investigation and done what testing we can in advance of tomorrow, when the cam is due to arrive.

Many of you have posted good questions and we'll do our best to test to as many of them as possible and we'll be forthcoming with the answers as soon as we can. The fact is, though, that there may not be too much to share until the entire process is complete.

I was a climber before I worked for the industry, though, so I understand the need for info.

So, this might answer a couple of questions but it must be understood that this may or may not have any context to the issue Dirtme had last week.

We have tested the assembled links for what we call "over-edge" strength. That is, we set up a perpendicular force on one end of a set of outstretched links with the opposite end anchored, stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points to test the ultimate strength of the hinge points. For comparison, we also purchased and disassembled competitors' cams (four different brands representing all other major players in cams on the market today) and tested their solid, single-piece lobes in the same manner. Our linkage assemblies fail right in the center of the four other brands: some broke at greater levels of force and some broke at lower levels. We performed multiple tests for each brand. You'll have to trust me that these were brands we all know and trust. Deservedly so, I should add, as none of these failed at levels that would alarm anyone.

It must be recognized that there is no standard nor any required strength rating for lobes or links to meet when tested in this manner. Likewise, there is no standardized testing to determine same. It was done solely to confirm earlier, similar tests performed during our R&D phase and to establish--as best we can--some sort of consensus for similar products.

At this point, there isn't anything to suggest that this is not an isolated event. Obviously, there are a number of factors involved in Dirtme's incident. We'll work as best we can to account for them and to determine the cause of the failure.

Hope this helps for now. More to come.

Regards,

--ML

__________________
Michael Lane
Sales & Marketing Director
Omega Pacific


(This post was edited by michaellane on Nov 27, 2007, 6:12 PM)


moose_droppings


Nov 27, 2007, 6:17 PM
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^^^

Thank you for your honest reply.


healyje


Nov 27, 2007, 7:06 PM
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I personally don't think anyone can fault Michael or OP with regards to their performance as a company standing behind their product - they have been superlative in every respect. I could be completely wrong, but I don't believe there was a quality issue of any kind with this cam, rather a application issue relative to the limitations of an innovative cam design.

Both OP Link Cam and the Trango Max Cam represent fairly radical attempts to push the envelope and boundaries of cam design. I think both need to be taken as such and both companies are due high credit for pursuing these attempts at cam innovation. Both cams offer unique benefits, but neither is without certain trade-offs and limitations which need to be understood before and during their use.

Nature just has a way of revealing the weakness and limits of all designs - natural and synthetic alike - and innovative cam designs are no exception even in the face of well-designed engineering tests. From my perspective it doesn't take a rocket scientest to realize the fragility of the linkages in question and I've been saying all along we were likely to see some of these types of failures. That doesn't mean that Link cams don't have their uses and utility - they clearly do. What it does mean is they probably have their limits with regard to placements such as this one where there is a great deal of interior surface features and texture and a potential for stem leverage, whole cam rotation, or a combination of both.

Bottom line is I'd use them still, but hey - you clearly need to put some thought into how "clean" the placement is relative to the design limitations. Also in that regard, this isn't a cam I'd be inclined to short-sling in that I wouldn't want the stem riding up and then rotating down hard on those linkages in a fall.

All just my opinion, though I suspect we'll see more of these failures, but I consider them "pilot error" (no offense dirtme) in exceeding the limits of the design than a defect or deficiency on the part of the manufacturer. If you want a sure thing every time then you probably stick with the tried and true rather than sporting with cutting edge of innovation. I'd say use such innovatiive cams to augment your rack if you want, but do know what placements are appropriate to use them in.


scott0708


Nov 27, 2007, 7:53 PM
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Healyje and Trenchdigger- Thank you very much for your well thought-out and well-written posts.
I had just purchased a new link cam a week before I read about this incident, and it really made me question my decision. I feel better about it now, although I'll be anxiously awaiting OP's findings.

Anyways, both of your posts, concerning how to correctly place the cams, are very helpful. I definitely agree that these cams will take a little extra though in their placement, which is a price you pay for the extra range.
Just looking at the cam and speculating, I would say that perhaps these cams would have a harder time rotating towards the direction of the load, especially when placed in the smaller part of their range. I say this because all the extra cam lobes could catch on irregularities within the crack and inhibit rotation. Anyways, this is just speculation, but it's something I'll think about next time I place a link cam.

-Scott


donald949


Nov 28, 2007, 4:26 PM
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Glad dirtme was not injured in this event. Also, thanks for posting up the photos and the story behind the fall. I'm very intested in as much as I'd like to learn what went wrong, so I can avoid injuries myself. As I'm sure everyone else.
Based on how Omega was forth coming on the rivet event, I'm sure they will do so again. I was able to sure my climbing partner how to inspect the rivets on his links.
I keep hearing that a larger link is in the works. I'm holding out for it as belay anchor/Thank God piece.
Don


Partner artm


Nov 29, 2007, 1:04 PM
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angry wrote:
dirtme wrote:
but now my wife is going to make me swap those out for the micro camelots but that's a similiar but different story.


Too bad, it looks like a perfect purple or orange alien spot to me.
I placed an orange alien in that spot.
Truck.
I also meatbombed on it in that spot, fortunately it did not explode.


trenchdigger


Nov 29, 2007, 1:47 PM
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nivlac wrote:
Trenchdigger, are you implying that he could have placed that cam differently or 'better'? I'm not sure I see how, short of perhaps placing a different size/brand cam in there, and that only looks like good advice with the advantage of hindsight. Of course, I'm not an engineer or mechanically inclined.

My two cents.

No, I'm saying that type of cam may not be ideal for that type of placement due to the design. I think a solid-lobed cam with a very flexible stem would best protect the climber in that placement.

A few posts above,healyje summarizes my thoughts on this better than I did... I couldn't agree more.


mheyman


Nov 29, 2007, 4:03 PM
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In reply to:
I could be completely wrong, but I don't believe there was a quality issue of any kind with this cam, rather an application issue relative to the limitations of an innovative cam design.

If as you suspect this turns, out to be a design issue, the OP will have to fix it or terminate production. Neither climbers nor OPs insurance will put up with unit failure. Like all their competitors, they can skirt liability with placement failure, but not failure of the gear itself.

I would not even bother to write this, but as you noted a lot of people have been concerned about this from before these units were available. Not surprisingly it sounds as if OP has done at least some testing in this regard.
Note that even if was due to a manufacturing defect, it may still be an engineering or production problem if the unit can not be produced reliably, and the defect can not be detected.

We’ll just have to wait and see, but at least OP is responsive!


healyje


Nov 30, 2007, 1:01 AM
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mheyman wrote:
In reply to:
I could be completely wrong, but I don't believe there was a quality issue of any kind with this cam, rather an application issue relative to the limitations of an innovative cam design.

If as you suspect this turns, out to be a design issue, the OP will have to fix it or terminate production. Neither climbers nor OPs insurance will put up with unit failure. Like all their competitors, they can skirt liability with placement failure, but not failure of the gear itself.

To be honest, I can't really say I agree with this. If we want innovation in climbing then these types of products need to be able to come to market. Whether they succeed or not, and for what reasons, is another matter all together. All products have design limits which should not be exceeded, this one is no different. I'm personally not for dumbing gear down in an attempt to circumvent personal responsibility on the part of climbers.

I will say, however, that back in the day when trad climbing was just climbing and there were no other options, lead climbers got smart fast or quit leading and there were fewer folks lingering in the middle ground than there are today where folks may dabble along for quite awhile going back and forth between bouldering, sport, and trad. My point being folks today often don't build their skills base as fast and sometimes linger in an intermediate state for a long time. That means more folks are likely to end up in situations like this one than in times of olde and you may be right that manufacturers will weigh that in their evaluations and planning.

But the design limitation issue still stands - if you fall onto a biner over an edge it will break and it wouldn't be the manufacturer's fault - it would be your's for misapplying it product. Know your gear.


Partner cracklover


Nov 30, 2007, 8:47 AM
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Plenty of interesting food for thought in this thread, thanks all. And a special thanks to Michael from OP, for his forthright responses. They are very much appreciated.

I'd like to agree with those who are saying that, in principle, it is possible that there may be nothing "fixable" with the cam, even though the same fall on the same placement might cause a significant number of units to break. If there is simply a design limitation, it will be good to become aware of it, and continue to use the cams with that limitation in mind.

One thought I had on the subject: The length of the chain of lobes when the cam is completely extended is not an issue in the ideal fall, because they're completely unweighted. But if the lobes are all extended, and the cam is at an angle such that the stem or the rope or the clipping biner pushes down on the extended lobes, I can see how there could be sufficient leverage to cause damage to those extended lobes. And since the linkage points are the weak links in the chain, you'd expect a crack to happen there.

So I'd posit that a previous fall of the type I've described above *may* have caused a crack at one of the link points. Such a crack would seriously compromise the strength of the piece on subsequent falls in which the cam is placed in a larger crack, where that linkage point is now weighted in a fall.

Perhaps extra vigilance is required to check those linkage points for cracks (real cracks, not mythical micro-fractures) after any falls, especially falls in which the cam is not vertically oriented.

GO


bootlegger


Dec 2, 2007, 5:17 PM
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Gotta disagree with healyje on this one. A cam coming out of a placement is one thing, and is typically user error. But based on the photo, I would never expect a cam to literally break in that situation. If these cams are subject to breakage in that small a 'non-vertical' orientation, then OP needs to put some serious guidance/restrictions out in their marketing materials.


billcoe_


Dec 2, 2007, 7:05 PM
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bootlegger wrote:
Gotta disagree with healyje on this one. A cam coming out of a placement is one thing, and is typically user error. But based on the photo, I would never expect a cam to literally break in that situation. If these cams are subject to breakage in that small a 'non-vertical' orientation, then OP needs to put some serious guidance/restrictions out in their marketing materials.

I'm waiting for the report. I have 3 of these cams, and like several here have noted, there are lots of moving parts which I think everyone knows has potential for trouble.

HealyJ noted early on in the game when these things first came out to be real careful in placing and slinging so that they do not get set sideways, I got that and have been.

I was pretty sure when they first came out, based on the picture alone, that they would be easier to fix and get stuck than other cams, and that appears true as well.

So runner them well is the point. I love that range.


ja1484


Dec 2, 2007, 7:09 PM
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bootlegger wrote:
Gotta disagree with healyje on this one. A cam coming out of a placement is one thing, and is typically user error. But based on the photo, I would never expect a cam to literally break in that situation. If these cams are subject to breakage in that small a 'non-vertical' orientation, then OP needs to put some serious guidance/restrictions out in their marketing materials.


Fair enough, but they may not be aware that there is a problem with this orientation. This may be precisely what is brought to light by this incident...we'll have to see.

On another note, anyone else think (from what can be seen in the photo) that they'd go straight to a Tricam if this pod would take one? Frankly, I don't like the twisty, torquey shear type force that would be put on ANY cam fallen on when in this pod. It depends on the internal geometry of the pod, which can't be seen in the photo, but it looks to me like it might be possible to orient a tricam to be directly in line with a straight downward pull.

Even if the orientation of the tricam weren't perfect, I'd say they're significantly less susceptible to the effects of leverage (with regards to breakage anyway) than active cams, seeing as they're basically chocks with a party-trick.


(This post was edited by ja1484 on Dec 2, 2007, 7:11 PM)


Partner cracklover


Dec 3, 2007, 6:48 AM
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ja1484 wrote:
On another note, anyone else think (from what can be seen in the photo) that they'd go straight to a Tricam if this pod would take one? Frankly, I don't like the twisty, torquey shear type force that would be put on ANY cam fallen on when in this pod.

While we're being frank - frankly, I don't really want to see this important thread cluttered up with the standard opinions about how tricams are great - no, hexes are better, no, only beginners carry hexes, yadda yadda.

No offense.

GO


dingus


Dec 3, 2007, 7:02 AM
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One of the reasons I still carry TCUs in favor of or to augment smaller fcu's is their ability to rotate in a placement and still hold.

I know that rotation thing is a dual-edged sword... that's why I also like to carry small fcu's as well. A nice compliment.

Cheers
DMT


wannabe


Dec 3, 2007, 8:31 AM
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I have heard a rumor that OP gear is made using prison labor. Does anyone have facts or information to back up this rumor?

If the rumor is true, how does OP control quality? What is the incentive for a worker in this environment to care enough about my life to do a good job of manufacturing it?

Again, I don't have facts, but would really like to know.


dingus


Dec 3, 2007, 8:38 AM
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wannabe wrote:
I have heard a rumor that OP gear is made using prison labor. Does anyone have facts or information to back up this rumor?

If the rumor is true, how does OP control quality? What is the incentive for a worker in this environment to care enough about my life to do a good job of manufacturing it?

Again, I don't have facts, but would really like to know.

They do not.

They once did.

They had lots of QC.

It was a state supported prisoner work program designed to benefit business and the prison workers via job skills training.

I understand the state program went away and they (OP) always had PR problems associated with it, from generally uninformed people, like me.

I once made a similar reference has had been made in this thread. Just the thought of prison labor for climbing gear seemed, um.... bad.

The owner or president of OP responded with details of the program. That response satisified me at least that they had good QC procedures in place, that they were not gaining unfair market advantage (they paid commercial salaries and the wages earned went to inmate and victims bills, so to speak).

But it is no more and hasn't been for quite some time, as I recall.

Cheers
DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Dec 3, 2007, 8:39 AM)


wannabe


Dec 3, 2007, 8:43 AM
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Thanks Dingus...that rumor didn't sit easy with me as well.


sed


Dec 3, 2007, 8:54 AM
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If this gear failed based on inherent limitations in design, then change the design. I don't want to have to consider subtle alterations in angle and forces when I'm trying to move through a crux, I want to fire a piece in and move through. If link cams are dangerous in angled placements I won't use/buy them. The whole point of the link cam is to reduce the amount of crap I have to carry. If I have to carry BD cams to back up placements where a link cam won't work then what is the point?
Scott


the_climber


Dec 3, 2007, 9:08 AM
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True to form RC.com jump on the Paranoia and Speculation bandwagon.

Why don't you all just relax for a few, and let OP do their investigation into this. The way in which they have handled issues in the past have gained props from all of you. Let them handle it in the same what.

FYI, when the link cams came out the consensus as a whole was that due to their designs there would be limitations and that they would need to be placed with a different eye than standard cams. Just like how you would place a solid stem cam you must take considerations when placing link cams.

ALL gear has limitations. Think about that next time you place ANY piece. Just like when you decide to run it out on that #0 TCU.... or on a #3 nut.... or on a forged friend in a slanting crack... or when you plug your cam straight into a crack instead of angling it down.

Not all of those good looking placements are as good as you think. I know guys who've been climbing for 35+ years who have said "I could have sworn that was going to hold" after ripping a cam. Yes this was cam failure not full on rock/placement failure, but the point is that not all our placements may be what they first appear to be. Relax, chill... OP is on it. You think they don't want the best possible outcome for the climbing community? They build this stuff you the community, they climb themselves, they know what is at stake.


moose_droppings


Dec 3, 2007, 9:11 AM
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sed wrote:
If this gear failed based on inherent limitations in design, then change the design. I don't want to have to consider subtle alterations in angle and forces when I'm trying to move through a crux, I want to fire a piece in and move through. If link cams are dangerous in angled placements I won't use/buy them. The whole point of the link cam is to reduce the amount of crap I have to carry. If I have to carry BD cams to back up placements where a link cam won't work then what is the point?
Scott

Sorry, but thats part of the game. If you want to avoid fiddling with pieces try sport. Even with nuts you still have to take into account the direction of fall. A big part of trad is knowing what piece to use, and its limitations.


altelis


Dec 3, 2007, 9:12 AM
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sed wrote:
If this gear failed based on inherent limitations in design, then change the design. I don't want to have to consider subtle alterations in angle and forces when I'm trying to move through a crux, I want to fire a piece in and move through. If link cams are dangerous in angled placements I won't use/buy them. The whole point of the link cam is to reduce the amount of crap I have to carry. If I have to carry BD cams to back up placements where a link cam won't work then what is the point?
Scott

sorry, i WHOLE HEARTEDLY disagree. if you have a clip and go mentality then go sport climbing-----hell, go bouldering. don't get me wrong; i love to sport climb and boulder as well. but trad climbing isn't the same

trad climbing is a thinking man's game. not just about the placement----about everything. which of many ways to equalize this PARTICULAR anchor; how wandery is this pitch; how to best protect this for my second; does this nut fit best straight down or on its side; will we be faster over all if i stop here and sling this tree for an anchor rather than climbing 30 more feet and set a semi-hanging gear anchor; etc.

and i beg to differ that the purpose of the link cam reduces the amount of crap you have to carry. they might have the range of two cams but once placed they have the range of 0 cams on your rack. you essentially place two pieces with every placement. their benefit is for flares, awkward placements that are semi-inbetween sizes or as one "oh shit i'm pumped and don't have time finding the right size (of course this is placement dependent as we now see)". but if the guide book says singles to 3 inches you can't now take 1/2 as many cams. you need the same number of POINTS of protection.

i dunno--i'm used to alpine climbing and bring that mentality to my single and multipitch trad game. a way paired down rack that forces me to be creative if i don't want it way run out. think more, be more creative and you can carry WAY less gear.


sed


Dec 3, 2007, 9:25 AM
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I'm no noob. i've been climbing trad 10+ years, mostly now it's FA's. I don't have a clip and go mentality, rarely sport climb at all. What I do have is a desire to live, and it's the job of gear maker's to give me confidence. IF link cams don't work safely in angled placements I won't buy them. The cams I have already get the job done for me. It's a shame because I was thinking of buying one for myself for christmas mainly cause I like shiny new metal.
Scott


shoo


Dec 3, 2007, 9:48 AM
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sed wrote:
IF link cams don't work safely in angled placements I won't buy them. The cams I have already get the job done for me.

That's where your post is getting people riled up. A "safely angled placement" is different in different devices, which you clearly know. The link cams essentially sacrifice a few types of placements for an increased expansion range. That doesn't make it an inherently worse product than anything else on your rack, it just makes it a different one.

If your racking preference and strategy means that you'd rather just stick with your current setup, by all means do so. I happen to follow the same thought, at least until the full limitations of link cams are well known. All devices have "inherent limitations," and it is up to the climber to sort out which limitations and benefits he/she will choose.

That being said, is anyone doing any testing to see how the link cams stand up in placements with large amounts of torque?


nivlac


Dec 3, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Re: [shoo] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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shoo wrote:

That's where your post is getting people riled up. A "safely angled placement" is different in different devices, which you clearly know. The link cams essentially sacrifice a few types of placements for an increased expansion range. That doesn't make it an inherently worse product than anything else on your rack, it just makes it a different one.

If your racking preference and strategy means that you'd rather just stick with your current setup, by all means do so. I happen to follow the same thought, at least until the full limitations of link cams are well known. All devices have "inherent limitations," and it is up to the climber to sort out which limitations and benefits he/she will choose.

That being said, is anyone doing any testing to see how the link cams stand up in placements with large amounts of torque?

I think sed sounds clearer here. There are several posts where it seems some people make it sound like this was an obvious design limitation.

Clearly not. The OP had a bad fall (rather unexpected to him), and many other people here are shocked (me included) that the OP cam failed in the manner it did. I think that's a reasonable reaction. When I place a nut or other device and it pulls, that's most likely operator error. I don't expect the nut to twist in half and break off though.

the_climber mentioned paranoia and speculation. You bet your ass I'm paranoid when it comes to these devices. I only have one life and when I can't reasonably figure out the risk parameters because of unclear design-limitations in the cam, that's what gets me riled up.

I'm more and more interested in the test results and analysis from OP.


billcoe_


Dec 3, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Re: [sed] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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sed wrote:
I'm no noob. i've been climbing trad 10+ years, mostly now it's FA's. I don't have a clip and go mentality, rarely sport climb at all. What I do have is a desire to live, and it's the job of gear maker's to give me confidence. IF link cams don't work safely in angled placements I won't buy them. The cams I have already get the job done for me. It's a shame because I was thinking of buying one for myself for christmas mainly cause I like shiny new metal.
Scott

Well I hate to see what you'd say about all the Alien failures. I want to commend Omega Pacific for jumping right on this and checking it out.

THANK YOU!

Can we wait for the report now?


sed


Dec 3, 2007, 11:06 AM
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i have one alien and use other's. i won't buy any more. i avoid using it or back it up if i do. i definitely won't use it in a groundfall scenario. to be honest - nuts are my favorite piece of pro.
S


medicus


Dec 3, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Waiting for the OP report... [In reply to]
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So about that report that OP is going to be releasing... yeah, anything useful has been lost in a wasteland of nothingness. Let's all wait on for OP to release the report.


andypro


Dec 3, 2007, 4:41 PM
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sed wrote:
i have one alien and use other's. i won't buy any more. i avoid using it or back it up if i do. i definitely won't use it in a groundfall scenario. to be honest - nuts are my favorite piece of pro.
S


Then WHY do you use it at all? Why place it if you're just going to place another piece that you trust to back it up? Why not just place the piece you trust, and leave the Alien on the ground? Or at home? Obviously the Alien isn't the only piece that will work, because you're backing it up with something that ISN'T an Alien. It just doesn't make any sense.

--Andy P


curt


Dec 3, 2007, 5:56 PM
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trenchdigger wrote:
..My engineering background <non-scientifically based speculation follows> tells me that although these link cams are just as strong as others when loaded in a lab setting (a "perfect" crack, and loaded inline with the placement) they may not be as durable when it comes to off-axis, torqueing loads such as this case. I own the same red link cam, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure I would have had so mouch faith in it in that placement...

As long as we're guessing, that would be my guess too. There really isn't much material around those rivets and a force applied in a different direction than anticipated could perhaps lead to that type of failure.

Curt


paganmonkeyboy


Dec 3, 2007, 6:10 PM
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Dirtme -

I am very, very glad you were not seriously hurt.

-Tom


sed


Dec 3, 2007, 6:30 PM
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good point, i should probably retire it to paperweight status like it deserves. because of it's profile it does fit in unique places and serves a purpose occasionally between other pieces or when marginal gear is the best I can get.
S


Partner rgold


Dec 3, 2007, 6:49 PM
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Re: [sed] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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A little appreciated fact is that the internal forces generated in cams placed in downward-flaring placements can be arbitrarily high. See, for example, Vaino Kodas's explanation. Among other things, he says, "...as the angle of the flare approaches the spiral angle the forces grow very large (theoretically infinite)..."

What this means in practical terms is that cams in flaring placements are susceptible to forces that will break either the placement or the cam (or both). I'd guess that usually the placement breaks in some way and the cam is extracted by the fall, but breakage is another possible failure mode. This is a consequence of the camming geometry and is not a design failure. Ascribing it to pilot error would assume, first, that the pilot knew this could be a problem (most climbers I mention it to seem unaware of the issue), and second, that it is possible, under the circumstances of placement, to detect the flare, which after all could be quite local in nature. The J-tree placement looks like a piton scar, which are typically flared.

Link cams are complicated and appear to have weak points compared to ordinary cams. In addition to weird torquing situations, flared placements should also be treated with suspicion. Dirtme said, "I could have put another piece in as a backup, so the deck was preventable." I think the need for redundance on the first piece between climber and ground is increased when the placement may be compromised, and this sounds like an occasion for the extra level of prudence.

The hope that cams would eliminate the thinking required for nuts has turned out to be naive. (I am not referring to any particular person here.) Cam placements require careful thought and inspection too, and just firing in a unit means accepting an uncertain outcome, something, like many other things in climbing, that you can get away with for years and years, but which might just bite you in the ass one day---and the biting mouth does not care how experienced the bitten ass is or was.

This is not to say that the cam in question did not have some sort of structural defect. Even if it turns out to have one, we still have to live with the uncertainty of even "bombproof" protection always holding. One part of the defense is a cautious attitude towards cams in downward flares, especially complicated cams like the Link Cam.


shockabuku


Dec 3, 2007, 8:27 PM
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michaellane wrote:
We have tested the assembled links for what we call "over-edge" strength. That is, we set up a perpendicular force on one end of a set of outstretched links with the opposite end anchored, stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points to test the ultimate strength of the hinge points.

This is interesting, and not a negative criticism of Omega Pacific, but if in this placement the cam was near to full retraction the amount of torque on the extended arm could have been significantly larger than in the OP tests. In this situation the axle end could be considered fixed, with the force applied at the end of the extended lobe and instead of it being "stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points" it would have been stressed over an obstacle at the point of contact which would have been close to the axle. This would create a significantly longer lever arm which, it would seem, could then be broken with a smaller applied force than in the tests. Once the lobe broke, the cam probably would have rotated very suddenly which may have caused it to dislodge, particularly if this was a flaring placement.


blondgecko
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Dec 3, 2007, 10:07 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
michaellane wrote:
We have tested the assembled links for what we call "over-edge" strength. That is, we set up a perpendicular force on one end of a set of outstretched links with the opposite end anchored, stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points to test the ultimate strength of the hinge points.

This is interesting, and not a negative criticism of Omega Pacific, but if in this placement the cam was near to full retraction the amount of torque on the extended arm could have been significantly larger than in the OP tests. In this situation the axle end could be considered fixed, with the force applied at the end of the extended lobe and instead of it being "stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points" it would have been stressed over an obstacle at the point of contact which would have been close to the axle. This would create a significantly longer lever arm which, it would seem, could then be broken with a smaller applied force than in the tests. Once the lobe broke, the cam probably would have rotated very suddenly which may have caused it to dislodge, particularly if this was a flaring placement.

I hope this diagram is clear, but is this the sort of effect you're talking about?


Attachments: cam torque.JPG (13.4 KB)


shockabuku


Dec 4, 2007, 6:01 AM
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blondgecko wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
michaellane wrote:
We have tested the assembled links for what we call "over-edge" strength. That is, we set up a perpendicular force on one end of a set of outstretched links with the opposite end anchored, stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points to test the ultimate strength of the hinge points.

This is interesting, and not a negative criticism of Omega Pacific, but if in this placement the cam was near to full retraction the amount of torque on the extended arm could have been significantly larger than in the OP tests. In this situation the axle end could be considered fixed, with the force applied at the end of the extended lobe and instead of it being "stressed over an obstacle, or edge at the mid-points" it would have been stressed over an obstacle at the point of contact which would have been close to the axle. This would create a significantly longer lever arm which, it would seem, could then be broken with a smaller applied force than in the tests. Once the lobe broke, the cam probably would have rotated very suddenly which may have caused it to dislodge, particularly if this was a flaring placement.

I hope this diagram is clear, but is this the sort of effect you're talking about?

Basically, yes. I envisioned the protrusion labeled in your diagram as the edge of the pod itself with contact right at the tip of the extended lobe. Of course it's all conjecture and the contact force could be applied anywhere along the extended lobe.


dingus


Dec 4, 2007, 7:28 AM
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Re: [billcoe_] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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My basic rack includes pieces that will not hold a substantial free climbing fall.

I leave those pieces on the ground if I don't think they will be needed. If they ARE needed? They are NEEDED!!!111

#00, #0 and #1 TCUs, the tinest aliens (or any other tiny cam for that matter) and the tiniest nuts... will all blow apart with forces that can be generated in a climbing fall.

Kate swears by Links for aid climbing - I accedpt her judgement (haven't used them for that purpose myself).

My only point here is that climbing gear has limitations. And sometimes one of those limited pieces is the ONLY piece that will work in that spot, I accept the limitation and try to plan around it (get another piece in ASAP!)

What we all need to know of course is exactly WHAT those limitations are, for Link cams that is. Not knowing is far worse than knowing.

DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Dec 4, 2007, 7:29 AM)


Partner holdplease2


Dec 4, 2007, 9:22 AM
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I've been quiet on this thread, but as someone who has six link cams, two of which have been on my rack since they came to market, and tripples of Retired C4s, I'm interested in seeing what's going on in this situation.

After seeing my lead climbing (in straightforward cracks) go up multiple letter grades doe to the ease of placement/gear selection offered by link cams, and the size of wall rack I carry going down (carry two link cams for movement on a nailing pitch, instead of two each purple thru gold camalot), this makes me really, really sad.

My link cams have caught multiple free climbing falls, held probably hundreds of monster bounce tests (many in really weird placements), and been integrated into wall anchors that stood up to forces from 3:1 counterweight hauls.

I have always placed them keeping in mind the "shearing" type of weakness shown in the picture, as intuitively this seemed like a possibility.

However, until this is resolved, I am not climbing on them again. Will there be a recall because some metal was bad? Was this cam "Pre-fractured" in line with the last recall? I don't know.

For those of you who haven't tried link cams, or tried them enough not to get used to them, this is just another ridiculous piece of gear that will fail because it is over-complicated. For those of us who have seen our climbing change because of unique and broad range of placements made possible by link cams this is both sad and scary. If link cams go away, this will be a big step backwards, IMO.

The way that we treat OPacific in this situation will be one of the drivers of whether or not Other companies are willing to take the risk of making innovative designs, testing them the best they can, and bringing them to market.

Based on my previous interactions with OPacific, and their response to this situation, they are NOT another CCH. I look forward to seeing how this resolves.

-Kate.


Partner cracklover


Dec 4, 2007, 9:44 AM
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dingus wrote:
My only point here is that climbing gear has limitations. And sometimes one of those limited pieces is the ONLY piece that will work in that spot, I accept the limitation and try to plan around it (get another piece in ASAP!)

What we all need to know of course is exactly WHAT those limitations are, for Link cams that is. Not knowing is far worse than knowing.

DMT

Dingus, I could not agree with you more. Sadly, there is a real and a serious downside though, for OP, in publicizing any design limitation.

The downside is this: many, many people look to cams as an end-all-be-all solution. They expect that - if it fits in the crack, it will keep them safe. Period. And they look for the one cam on the market that best fits this criterion. To the degree that a cam is limited in its application, it loses market share.

GO


wanderlustmd


Dec 4, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Market share is trivial; if link cams are prone to breakage when placed in such a way that has potential to torque and damage the secondary lobes (as in the photos above), people should know about it so they can act accordingly. If OP wants equal market share, hopefully they can figure out a way to make link cams just as strong as a regular cam in this application.

In regard to people thinking that cams (or any piece of gear) is an end-all be-all...that isn't OP's (or any gear manufacturer's) problem. That's where user competantcy comes into play (of course).

Link cams are a great, versatile piece of gear, but if there is a risk of breakage in some applications based on design, climbers should know about it, even if it damages OP's stance in the market. I'm not at all saying that OP should be burned at the stake for making a "less perfect" unit...but I'd also like to avoid suprises with gear.


tallmark515


Dec 10, 2007, 5:07 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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any updates? Any new info from Omega? Just curious.

(This post was edited by tallmark515 on Dec 10, 2007, 5:08 PM)


medicus


Dec 10, 2007, 5:24 PM
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Re: [tallmark515] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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I'm guessing "no" since OP hasn't posted here yet.


badsanta


Dec 17, 2007, 11:45 AM
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one week later [In reply to]
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whats the update?


xtremst80


Dec 17, 2007, 12:05 PM
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badsanta wrote:
whats the update?

Well obviously none if the OP hasn't re posted!


badsanta


Dec 17, 2007, 12:40 PM
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I wasnt talking to your troll [In reply to]
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I wasn't talking to you troll. Whats the update?


reg


Dec 17, 2007, 12:45 PM
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holdplease2 wrote:



For those of you who haven't tried link cams, or tried them enough not to get used to them, this is just another ridiculous piece of gear that will fail because it is over-complicated.

i've never used one but that was my initial gut feelin.

holdplease2 wrote:
For those of us who have seen our climbing change because of unique and broad range of placements made possible by link cams this is both sad and scary. If link cams go away, this will be a big step backwards, IMO.
-Kate.

that's ah great point. build a better mouse trap and they will beat down your door. i don't believe link cam is the better mouse trap - not sure where gear can go from where we are now but that said, i did think of the roller biner concept before it was on the market! true statement. all right let's hear it! - R


healyje


Dec 17, 2007, 2:39 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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wanderlustmd wrote:
Link cams are a great, versatile piece of gear, but if there is a risk of breakage in some applications based on design, climbers should know about it, even if it damages OP's stance in the market. I'm not at all saying that OP should be burned at the stake for making a "less perfect" unit...but I'd also like to avoid suprises with gear.

Wanderlustmd - in general, my response to this and similar comments relative to the [obvious] limitations to the Link cam design is that it isn't rocket science, but rather just a matter of opening your eyes - one quick glance tells you all there is to know.

I think OP is to be commended for this exploration past the boundaries of convential cam design and the odds are pretty damn good this is a state-of-the-art application of our current commercial materials science. But the odds are equally good that 'state-of-the-art' in materials science currently isn't good enough to produce an indestructible, segmented lobe cam at a weight most folks would be willing to carry. One look at them also tells you OP designers and engineers worked their asses off and agonized back-and-forth over every .001 of an inch on the things.

Personally, I think it's a bold design and business move on OP's part - but it's all of us, and not them, who are solely responsible for our determination of the fitness of these devices for any given application on lead. Funny how this sort of thing really brings out the generational difference in climbers and probably highlights to just what extent 'modern' climbing has become another well-integrated commodity / consumer-oriented activity.


(This post was edited by healyje on Dec 17, 2007, 2:40 PM)


caughtinside


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Re: [healyje] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
wanderlustmd wrote:
Link cams are a great, versatile piece of gear, but if there is a risk of breakage in some applications based on design, climbers should know about it, even if it damages OP's stance in the market. I'm not at all saying that OP should be burned at the stake for making a "less perfect" unit...but I'd also like to avoid suprises with gear.

Wanderlustmd - in general, my response to this and similar comments relative to the [obvious] limitations to the Link cam design is that it isn't rocket science, but rather just a matter of opening your eyes - one quick glance tells you all there is to know.

I think OP is to be commended for this exploration past the boundaries of convential cam design and the odds are pretty damn good this is a state-of-the-art application of our current commercial materials science. But the odds are equally good that 'state-of-the-art' in materials science currently isn't good enough to produce an indestructible, segmented lobe cam at a weight most folks would be willing to carry. One look at them also tells you OP designers and engineers worked their asses off and agonized back-and-forth over every .001 of an inch on the things.

Personally, I think it's a bold design and business move on OP's part - but it's all of us, and not them, who are solely responsible for our determination of the fitness of these devices for any given application on lead. Funny how this sort of thing really brings out the generational difference in climbers and probably highlights to just what extent 'modern' climbing has become another well-integrated commodity / consumer-oriented activity.

A good post healyje. It does point out generational differences. I guess if I had been around and made my own pro and threaded my own perlon 30 years ago, I wouldn't feel entitled to rely on the expertiese of others, which presumably includes a team of engineers (most if not all of whom I'd expect to be climbers.) Also generational to rely on industry certification.

Seriously, why go through all that expense and procure that much expertise when we can find a guy who can take one look at a cam and tell you it is going to explode?


tomcat


Dec 17, 2007, 2:55 PM
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OK Healy.Now tell us...how many failed Aliens vs.how many in use? And how many failed Link Cams vs. how many in use?


healyje


Dec 17, 2007, 5:22 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
Seriously, why go through all that expense and procure that much expertise when we can find a guy who can take one look at a cam and tell you it is going to explode?

No problem, happy to help out. So, basically, this really is a generational 'Emperor has no clothes' sort of deal where you and others look at a Link Cam and go, "wow, cool, just like a regular cam only better...!" I and others predicted these babies would start popping the minute the first picture was released - why? Because they are clearly 'surfing' out on the leading edge of what today's materials can possibly hope to deliver. That took about a tenth of a second glance at one to figure out.

ISO, CE, UIAA are all about minimums, ideals, quality processes, engineering test beds, and guidance - not the word of God. They also relate more to the manufacture, rather than design application, when it comes to protection. And 'Relying on the expertise of others' in climbing has been and likely always will be a perilous affair regardless of how it's packaged, sold, and marketed.


(This post was edited by healyje on Dec 17, 2007, 6:03 PM)


healyje


Dec 17, 2007, 5:29 PM
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tomcat wrote:
OK Healy.Now tell us...how many failed Aliens vs.how many in use? And how many failed Link Cams vs. how many in use?

The distinction is between a reasonable design manufactured poorly and a design with [obvious] limitations manufacturered as well as current material sciences allow. An Alien user who hasn't self-tested his or her cams has no way of knowing the outcome of an appropriate placement. That's entirely different than a Link Cam owner placing one of them inappropriately and having a pretty predictable outcome.

I don't think OP has done a bad job manufacturing Link Cams - I think the design just has limitations lots of folks may be unable to perceive or work within. I consider it no different than complaining about a biner breaking during a fall after it was placed over an edge.


caughtinside


Dec 17, 2007, 5:40 PM
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healyje wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
Seriously, why go through all that expense and procure that much expertise when we can find a guy who can take one look at a cam and tell you it is going to explode?

No problem, happy to help out. So, basically, this really is a generational 'Emperor hads no clothes" sort of deal where you and others look at a Link Cam and go, "wow, cool, just like a regular cam only better...!" I and others predicted these babies would start popping the minute the first picture was released - why? Because they are clearly 'surfing' out on the leading edge of what today's materials can possibly hope to deliver. That took about a tenth of a second glance at one to figure out.

ISO, CE, UIAA are all about minimums, ideals, quality processes, engineering test beds, and guidance - not the word of God. They also relate more to the manufacture, rather than design application, when it comes to protection. And 'Relying on the expertise of others has been and likely always will be a perilous affair regardless of how it's packaged, sold, and marketed.

How many Links have broken?

Aside from the trigger recall.

And I'm afraid we have to rely on the expertise of others more and more every day in order to adapt to the more sophisticated world around us, or risk becoming dinosaurs.

And relying on the reputation in front of that expertise has been commonplace in climbing for a while, and is probably best highlighted by what CCH is dealing with, and the number of recommendations for a new Metolius cam which hasn't been used by anyone outside testing and development.


Partner j_ung


Dec 17, 2007, 5:42 PM
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healyje wrote:
wanderlustmd wrote:
Link cams are a great, versatile piece of gear, but if there is a risk of breakage in some applications based on design, climbers should know about it, even if it damages OP's stance in the market. I'm not at all saying that OP should be burned at the stake for making a "less perfect" unit...but I'd also like to avoid suprises with gear.

Wanderlustmd - in general, my response to this and similar comments relative to the [obvious] limitations to the Link cam design is that it isn't rocket science, but rather just a matter of opening your eyes - one quick glance tells you all there is to know.

I think OP is to be commended for this exploration past the boundaries of convential cam design and the odds are pretty damn good this is a state-of-the-art application of our current commercial materials science. But the odds are equally good that 'state-of-the-art' in materials science currently isn't good enough to produce an indestructible, segmented lobe cam at a weight most folks would be willing to carry. One look at them also tells you OP designers and engineers worked their asses off and agonized back-and-forth over every .001 of an inch on the things.

Personally, I think it's a bold design and business move on OP's part - but it's all of us, and not them, who are solely responsible for our determination of the fitness of these devices for any given application on lead. Funny how this sort of thing really brings out the generational difference in climbers and probably highlights to just what extent 'modern' climbing has become another well-integrated commodity / consumer-oriented activity.

You totally just ended a perfectly reasonable post with, "these damn kids and their new-fangled gear." Tongue


caughtinside


Dec 17, 2007, 5:44 PM
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j_ung wrote:
healyje wrote:
wanderlustmd wrote:
Link cams are a great, versatile piece of gear, but if there is a risk of breakage in some applications based on design, climbers should know about it, even if it damages OP's stance in the market. I'm not at all saying that OP should be burned at the stake for making a "less perfect" unit...but I'd also like to avoid suprises with gear.

Wanderlustmd - in general, my response to this and similar comments relative to the [obvious] limitations to the Link cam design is that it isn't rocket science, but rather just a matter of opening your eyes - one quick glance tells you all there is to know.

I think OP is to be commended for this exploration past the boundaries of convential cam design and the odds are pretty damn good this is a state-of-the-art application of our current commercial materials science. But the odds are equally good that 'state-of-the-art' in materials science currently isn't good enough to produce an indestructible, segmented lobe cam at a weight most folks would be willing to carry. One look at them also tells you OP designers and engineers worked their asses off and agonized back-and-forth over every .001 of an inch on the things.

Personally, I think it's a bold design and business move on OP's part - but it's all of us, and not them, who are solely responsible for our determination of the fitness of these devices for any given application on lead. Funny how this sort of thing really brings out the generational difference in climbers and probably highlights to just what extent 'modern' climbing has become another well-integrated commodity / consumer-oriented activity.

You totally just ended a perfectly reasonable post with, "these damn kids and their new-fangled gear." Tongue

jay, all his posts end with some iteration of "these damn kids..."


healyje


Dec 17, 2007, 6:00 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
How many Links have broken?

Aside from the trigger recall.

I view the trigger issue as a normal design revision instance and one easily remedied. The cam lobes breaking will likely not yield to such a ready solution.

caughtinside wrote:
And I'm afraid we have to rely on the expertise of others more and more every day in order to adapt to the more sophisticated world around us, or risk becoming dinosaurs.

In lots of areas of life that's true. In climbing, outside of ropes, it isn't except in our expectations and what we're individually prepared to be responsible for relative to our own climbing.

caughtinside wrote:
And relying on the reputation in front of that expertise has been commonplace in climbing for a while, and is probably best highlighted by what CCH is dealing with, and the number of recommendations for a new Metolius cam which hasn't been used by anyone outside testing and development.

The difference is Metolius, OP, and others have demonstrated a strong track record of manufacturing, quality management, and customer service that spans many years and many different products and product lines. CCH on the otherhand, is a one-trick pony and more an artisan craft shop than a formal manufacturing operation. It had the opportunity to evolve from one to the other when it pinned down big box retail contracts, but then couldn't manage to scale their business - bummer, but it happens.


healyje


Dec 17, 2007, 6:54 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
j_ung wrote:
You totally just ended a perfectly reasonable post with, "these damn kids and their new-fangled gear." Tongue

jay, all his posts end with some iteration of "these damn kids..."

More like "these gullible damn kids..." after this thread and if they force OP to withdraw Link Cams from the market because they can't figure out when and how to use them appropriately.


knieveltech


Dec 17, 2007, 7:33 PM
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healyje wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
j_ung wrote:
You totally just ended a perfectly reasonable post with, "these damn kids and their new-fangled gear." Tongue

jay, all his posts end with some iteration of "these damn kids..."

More like "these gullible damn kids..." after this thread and if they force OP to withdraw Link Cams from the market because they can't figure out when and how to use them appropriately.

I've read the literature that came with both #1 and #2 link cam back to front several times and I don't recall encountering any indication that these things shouldn't be placed in pods or otherwise have placement limitations that differ substantially from those of a regular cam. That being said if it comes out in the wash that there are certain placements that must be avoided with these things, that's cool, all gear has it's limitations, but until such time as OP includes these supposed limitations in the literature how can this credibly be considered pilot error and not blatant gear failure?


healyje


Dec 17, 2007, 8:04 PM
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knieveltech wrote:
I've read the literature that came with both #1 and #2 link cam back to front several times and I don't recall encountering any indication that these things shouldn't be placed in pods or otherwise have placement limitations that differ substantially from those of a regular cam. That being said if it comes out in the wash that there are certain placements that must be avoided with these things, that's cool, all gear has it's limitations, but until such time as OP includes these supposed limitations in the literature how can this credibly be considered pilot error and not blatant gear failure?

Well, hate to sound like a broken record, but how about just looking at them - solid stems, fragile segmented cams? Do you really need to be told or otherwise have it spelled out? Pretty obvious that stout stem can apply significant leverage on those fragile links if allowed to rotate after placing the unit or if it rests on an edge. To be honest, I would think it completely obvious to anyone who considered themselves passed the level of an intermediate trad climber.

The literature is pretty irrelavant in my view as it would be virtually impossible to list or characterize all the potential kinds of placements where you could run into problems with these units.


(This post was edited by healyje on Dec 17, 2007, 8:05 PM)


nivlac


Dec 17, 2007, 8:16 PM
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healyje wrote:
knieveltech wrote:
I've read the literature that came with both #1 and #2 link cam back to front several times and I don't recall encountering any indication that these things shouldn't be placed in pods or otherwise have placement limitations that differ substantially from those of a regular cam. That being said if it comes out in the wash that there are certain placements that must be avoided with these things, that's cool, all gear has it's limitations, but until such time as OP includes these supposed limitations in the literature how can this credibly be considered pilot error and not blatant gear failure?

Well, hate to sound like a broken record, but how about just looking at them - solid stems, fragile segmented cams? Do you really need to be told or otherwise have it spelled out? Pretty obvious that stout stem can apply significant leverage on those fragile links if allowed to rotate after placing the unit or if it rests on an edge. To be honest, I would think it completely obvious to anyone who considered themselves passed the level of an intermediate trad climber.

The literature is pretty irrelavant in my view as it would be virtually impossible to list or characterize all the potential kinds of placements where you could run into problems with these units.

healyje, do you have a materials science/engineering background? Your claim that this outcome was obvious with a 1/10th second glance sounds disingenuous to me. If the limitation was that obvious, why didn't OP bother to list that in their materials? Such a clear design limitation would have been forced into their materials by their legal department; to do otherwise would seem to invite unnecessary legal problems. Maybe it wasn't so obvious to OP either - they've responded that their testing of link cams for similar rotational forces placed them right in the middle of the pack compared to other cams.

The question is how is the average climber is supposed to know about these inherent design limitations and maybe the difference is generational, and maybe you're asking too much of the average climber. Your analogy to a biner over an edge is interesting, but unconvincing; this seemingly obvious design limitation is obviously not so apparent to many users. Just because you think it's obvious doesn't make it so, no?


healyje


Dec 18, 2007, 12:51 AM
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nivlac wrote:
healyje, do you have a materials science/engineering background? Your claim that this outcome was obvious with a 1/10th second glance sounds disingenuous to me. If the limitation was that obvious, why didn't OP bother to list that in their materials? Such a clear design limitation would have been forced into their materials by their legal department; to do otherwise would seem to invite unnecessary legal problems. Maybe it wasn't so obvious to OP either - they've responded that their testing of link cams for similar rotational forces placed them right in the middle of the pack compared to other cams.

Hmmm, let me get this straight - so there are a lot of you, if not a majority of you - who look at this cam and see what? A better-than-normal, do-it-all cam? You look at those links and they look fine and robust? Are you saying you really think it takes an engineer or rocket scientist to figure out there might be limitations to the design?

nivlac wrote:
The question is how is the average climber is supposed to know about these inherent design limitations and maybe the difference is generational, and maybe you're asking too much of the average climber.

You may be right, but again, if climbers can no longer see these limitations, then I'd suggest something essential has been lost from the skill and craft of 'average' trad climbers. If so, I figure it's an extension of many young climbers' strong preference for active versus passive pro; or maybe simply a result of years of commericalization in the sport such that today's climbers don't, won't, or can't distinguish between climbing gear and any other consumer product relative to evaluating gear with a critical eye given we're talking their lives.

nivlac wrote:
Your analogy to a biner over an edge is interesting, but unconvincing; this seemingly obvious design limitation is obviously not so apparent to many users. Just because you think it's obvious doesn't make it so, no?

I think another fair question might be, how are beginning and intermediate climbers supposed to recognize they shouldn't be using gear which requires advanced skills, craft, and judgment to use appropriately? I don't see the market differentiating the skill levels required to use various pieces of gear.
Maybe it's a [natural] downside in the explosion of the number of climbers and the change from mentor-based learning to more socially-oriented guide/group/Internet learning.

I don't know, maybe I've just broken enough stuff so that it all seems pretty obvious to me.


pwscottiv


Dec 18, 2007, 1:53 AM
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JohnCook wrote:
Needs to be returned quickly to the manufacturer. It is difficult to see from the pictures, but looks like brittle fracture initiated by a material defect/inclusion.
Return it for immediate envestigation!
I don't know about a defect/inclusion being a problem in this instance, but yeah, DEFINITELY a brittle fracture. They definitely need to be using a material that has more ductility to it. Not good.Mad


pwscottiv


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michaellane wrote:
...determine the cause of the failure.

Hmmm, seems pretty obvious to me... Either you're leaving the material to hard after heat treating them and/or the PIM process was just a bad idea for this application (as it ALWAYS introduces a percentage of porosity into the final product). For the cam lobes themselves, I would say anything harder than H1100 is probably a big mistake for this application. To minimize galling it would *probably* be OK to leave the pins up at H950, considering their size/shape.

Anyways, I really be interested in finding out how hard those parts of the cam really were in the failed units... If anyone has a broken one, I have access to hardness testers and would love to check it out.


pwscottiv


Dec 18, 2007, 2:38 AM
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holdplease2 wrote:
The way that we treat OPacific in this situation will be one of the drivers of whether or not Other companies are willing to take the risk of making innovative designs, testing them the best they can, and bringing them to market.
I think peoples' safety is MUCH more important than expanding climbing technology. I think it's good to remind all the gear manufactures that it's their responsibility to properly test equipment BEFORE it gets out in the field... We aren't talking about dolls that have a difficult time retaining their heads, in turn making some kid cry... We're talking life and death. Climbers are NOT guinea pigs. I think most of the gear companies out there know this... And that's a good thing. Like some previous posters have mentioned, having pro come out because it wasn't placed properly, or because the fall created forces that were far outside of the devices working range are completely different than having the device break apart under less than the rated load.

Using a potentially brittle material like PIM 17-4 is a risky move unless extensive testing is done, including regular hardness and destructive testing. I can attest to this personally, having worked with it myself quite extensively in the biomedical field for several years.


pwscottiv


Dec 18, 2007, 2:50 AM
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healyje wrote:
ISO, CE, UIAA are all about minimums, ideals, quality processes, engineering test beds, and guidance - not the word of God. They also relate more to the manufacture, rather than design application, when it comes to protection. And 'Relying on the expertise of others' in climbing has been and likely always will be a perilous affair regardless of how it's packaged, sold, and marketed.

Totally... And with products that stray far from the rest of the market it can be easy for testing/validation methods to go right out the window. For example, ISO 9001 standards are primarily written by the company itself (and could nearly include that the inspector is able to smoke crack right before his shift). The biggest problem with stuff like this almost always can be attributed to the marketing department dominating the engineering/testing department. That crap was even happening at a bio-med firm I was working for... The VP of marketing was always trying to get us to bypass safety over common sense. He could give a shit if some guy died or was injured, just as long as he sold more of our product.Crazy


michaellane


Dec 18, 2007, 8:20 AM
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Hi, Everyone ...

Our final report is complete and I'll be emailing it to dirtme this morning. We'll address any questions he has and will then post our analysis and conclusion on this forum.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 800.360.3990 or email at info@omegapac.com to my attention. Sending PMs through this site is the slowest way to get hold of me ... I'd recommend an email instead.

Thanks.

--ML

____________________
Michael Lane
Omega Pacific


nivlac


Dec 18, 2007, 8:37 AM
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healyje wrote:

Hmmm, let me get this straight - so there are a lot of you, if not a majority of you - who look at this cam and see what? A better-than-normal, do-it-all cam? You look at those links and they look fine and robust? Are you saying you really think it takes an engineer or rocket scientist to figure out there might be limitations to the design?

I don't think it takes an engineer or rocket scientist to freely opine that this cam might (and I say, might) have limitations. I *do* think it was impossible for the average climber, including very experienced climbers to know just what those limitations might be.

You imply those links weren't fine and robust just from looking at them, right? OP would beg to differ, I think, from the results of their testing. My opinion is that yes there are limitations, but they were neither easy to see, and even harder to precisely state prior to this incident.

I take your point about something being lost in the generational change from mentored climbers to social/internet/other climbers, but I don't think that necessarily applies here.

healyje wrote:
I don't know, maybe I've just broken enough stuff so that it all seems pretty obvious to me.

Maybe.

Now that OP has finished testing, I'm eager to hear the official analysis.


michaellane


Dec 18, 2007, 8:40 AM
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pwscottiv wrote:
healyje wrote:
ISO, CE, UIAA are all about minimums, ideals, quality processes, engineering test beds, and guidance - not the word of God.

Totally... <snip> ... the biggest problem with stuff like this almost always can be attributed to the marketing department dominating the engineering/testing department. That crap was even happening at a bio-med firm I was working for... The VP of marketing was always trying to get us to bypass safety over common sense. He could give a shit if some guy died or was injured, just as long as he sold more of our product.Crazy

pwscottiv ...

I promise you that doesn't happen here and had absolutely nothing to do with dirtme's cam.

Your comment could be read to suggest that we are cavalier about climbers' safety and, if so, you couldn't possibly be more incorrect.

Many of us are climbers here in this company, so there's a very personal stake in the gear for us. But from a practical perspective, why would we shortcut safety if we know that it could result in a negligent injury or death that could end our company?

--ML

___________________
Michael Lane
Omega Pacific


pwscottiv


Dec 19, 2007, 2:34 AM
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michaellane wrote:
why would we shortcut safety if we know that it could result in a negligent injury or death that could end our company?

It wouldn't be anything more than a judgment based on previous experience in the product development world and seeing pictures with brittle fracture characteristics on your product. I think we both know that those breaks shouldn't look like that considering the application (although you might not have had much of a choice considering the geometry). I know it sucks to leave the stainless parts soft, because they would bend somewhat easily, thereby making the mechanism jam on subsequent uses, but that goes back to the basic design possibly being fundamentally flawed. Honestly, that thing looks scary to me... Not necessarily in all applications with all users, as I think someone who was instructed on its limitations could still use it in a safe manner. I haven't personally read your instructions for this product, but from the response of your customers who own these, they didn't see crap about any sort of limitations... I seriously doubt that your engineering team didn't have the foresight to see the limitations that are being experienced in the field. Anyone who was intelligent enough to develop a cam as complicated as yours could not have been that ignorant. So, although it's just speculation, I would guess that there was some sort of pressure from your marketing/management departments to not talk about "limitations", as it might scare potential customers away... Do you see my point?


rightarmbad


Dec 19, 2007, 3:31 AM
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pwscottiv Do you really have the exact knowledge of the cams construction to comment on it's metalurgy just by looking at it?
How about you list the various components and their makeup as you see it and then let OP reply and see how close you are.
While you are there you may as well comment on any heat treatment or other processing that has taken place as well as the testing process and computer analysys.
May as well go so far as to suggest further testing that may reveal their fatal floors for all to see.


healyje


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nivlac wrote:
I don't think it takes an engineer or rocket scientist to freely opine that this cam might (and I say, might) have limitations. I *do* think it was impossible for the average climber, including very experienced climbers to know just what those limitations might be.

If that's true, then like I said the skill and craft of 'average' climbers has taken a savage nosedive over the past couple of decades. We'll just have to disagree - I believe the limitations should be, again, completely transparent and obvious to anyone claiming a reasonable level of craft with protection.

nivlac wrote:
You imply those links weren't fine and robust just from looking at them, right? OP would beg to differ.

What OP thinks, while pertinent in many respects, is wholly irrelevant to the ability and personal responsibility of climbers to evaluate the applicability of gear in any given application they are considering. I mean, do these really look 'robust' to you?



nivlac wrote:
I think, from the results of their testing. My opinion is that yes there are limitations, but they were neither easy to see, and even harder to precisely state prior to this incident.

While difficult to specifically list, those limitations are, however, quite easy to generalize:

a) Any application, placement, or circumstance which would put any amount of lateral (sideways) pressure on the segmented cam lobe linkages should be avoided at all cost.

b) The robust, solid stem should always be both [statically] aimed in the direction of the anticipated load and never rest across an obstruction due to its ability to leverage significant torsional loads onto the segmented cam lobe linkages.


Both of these limitations *are* patently, if not painfully, obvious in a glance.


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 4:47 AM
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pwscottiv wrote:
I think peoples' safety is MUCH more important than expanding climbing technology. I think it's good to remind all the gear manufactures that it's their responsibility to properly test equipment BEFORE it gets out in the field... We aren't talking about dolls that have a difficult time retaining their heads, in turn making some kid cry... We're talking life and death. Climbers are NOT guinea pigs.

pwscottiv, I think we agree on a lot of points in this discussion, but here I think we part company. If safety were the ultimate goal, no one would be in the business at all. Willing 'guinea pigs' is what we've essentially been all along, most of you are just too young to realize it. Some incredibly bad gear has gone by over the decades - ironically, most of it well-made and robust, just poorly suited for the purpose of protection. There would never be innovation in climbing if designs had to be vetted as fool-proof for today's 'average' climber as described by some in this thread.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to produce the best possible products they can, but history is replete with dead-ends and products which need significant expertise to wield appropriately. And no, I'm not implying the Link Cams are a dead-end product, but rather one that requires some expertise to wield effectively and safely. In general, I think OP is doing a good job relative to the introduction and service of Link Cams. If the limitations have not been well-stated by them, I'm more than willing to chalk it up to a bunch of highly experienced folks who on one hand were excited about the pure potential of the design on one hand, and intuitively avoided such placements when field-testing them on the other.

It may turn out the liability costs of the general population of climbers using these is just too high in the long run for them to stay on the market, but I'll consider that a loss to a few due to the folly or inexperience of the many. Again, it must be a generational phenomena that simply because gear is sold commercially it somehow means climbers are in some way mysteriously absolved of their own responsibility and imperative in judging the fitness of the gear they use.


(This post was edited by healyje on Dec 19, 2007, 5:33 AM)


tomcat


Dec 19, 2007, 5:54 AM
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Re: [healyje] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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So Healy.How many broken Link Cams vs.How many in use? And how many broken Aliens vs. # in use?

Just roughly will do.

You are granting grace for cutting edge technology to OP. Do they work anywhere a C4 won't?

Do Aliens still place better than any current Metolious or BD model on the market,including the C3?

How did you decide the one in question we are all still waiting to hear about was placed inappropriately?I've been climbing a while and the pod in the picture looked Ok to me.


(This post was edited by tomcat on Dec 19, 2007, 5:59 AM)


mojomonkey


Dec 19, 2007, 6:45 AM
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Re: [healyje] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
nivlac wrote:
You imply those links weren't fine and robust just from looking at them, right? OP would beg to differ.

What OP thinks, while pertinent in many respects, is wholly irrelevant to the ability and personal responsibility of climbers to evaluate the applicability of gear in any given application they are considering. I mean, do these really look 'robust' to you?



Sorry then, I am bringing down the average skill/craft of climbers (I've suspected as much for a while now). To me, the links look similar to the pin connecting the sling on my tricams. I've never heard of one of those failing. Though the amount of material around the pin on the link cams is smaller, my naive view was that it is a newer product, with a newer design and materials and/or manufacturing process. I didn't think too much about it until now, but I guess would have assumed all the engineers/specialists involved in its design and testing would know better.

Another factor compounding my ignorance is that I've never broken a piece of gear and really have no concept of what it would take. Though I understand the physics of the increased sideways force on the links, I have no grasp of what those forces really could be in practice, and what the metal really could handle.

But I still don't buy that everyone should have known from their unveiling that these could "easily" be broken. Maybe I need to look at gear more suspiciously - I started to after the Alien debacle. Soon I suppose I'll be too terrified to leave the ground on gear anymore. And I was already terrified of 5.6s at the Gunks...


nivlac


Dec 19, 2007, 7:37 AM
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healyje wrote:

If that's true, then like I said the skill and craft of 'average' climbers has taken a savage nosedive over the past couple of decades. We'll just have to disagree - I believe the limitations should be, again, completely transparent and obvious to anyone claiming a reasonable level of craft with protection.

nivlac wrote:
You imply those links weren't fine and robust just from looking at them, right? OP would beg to differ.

What OP thinks, while pertinent in many respects, is wholly irrelevant to the ability and personal responsibility of climbers to evaluate the applicability of gear in any given application they are considering. I mean, do these really look 'robust' to you?

[image]http://www.omegapac.com/media/image002.jpg[/image]

Why do you keep pointing to a picture of the linkage point of the lobes? The fracture point occurred higher up, at a solid point in the metal.

Solid metal then, does not look robust to you? OP's opinion, while not a substitute for common sense and judgment, is the basis from which any climber must start. Your point about how these links "look" is disingenuous - you imply an obvious flaw by pointing to the links when the break occurred in a solid part higher up, not at the linkage point.

healyje wrote:
While difficult to specifically list, those limitations are, however, quite easy to generalize:

a) Any application, placement, or circumstance which would put any amount of lateral (sideways) pressure on the segmented cam lobe linkages should be avoided at all cost.

b) The robust, solid stem should always be both [statically] aimed in the direction of the anticipated load and never rest across an obstruction due to its ability to leverage significant torsional loads onto the segmented cam lobe linkages.


Both of these limitations *are* patently, if not painfully, obvious in a glance.

In both cases, you cite a general rule about the segmented cam lobe linkages. Again, the break didn't occur at the segmented portion of the cam.

Have you used these cams? Normally, I defer to those who are my elder in years and experience, for the obvious reasons, but your posts smack of arrogant opining from afar, with little to no knowledge of the actual circumstances.

I want to join the general consensus that OP has done a good job of responding and like everyone else I eagerly await the report. I've had some good discussions and heard some OP analysis second-hand, but the actual report should be very interesting.


knieveltech


Dec 19, 2007, 7:48 AM
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to OP: please to be posting findings now, kthxbai!!1


roy_hinkley_jr


Dec 19, 2007, 7:48 AM
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pwscottiv wrote:
So, although it's just speculation, I would guess that there was some sort of pressure from your marketing/management departments to not talk about "limitations", as it might scare potential customers away... Do you see my point?

Your guess is so far off base it's laughable. The person you are talking to IS the marketing and management department. And he's been in the climbing business for probably two decades now. Greg Lowe isn't exactly a newbie designer either.

Healyje's suppositions are pretty far over the top too. I'd certainly rank the OP cams as superior to many previous cams on the market (such as U-stem Camalots, early Tech Friends, and Wired Bliss cams) that are still on the racks of a lot of climbers. Other wide-range cams (Metolius and Trango) have their own issues. At present, you haven't presented anything credible to back up your theories.


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 7:49 AM
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tomcat wrote:
So Healy.How many broken Link Cams vs.How many in use? And how many broken Aliens vs. # in use?

Just roughly will do.

You are granting grace for cutting edge technology to OP.

Already answered this upthread - it's boils down to the difference in costs of innovation and incompetence. In my book the former is bearable, the latter is not.

tomcat wrote:
Do they work anywhere a C4 won't Do Aliens still place better than any current Metolious or BD model on the market,including the C3?

Do they work where two or three C4's work should be your first question. As someone who owns two sets of Alien hybrids, there are only a very few placements where they work better than other available options - that's why I just own the hybrids. Outside of those specialty placements I'd take a Metolius or BD over an Alien any day of the week - and that was pre-recall.

tomcat wrote:
How did you decide the one in question we are all still waiting to hear about was placed inappropriately?I've been climbing a while and the pod in the picture looked Ok to me.

I took one, quick look at it. The stem is both over an edge and not in-line with the the direction of the force of a fall.


(This post was edited by healyje on Dec 19, 2007, 3:23 PM)


michaellane


Dec 19, 2007, 7:52 AM
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Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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Howdy, Everyone …

I’ve been in touch with Dirtme, provided him a copy of our report and can share the following summary. As always, should you have any questions, I am more than happy to discuss them with you. You can contact me at the office: 800.360.3990 or by email to my attention at info@omegapac.com. I don’t recommend you rely on PM through rc.com as it could be a while before I respond.

Based on our interview with Dirtme, his excellent photos of the event and examination of the returned cam, we are pretty confident in the following …

The cam was built to specifications. All materials tests were within tolerances, it was properly assembled and no defects in materials or construction were detected.

By matching the obviously recent marks and scrapes on the cam to the photos of its last placement prior to taking Dirtme’s fall, we’ve been able to recreate the incident.

The feature the cam protected was a shallow, flaring pin-scar-like feature that was bottoming and pinched off at the bottom. Dirtme did the best he could to get the cam oriented in the direction of potential load, but the feature didn’t appropriately provide for that. As the photos show, the cam was inserted into the feature approximately 30 degrees or so off plumb.

When Dirtme took his fall, only a few feet above the piece—and without a lot of rope in play, making for quite a severe force—the cam loaded and the stem oriented downward into direction of the load, naturally. The head of the cam, though, was still at an angle in the feature. When the stem began to load the head, the cam, of course, try to shift into a position perpendicular to the stem, as is normal.

The feature would not permit the cam to orient properly, though, and caused it to fail.

Since the feature was bottoming and the cam head was reasonably snug up into the back end of the feature, there was no room for the cam to shift and orient itself in the direction of the load. The bottom of the feature was pinched and further prevented the cam from properly orienting itself.

The top of the feature flares outward and the force of the fall caused the upper two lobe assemblies to rip free from their placement as evidenced by the fresh marks on those two lobes. This led to the remaining, bottom two lobes absorbing the entire force.

Two factors, at this point, led to equipment failure.

Based on the obvious marks on those two lobes, we can determine that the inboard lobe was loaded at approximately the 40% point of the overall range and that the outboard lobe, the one that broke, was at about 70%. This imbalance between the two lobes contributed to a very instable piece of protection as it wanted to flip out of place.

Meanwhile, the cam continued to try to orient into direction of load, but the pinched-off feature put substantial and increasing leverage, laterally onto the lobe assembly until it finally broke at the hinge between the first and second links.

After testing the strength of other brands’ lobes against our lobe assemblies, we are confident that perhaps any other cam of similar size would have ripped from its placement and maybe even been damaged. Impossible to say for sure, of course, and we’ll continue to investigate with more testing, both in the lab and in the field, but the forced involved and the odd loading of that cam is tough for any piece of gear to tolerate. We’re building several new test fixtures to try to approximate some of the unpredictable and odd loading that can go on at the crags.

As well, we’re also going to look into ways to increase the strength and durability of the links and their hinges so as to provide increased margin of safety.

Finally, we will reinforce our instructions & other literature on the importance of placement with particular emphasis on the following two points:

1) Always place cams so that the head of the cam is perpendicular to the stem during a fall. It’s not always enough to know that you’ve got a flexible stem that will orient in the direction of a fall. That stem is placing a lot of force on the head of the unit and that force can compromise your placement or damage the equipment. That’s good advice no matter what kind of cam you’re using.
2) Be sure to place cams so that, if they do shift during loading, they will not come into contact with edges, nubbins or other features that can put side-loads on the cam lobes. This is a good idea for all cams, too, but perhaps most relevant when placing Link Cams due to the fact that so much more leverage can be applied to the lobe assemblies when they’re unfolded than with other cam designs.

That’s the summary. As I said … I invite you to call or email me if you have any questions.

I want to thank Dirtme for his cooperation and understanding in this and, again, say how glad we all are that he’s not injured.

Regards to all … have a great (and safe) holiday season.

--ML

____________________
Michael Lane
Omega Pacific


michaellane


Dec 19, 2007, 7:59 AM
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healyje wrote:

b) The robust, solid stem should always be ...

Just for accuracy, the Link Cam stem is flexible steel cable, not solid.

--ML


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 8:04 AM
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roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
Healyje's suppositions are pretty far over the top too.

My 'suppositions' are in pretty plain language so should be easy to say exactly how they are over the top?

roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
I'd certainly rank the OP cams as superior to many previous cams on the market (such as U-stem Camalots, early Tech Friends, and Wired Bliss cams) that are still on the racks of a lot of climbers.

I'd agree with most of that - early Camalots were basically a disaster. Not particularly familiar with the track record of early Tech Friends (didn't like them) or early Wired Bliss cams (didn't use them). I did blow up a few original Friends, though.

roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
Other wide-range cams (Metolius and Trango) have their own issues. At present, you haven't presented anything credible to back up your theories.

Trango Max Cams do have some similar issues relative to limitations of an innovative design which radically departs from the norm and the need for some careful thought and practice relative to their use.

The Metolius Super Cam has no issues whatsoever that I'm aware of - and other than the asymmetrical size and rotation of the respective cam lobes - the operable physics of their mechanics is indistiquishably from an original Friend relative to its single axle design and identical, matched cam angles. Pray tell, if you know of an issue with them I'd love to hear it.


wanderlustmd


Dec 19, 2007, 8:09 AM
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Re: [pwscottiv] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Healyje,

Good comments to my post (and overall) I agree about your point that self-evaluation of gear is the principal way to stay healthy, but climbing gear is...well, climbing gear. It's designed to to take good levels of stress. I haven't seen things break yet in my career, and while it obviously happens, in this case it turned my head a bit. No gear is indestructable, but this seems a little fragile to me:

The fall described would cause a 150 lb climber to put 4.8 kn of force on the piece. LCs are rated to 14kn (yes, in a textbook placement, which this was not). It's hard to judge via pics, but it looked like a solid placement overall aside from the stem not being perfectly aligned in the direction of pull, which, yes, is significant. However, it is likely that it was the best placement one could get in this situation. I'm betting a regular cam would have ripped under load before breaking, and would have probably held this fall. So use another cam, you say? Fair enough.

Now, I can definately see how breakage is more of a possibility with this cam than traditional designs. However, given the relatively small angle of torqe in the system, the fact that the cam broke at the same stress level as some micronuts when placed slightly off kilter warrents a few raised eyebrows, imo. That's all I'm saying. If the design is that touchy, so be it, but I think the degree to which is it sensitive to placement is not as readiliy obvious as the fact that it is sensitive to placement. Make sense?

Given the fall, I would have also expected this cam to hold, or at least to pull under torque, but not to break. Rightly or wrongly, I guess.

As a sidenote, it has been mentioned in this thread, but material integrity may be in question here. Perhaps the link cam is still viable at this level of torque, although it is definately something to watch out for. It would be interesting to see if another link cam would hold this fall.

So...who wants to try it?Wink

Cheers,
Matt


wanderlustmd


Dec 19, 2007, 8:19 AM
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Re: [michaellane] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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Thanks for the detailed report Michael, it clears up a few questions I had.

Best,
Matt


(This post was edited by wanderlustmd on Dec 19, 2007, 8:20 AM)


dreday3000


Dec 19, 2007, 8:28 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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Bottom line? I ain't gonna buy linked cams no more.


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 8:30 AM
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michaellane wrote:
...put substantial and increasing leverage, laterally onto the lobe assembly until it finally broke at the hinge between the first and second links.

This being the key elemet of the analysis from my perspective - that, and that there was no materials flaw.

michaellane wrote:
After testing the strength of other brands’ lobes against our lobe assemblies, we are confident that perhaps any other cam of similar size would have ripped from its placement and maybe even been damaged.

I have no doubt most any other cam would have ripped under that analysis, and while I might believe a Camalot might break under those circumstances, and that any make of cam would have ripped - I doubt a [good] Alien or a Metolius would have been damaged. Impossible to know as you say, but you'd have a hard time convincing me of that one.

Sorry on the "solid" comments - should have said 'relatively stiff'. And believe me, I'm both a big fan of Greg's work over the years; think your work/manufacturing ethics and response to this matter have been superlative; and do want you to succeed with this product.

The biggest risks I see to that are principally materials limitations relative to the design and the need for you folks to better get across when it's appropriate to use these babies. Kudos for making them, I'd just hate to see them end up off the market because folks are misusing them.


michaellane


Dec 19, 2007, 8:37 AM
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Re: [pwscottiv] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
pwscottiv: So, although it's just speculation, I would guess that there was some sort of pressure from your marketing/management departments to not talk about "limitations", as it might scare potential customers away... Do you see my point?

No, I don't. You're making a huge assumption that is completely inaccurate.

Regardless of your experience in other industries, at this company, we believe in doing everything possible to a) build great products and b) make sure people use them safely.

That includes being honest with our customers.

Every design in the world is a compromise: you give something up to get some other benefit. Link Cams are no exception.

The range is a huge benefit in many situations. But the cams are heavier than most and the links can present challenges that must be considered when placing them or they could become damaged. Every dealer and climber we've ever talked to can tell you that we've been clear about that since we introduced Link Cams.

As Roy Hinkley pointed out, the sales and marketing departments are my departments so whatever influence and direction that comes from this side of the building comes directly from me and I'm telling you straight: what you suggest happened ... didn't happen.

--ML

____________________
Michael Lane
Omega Pacific


tomcat


Dec 19, 2007, 8:37 AM
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I looked Healy.You did not answer my questions.


From what I gather from OP,Link Cams have a flexible stem that is not meant to be bent over anything as that loads the cam in a way that it explodes. That's quite an innovation.

So,how many failed Aliens vs. # in use? How many failed Link Cams vs.# in use?

Link Cams don't appear to place anywhere C4's or other leading cams do.In theory they are more versatile,but that theory comes apart pretty quickly if they fail in the type of application cited here.WTF good are they if they have to be pointed down to work?

So I will throw this out Healy.I'll venture there are ten times as many Aliens in use over a twenty year period as there are Link Cams in two.And there have been more than just this one that blew up.So if three or four Link Cam failures in two years vs what 10 or 12 Alien heads in twenty,which one has the better track record?Don't forget the number in use.

Were Aliens ever cutting edge technology?

The placement shown is a pretty straightforward C4 in my opinion.


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 8:42 AM
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wanderlustmd wrote:
If the design is that touchy, so be it, but I think the degree to which is it sensitive to placement is not as readiliy obvious as the fact that it is sensitive to placement. Make sense?

It does. I would say the inability [for anyone] to really make that judgment call of degrees should be a caveat to all to avoid such enclosed placements, particularly where the stem can not be statically aligned with the fall force vector at the time of placement. I strongly disagree with OP if they are saying it would be alright if only the stem had been free to rotate - you might get away with it, but it's a inherently a bad idea to allow the stem to rotate the head under any circumstance as far as I'm concerned.

wanderlustmd wrote:
Given the fall, I would have also expected this cam to hold, or at least to pull under torque, but not to break. Rightly or wrongly, I guess.

We part company here, in my view it performed as well as could be expected it would under such circumstances. And I don't mean to be derogatory at all, but I technically] still consider this a classic case of pilot error.

wanderlustmd wrote:
It would be interesting to see if another link cam would hold this fall.

I think the analysis Michael is presenting says the cam was fine...


wanderlustmd


Dec 19, 2007, 8:51 AM
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healyje wrote:
It does. I would say the inability [for anyone] to really make that judgment call of degrees should be a caveat to all to avoid such enclosed placements, particularly where the stem can not be statically aligned with the fall force vector at the time of placement. I strongly disagree with OP if they are saying it would be alright if only the stem had been free to rotate - you might get away with it, but it's a inherently a bad idea to allow the stem to rotate the head under any circumstance as far as I'm concerned.

Agreed.

healyje wrote:
We part company here, in my view it performed as well as could be expected it would under such circumstances. And I don't mean to be derogatory at all, but I technically] still consider this a classic case of pilot error.

wanderlustmd wrote:
It would be interesting to see if another link cam would hold this fall.

I think the analysis Michael is presenting says the cam was fine...

FWIW, Michael posted his report while I was writing my post. After reading the specfics about the placement (in a flare, etc.) and what happened, in theory, I agree with you in that it probably wasn't a trustworthy piece in the first place. Hard to really tell withough being there, though.

Cheers,
Matt


sed


Dec 19, 2007, 8:52 AM
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I commend your quick investigation and response, it gives me confidence in your products as a whole. I also like the idea of the link cam. I have only placed them a couple times but the design really appealed to me, although the complexity did make me wonder about it's durability. Unfortunately we may be witnessing here the effects of a limitation that, despite what some may believe is probably not inherently obvious, unless you are expecting primarily engineers to buy this product, which probably would not meet your bottom line. I am in my 12th year of climbing, and while I still have a lot to learn I feel that if I bought a link cam it would spend more time on my harness than in the rock because I would only place in ideal, plumb line placements. I hope the basic design idea stays around although maybe altered to make the actual product limitations more predictable.
Sincerely, Scott


michaellane


Dec 19, 2007, 8:53 AM
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Re: [healyje] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
healyje: I strongly disagree with OP if they are saying it would be alright if only the stem had been free to rotate - you might get away with it, but it's a inherently a bad idea to allow the stem to rotate the head under any circumstance as far as I'm concerned.

I agree, Joe ... it's not a good practice to place cams poorly and hope they align properly during the fall. What I tried to say was that had this cam been placed at that same angle in a feature which permitted greater rotation of the cam head as the unit came under load, it may have "self-corrected" without issue.

But absolutely not ... we don't suggest that placing cams with the assumption or expectation that they'll rotate into proper placement is acceptable. It is always best to place cams deliberately and carefully so that they are properly oriented in direction of load if you fall. Nearly all the time, that means the stem points to the ground and the head is perpendicular to the stem. If that's not always possible, then you have to assess how far "off" that ideal is acceptable.

--ML


moose_droppings


Dec 19, 2007, 9:08 AM
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Re: [michaellane] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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Thanks Michael for your report. It explains quite clearly the problem with the placement as pointed out earlier in this thread.

In reply to:
1) Always place cams so that the head of the cam is perpendicular to the stem during a fall. It’s not always enough to know that you’ve got a flexible stem that will orient in the direction of a fall. That stem is placing a lot of force on the head of the unit and that force can compromise your placement or damage the equipment. That’s good advice no matter what kind of cam you’re using.
2) Be sure to place cams so that, if they do shift during loading, they will not come into contact with edges, nubbins or other features that can put side-loads on the cam lobes. This is a good idea for all cams, too, but perhaps most relevant when placing Link Cams due to the fact that so much more leverage can be applied to the lobe assemblies when they’re unfolded than with other cam designs.

The fact that this needs to be reiterated to 'experienced climbers' is scary to say the least. When less than optimal placements are made, one should expect less than optimal results when fall turns to catch.


tomcat


Dec 19, 2007, 9:13 AM
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Re: [michaellane] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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Who places cams poorly and hopes they align with the fall? No one. We place cams as best we can and expect them to withstand normal fall forces.

Good doublespeak though......

Mr. Wanderlustmd,can you walk me through your idea that the placement wasn't good to begin with,but maintained enough traction to blow the cam apart?


(This post was edited by tomcat on Dec 19, 2007, 9:21 AM)


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 9:41 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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tomcat wrote:
So,how many failed Aliens vs. # in use? How many failed Link Cams vs.# in use?

As I've said all along, I suspect we'll be seeing more Link Cams come apart, but I also suspect they will also be pilot error due to a poor decision to use one in an inappropriate placement or manner. The comparison with CCH's problems with Aliens is, however, and entirely different affair. People are just learning how and when to use Link Cams and that's a vastly different thing then heads popping off Aliens. Climbers making mistakes using Link Cams is one thing; CCH making post-recall mistakes is another deal altogether and in no way comparable at all.

tomcat wrote:
Link Cams don't appear to place anywhere C4's or other leading cams do.In theory they are more versatile,but that theory comes apart pretty quickly if they fail in the type of application cited here.WTF good are they if they have to be pointed down to work?

Look, my whole point is these aren't a regular cam and no one should expect them to replace their regular rack of cams. They can augment a rack, but it's exactly the idea that these are somehow either a 'regular' or 'super' device that's going to be getting folks into trouble with them.

And, yes, they are versatile - not in some 'universal' way you seem to be implying - but within the context of their expanded range in clean placements I would still call them 'versatile'.


wanderlustmd


Dec 19, 2007, 9:43 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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I didn't say that; I said that I would have initially expected the placement to hold given my knowledge of the piece. I didn't reread the whole thread since I last posted (several weeks ago) and after a quick look at the pic, it looked to be a good cam placement but not properly aligned with the fall. I expected a regular cam in such a placement had a reasonable chance of self-correcting, as described above, and probably would have held. Or the angle of the stem would have been significant enough to torque it out of the placement completely and it would have ripped under load. The breakage under this torque alone is what caused me to scratch my head.

After reading michael's report (which was posted while I was writing my own post, and therefore didn't account for the new info), which offers a clear explaination of what most likely happened, it seems pretty clear that the flared nature of the placement, as well as the inability of the piece to rotate at all in the crack, is what overloaded the lobes and caused the breakage.


k.l.k


Dec 19, 2007, 9:48 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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tomcat wrote:
I'll venture there are ten times as many Aliens in use over a twenty year period as there are Link Cams in two.And there have been more than just this one that blew up.So if three or four Link Cam failures in two years vs what 10 or 12 Alien heads in twenty,which one has the better track record?

For those who have not been following the Aliens/Link Cams ordeals, the quick answer is that Tomcat has missed the point of the analogy.

Folks are suspicious of CCH for two reasons: First, numerous, repeated manufacturing defects which caused Aliens to fail at extremely low loads in both test situations and seemingly "ideal" placements in vertically-oriented, parallel sided cracks. Second, CCH's response to one of many such failures was to come online and accuse the victim--who posted a failure report complete with real-time still photographs--of lying and falsifying evidence. Other aspects of CCH's response have suggested extremely poor judgment. Currently, due at least in part to legal difficulties, CCH has essentially no public dialogue with the climbing community.

In this case, we have a report of the failure of a cam in what was clearly a sub-optimal placement (and I've done LST probably a dozen times or more). And the manufacturer's response has been quick, public, polite, and responsible.

For the record, I don't own Aliens or Link Cams.


tomcat


Dec 19, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Re: [k.l.k] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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I'm well aware of the circumstances of both the Alien failures and the Link Cam ones,and the responses of both manufacturers.

Manufacturer's responses don't mean squat when you deck.Good gear does.

Link cams don't solve any current gear issue that I know of except for people inept at planning and choosing gear as they climb.You still need seven Link Cams for seven placements,just as you would any other piece of gear. I'm sure there are times when it would be great to have the kind of overlap Link Cams provide,but I don't know any skilled climbers that have been much hampered by the lack thereof.See Indian Creek.

At the end of the day it looks like OP blames the original poster who owned the failed cam for placing their product in a pod that I'm sure people place other cams sucessfully in all the time.If they are not good except when the stem is perpendicular to the head that's a step backwards.If you have never whipped onto a Camalot where the stem is not perpendicular to the head we can stop discussing right now.

I'd be the first to agree the design looks like it has limitations.I feel the same way about Aliens due to the small size of the parts involved.They started out as specialty aid gear,caught some falls and morphed over to trad.And as such I'd venture they avoided some injuries and have caught many more whippers than Link Cams,in placements where other gear often would not work,which will not be the case with Link Cams,because they don't solve any gear issue other than poor planning.

I'd also agree with what Healy said about people today having goof proof expections(my words) of gear today,vs. what was the norm back in the day,but I don't personally think it applies here.CCh's response didn't suit anyone as far as I know,and OP's has plenty of slick polish while telling the deckee basically he should have used a C4.

I'll bet an internet dollar there will be more decks/injuries/failures of those link cams in the next couple years than all the Alien ones combined.And OP's corporate response will be great.

And you all know what I said is correct.Failure rate of Link Cams far exceeds that of Aliens.


k.l.k


Dec 19, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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Yes, what the manufacturer is saying is that the failure appears to be user error. ("Polish" is fine with me in this instance, since the response so carefully avoids insulting the poor guy who decked.) But failures due to user error are entirely different from failures due to manufacturing errors.

I do not know if a different cam would hold in that placement, but a link cam is the last thing I'd take on that climb.

LST is a left-leaning line of pin scars and flared pockets. At 20 feet, there is a parallel flare (visible from the ground) that takes a perfect #4 Friend that protects the crux move. The rest of the climb is a straightforward and easy hand crack. Since it is basically a V1 highball problem to 5.9 hands, it has long been a popular and moderate free solo. As a lead, it is different. The crux is well-protected with a big cam, but getting there is a different story.

I would not trust pro of any sort (aside from an angle) in those opening flares. The presumption is that if you are good enough to lead a 5.11 crack, you are solid enough to solo the first 20 feet of 5.9 or maybe 5.10a. But that start is technical and insecure, and the last time I did it (2000?), it seemed to me that the footholds had begun to polish. But like many if not most JTree routes, the first section of the climb is essentially a no-fall zone. I personally have never seen anyone take a real fall on pro in that section. Now we know how at least one such scenario turned out. Maybe some free spirit on this forum will volunteer to go up there and bomb onto some Aliens.

The Link Cam is clearly a highly-specialized piece of gear that is probably best suited to highly experienced climbers for use in fairly unusual situations.

JTree is a dangerous place-- climb safe.


pwscottiv


Dec 19, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Re: [rightarmbad] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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rightarmbad wrote:
pwscottiv Do you really have the exact knowledge of the cams construction to comment on it's metalurgy just by looking at it?
How about you list the various components and their makeup as you see it and then let OP reply and see how close you are.
While you are there you may as well comment on any heat treatment or other processing that has taken place as well as the testing process and computer analysys.
May as well go so far as to suggest further testing that may reveal their fatal floors for all to see.

OK, I'll do my best to reveal their "fatal floors".Crazy
I think I've already mentioned quite a bit about the manufacturing processes that have been used with respect to the failed component. For me to blab on about the construction of the rest of the cam would be a waste of both my time and yours. As I said before, the components that have been failing are 17-4 Stainless Steel that's been formed using Powder Injection Molding. I already spoke quite a bit about what I thought about the post-processing for that material and one of the inherent limitations of PIM (porosity), so I'm not gonna rehash that here.

In the end, I think the problem isn't one thing, but a combination of the basic design not being a very sound idea in the first place, no statement of operating limitations by the manufacturer, and problems with the manufacturing processes.


(This post was edited by pwscottiv on Dec 19, 2007, 10:50 AM)


healyje


Dec 19, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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tomcat wrote:
Failure rate of Link Cams far exceeds that of Aliens.

Look, you say you understand the difference, then launch and mix several very different issues, some with merit, but then end this way. No, the failure rate of Aliens far, far exceeds the failure rate of Link Cams. This incident posted by the OP wasn't a failure of the cam - it was a failure in choosing to use it there.

And exactly which part of "not a regular cam" don't you get? All cams have advantages, disadvantages, and unique attributes - they are in no way co-equal - some are better suited to various placements than others. Continuing to suggest a valid comparison to 'normal' cams you basically saying you don't see the limitations of the design and would place it in that pod expecting it to hold. Good luck on that.

The design limitations on the Link Cam and it's [learmed] use do not parallel Aliens evolution from aid piece to "regular" cam. [Good] Aliens were more or less capable of that role where as I don't believe anyone is going to be walking around with an entire rack of Link Cams anytime soon.

You're 'planning' comments are more on target, and I agree that is part of their 'versatility'.


pwscottiv


Dec 19, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Re: [healyje] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:

pwscottiv, I think we agree on a lot of points in this discussion, but here I think we part company. If safety were the ultimate goal, no one would be in the business at all. Willing 'guinea pigs' is what we've essentially been all along, most of you are just too young to realize it. Some incredibly bad gear has gone by over the decades - ironically, most of it well-made and robust, just poorly suited for the purpose of protection. There would never be innovation in climbing if designs had to be vetted as fool-proof for today's 'average' climber as described by some in this thread.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to produce the best possible products they can, but history is replete with dead-ends and products which need significant expertise to wield appropriately. And no, I'm not implying the Link Cams are a dead-end product, but rather one that requires some expertise to wield effectively and safely. In general, I think OP is doing a good job relative to the introduction and service of Link Cams. If the limitations have not been well-stated by them, I'm more than willing to chalk it up to a bunch of highly experienced folks who on one hand were excited about the pure potential of the design on one hand, and intuitively avoided such placements when field-testing them on the other.

It may turn out the liability costs of the general population of climbers using these is just too high in the long run for them to stay on the market, but I'll consider that a loss to a few due to the folly or inexperience of the many. Again, it must be a generational phenomena that simply because gear is sold commercially it somehow means climbers are in some way mysteriously absolved of their own responsibility and imperative in judging the fitness of the gear they use.
I do agree that innovation IS important, but at this point in the evolution of climbing equipment where there's already designs that have proven themselves to be highly reliable, I think it's irresponsible of a company to have a product that could easily break sitting on a shelf right next to one that is almost impossible to break. Yes, I know the whole thing about buyer-beware, but what if it's some young kid who's just getting into climbing and doesn't know which companies he can trust? That's why there are regulations for medical devices... Originally anyone (you, me, or whomever) could make some piece of crap in our back yard and tell some doctor that it was a new fully-tested and safe device that they could implant in their patient... Eventually it became apparent that safety/reliability needed to be taken more seriously and treating patients as guinea pigs needed to end. That's not to say that we NEED to have a regulatory group review all new climbing devices. What I am saying is that, you're right in saying that climbing devices were pretty ghetto (by today's standards) in their infancy... But should we really be ok allowing devices to be on the market that take that level of safety back to the days of climbing equipment when you couldn't trust it? I know that someone with sufficient climbing experience or engineering knowledge should be able to see the inherent weaknesses in the design, but should we be ok with some kid killing himself because he thought that this cam could be loaded just like any other cam on the market? At a minimum they need to make it painfully clear to the buyer that loading this cam incorrectly will likely cause it to fail... And I just don't believe that their engineering team couldn't see that before problems in the field occurred.


pwscottiv


Dec 19, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Re: [michaellane] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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michaellane wrote:
In reply to:
pwscottiv: So, although it's just speculation, I would guess that there was some sort of pressure from your marketing/management departments to not talk about "limitations", as it might scare potential customers away... Do you see my point?

No, I don't. You're making a huge assumption that is completely inaccurate.

Regardless of your experience in other industries, at this company, we believe in doing everything possible to a) build great products and b) make sure people use them safely.

That includes being honest with our customers.

Every design in the world is a compromise: you give something up to get some other benefit. Link Cams are no exception.

The range is a huge benefit in many situations. But the cams are heavier than most and the links can present challenges that must be considered when placing them or they could become damaged. Every dealer and climber we've ever talked to can tell you that we've been clear about that since we introduced Link Cams.

As Roy Hinkley pointed out, the sales and marketing departments are my departments so whatever influence and direction that comes from this side of the building comes directly from me and I'm telling you straight: what you suggest happened ... didn't happen.

--ML

____________________
Michael Lane
Omega Pacific

Are you telling be that you never loaded these laterally to see what sort of loading they could withstand before yielding or breaking? If you did, then why didn't you state the limitations in the instruction manual?


the_climber


Dec 19, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
Bottom line? I ain't gonna buy linked cams no more.

Quite a silly thing to say don't you think?

As stated in Michael’s summary of the report; The nature of the placement and the mode of failure are completely intertwined.

As placement adjustment/failure was occurring the orientation changed, this is what lead to the failure. And as it appears the only the lobes on one side endued up holding the force of the fall, but they ended up in a less than ideal orientation. Ie. They were not symmetrical. This could cause any cam to fail.

It's quite apparent that there was NO issue with how this cam was manufactured or designed with regard to this failure. It was a less than ideal placement that unfortunately failed. That is an unfortunate aspect of trad climbing; we work with what we have. Many people used to use aliens in such placements rather than BD, WC, Metolius Cams... Why, because they seemed to handle the less ideal placements better. Bottom line is there were limitations within the placement that were not seen or considered.




Not meaning to single you out there, it's just that these kinds of off the wall opinions seem to be everywhere these days on this site.


(This post was edited by the_climber on Dec 19, 2007, 11:52 AM)


the_climber


Dec 19, 2007, 11:32 AM
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Re: [pwscottiv] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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pwscottiv wrote:
michaellane wrote:
In reply to:
pwscottiv: So, although it's just speculation, I would guess that there was some sort of pressure from your marketing/management departments to not talk about "limitations", as it might scare potential customers away... Do you see my point?

No, I don't. You're making a huge assumption that is completely inaccurate.

Regardless of your experience in other industries, at this company, we believe in doing everything possible to a) build great products and b) make sure people use them safely.

That includes being honest with our customers.

Every design in the world is a compromise: you give something up to get some other benefit. Link Cams are no exception.

The range is a huge benefit in many situations. But the cams are heavier than most and the links can present challenges that must be considered when placing them or they could become damaged. Every dealer and climber we've ever talked to can tell you that we've been clear about that since we introduced Link Cams.

As Roy Hinkley pointed out, the sales and marketing departments are my departments so whatever influence and direction that comes from this side of the building comes directly from me and I'm telling you straight: what you suggest happened ... didn't happen.

--ML

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Michael Lane
Omega Pacific

Are you telling be that you never loaded these laterally to see what sort of loading they could withstand before yielding or breaking? If you did, then why didn't you state the limitations in the instruction manual?

Likely because it's a limitation that could potentially be applied to most cams regardless of brand.


(This post was edited by the_climber on Dec 19, 2007, 11:34 AM)


michaellane


Dec 19, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Re: [pwscottiv] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
pwscottiv:

Are you telling be that you never loaded these laterally to see what sort of loading they could withstand before yielding or breaking? If you did, then why didn't you state the limitations in the instruction manual?

You're changing the subject a little. But no problem.

I've already said we did perform that test.

Our instruction manual says: "... be sure not to load the links themselves over an edge as this could damage them. Such damage requires that your Link Cam SLCD be retired and destroyed."

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we will be a little more specific to reinforce this statement in future editions of our instruction manual.

As to why we didn't provide specific ratings or strength measurements in the manual ... Whenever we provide hard, subjective numbers, they're based on industry-accepted tests and standards. Breaking cam lobes in half is not a standardized test. That we found our linked assemblies to be stronger than other major brands was a good thing, but we still recognize that the length of unfolded linkages could become more easily damaged than other designs and made note of it in the instruction manual.

--ML


pwscottiv


Dec 19, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Re: [the_climber] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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the_climber wrote:
Likely because it's a limitation that could potentially be applied to most cams regardless of brand.
I think most experienced climbers/engineers would argue that claim... It's obvious that these cams are MUCH more fragile, than say a new Camalot, when loaded laterally.


the_climber


Dec 19, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Re: [pwscottiv] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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pwscottiv wrote:
the_climber wrote:
Likely because it's a limitation that could potentially be applied to most cams regardless of brand.
I think most experienced climbers/engineers would argue that claim... It's obvious that these cams are MUCH more fragile, than say a new Camalot, when loaded laterally.

I think most experienced climbers/engineers would be more likely to argue that one must take certain considerations when using a link cam compaired to a more simple design of cam simply as a function of design. I'm also quite certain that an experienced climber or engineer would agree that the potential for failure of any cam cam loaded laterally can in the right situation lead to failure. This situation happened to be the right situation. Also consider that it appears the only 2 of the lobes were engaged at the time of failure. My best guess is that in an ideal situation/placement the device would already have lost ~50% of it's strength at that point. The Totem cam (just as an example, yes I know it's has yet to be released) is designed so it can be placed with only 2 lobes engaged. However, drops the strength rating of the cam in half in that situation, and that is with direct loading on the lobes.


pwscottiv


Dec 19, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Re: [michaellane] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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michaellane wrote:

You're changing the subject a little. But no problem.

I've already said we did perform that test.

Our instruction manual says: "... be sure not to load the links themselves over an edge as this could damage them. Such damage requires that your Link Cam SLCD be retired and destroyed."

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we will be a little more specific to reinforce this statement in future editions of our instruction manual.

As to why we didn't provide specific ratings or strength measurements in the manual ... Whenever we provide hard, subjective numbers, they're based on industry-accepted tests and standards. Breaking cam lobes in half is not a standardized test. That we found our linked assemblies to be stronger than other major brands was a good thing, but we still recognize that the length of unfolded linkages could become more easily damaged than other designs and made note of it in the instruction manual.

--ML

Here's the deal, while I think your cam design is definitely very creative, I think it creates additional risks (especially for the beginner). Most cams on the market are pretty forgiving with respect to not self destructing when loaded improperly... I'm not saying that you can't damage other cams beyond to the point where they can't be used again, but most will distort as opposed to failing catastrophically. At the minimum, I think it needs to be made painfully clear to the user what the limitations are (including many diagrams of different loading scenarios), so climbers using it will know what it can and cannot do. From what you just said, I guess you guys are going to do something like this.

Also, I do find it a bit concerning to see how the material is failing... The stainless should have bent to some degree before failure (and this guy wasn't even climbing in cold conditions), but it doesn't look like there's any distortion from the pictures I saw. Allowing the material to fail in a brittle mode definitely makes this cam more dangerous to use. I'm sure part/much of that can be attributed to the PIM process that was chosen... I have personally had the same problems when specifying that for medical instruments. As you probably know, porosity(even if it's very low %) and embrittlement can be pretty serious problems.


dreday3000


Dec 19, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Re: [the_climber] Link Cam Report [In reply to]
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the_climber wrote:
dreday3000 wrote:
Bottom line? I ain't gonna buy linked cams no more.

Quite a silly thing to say don't you think?

As stated in Michael’s summary of the report; The nature of the placement and the mode of failure are completely intertwined.

As placement adjustment/failure was occurring the orientation changed, this is what lead to the failure. And as it appears the only the lobes on one side endued up holding the force of the fall, but they ended up in a less than ideal orientation. Ie. They were not symmetrical. This could cause any cam to fail.

It's quite apparent that there was NO issue with how this cam was manufactured or designed with regard to this failure. It was a less than ideal placement that unfortunately failed. That is an unfortunate aspect of trad climbing; we work with what we have. Many people used to use aliens in such placements rather than BD, WC, Metolius Cams... Why, because they seemed to handle the less ideal placements better. Bottom line is there were limitations within the placement that were not seen or considered.




Not meaning to single you out there, it's just that these kinds of off the wall opinions seem to be everywhere these days on this site.

Silly? Are you kidding me? Contrite maybe, but I'd say its a pretty darn logical thing to say. I'm trusting my wellbeing to my rack, you better belive I'm going to start second guessing what appears to be sub par equipment.


And what exactly do you mean by 'failure'? There are two different issues here as far as I'm concnered
1 ) The cam not holding because it was a sub par placement (still debatable as far as I'm concerned)
2 ) The cam exploding.

Normally the later doesn't follow the former. Right now the linked cams are the only cams I've heard of this type of thing happening.

Furthermore, IMO these cams haven't been in the market them to be busting apart at the seams.
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Partner dominic7


Dec 19, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Re: [michaellane] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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michaellane wrote:
As I mentioned in an earlier post, we will be a little more specific to reinforce this statement in future editions of our instruction manual.

I think this has been a good conversation, but I still find it troubling that this product has scenarios that are being discovered out in the field that lead to material (not placement) failure. I am a fan of OP and think you have handled this situation very well, but I just don't think climbing gear should break under certain conditions and have the report say essentially, "this is ok". It makes me wonder what other yet undiscovered conditions will lead to similar or different failures.

Note that if the piece had just ripped out, dirtme probably wouldn't have even bothered posting it. That I can see as pilot error. Lobes breaking? Not so much.


boadman


Dec 19, 2007, 1:36 PM
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Re: [healyje] Omega Cam Breaking! [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
knieveltech wrote:
?

Well, hate to sound like a broken record, but how about just looking at them - solid stems, fragile segmented cams? Do you really need to be told or otherwise have it spelled out? Pretty obvious that stout stem can apply significant leverage on those fragile links if allowed to rotate after placing the unit or if it rests on an edge. To be honest, I would think it completely obvious to anyone who considered themselves passed the level of an intermediate trad climber.

The literature is pretty irrelavant in my view as it would be virtually impossible to list or characterize all the potential kinds of placements where you could run into problems with these units.

Actually, as an engineer, I'd look at the cam and assume that they did an analysis of what the added load from the moment arm on the stem would do to the joint unless there were some diagrams with the instructions that specified that those scenarios are unsafe. In the litigious climate, any responsible engineer would have made those calcs before they sold this product.


badsanta


Dec 19, 2007, 1:52 PM
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I agree with domnic7 [In reply to]
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I agree with dominic7. While I think the linkcam is a great product (if it doesn't break or pull out), in the real world, we aren't going to use pro perfectly every time. And gear shouldn't break if it isn't used perfectly. I've fell on many different kinds of cams in different types of cracks and while I have had two 0 TCUs pull out, i haven't had any break. I don't think most other brand cams would have broken when placed in the same way in that spot. I don't think most would have pulled out if placed in the lower half of the cam range. But until that theory is tested in that crack with other brand cams (which I won't do) no one knows. I'll hold off on buying a linkcam, but I'd still use them (perfectly placed).


(This post was edited by badsanta on Dec 19, 2007, 1:58 PM)


blondgecko
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Dec 19, 2007, 2:09 PM
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Re: [badsanta] I agree with domnic7 [In reply to]
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badsanta wrote:
I agree with dominic7. While I think the linkcam is a great product (if it doesn't break or pull out), in the real world, we aren't going to use pro perfectly every time. And gear shouldn't break if it isn't used perfectly. I've fell on many different kinds of cams in different types of cracks and while I have had two 0 TCUs pull out, i haven't had any break. I don't think most other brand cams would have broken when placed in the same way in that spot. I don't think most would have pulled out if placed in the lower half of the cam range. But until that theory is tested in that crack with other brand cams (which I won't do) no one knows. I'll hold off on buying a linkcam, but I'd still use them (perfectly placed).

Pull out, break, WTF difference does it make? You still deck either way. Besides, by the sounds of that fall/placement, I wouldn't be surprised if any other cam in the same situation would be damaged beyond further use.


k.l.k


Dec 19, 2007, 2:20 PM
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Re: [badsanta] I agree with domnic7 [In reply to]
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badsanta wrote:
I agree with dominic7. While I think the linkcam is a great product (if it doesn't break or pull out), in the real world, we aren't going to use pro perfectly every time. And gear shouldn't break if it isn't used perfectly. I've fell on many different kinds of cams in different types of cracks and while I have had two 0 TCUs pull out, i haven't had any break. I don't think most other brand cams would have broken when placed in the same way in that spot. I don't think most would have pulled out if placed in the lower half of the cam range. But until that theory is tested in that crack with other brand cams (which I won't do) no one knows. I'll hold off on buying a linkcam, but I'd still use them (perfectly placed).

Badsanta, if your self-representation is accurate, you are a "5.10a" trad climber who has twice (!) fallen to failure on 0 TCUs. My best guess is that Michael Lane is praying that you don't have a Link Cam on your rack.


maldaly


Dec 19, 2007, 2:23 PM
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To address dominic7s point, it appears that there was placement failure followed by material failure rather than the other way around. This is not uncommon at all when we field test cams intentionally placed in bad placements. It happen more often with tiny cams but it does happen with all sizes. If a placement partially fails then the cam is loaded on two cams only and then all test results, bets and performance estimations are off. In this case, the force was applied at an angle other than what was intended and the cam is forced to try to align with the load. When it can't, (As in this case) , the upper cams pulled out of the flare and loaded the remaining 2 lobes in a manner that possibly no cam could sustain.

michaellane, doesn't it make you laugh that people think that we're huge companies with the Marketing Gods ruling down from the top (Penthouse) floors? I should post up some pictures of me cleaning the toilets at Trango.
Climb safe,
Mal


Partner angry


Dec 19, 2007, 2:39 PM
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After 7 pages we're basically back to "Shitty placements can fail"

I like the people who decidedly "will not" own a piece of gear that has a mode of failure. Any failure.

What on this board has failed in the last few years?

Cams - I've seen a report of most brands I can think of pulling out in some situation. The only one I haven't heard a specific story about is Krok.

Actually, I haven't heard more than a handful of anecdotes about nuts failing. Usually small ones. So that said, you can't carry RP's, they are too small.

Ice Screws, again not as many failures as I'd expect but they do seem to come out on occasion. So in keeping with the theme, you aren't allowed to have ice screws either.

Quickdraws and Slings - we've seen them break or break when cut on this board. Too risky for me.

Ropes - apparently they break when treated with battery acid. Better not take the chance, no ropes ever.

Harnesses - according to teh net, all harnesses are either poised to kill you or poised to break your biners, then you die.

Biners - they break loaded over an edge.

Bolts - old and new we know that they can fail and this has been shown to us.

I'm sure there's something missing but this is enough to summarize.

If you want to climb safely, with gear I have not heard of failing, you can only have Krok cams, big bro's, and tricams. You won't need them because you have no rope or harness.


michaellane


Dec 19, 2007, 2:40 PM
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