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TriCam VS Camalot C4
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TaoistSage


Apr 9, 2012, 3:56 PM
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TriCam VS Camalot C4
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I need some help from this great community. I have recently started climbing outdoors on top rope. With that I am starting to buy my own webbing and protection so that I don't have to rely on my climbing partner having the right protection left after setting up his rope. He has taught me how to set up a proper top rope anchor. But he is an old school climber and has only ever use the TriCams along with the nuts and hexes. So I have picked up a set of nuts and hexes since that was a no brainer.

But because he has only used TriCams he is not able to give me the best answer of which would be better to but a small set of TriCams or a small set of Camalot C4's?

I am looking at only using them right now to set up top rope anchors and belay anchors. I have no interest at this time in trad climbing. My primary area of climbing is Blue Mounds and Pallasades State Park.

I am not concerned about the price difference between the TriCam and Camalots I'm just concerned about what would be my better choice for the Blue Mounds and Pallasades area. Or what would give me the better versatility should I take trips to different areas. Any help that you guys could give would be greatly appreciated.


maldaly


Apr 9, 2012, 4:06 PM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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TriCams and Camalots are different and shine in different situations and rock. They both should have a place on your TR rack. What you will find, however, is that the TriCams will quickly replace your use of hexes. They work everywhere a hex will work and a million other places.

Climb safe,
Mal


granite_grrl


Apr 9, 2012, 5:22 PM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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A few tricams don't cost very much, they're what? $15-20?

Though I can't help but wonder if you are really asking about TCUs vs C4s.

Tricams:


TCUs:



TaoistSage


Apr 9, 2012, 5:30 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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I was interested in TriCam vs C4 but TCU as well, hadn't really looked at them. I'm just looking for what would be best for setting the top rope anchor. As I mentioned all the practice I have had so far setting the anchor has been with my partners gear of nuts/hexes and a couple large TriCam. There have only been a few times that there has been a need for the cam. But since my partner has never used C4 or even TCU I want to know my options and what is the better option.

Maybe a better way to put it if both would be worth purchasing. Which one would be worth purchasing first?


charlie.elverson


Apr 9, 2012, 5:55 PM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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I've climbed a fair amount around the north shore, but have not been able to ever make it to blue mounds.

If you're used to tri-cams and REALLY only plan on setting up top ropes in those places, you should be fine with those (I'm not sure about blue mounds though, obviously).

However, cams are going to be a more flexible piece if you go to other places, and you're not really paying much more once you get into the larger sizes. I don't really see any advantage to large tri-cams over equivalent sized cams. If you want to avoid superfluous spending, though, you can skip buying smaller cam sizes and use tri-cams there.


climbingbetty22


Apr 10, 2012, 6:45 AM
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Re: [charlie.elverson] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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charlie.elverson wrote:

If you're used to tri-cams and REALLY only plan on setting up top ropes in those places, you should be fine with those (I'm not sure about blue mounds though, obviously).

However, cams are going to be a more flexible piece if you go to other places, and you're not really paying much more once you get into the larger sizes. I don't really see any advantage to large tri-cams over equivalent sized cams. If you want to avoid superfluous spending, though, you can skip buying smaller cam sizes and use tri-cams there.

True enough. In the end, it's really about personal preference, what your budget is and what your goals are. Cams are pretty easy to place and these days, most new trad climbers learn to place them effectively and efficiently before they learn to do so with nuts. For a lot of people, the simplicity of placing a cam means that they are go-to pieces for when the climbing gets hard and you don't want to futz with fishing in a tricam. That's basically how I feel about tricams. I have pink through blue on my rack. I tend to use them on climbs I've done before and know there is a good tricam placement, or sometimes in anchors, where I've used the same size cam already on the climb. But in general, I don't like to bother fishing them into a good placement on lead. After this weekend, I was even considering no longer carrying them altogether.

I'm just telling you all of this to give you a little insight into the pros vs. cons. If you have no plans of ever doing anything beyond top-roping, then the tricams will be more then adequate. I don't know many folks though, who once bitten by the climbing bug, are content to stick with top-roping only. So, if money is not an issue, go with the C4s because they will probably be more versatile in the end.


njrox


Apr 10, 2012, 7:52 AM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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I'm a big fan of TriCams and use them just as often as I do C4s (and C3s, and Master Cams). I've overheard climbers say that they're going to start their first rack without cams, opting for tricams instead. Still I 've never seen a rack of just tricams. But you could probably/maybe get away with it for limited use (building a TR anchors) versus being on a long trad climb where you'll need a versatile rack.

As far as what to use in your area, no idea.

If you're climbing partner can say to you "at this climb, for this anchor, you need these pieces" then you can obviously get away with just buying those pieces. And if it's cam/tricams placement...go for it, and get the tricams.


edge


Apr 10, 2012, 8:30 AM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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It is a matter of personal preference, but for me I prefer the convenience and ease of placement of cams over tricams. I have never used or owned a tricam larger than the pink and red, and for the last 20+ years have generally not carried any passive gear larger than 1 1/2" except for the occasional Big Bro.

For anything above that size I believe the cams are much more versatile.


Partner cracklover


Apr 10, 2012, 8:54 AM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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TaoistSage wrote:
I need some help from this great community. I have recently started climbing outdoors on top rope. With that I am starting to buy my own webbing and protection so that I don't have to rely on my climbing partner having the right protection left after setting up his rope. He has taught me how to set up a proper top rope anchor. But he is an old school climber and has only ever use the TriCams along with the nuts and hexes. So I have picked up a set of nuts and hexes since that was a no brainer.

But because he has only used TriCams he is not able to give me the best answer of which would be better to but a small set of TriCams or a small set of Camalot C4's?

I am looking at only using them right now to set up top rope anchors and belay anchors. I have no interest at this time in trad climbing. My primary area of climbing is Blue Mounds and Pallasades State Park.

I am not concerned about the price difference between the TriCam and Camalots I'm just concerned about what would be my better choice for the Blue Mounds and Pallasades area. Or what would give me the better versatility should I take trips to different areas. Any help that you guys could give would be greatly appreciated.

What everyone so far has failed to mention is that for smaller cracks, your tricams will be too big*, and you may not find an adequate constriction for a nut. In such situations, your best (and sometimes only) pro will be a cam. So yeah, you should buy a couple.

And while I'm on the subject - in those smallest sizes, C4 is generally agreed to be one of the worse types of cam, because the head is too wide. Aliens or your choice among the various brands of TCUs will be better.

Cheers,

GO

* A pink Tricam has roughly the same range as a tight .75 C4.


bearbreeder


Apr 10, 2012, 9:26 AM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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i own and use tricams

that said if your area has cracks conducive to cam placements ... id get a set of cams over tricams anyday

as to the smaller C4s not being any good ... that depends where you climb

up here they work just fine, and id honestly trust them more than my other smaller cams .... there is no set rule


TaoistSage


Apr 10, 2012, 9:49 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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Because I have not started Trad climbing just yet I'm not sure how the cracks are on accent to tell if they would be good TriCam placements. As for the top rope anchors most of the anchors that we have been setting are slung webbing around a tree with nuts and from time to time hexes with needing to use the #6TriCam. So I probably don't need a lot of TriCams or Camalots but I am the type that likes to have things just in case.

If it helps any the rock where I am climbing is pink Sioux Quartzite.

Thank you to everyone that has provided input it has given me more to consider and helped me a lot so far.


bearbreeder


Apr 10, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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if the cracks are parallel and somewhat deeper ... cams all the way

if they are shallow, not so parallel and pockety ... then tri cams

that said ... when starting out, cams are often the better choice in many areas ... especially if you plan to start leading trad and when the climbing gets hard

i dont know anyone who leads hard trad solely on tricams (or hexes for that matter) ... usually the tricams are used for when there are good stances or belays

if you plan to lead harder trad in the future ... get cams


if you never plan to lead and are using them solely for anchors ... tri cams will work fine ... but you absolutely must know how to place em, they are more finicky IMO than cams ...


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Apr 10, 2012, 10:28 AM)


njrox


Apr 10, 2012, 10:35 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
if the cracks are parallel and somewhat deeper ... cams all the way

if they are shallow, not so parallel and pockety ... then tri cams

Tongue


shimanilami


Apr 10, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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TaoistSage wrote:
... I am not concerned about the price difference ... I'm just concerned about what would be my better choice for the Blue Mounds and Pallasades area. Or what would give me the better versatility should I take trips to different areas.

Get both, obviously.


shockabuku


Apr 11, 2012, 7:32 AM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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One significant difference between the two is that Tri-cams are not spring loaded and can have a greater tendency to disengage from their placement than a spring loaded camming device (i.e. BD C4).

So, if you're going to primarily be setting top ropes, I would recommend C4's or some other spring loaded cam (i.e. Metolius TCU's, Mastercams, Powercams, etc..) over a passive piece like Tri-cams.


dindolino32


Apr 18, 2012, 9:57 PM
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Re: [TaoistSage] TriCam VS Camalot C4 [In reply to]
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Blue mounds has that slick and rock hard quartzite. For some reason people told me the rock doesn't hold cams that well yet I have taken small lead falls there on cams. I always use passive pro when I can due to this folklore but have never had a cam fail on me there. I usually use big hexes and a couple cams to set up topropes, but I have up to the brown tricams and use them sometimes too. The big ones are worthless except for the #6 that is sized as a BD #4 if I am on a route that needs two of those size. My recommendation would be to buy the cams, add the small tricams, then venture to an area with better rock, but I understand there isnt much around this area. I live in Omaha for now and it's quite a drive to decent rock.


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