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link cam for novices?
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famous


Nov 8, 2012, 8:58 PM
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link cam for novices?
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Hi guys,
I'm an semi experienced sport climber starting to dabble in trad.
I've got some mates who are pretty good teachers and I have been on a number of trips where trad is the focus.

Over the last year I've been slowly increasing my rack, but at this stage they are all passive pieces, and now I'm looking to by some cams for cracks and anchor building.

I love the look of the Omega Pacific Link Cam (their range is the draw for me, I don't want to buy lots of pieces, and I don't do long trad climbs---yet),
but I'm aware of their problems, and need for careful placement.
As a novice am I stupid to buy some of these cams?

Thanks for reading, and any advice.


healyje


Nov 8, 2012, 9:22 PM
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Re: [famous] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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I would quite strongly urge you to stick with conventional cams until you are strong leader with a lot of yardage and pitches under your belt before dabbling in any form of unconventional gear. And then follow and clean some of that gear with someone who knows how to place it well and can explain their placements.


patto


Nov 8, 2012, 9:40 PM
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Re: [healyje] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
I would quite strongly urge you to stick with conventional cams until you are strong leader with a lot of yardage and pitches under your belt before dabbling in any form of unconventional gear. And then follow and clean some of that gear with someone who knows how to place it well and can explain their placements.

I strongly agree with healyje and I think you'll find that most people here do too.

In fact for the price of three link cams you can buy six cams of a cheaper variety. Six cams should be enough to cover the important sizes and will be far more useful than 3 link cams.


bearbreeder


Nov 8, 2012, 11:28 PM
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Re: [famous] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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get normal cams first ... it will teach you to place the correct piece ...

i own and use link cams ... they work but they are not beginner pieces

newbies dont need all these nice shiny toys Tongue


kikitastrophe


Nov 9, 2012, 6:53 AM
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Re: [famous] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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A reasonable argument can be made that no one needs a link cam at all - They are much heavier and require a deeper pocket to use the smaller end of the range. Also, there is concern for mechanical failures when used in non-ideal portions of the range (though I don't know of hard data on this)

Personally I have one and after hauling it up many climbs and either not using it (saving it as an oh-shit piece or anchor) or using it and fretting about it failing, now I leave it behind. Or I flex it in front of noobs to look like I am an awesome climber with rad gear. (This is probably where it is most useful)


patto


Nov 9, 2012, 7:39 AM
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Re: [kikitastrophe] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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kikitastrophe wrote:
A reasonable argument can be made that no one needs a link cam at all - They are much heavier and require a deeper pocket to use the smaller end of the range. Also, there is concern for mechanical failures when used in non-ideal portions of the range (though I don't know of hard data on this)

Personally I have one and after hauling it up many climbs and either not using it (saving it as an oh-shit piece or anchor) or using it and fretting about it failing, now I leave it behind. Or I flex it in front of noobs to look like I am an awesome climber with rad gear. (This is probably where it is most useful)

I agree completely. Especially with the last point! Tongue

I struggle to come up with sensible advantages. The only advantage that I can see is that they are about 25% lighter that their competitors to cover the same range. This might be useful for alpine, but due to the many disadvantages it just seems safer to stick with regular cams.

Increased range is fantastic as long as it doesn't impinge on usability, safety, or increased weight. Unfortunately Link cams don't achieve this.


Partner robdotcalm


Nov 9, 2012, 7:55 AM
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Re: [patto] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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Repeat of what's been said above. I bought one when they first came out. After a few days of climbing, it has sat in my gear box since then. Another drawback, with 8 cams they get stuck more easily and can be difficult to remove.

Cheers,
Rob.calm


markc


Nov 9, 2012, 8:37 AM
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Re: [famous] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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You're getting sound advice. I've not climbed on Link cams, so I can't comment on that. As patto said, carrying a greater number of standard cams is going to be more useful than carrying a few Link cams. What will you do as a new leader if you find yourself with three cams on a 70' route that takes mostly active protection?


marc801


Nov 9, 2012, 9:21 AM
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+1 to what everyone else is telling you. Link cams are not for you yet, young apprentice.

famous wrote:
I love the look of the Omega Pacific Link Cam (their range is the draw for me, I don't want to buy lots of pieces, and I don't do long trad climbs---yet),
Here's a hint: you need the same number of cams no matter the length of the route.


famous


Nov 9, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Re: [marc801] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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Thanks everybody for your advice.
A single, simple message that I wont ignore (no matter how hard those shiny cams call out to me).

cheers


Rudmin


Nov 9, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Re: [famous] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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Anecdotally, I feel like I come across more fixed link cams than other brands. It's probably because usually the lobes or joints are mangled, so nobody takes the time to booty them.


Partner cracklover


Nov 9, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Re: [Rudmin] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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Rudmin wrote:
Anecdotally, I feel like I come across more fixed link cams than other brands. It's probably because usually the lobes or joints are mangled, so nobody takes the time to booty them.

Yes, they're definitely harder to clean.

I'll join the chorus - Link Cams really do have a few useful places on the experienced climber's rack, but you need solid experience before you can know what those times are. With that said, I have one, and it does occasionally come in handy.

Latest example - for onsighting long continuous crack routes at places like Indian Creek. Typically I can see perfectly well what the sizes are for the route, but... Only having a general idea of how many of each I'll need, I could either bring one or two extra cams of each size, or just one Link Cam.

GO


bearbreeder


Nov 9, 2012, 4:20 PM
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Re: [Rudmin] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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I suspect be because many newbies buy the shiny gear an dont know how to place or clean em properly

I use mine alot and fall on em .... Never had an issue cleaning em, neither have my partners

Wink


billl7


Nov 9, 2012, 10:26 PM
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Re: [famous] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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famous wrote:
Over the last year I've been slowly increasing my rack, but at this stage they are all passive pieces, and now I'm looking to by some cams for cracks and anchor building.z

An aside: cams for anchor building? Really, it should be more about choosing the piece that fits the rock at hand. And, often, I'm trying to not use cams in the anchor so the leader of the next pitch has that flexibility - because if we're not doubled up on something it is usually those cams that are heavier per capita.

I don't own a link cam. I may never - not sure. And it does seem to be the consensus here that they are not for novices. Still, if indications are that one has good mechanical sense, I suspect one could research the issues with link cams and so do well in placing them.

I'll add that one of my partners has climbed for decades. His rack generally consists of nuts and hexes and sometimes a couple link cams. It seems to work pretty well where we climb if one is comfortable placing hexes. But then he does have a lot of experience (edit: and I about 1/3 as much). And most novices who partner with him often insist on adding a set of regular cams to his rack if sharing leads.

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Nov 10, 2012, 9:50 AM)


shoo


Nov 10, 2012, 9:30 AM
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Re: [billl7] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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Agreed with the above. Link cams are not for those who are new. They are more complicated and leave far less room for error when placing, both in terms of ability to hold falls in imperfect placement and ability to clean.

I own the gold one which I bootied it at the Gunks. Used to be a hater, but to be honest, now that I actually have one, I've grown to like it. I often find myself debating taking a single or double set of mid sized cams. This effectively makes the point moot, since a single rack with a link is a pretty decent combo.

For what it's worth, I don't do the "save it until the anchor" thing. Instead, I dump it as soon as I find a good place for it, leaving more robust gear for when it might be needed later in more marginal places.


JimTitt


Nov 10, 2012, 9:45 AM
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Got to agree with the rest here, if Im going on a trad route then my Link cams stay at home. On long easier multi-pitch they are useful to save carrying doubles of everything but that really depends on the rock type.
Where they are really good is when you are rap bolting steep routes and will need a piece of gear to hold the rope into the rock, then its a real advantage only having to carry one cam.


shockabuku


Nov 10, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: [shoo] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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shoo wrote:
For what it's worth, I don't do the "save it until the anchor" thing. Instead, I dump it as soon as I find a good place for it, leaving more robust gear for when it might be needed later in more marginal places.

+1, and I also only own one (gold) and have no plans to acquire more.


gunkiemike


Nov 14, 2012, 2:45 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
Got to agree with the rest here, if Im going on a trad route then my Link cams stay at home. On long easier multi-pitch they are useful to save carrying doubles of everything ...

So multi-pitch you carry them, but on a trad route you don't?

That makes absolutely no sense to me.

Unless the multi-pitch is sport, and you just want to look badass by toting a big rack of gear.


billl7


Nov 14, 2012, 6:00 PM
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gunkiemike wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
Got to agree with the rest here, if Im going on a trad route then my Link cams stay at home. On long easier multi-pitch they are useful to save carrying doubles of everything ...

So multi-pitch you carry them, but on a trad route you don't?

That makes absolutely no sense to me.

Unless the multi-pitch is sport, and you just want to look badass by toting a big rack of gear.

I can see how that might be confusing at face value. Still, it made perfect sense to me.

If I'm leading something several levels below my ability, I don't place much gear. Some routes actually demand that not much gear be placed. For example, North Face on Sugarloaf has 40 to 60 foot runouts. Also, folks do it in 9 to 12 pitches. And on the crux pitch, there's simply not a lot of gear anyways. If your placing just a couple cams per pitch and it can vary from 1/2 inch to 3 inch, a couple link cams might be the way to go.

On the other hand, if its kind of sustained at my lead limit there better be a lot of gear placements and I need a full rack. In that case, link cams are just too heavy.

Bill L


gunkiemike


Nov 14, 2012, 8:02 PM
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Re: [billl7] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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Fair enough Bill7. So "going" now means "climbing near my limit", huh? Or does "trad route" now mean "traditionally-protected route near my limit"?

Yes, I'm busting yer a$$ here, and being a bit pedantic. It's not you I'm after anyway.


billl7


Nov 14, 2012, 8:09 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] link cam for novices? [In reply to]
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It's okay. I crave attention, good or bad. I think I can make it another week now. Wink


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