/ Cams in winter

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ollyroberts - on 09 Dec 2012
Hi everyone!

I'm trying to get into my mixed climbing a bit more this winter, hopefully pushing onto V's, and I know sometimes gear is pretty sparse on pitches.

I have 0.3-3 camalots, so 7 cams and they are actually pretty heavy! I know it's always the case that you need the size you don't take but to be fair I haven't placed many when I have taken them.

Just wondering how many cams people tend to carry?

highclimber - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to ollyroberts: depends on the route but i'd usually carry no more than 3 smaller sized ones (no bigger than size 1).
chances are that the placement you need is either Iced up or full of turf in which case a DMM bullbog is your friend!
The Ex-Engineer - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to ollyroberts: In all such discussions a quick look at Martin Moran's Scotland's Winter Mountains is worthwhile:

Grade - IV-V
'Friends' - 3 or 4 of sizes between 1 and 3

That advice is as sound as ever. It is obviously WC Tech friend sizes but would translate 3 or 4 of the sizes between 0.5 and 2 which is pretty much what I'd have said anyway myself.

Just for completeness here is what he suggests as a complete rack for IV-V:

Rocks - 1 set from size 1-9
Hexes - Size 7-9
'Friends' - 3 or 4 of sizes between 1 and 3
Pitons - 6 to 8 of assorted sizes
Slings - 2 long, 3 short, 6 extensions, 3 tie offs
Ice Screws - 1 drive-in [i.e. Warthog]
Karabiners - 15-20


I might carry fewer pitons, but overall it is pretty close to what I carry.
jonnie3430 - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

Eeeww, too many pegs!
Jamie B - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to highclimber:

> depends on the route but i'd usually carry no more than 3 smaller sized ones (no bigger than size 1).

That seems like a lot of duplication in a narrow size-range.

> chances are that the placement you need is either Iced up or full of turf

Simply not true; under dry powder or rime there are often many serviceable cam placements, especially on Cairngorm granite. On a harder route in the Gorms I'd take five.
Jamie B - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

It does read like too many pegs and not enough wires to me, but it hasn't done him any harm! Maybe we're more accustomed to routes with cracks cleaned out and more welcoming to nuts.
jhw - on 10 Dec 2012
1 ice screw - really?
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
it hugely depends on conditions. If you are pretty sure the cracks are going to be clogged with ice I'd take very few cams and more tricams. If alternatively you are pretty sure the cracks are going to be quite dry then I'd ditch the tricams and take around 3 or 4 cams.
jonnie3430 - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:
> 1 ice screw - really?

It's dependant on the route! It's a rack for mixed climbing, I don't think I'd leave the ground with a rack like that on an ice route like point 5, smiths or peter pan.

I do carry two ice screws (proper ones,) everywhere at the moment after getting on an ice route with a rack like that. My gear was loose nut, tied off knifeblade and bulldog. I'll leave the screws behind on a mixed route when the memory fades.
Webster - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to ollyroberts: I've only climbed up to grade IV so far (though i hope to climb grade five this season) and i have never caried a cam in winter and have no intention of doing so. Its all personal oppinion and route/condition dependent but the honest answer to "how many do you need..." is none! I would just point out that i very rarely climb with cams when rock climbing ether as i dont trust them...so its all opinion.
mmmhumous on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to ollyroberts:

Bit off topic, but what's the deal with the use of pegs (in terms of ethics) for winter climbing in the UK?
mattrm - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mmmhumous:

In Scotland, use them sparingly, only if you have to. But you'll find there's plenty of pegs on Scottish routes. I'd say in Wales & England, don't use them at all.
mmmhumous on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mattrm:

Cheers
NottsRich on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mattrm: That's a good answer, thanks.
Webster - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to mattrm: Ive used pegs winter climbing in south and north wales several times and seen others doing so. in fear of starting another ethics shit storm...i have never heard of reason not to use pegs in england and wales and see no reason not to do so (sparingly). i suppose that would be different if a summer rock route is concerned but all the winter routes in my grade in wales arent summer rock routes.

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