/ Cams for Winter with some Summer use
What sizes should I get, limiting the number to 3, and what brand/model do you recommend?
It is winter climbing, stuff gets hammered, scraped and frozen. I'd go for something simple and robust rather than light and mechanically fancy. I'd probably be looking at cheap clones of the old wild country technical friend.
If you have more money available or want to buy new, the obvious choices would be Black Diamond C4 Camalots or DMM Dragons but their doubled sling is less useful in Winter being fiddly to handle wearing gloves. In Camalots you could probably get away with only sizes 1 & 3 as they overlap slightly. Other options would be sizes 0.5,1,3 or 1,2,3 depending whether you want coverage for smaller cracks or additional coverage for medium/large ones. The equivalent sizes in DMM Dragon cams would be 3&5 or 1,3,5 or 3,4,5 respectively.
Finally, the 'lightweight' option, should weight be a primary consideration would be Metolius UL (Ultralight) Powercams as they are currently the lightest on the market.
On the grades your looking for I think tricams would be a good investment, very good bang for the buck and also lightweight and can be taken instead of a nut in the same passive placement size. Also work better on frosted rock than normal cams.
To be honest I would stick with the torque nuts that you have at the minute, even for low grade summer stuff. They are much lighter than the cams for their size and when winter does come around you can hammer them home without worryingt about damage. Not to mention cams are less secure in icey/rimmed up cracks.
That is only true for Torque Nuts sizes 1-3.
It is not the case for the Torque Nut size 4 (range 54-72.2mm) which weighs 146g. A Metolius Powercam size 8 with a comparable, but wider, size range (full range 48.7-77.4mm, optimum range 49.0-71.1mm) weighs almost the same at 150g.
I currently only own Torque Nuts sizes 1-3 as I think the size 4 is both less useful than the smaller sizes and, as mentioned above, offers little weight saving over carrying a similarly sized cam.
@Cameron, yes we made it home safely. Next outing is on Thursday to North Wales for a day on the Glyderau eidges or Carneddau gullies, depending on conditions. How was Neist Point?
@The Ex-Engineer, I agree the size 4 TN is pretty hefty at nearly 150g. Often that one gets left behind since if the holes are that big I can usually get a sling round something. Cameron will tell you my nut placements leave much to be desired!!
> Cameron will tell you my nut placements leave much to be desired!!
Do you not think it would be a good idea to learn place nuts properly? They're kind of crucial for trad climbing.
For the grades you are climbing you don't really need cams.
If you are desperate to spend your money I would only buy a couple.
DMM Demon Cams of 4cu in Sizes 1.5 and 2.5 (or Camalots .75 and 2) would probably be a good start.
Great price on nearly new Tech Friends on a well known auction site: 181082430004
I'd get a 1.5 and a 2.5 if I were you.
Another vote for Tri-Cams for winter! I don't take cams out in winter at all now (climbing up to IV normally) as I'm normally happy with the tricams.
Not quite as easy as cams to place, but hammer-able, don't seize and easily inspected at the start / end of the season for wear / damage.
Can also double up as nuts / hexs so if your looking at scrambles possibility to reduce the weight you're carrying.
In summer I carry 4CUs, not the most modern design but robust, work, relatively cheap and not heavy.
Single stem cams are easier with gloves on.
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