/ which micro cams

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madguernseyboy - on 10 Oct 2013
hi all

I am looking at obtaining more cams for when I make a big wall atempt. (hopefully next year)

my smallest cam is currently a Friend deamon cam 0 and I am looking at filling the gap smaller.

I guess the solution is a variety of makes from
Wild Country Zero - which makes the smallest ever
Totem Cams
CHH Alien - The blue, green and yellow Aliens should be core items on any climbers rack
Metolius Master Cams
Totem Basic Cam


MY QUESTION
what sizes should i get and how many?
does anybody have experience in the area of the Micro cam?

thanks
Brendan
CurlyStevo - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to madguernseyboy:
there is also the BD C3 which have the narrowest head width of the cams I've looked at.
AlanLittle - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to madguernseyboy:

How small do you want to go? The smallest Totem for example isn't particularly micro compared to the smallest Zero.

In fact, you can forget Totems because - checking here:

http://alanblanchflower.co.uk/climbing/cams.php?mf[]=DMM&mf[]=Totem&sz=&sort=Size&or...

... the Demon 0 you already have is smaller than the smallest Totem.

The Totems are really nice cams though and I find the smaller sizes really useful. Smaller than that I have a mishmash - blue mastercam, yellow X4 and a couple of C3s - but haven't had occasion to use them much yet except on slate.
madguernseyboy - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to AlanLittle:

thanks Alan, that link is fantastic

Skinny Kin - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to madguernseyboy:
I use WC Zero no. 3, 4, 5 and 6. 4-6 are probably more useable on trad routes. I like them best as the whole stem is flexible unlike Alien or BD. Too much rigidity on Alien and Bd stem that induce more "walking". One of my mates had BD small cam on a single pitch route at Slipstone. That was the only piece. We reckoned the stem wasn't flexible enough and walked out. He decked! Right on his bouldering mat. A few days in hospital.
My Zeros don't seem to have the problem as it's so flexible. I reckon all cams should be designed with a fully flexible stem.
CurlyStevo - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Skinny Kin:
sounds like extending the cam may have helped too though.

BD found that for shallow vertical cracks where you can't orientate the stem to the direction of fall a very flexible stem hinders not helps as it directs the force almost perpendicular to the cams preventing them gripping the crack potentially allowing the cam to slip out of the bottom or in to a less good area of the crack where it can pop out.
Timmd on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I'm wondering why a more rigid stem wouldn't act as a lever with similar results? Something doesn't sound right.
Timmd on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: imho
sean1 - on 11 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
I can't see how that works. If you have a shallow crack and can't position the stem in the direction of fall when you fall on a semi rigid stem the fall will pull the stem to that direction, and rip it out. Surely a fully flexible stem has more chance of holding. This seems logical but physics might prove it wrong. Also why has BD made the X4 with fully flexible stems?
Fultonius - on 11 Oct 2013
If it's for aid climbing I can wholeheartedly recommend having a Blue and Yellow Totem. Above that they're nice, but not as amazingly useful as those two sizes. We felt (on the basis of doing Leaning Tower, Zodiac and Half Dome, so not a huge number of routes) that don't need sawed angles if you have those 2 cams because they hold so well in flared peg scars.

Red and Yellow X4s are also very nice for smaller cams, but when it gets really small the grey and purple C3s are hard to beat. I have not used the Totem Basics. The red X4s managed to fit further into peg scars where they are less flared and also got a good grip.

I've heard that the zeros are too flexible which makes them difficult to place in fiddly little cracks.

Generally you want at least doubles of every size. We got away with just 1 red X4, 1 Grey C3 and Purple C3 at the small end. We also had a few peckers/bird beaks and cam hooks which cover similar size ranges.

A few offset metolius mastercams or totem basic offset are also very handy. We didn't have any, but friends who had no totems were using their totem basic offsets a lot.

In fact, make sure you get some cam hooks. Very usefull for 5-10mm cracks. At times we just left them clipped to our aiders and were using them practically every second move.

If you're not aid climbing you can ignore the last part...
CurlyStevo - on 11 Oct 2013
In reply to sean1:
just for you I found the source ;)

http://www.alpineexposures.com/pages/black-diamond-c3-gear-review

"Further more one of the designers at Black Diamond had something quite interesting to say that hadnt actually occured to me that might help dispel some of the flexible vs stiff rumors out there:

Not only do we have tests to show that it (the ‘stiffness’ of the stem) is not a problem, but we have tests that show too much flexibility is a problem in certain placements. Think about how cams work in a perfect placement: you pull straight down on the cams, that force is converted to a rotational force on the cams, and the surface of the cams push against the rock surface. Now place a highly flexible cabled cam in a vertical bottoming crack (the stem is sticking out horizontally). Should be good right? Think again about how the cams need to work. Pull straight down on this placement and you’ll notice a large component of the downward force is acting parallel to the cam surfaces. This is not how the cam is designed to work. The cams will not push against the rock surface without a force perpendicular to the cams plane of movement. In short, it stops camming and acts like a nut placement. You need some torque on the placement to convert the parallel load to more of an outward one that can act on the cams. This torque is provided by the stiffness of the cable, or the length of the shank of head terminal, or some combination of both. In testing, the high flexible cables did not generate the torque necessary to hold the falls and the units slid sideways out of the placement at very low loads. We even made C3s proto types out of softer cable, only to watch them fail our bottoming crack test because of this issue."
HeMa on 11 Oct 2013
In reply to Fultonius:
> A few offset metolius mastercams or totem basic offset are also very handy.

I would prolly omit those both, and get offset Aliens from Fixe. They cover all original Alien sizes on both normal and offset kinds.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Oct 2013
In reply to sean1:
"I can't see how that works. If you have a shallow crack and can't position the stem in the direction of fall when you fall on a semi rigid stem the fall will pull the stem to that direction, and rip it out. Surely a fully flexible stem has more chance of holding. This seems logical but physics might prove it wrong. Also why has BD made the X4 with fully flexible stems?"

So the part of the stem in question is the short fully rigid bit comming out from the axel, with the zeros this is fully flexible however with the X4 and C3 there is a rigid section before the more flexible section.
Fultonius - on 11 Oct 2013
In reply to HeMa:
> (In reply to Fultonius)
> [...]
>
> I would prolly omit those both, and get offset Aliens from Fixe. They cover all original Alien sizes on both normal and offset kinds.

Why would you go for Offset Aliens over Offset Totem Basics? Just because they have a bigger range? I'm not convinced you "need" a full rack of offsets but if you do, I guess Fixe is the way to go.

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