bit of a newby question here, is it possible to place a hex in a horizontal crack i.e. bamford where the grit is realy layered but with no tapering. should realy draw a picture to explain this a little better
Haven't seen the vid, but hexes do have a camming action, and they'll cam into parallel cracks of any orientation - provided the fit's a good one - they're not a camming device per se - so their expansion range - for want of a better expression, is small. so if the crack you're placing it in isn't the exact size of the hex you're placing - plus a bugs dick - it's likely to rip if you fall on it.
You can stack passive gear in parallel cracks, but it's not the easiest of things to do one handed, and it isn't quick.
short answer is if the crack is the right size it will work - but the tolerance is very small
It's a funny topic this. Cams are approximately 3 billion times better than hexes in every single way, but particularly for placing in breaks a la Bamford.
However, for some reason, the placing of hexes, particularly in horizontal breaks on gritstone, is a topic which arouses a certain sanctimonious attitude in a specific type of usually older, very experienced climber who was too tight to buy cams for the first 30 years or so of them becoming widely available, and is probably too tight to have ever replaced the awful rigid-stemmed, worn out, self-repaired ones they eventually reluctantly acquired (probably as crag swag, or hand-me-downs). These people think that it's somehow good to continue clanging around the crags with their stupid jingly jangly cowbells, which can, with a great deal of fiddling, be placed as marginal pro in some breaks. If you're lucky. When it would take seconds to whack in a solid cam which would be good as guaranteed to hold the most massive of whippers.
I don't, by the way, work for any company with an interest in the sale of cams. But I do really hate hexes. I hate placing them, I really hate removing them on second, I hate carrying them to the crag, I hate dragging them up a route. And I hate the stupid noise they make.
> I abbed down to do a route in Pembroke and realised that I'd forgotten all my wires. Classic stuff. I led the route with a just set of cams and it was quick, fun and I reckon perfectly safe.
> Never felt the need to replace the hexes I lost or gave away.
As a pembroke local for the last 7 years, at the grades i climb (up to e2) if i had to forget part of my rack i would much rather forget my cams than my hex's.Of cousre i'd prefer to take both. There seems to be a snobbery against.hex's but there are plenty of placements in s.pembs where a hex is by far the best option.
> It's a funny topic this. Cams are approximately 3 billion times better than hexes in every single way, but particularly for placing in breaks a la Bamford.
On grit, yes. On all types of rock, I would say not always.
Examples: cracks with lumps in, e.g some parts of Swanage. Where the rock is flinty or suffers from other weakness (again Swanage). Poor sandstone. Anywhere you are worried about outward forces. Iced-up cracks.
Yes. Ideally you find a bit with some rear-front taper, push the hex in to one side where it's wide then slide it along until the fit is good and set it with a few careful tugs.
If the crack tapers L-R (parallel front-rear) you could try arranging the gear below or your belayer's position to pull the hex rightwards should you fall. You're a lot more reliant on friction but in grit there's a good chance it'll stick especially if it's arranged to cam. A spring loaded cam would be better.
Even subtle details like a pebble or two can be enough to provide the required taper to lock a nut or hex in place though they can make for pretty unstable placements.
Opposed nuts and hexes can be arranged in horizontals that are parallel front-rear but with irregular break height. You need to consider though that the forces imposed can be very high indeed and that modern cams are generally a far better solution.
Hexes can be persuaded to stick in parallel slots and even in slight flares where there's enough surface texture. To do this you arrange them so the cord rotates (or attempts to rotate) them when loaded camming them in place. An inspection of your hexes shape should make it pretty obvious which orientations are correct. Spring loaded cams tend to be better and less prone to rattling out.
Experiment to see what you can make stick but do so safely either at ground level, with back-up gear in place or on a top-rope.
In reply to shumidrives: It looks like there's a very faint chance it might work, but a correspondingly huge chance of failure - I would hate to be in a position where I'd even consider this.
Any movement of the rope, transmitted to the cam is likely to destabilise the stack - because the cam works the way it does, the stack can't be seated firmly by tugging, as you would with stacked hexes, and in the event of a fall, even if it held, there's a reasonable chance that cam bounce would collapse the stack. As an alternative to certain death, it might be better than nothing, but it looks like a suicide attempt to me......
That's just my best guess - I have to confess I've never seen or heard of that combination before - where does the pic come from?
I love my dmm torque nuts. They have so many different uses that cams or nuts just can't compete with. I found for a lot of routes up to vs I used all the time! But as I've started going up th grades they seem to be used less and less. But I still always like to carry them!
I think its really depends on where and what you want to climb. As a starting rack I think you'll be fine with Black Diamonds C4 -(.5/1/2) but if you want another brand look at the range sizes as the sizes are all different for all brands
I've got a set of 6 DMM 4CU's - Don't know why they get rubbished here so often, as they're a good set of cams, at an excellent price, especially on a budget. Needlesports have (had?) a good deal on them if you bought three.
In reply to owena: If you are dead set on owning a single cam, then you're probably not going to get a better deal than £40 for a new Dragon - that's a pretty tempting deal.
However, your rack would definitely benefit if you can possibly stretch to a couple more cams - spring is still a couple of months off yet, so if you're not going to be climbing much over the winter, then saving a few pennies to get enough in the kitty for a set of 3 cheaper cams makes some sense, such as 4CUs for <£90 (but new gear is shiny and obviously tempting asap!) £90>