/ Do I need cams for derbyshire Grit

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sbattams - on 25 Mar 2014
Ive been doing loads of sport climbing over the last year and small amount of trad but not yet on Derbyshire's famous Grit. When walking along the likes of burbage etc everyone is racked to the max with cams.

Is that because they are essential or just much easier to place than nuts?

Do I need to go shopping or can I get away with a load of nuts, hex's etc
MischaHY - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

You'll be just fine without. That said, if you've got the budget for a set then they're certainly very useful. Depends at what level you intend on climbing really, sometimes a cam is the only gear on offer.
Coel Hellier - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Everything is graded for the use of cams. Without them climbs could be neckier. The short answer to your question is "yes" (though of course people climbed on grit before cams were invented).
pebbles - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

a lot of grit routes used to be quite bold but are now well protected by cams in horizontal breaks, and the current grades take account of this. without cams quite a few of these (such as Hargreaves Original) would be lot bolder.
sbattams - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I had better get saving then, newbie question then what sizes would be recommended?
Coel Hellier - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

> what sizes would be recommended?

In WC Friend sizes: A 1, a 2 and a 3 would be a good start. Then fill in the gaps (1.5, 2.5), then extend downwards (0.5 and 0) and upwards (a 4, then a 3.5). At that point you're sorted!
The Pylon King on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Cams were made for grit but they are still over used.
Nath - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

I must admit it is pretty rare I don't place a cam on any route, you do get use to the ease of placement. I find them very useful for Grit especially for horizontal cracks.

Get Savings...;-)

I use Dragons, mainly 2,3 & 4.

Nath
Webster - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

No need for cams, they are a luxury, not a necesity. and if you are sensible with your route choice (ie, vertical crack as opposed to horrizontal) then they can be completely unnecesary. I climbed 3 pebble slab as my first HVS with only 10 walnuts (not even hexes) granted it was practically a solo but just goes to show what can be done with a positive approach.
ianstevens - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Webster:

Why take ten when you only need one? Anyway, we digress...

You don't NEED cams to climb on the grit, but they certainly make it far more pleasant...
Offwidth - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Placing nuts and hexs well on grit leads will always be useful. Cams can become a crutch. I'd ban them if I could on some midgrade crag classics: those at Birchen in particular are getting trashed by lazy useage.
Ramblin dave - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to MischaHY:

> You'll be just fine without. That said, if you've got the budget for a set then they're certainly very useful. Depends at what level you intend on climbing really

I'd say it depends more how much you want to be able to trust the grades in your guidebook, whatever level you're climbing at...
Al Evans on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

People were climbing and leading on grit without cams for about a hundred years, even in my climbing career we only got them in the 70's, by which time climbs still graded E5 were being established. Believe it or not you caN STILL LEAD QUITE HARD ROUTES ON GRIT WITHOUT EVEN WIRED NUTS.
Sorry about the capitals, can't be bothered retyping.
Al
Blue Straggler - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Get tri-cams on wire, I got 6 for about 45 Euro
Al Evans on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to pebbles:

> a lot of grit routes used to be quite bold but are now well protected by cams in horizontal breaks, and the current grades take account of this. without cams quite a few of these (such as Hargreaves Original) would be lot bolder.

Except it was only graded Severe when I first did it in the 60's
patrick_b - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to sbattams)
>
> Placing nuts and hexs well on grit leads will always be useful. Cams can become a crutch. I'd ban them if I could on some midgrade crag classics: those at Birchen in particular are getting trashed by lazy useage.

+1

Wielding a cam anywhere near Topsail should be punishable by death.
Jon Stewart - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Webster:
> (In reply to sbattams)
>
> I climbed 3 pebble slab as my first HVS with only 10 walnuts (not even hexes) granted it was practically a solo but just goes to show what can be done with a positive approach.

I don't see it shows much except that some routes only have a single bit of useful gear which happens to be a wire.

In general on grit not having any cams either restricts your choice of routes or makes routes significantly bolder and harder.
dr_botnik - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

TBH cams are pretty essential. There are very few routes you could protect as safely without cams as opposed to without nuts; basically a cam can do what a nut does and more.

That said, you could still have a good day out with just some nuts and slings, but go carefully, asses the routes before you set off, drop a grade or two.

A standard size 1,2,3 will get you on so many more routes than just nuts. Unless you're Al Evans and can solo the f*cking Eiger!!!
climbwhenready - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to dr_botnik:

> basically a cam can do what a nut does and more.

I wonder why I carry nuts.
Choss on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Not Having cams shouldnt hold you Back in my Opinion. Never restricted where we ever went. Theyre a Nice extra, but not Essential.

Bought my first one last year.
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jkarran - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Some routes you will be able to adequately/properly protect with nuts/hexes, others which could be safe with cams you wont get your nuts/hexes to stick in. Generally you'll find most routes are somewhere in between and the fiddly cammed hexes you're placing will be more draining and less secure than a spring loaded cam. Grit routes are short, you're often reliant on one or two bits of gear so generally every placement or missed placement has a pretty big impact on how safe a route is and feels. Guidebook grades assume you'll have some cams so you could find they feel pretty erratic without them.

You can climb grit without cams (or ropes for that matter) but I find it more enjoyable with.

jk
Offwidth - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:
I never got why more people don't use these. Super cheap, fits more awkward placements and can be used as a nut as well. My biggest is the old yellow which fits narrow offwidths/grapefruit sized pockets.
Post edited at 14:22
needvert on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Offwidth:
How do you mean trashed?

(I suspect I trash more rock with nuts than cams).


Back to the topic at hand...Obviously you can get away with anything (including nothing) if you don't fall.

Its a risk vs cost thing. They can reduce risk...But they will cost you.

Each person puts their own price on the inconvenience (having to pick climbs that don't need some piece of gear) or risk (doing a climb without an important piece of gear)

Me, I'd say go out tomorrow and buy a set of totems.
Post edited at 14:24
Oliver Smaje on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to climbwhenready:

A solid nut feels a ton safer, is cheaper, wont walk etc.
patrick_b - on 25 Mar 2014
Bulls Crack - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Webster:

> No need for cams, they are a luxury,

First I've heard of it!

Blue Straggler - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

The ones on wire are not UIAA rated so are a little esoteric. The C.A.M.P. ones suffer from the British male climbers' infantile reluctance to buy C.A.M.P. in case it emasculates them. i kid you not.
Also a reputation for being fiddly and getting stuck.

Offwidth - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

It's not like cams never walk and get stuck. A strength of tricams is you know they are good where a standard cam might walk to a bad position. A weakness is you normally need to bed them and extend them or they might flick out.

Never come across that CAMP resistant thing, maybe I'm too PC.

My Aliens were never UIAA rated either and Ive fallen on them a few times now; for that matter rock isnt UIAA rated either.
In reply to sbattams:

Last year I spent a day (well a short session) leading just using wires and some Hexes I borrowed - I haven't carried any in earnest for 15+ years.

It proved to be nightmare and I don't just mean the horrendous continuous tingling and clanking - just get a set of cams!


Chris
Al Evans on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to dr_botnik:

Unless you're Al Evans and can solo the f*cking Eiger!!!

I have never soloed the Eiger, but I have done a fair number of grit routes in good style without cams :-)
Offwidth - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I suspect you are talking nonsense for effect (much more inconvenience territory than that of a nightmare) as it seems very unlikely a man of your experience could have descended to such a state of incompetance. Sometimes nuts and hexes just work best (esp trad peak limestone VS/ HVS) and if climbers get too out of practice with them it will limit them.
Clarence - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

I got away with using just the one cam for backup/emergencies for years, a medium sized WC Friend. It was good to have because I am not a particularly bold climber and just being able to shoot something solid in kept me going when I would otherwise have had trouble. No need for a full range just to get you out climbing something, one or two will get you a long way, especially on the older routes.
Blue Straggler - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Offwidth:


> My Aliens were never UIAA rated either

I imagine they weren't bought in a convenient online discount deal on a 3-pack from JB or V12 with free delivery either? :-)

Have you ever seen tri-cams on wire for sale in a mainstream UK climbing shop? (my biggest could eat the yellow CAMP one for elevenses btw :-O )
In reply to Offwidth:

> I suspect you are talking nonsense for effect (much more inconvenience territory than that of a nightmare) as it seems very unlikely a man of your experience could have descended to such a state of incompetance. Sometimes nuts and hexes just work best (esp trad peak limestone VS/ HVS) and if climbers get too out of practice with them it will limit them.

I suspect you think you know more than you actually do,


Chris
ianlaw - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to patrick_b:

WHY?!?! Do people not see the massive thread!!!
JJL - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

No - obviously these routes do get led without.

But you'd be bonkers not to and the guides assume you have them.
maisie on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Get tri-cams on wire, I got 6 for about 45 Euro

Or some old Clog Cogs. I got mine for 50p each out of a bucket in Outside. Fabulous things.
strudles - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Some routes such as high neb buttress:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=9995

can only really be protected by cams.. I know because i set up it once without my cams racked up :-)
John Lewis - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Once upon a time they didnt use cams, so I may carry them but try to use passive devices first. They were the last part of my rack to aquire, and where possible the last piece I place. Nuts and Hexes are fine certainly up to HVS on grit.
Rick Graham on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

At the risk of getting involved in a personal spat, I would state I am with offwidth on this one.

Cams, nuts, wires and slings all have their pros and cons.

Only a f**l would not carry a selection on most routes.
I do, however, enjoy leading just a "passive" rack if confident it is not going to be too adventurous or scary :-)
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wilkie14c - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Do I need cams for derbyshire Grit?

Its not essential as Derbyshire grit is much easier than Lancashire and Yorkshire grit.
Coel Hellier - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

> When walking along the likes of burbage etc everyone is racked to the max with cams.

Q: Why does nearly everyone leading on grit have some cams?

A: Because it's the sensible thing to do.

The end.

Fredt on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

No.
ChrisJD on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Well of course you don't 'need' them (e.g. solo everything if you want to go down the reductionist path).

But trust me, do a few grit routes and you'll soon want them...

Having cams on the your rack (and using them) just makes the whole grit experience so much more enjoyable.
TRip - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

They aren't essential but they make a lot of climbs on a grit easier to protect.

That said it is well worth having a good selection of wires, hexes and tri cams. I take all sorts of stuff to the crag and choose what I need for each route.

I would start with a 1-8 of wires. Red and gold Rockcentrics or Torque Nuts and Green, Red and Gold Camalots or Dragons.
TRip - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Cams, nuts, wires and slings all have their pros and cons.

Agreed. I shunned hexes for years, but have recently started carrying them again. Although they are much lighter than a double set of cams they are totally bomber when the go in.

Tri cams are ace too. There are two totally bomber placements on Suspense where noting else would fit.

> I do, however, enjoy leading just a "passive" rack if confident it is not going to be too adventurous or scary :-)

I like the idea of that, but it read depends on the rock type, whether I'm onsighting and how strenuous it is. The idea of doing Suicide Wall at Cratcliff with just a set of wires and hexes terrifies me, but I'm sure I'd be fine on something like Cloggy Corner or Scratch Arete.

I'm sure Pete will have his hexes in Pembroke this weekend, as will I!


Offwidth - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Ill bite.

Are you telling us arguably the biggest guidebook machine in the UK is really serious about having a nightmare without cams or are you in fact exaggerating/using a figure of speech The former seemed unlilely to me. As for what I know, it is only what you have said until you explain more.

To be perfectly clear I'm not pushing some extreme sentimental approach as cams are very useful for grit but it is useful to carry and learn to place nuts properly and the odd hex is sometimes very handy and stops the need to double up on mid sized cams.

I do see far too much terrible cam use; especially hanging off placements after slumps or falls (then moving about which grinds soft rock) which is trashing some routes as per the linked Topsail photo I took above.
Post edited at 19:16
rurp - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

Generally you can tell what is needed from the bottom! Or get your mate to chuck something up. Got to admit I normally take about 6-12 cams! Plus or minus a few small wires, unless I can see wire placements from the bottom I often don't bother with wires at all.
Cams are so quick to place it will make it seem more like the sport routes you have been doing. Wires take such a long time to place and to remove for the poor second

Which climber needs an excuse to go shopping, for shiny gear!
Michael Hood - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to strudles: > Some routes such as high neb buttress:

> can only really be protected by cams.. I know because i set up it once without my cams racked up :-)

That's because the cams have ruined the horizontal break that used to be able to take carefully placed small wires.

Michael Hood - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams: In answer to the OP, you can lead on Derbyshire Grit without cams, but would you want to?

Cams erode the grit in placements more than nuts, and it would be nice to say that for this reason they should not be used, but if you asked me whether I would avoid using cams for a day on the grit climbing near my limit (very low at the moment) then I'd say NO - give me the cams.

Webster - on 25 Mar 2014
In reply to ianstevens:

I took my whole rack, which consisted of 5 quickdraws and (now that I think of it) 11 wall nuts! it was a true onsight, had no idea what gear I might find (plus need gear for a belay)
Webster - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> First I've heard of it!

Dont get me wrong, I have a full set now, acquired gradually over the last few years, though bought mainly because I like buying shiny new gear than through an actual need! iv done many a good route on grit up to hvs (and some will say TPS is E1) camless, even since owning cams. unless im feeling particularly lazy, or am extreamly pumped I will always look for a nut or hex placement before a cam as I trust them so much more and they do less damage to the rock.
Ciderslider - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to pebbles:

+1 there, and some !!! Still makes me shudder thinking about it - I had the cams but not the experience to place them in horizontal breaks - spicy times 8-0
Ciderslider - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Oliver Smaje:

> A solid nut feels a ton safer, is cheaper, wont walk etc.

Yeh, agreed, an absolute bomber nut is king... but a well placed cam is almost as good and on grit you can place a cam really quickly, which sometimes (when you're pumped out of your mind) is a real bonus.
There is always the problem of getting walked in cams out, but then hey nothings perfect.
Grit and cams are evidence that god does really exist - a bit like climbing and the pub, curry and beer :-)
In reply to sbattams:

Cams are much more useful on grit than on limestone I think.

Not having any will either restrict your choice of route, or make the route more dangerous than it needs to be.

They are a very useful part of your armoury of gear, along with slings, threads, hexes, tricams and nuts. Part of the skill of climbing is choosing the right gear to take on a route and the right gear to use in a particular situation.

Oh, and if you are going to buy just one, I'd go for a 2.5 (DMM / Friend sizing).
Ciderslider - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> The ones on wire are not UIAA rated so are a little esoteric. The C.A.M.P. ones suffer from the British male climbers' infantile reluctance to buy C.A.M.P. in case it emasculates them. i kid you not.

> Also a reputation for being fiddly and getting stuck.

Really ! I'm ok then, as I've even got a little pink one - camp it up baby !

All joking aside tricams are a really good piece of kit
Ciderslider - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> Cams are much more useful on grit than on limestone I think.

They just don't feel as bomber on limestone - especially sea cliffs for some reason.

jon_gill1 - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

I took my first ever trad fall onto a cam,saved my skin.take from that what you will......but it will be worth every penny!
Bulls Crack - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Webster:

I bought my first one 30 years ago and , whilst expensive, they've alays been an essential part of my kit...and I don't tend to climb on grit that much!
Offwidth - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:

Limestone cracks tend to be less uniform (so its best to use a nut or a hex in a constriction rather than have potentially uneven cam lobe positions) and when they are more uniform and polished, cams can sometimes skid.
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Offwidth - on 26 Mar 2014
In reply to Michael Hood:

I'm with you on that but I wish people would stop yanking repeatedly to test an obviously good cam placement and if they fall or rest onto cams on an already damaged classic not to move around too much and grind the rock out further (Orpheus Wall, Topsail etc).
DubyaJamesDubya - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to Webster:
> (In reply to sbattams)
>
> No need for cams, they are a luxury, not a necesity. and if you are sensible with your route choice (ie, vertical crack as opposed to horrizontal) then they can be completely unnecesary. I climbed 3 pebble slab as my first HVS with only 10 walnuts (not even hexes) granted it was practically a solo but just goes to show what can be done with a positive approach.

Since the only worthwhile gear on TPS is a nut in the pocket: Your point is?
DubyaJamesDubya - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> The ones on wire are not UIAA rated so are a little esoteric. The C.A.M.P. ones suffer from the British male climbers' infantile reluctance to buy C.A.M.P. in case it emasculates them. i kid you not.

I always resisted buying CAMP stuff because it looked inferior to the other manufacturers equivalent (Black diamond hexes being the classic example)

Offwidth - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

There is a cam placement above the nut in the same pocket. Most climbers I've seen climb it used both.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to DubyaJamesDubya)
>
> There is a cam placement above the nut in the same pocket. Most climbers I've seen climb it used both.

I seem to recall being able to jerk the cam out with a sharp tug whereas the wire was very good. I think my point, in the original post, was valid (that a cam is not needed for that route, although the OP may have thought it was and, not having any, wouldn't have been able to tell) I think I left the cam in myself to save weight.
pebbles - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:
> I seem to recall being able to jerk the cam out with a sharp tug whereas the wire was very good. I think my point, in the original post, was valid (that a cam is not needed for that route, although the OP may have thought it was and, not having any, wouldn't have been able to tell) I think I left the cam in myself to save weight.

depends what size cam you use and how carefully you place it. the right size cam in precisely the right place is bombproof, I'v flight tested it :-)
Post edited at 14:23
DubyaJamesDubya - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to pebbles:

I count myself fortunate not to have been granted that opportunity!
It may even be the cam I had was ok I just didn't trust it nor did my mate when he led it. I guess I would have tried harder to get a better cam in if the nut hadn't been so good.
galpinos - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

I'm sure I used a wobbly cam (could only afford 1 or 2 at the time) to stop the nut falling out sideways but it was a while ago.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to galpinos:

That would have been my take on it.
Offwidth - on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

The right sized cam is fine.
pasbury on 27 Mar 2014
In reply to sbattams:

I remember doing Hargreaves before I could afford cams using hexes cammed into the breaks - didn't test them but they seemed pretty bomber to me. Theres a certain satisfaction in getting them in too.

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