/ Best big walling off set cams to buy

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jon_gill1 - on 11 Aug 2014
Hi everyone, as few of you know from previous forums i'm heading out to Yosemite in September with the aim of getting to the top of El Cap! we are probably looking at going up 'lurking fear'. I am in a bit of a quandary as to which off set cams to buy? the BD X4s look pretty good and my experience of the standard C3's and C4's has been great.

Has anyone on here used the X4 off sets or The Totem's or both and if so which would you recommend? Or can we get away with standard cams? I would greatly appreciate your advice on this. many thanks in advance.

Jon
Michael Gordon - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Think Andy Kirkpatrick's article may deal with this?
duncan - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

I wouldn't bother with offsets now, I found they were unnecessary if you have Totems.
http://www.coldmountainkit.com/knowledge/reviews/330-totem-cam-review

jon_gill1 - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Thanks Michael but the recent article is talking about 'the Nose' and the ideal rack for that route I think. If not though its great to get a range of opinions anyway so I can decide from that.

cheers
jon_gill1 - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to duncan:

Cheers for the link Duncan, I don't have Totems either. I already have about 14 camalots, C3's and C4's.
steveej - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

I use Metolius offsets and never had a problem. We have two and a half sets.

Never used totems. They seem quite a bit more expensive.
jon_gill1 - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to steveej:

Hi Steve, did you mix them in with standard cams as well or just the off sets?
mkean - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to steveej:

The Totem cams are great for fitting into awkward placements so I'd have thought they would make a very useful addition to an aid rack. I'm not really into aid climbing but have bounce tested single lobed totem cam placements and they seem pretty secure, definitely good enough for progression if not what you'd call a solid runner! You can get them into some fantastically shallow placements and they feel pretty solid, definitely worth having a play with some.
steveej - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

When I did the nose we just took a triple set of normal cams including half sizes upto number 4.

On zodiac we took the same plus a camelot 4 and 5 and a single set of offsets (but we wanted more offsets when on the route).

Mescalito we had everything we had on zodiac but had two and a half sets of offsets. Plus pins and heads etc.

Bascially it is much easier to do routes clean if you have enough offset gear. This includes offset micros and alloy nuts.

If you havent got offsets you will likely have to hammer more.

Obviously depends on the route.
jon_gill1 - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to steveej:

Thats great help cheers Steve, we definitely want to leave the hammer at the bottom of the haul bag!
jon_gill1 - on 11 Aug 2014
In reply to mkean:

Thats great,thanks for your advice!
Simonj - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Hi John,

Check out this site for gear reviews (USA - Cris Macnamara)

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing-Cams-Reviews
rgold - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to Simonj:
> (In reply to jon_gill1)
>
> Check out this site for gear reviews (USA - Cris Macnamara)
>
> http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing-Cams-Reviews

I think Outdoor Gear Lab generally does a useful job, but this particular cam review is egregiously inconsistent, based on their own standards for evaluation.

Have a look at their separate five-star review of Totem Cams and, at the end, among others, my point-by-point comments illustrating the inconsistency in their rating choices. http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing-Cams-Reviews/Totem-Cam .
David Coley - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Normal cams will be fine on lurking fear, SFWC, prow and leaning tower. If you have plans for other routes then offsets/totems will help.
Mattdevaal - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

We did the Fear last year. We had Totem offsets and standard x4 camalots. You'll find it a breeze with these.
mkean - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to rgold:

Really nicely summed up, that review did seem a little wonky.
IainWhitehouse - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:
I did Lurking Fear 8 years ago or so with just a standardish double mixed rack of cams including Aliens up to Red or Grey (about WC/DMM size 1)

If you have none of the Totem/Totem Basic/Mastercam/X4 breed of cams then I would recommend a few for Yosemite, especially in smaller sizes but I don't think offsets will be necessary at all.
Post edited at 14:04
jon_gill1 - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

Thanks very much for the advice everyone, its been very useful! now I just need to start getting kit together and getting psyched!

how long did it take you to do Luking Fear Iain and Matt? We plan to do as a three, so far we have one Portaledge but don't really want to buy a second one as the third probably isn't that keen on doing any more big walls. was it your first big wall or had you done them before?

Cheers
David Coley - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Lurking fear: It took so long it was an embarrassment. Particularly when two climbers in t-shirts and nothing else and doing it it in a day overtook us at a point where we had started to grow beards.

On the other hand, three teams bailed on the route while we were climbing.

THE key thing to learn in a team of three is to short fix.
Mattdevaal - on 12 Aug 2014
In reply Jon_gill1

Did it as a three, my third and my partners 1st.

2 nights. Plan was to use the ledge and one bivi above and to oneside of pitch 9. We all ended up sitting on the ledge on p9 pillar of despair due to slow partners ;)! It was fine though (amazing how you can sleep when you're knackered.
2nd bivi on p14. From there top out,walk down, pizzas and beer!
Have fun.

Ps The top slabs are the crux. Pulling the pig/ledge over endless slabs!!
Go as light you can. (One ledge and one bag) We met a Korean team of two that did it in 6 days!!!!! Bless them.

ads.ukclimbing.com
IainWhitehouse - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

We took three nights but did start at about 4pm on the first day after a missjudgement that meant we arrived at the base with no water. (There had been a natural spring nearby when my partner hiked to the base the Autumn before).

It was my first (only) El Cap route but I'd done The Prow on WC and my partner had a respectable ticklist from Squamish. We'd also just done the first 6 or 7 pitches of NA Wall before I got spooked so had got our eye in on aid as it were. LF felt very friendly after NA Wall!

From my memory most of the earlier bivis wouldn't be all that much fun without a protaledge. There's a pinnacle at the top of pitch 9(?) but from my recollection of uing the "poop tube" there it wasn't all that great to sleep on (we slept on the ledge at top of 8 and just fixed to 9 for the morning).
The ledge at pitch 14ish (it, or the next pitch had a name like Marty's mantel or something) was huge and we didn't use the ledge.
Thanksgiving ledge is also monster and you wouldn't need a ledge if you had to sleep there.

Hope that helps.
natetan - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Doesn't hurt to have a bit of a mix. A different brand might work where another doesn't.
David Coley - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Mattdevaal:


> Have fun.

> Ps The top slabs are the crux. Pulling the pig/ledge over endless slabs!!

We had the leader haul and the second jug next to the bag with a hand on the bag much of the time.


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