/ NEW REVIEW: A close encounter of the cam kind: Aliens

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Michael Ryan 29 Jul 2007
Chris Stirling writes:

My first encounter with Aliens (not the ones of an extraterrestrial kind, that’s a different story) came about as I was flicking through an old copy of OTE that I had been given by a friend.

During the hard grit head-pointing boom, death-defying routes were being put up left, right and centre protected by a variety of strange pieces of gear. Hand placed pegs, filed down R.P’s, bent dessert spoons held in place with gaffer tape and a mysterious device called an Alien.

Read the full review: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/
Tom Ripley 29 Jul 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

What colour aliens match friend size 00, 0, 0.5 and 1?

good review by the way.
TobyA 29 Jul 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Am I missing something as I couldn't see it on the gear page? Where is the review? Did its stem break and it got recalled by its manufacturer?
Tom Ripley 29 Jul 2007
7lbs overweight 29 Jul 2007
In reply to TobyA:

> Am I missing something ...?

Not much. It's a typically supine UKC review.

No mention of CCH's quality control problems. No mention that they are asking nearly twice the price they go for the USA.
tobyfk 30 Jul 2007
In reply to 7lbs overweight:

> No mention of CCH's quality control problems.

Indeed. Bizarre. Mick: surely this item should be pulled until the Alien breakage/ recall controversy issue is resolved properly?
Michael Ryan 30 Jul 2007
In reply to tobyfk:

This isn't a print magazine. The associated thread of a review is part of the review.

Also read: "Aliens, worth the £? What else could I consider?"

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=184629

In fact:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/search.php?forum=0&dates=1&name=&topic=aliens&...
MeMeMe 30 Jul 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Has anyone heard anything more about the failures discussed in http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=243023 ?

TobyA 30 Jul 2007
In reply to 7lbs overweight: Just a general note to people at first I couldn't find the review because when I clicked on the "gear" tab nothing was there. Somehow rather oddly my computer seemed to have picked just the "publications" options in the drop down menu!? So I was only seeing the book reviews... it doesn't seem to want to accept all the reviews which is presumably the default setting.

On the problems with Aliens specifically perhaps we shouldn't criticise Chris too much. Not everyone spends all day avoiding their work by surfing climbing websites like, umm... me. And this is a) a reasonably recent issue, and b) one that the manufacturer hasn't rushed to the public to confirm or deny. So perhaps Chris has just been out climbing with his cams, not reading about them on the net. One of my regular partners was exactly the same when I told him about the furor over Aliens a few weeks ago and said I was reticent about using his to lead on. Aliens have developed such a cult following over the years that he seemed to find it hard to take me seriously in telling him that his new favourite toys MIGHT potentially just fall apart. Perhaps Mick or Chris could just add something to the review - linking one of the alien breakage discussion threads to the review?
Michael Ryan 30 Jul 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Will do Toby. There is also a recall notice on the link in the article to the CCH website.
7lbs overweight 30 Jul 2007
In reply to TobyA:

You are being generous. I'd have thought a reviewer might have included a little background. A seach for "CCH alien" brings up the infamous rockclimbing.com thread on the first page, so not hard to find.


> This isn't a print magazine. The associated thread of a review is part of the review.

Mick implies an interesting point: it's fine to write the kind of anodyne review that the magazines love and UKC are starting to provide, because us punters will keep them honest. Why not be honest in the first place?


I think Aliens are a great design. But I bought mine before their heads started falling off and at US prices.
Michael Ryan 30 Jul 2007
In reply to 7lbs overweight:

The recall notice is at http://www.aliencamsbycch.com/ which is included in the review.

I've also added the a link to all Alien discussions at UKC.

There is no way on earth that a review of Aliens at UKClimbing.com and its associated thread would ignore the recall or the pricing.

So please add to this review with any comments about the use of Aliens and their problems and we will have useful bank of information with which people can make their own, informed decision.

Mick
TobyA 30 Jul 2007
In reply to 7lbs overweight:

> You are being generous. I'd have thought a reviewer might have included a little background. A seach for "CCH alien" brings up the infamous rockclimbing.com thread on the first page, so not hard to find.

I take your point but as part of the "UKC testing team" I can see the other side of the argument as well. I think the main idea is to have active climbers really using stuff and then saying what they think about it. I'm writing a review of a crag-pack rucsac thingy at the moment I bought, and actually finding an hour to sit down and write the thing, take some photos of it "in use", edit the photos etc. is already a little job in itself (I'm not saying I don't enjoy it because otherwise I wouldn't be using my free time to do it for nothing), and I hadn't actually thought of googling the product to see if anyone else had had one and broken it! I will now though. But the reviews are our experience of having tried the product, not a literature review.

I'm sure if Chris had fallen off and the alien had snapped he would definitely have mentioned that!!!
Apex Distribution30 Jul 2007
In reply to All:

As always people, if you have any questions - Please feel free to conact us at Apex (the UK distributor) if you have any thing you want an answer to.

http://www.apexdistribution.co.uk/contactus.php

Jim Keeley
simonty1 30 Jul 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Just bought a alien Orange on saturday placed it unloaded at a belay perfect within the cam range and a lovely even crack and one of the wires came apart at the join where the crimp is when i came to remove it.Very disapointing.
They do look very homemade not state of the art for the price you pay.
Apex Distribution30 Jul 2007
In reply to simonty1:

Your right - that is very dissapointing.

Please take it to your retailer and we'll get it replaced.

Jim
tobyfk 31 Jul 2007
In reply to TobyA:
> On the problems with Aliens specifically perhaps we shouldn't criticise Chris too much. Not everyone spends all day avoiding their work by surfing climbing websites like, umm... me. And this is a) a reasonably recent issue, and b) one that the manufacturer hasn't rushed to the public to confirm or deny. So perhaps Chris has just been out climbing with his cams, not reading about them on the net.

According to the blurb below the review, the author manages a climbing shop! Thus ignorance of the breakage problems seems odd, no? Generally I am a bit bemused by the purpose of the review. The product has been around for years and is widely regarded as the dog's bollocks; the only interesting issue is whether we can still trust them.
TobyA 31 Jul 2007
In reply to tobyfk:

> According to the blurb below the review, the author manages a climbing shop! Thus ignorance of the breakage problems seems odd, no?

OK - fair enough. I don't know Chris from Adam so I guess he'll have to answer that one himself.

> Generally I am a bit bemused by the purpose of the review. The product has been around for years and is widely regarded as the dog's bollocks; the only interesting issue is whether we can still trust them.

They have never widely been available in the UK (until now?). When I worked in climbing shops in the 90s I don't think they were even legal to sell in the EU due to not having been CE tested or something. You travel a lot to climb, particularly in N. America where they have been common, so I know that you will have seen and used them but I suppose lots of UK (European as well?) climbers might have heard of them and the rumours from across the Atlantic of how good they are but not tried them? But I do agree - in the light of the discussion over recent months of their safety, its a shame the reviewer didn't know about that before singing their praises.


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