UKC

Wild Country Cam Reslinging

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 PaulJepson 19 Jun 2022

Wild Country have finally announced their cam reslinging service is operational!

Doesn't cover the UK yet but hopefully it will going forward. 

Pretty miffed on what they're charging for the service though, and I'm hoping this is brought more in line with other manufacturers. 

Totem charge €8 for one of their fancy cams to be reslung (loads of sewing) and €5 for a dyneema loop on a Basic. Black Diamond will resling for free if you're based in Europe and charge their US customers $8. Wild Country are charging €16 to sew a loop on their cams. With a return postage charge of €14, plus the cost of posting them in the first place, you may as well buy a new cam!

Given it has taken them over 2 years from announcing this service to getting it up and running, I must say I'm disappointed. 

4
In reply to PaulJepson:

Hi Paul,

Apologies you're disappointed with the news. 

I'm currently looking at a UK based service and have the Italians over later in the year to talk to potential operators which will make the service much cheaper and quicker (fingers crossed)

I can only apologies it has taken 2 years to get to this point. I will try and push that things speed up a smidge. The only snag right now is shipping goods out of the UK is a total nightmare and the last thing I want is customers Friends wandering off into the unknown.

Thank you for your continued patience and hopefully I can provide some more illumination soon.

2
 john arran 19 Jun 2022
In reply to McKEuan:

So it's yet another Brexit win. Yay!

4
 Graeme Hammond 19 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

Doesn't seem that unreasonable price if anything some of the others seem rather low. Given someone will need to inspect each unit prior to re-sling, and process the paper work etc and the cost of the sling itself compared to buying a dog bone or short sling  plus people don't work for free and other overheads.

For reference DMM charge the equivalent of €14 for re-sing/service and rewire & postage which is pretty reasonable too but doesn't involve postage from Europe.

edit: If you look at the totem cam cost it is also + €10 euros for postage (for up to 3 cams will be €20 if you have a 4) and + €8 per cam if you need the wires replacing plus you have to send it to them in the first place so not really your headline €8!

Post edited at 17:53
1
 gethin_allen 19 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

The thing that bugs me about cam re-slinging is that they can't just certify their work (the new sling meets the required standards) and be done with it. If I took my car to a garage for a tyre I wouldn't expect them to check the brakes and refuse to change the tyres if the pads look a bit thin.

I have a few cams that are getting on a bit but I'm pretty happy about. If I could get them re-slung for a sensible price I would because the slings are technically beyond their serviceable life, but nobody will do it so I'm just climbing on them as they are with some intention to replace them in the future if they start looking tatty. So the rules are essentially encouraging me to be less safe.

1
OP PaulJepson 20 Jun 2022
In reply to gethin_allen:

I've sent cams off to BD a couple of times and DMM and have been really impressed with the service of both. DMM give them a full service, replace the trigger wires, etc. for that price. With BD it costs £20-£30 to get a whole set of cams reslung. I wouldn't hesitate to use the service again, and I loved when they came back all new. 

There's something about WC, man. It's like they're so begrudging of the fact that people want to maintain rather than buy new. It winds me up because I like their gear a lot; I have a couple of tech friends I want to keep using but can't justify doing so. When I come to replace my micro cams, I really wish it could be with the WC zeros because they're the best I've used but it's just not going to be. 

2
 jimtitt 20 Jun 2022
In reply to gethin_allen:

> The thing that bugs me about cam re-slinging is that they can't just certify their work (the new sling meets the required standards) and be done with it. If I took my car to a garage for a tyre I wouldn't expect them to check the brakes and refuse to change the tyres if the pads look a bit thin.

> I have a few cams that are getting on a bit but I'm pretty happy about. If I could get them re-slung for a sensible price I would because the slings are technically beyond their serviceable life, but nobody will do it so I'm just climbing on them as they are with some intention to replace them in the future if they start looking tatty. So the rules are essentially encouraging me to be less safe.

Doesn't your car have an MOT certificate?

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 gethin_allen 20 Jun 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Doesn't your car have an MOT certificate?

How have you drawn this equivalence?

It makes no sense at all.

To go with it though. Would you expect your tyre garage to refuse to fit new tyres if your MOT has lapsed? No, obviously you wouldn't. And the same with any other part of the vehicle. If they even bothered to check, of which they have no obligation to do so, they'd just issue a warning.

1
 jimtitt 20 Jun 2022
In reply to gethin_allen:

> How have you drawn this equivalence?

> It makes no sense at all.

The powers that be consider the usual car owner isn't able to determine the vehicles roadworthiness so require a periodic assesment by a qualified body, why should PPE be different?

4
In reply to gethin_allen:

> So the rules are essentially encouraging me to be less safe.

There's no rule that says you can't replace the tatty slings with a shiny new bit of cord if it would be safer.

 john arran 20 Jun 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> The powers that be consider the usual car owner isn't able to determine the vehicles roadworthiness so require a periodic assesment by a qualified body, why should PPE be different?

Because the likelihood of mowing down a pavement full of innocent pedestrians if your cam fails is minimal?

In reply to McKEuan:

Have you had fun persuading them so far? I remember when they stopped it in the first place...

 gethin_allen 20 Jun 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I don't like the bulk of tied off tat, and smaller tat is relatively weak compared to dyneema.

I was considering getting some short slings and doubling them over and threading them through some tubular tape to keep them tidy. 

1
In reply to beardy mike:

I always have persuading them 😝

In reply to McKEuan:

I would imagine it's been hours and hours of fun... I remember James trying to persuade them not to sell the sewing machines...

 apache 21 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

As I don't live in the UK and can't (economically) send my cams back for reslinging, I resorted to replacing all the tapes on my cams recently using 10 or 11mm 30cm slings doubled through the holes at the end of the stems and then threaded 8cm lengths of 32mm tubular tape over the doubled sling (see how to do this elsewhere on UKC), to keep the doubled slings together. Just have to be careful when clipping the crab through the doubled sling ends to ensure you clip both, and tell your partner about the system else they might only clip one  end of the sling.

WIld Country have refused to resling my cams before citing their age, so an alternative method was needed.

1
 deepsoup 21 Jun 2022
In reply to gethin_allen:

> How have you drawn this equivalence?
> It makes no sense at all.

Jim's MoT analogy is nonsense, but he's quite correct that the PPE regulations prevent someone in the EU from sewing a new sling onto your cam and accepting liability for the quality of only that sling when they send it back to you.

It's different in the USA: https://www.mtntools.com/cat/rclimb/cams/mt_camresling.htm

Maybe you should write to Rees-Mogg to point out that a rare Brexit benefit might be available here by modifying the UK's PPE regulations so that they're not quite the same as the EU, then maybe it'd be worth someone stepping in to offer a similar service to Mountain Tools.  (Well, not much of a benefit given that it's Brexit that makes Oberalp's service all but unusable from the UK now that they've finally managed to sort it out.)

1
 deepsoup 21 Jun 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> Doesn't seem that unreasonable price if anything some of the others seem rather low.

The others are doing the work 'in house' and offering a service to their customers that also enhances the value of their brand, so maybe they're happy to do it at cost.  It's probably quite a bit more expensive to subcontract the job out to somebody else who needs to make at least a little bit of profit on it.

Post edited at 10:11
 Graeme Hammond 21 Jun 2022
In reply to gethin_allen:

> I don't like the bulk of tied off tat, and smaller tat is relatively weak compared to dyneema.

if you want cord approaching the strength of the original sling buy 6mm Aramid static cord typically it has a 17kN breaking strength (compared with just 7.5kN for standard 6mm nylon cord), doesn't help with the extra bulk

 jimtitt 21 Jun 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

Really? It's only the end-user (as a recreational rock climber) that is exempted under the directive from the inspection requirements which are yearly by a competent, trained and authorised. Same as the MoT. Send whatever back to the manufacturer and they are then responsible all the way down the line again. I refurbish some PPE and have to completely certify the product as if I originally manufactured it.

 deepsoup 21 Jun 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Really?

Really.  You're quite correct about the PPE regulations, no argument there, but the analogy with a car MOT is garbage.

> I refurbish some PPE and have to completely certify the product as if I originally manufactured it.

Indeed.  But as Gethin points out you can fit new tyres or brake pads to a car as a mechanic and then return it to the customer even if you know full well it wouldn't pass an MOT on account of defective windscreen wipers or whatever.

Post edited at 11:17
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 jimtitt 21 Jun 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

Two different things, the MoT test is because society doesn't trust Joe Public to assess their vehicles safety adequately, nor do the PPE regulations. So the manufacturers are fully correct on deciding how old their equipment can be on refurbishment.

A car mechanic who spots a serious defect making a car unroadworthy is obliged to inform the customer, may require a signed waiver if they remove the car in that condition and should then inform the police. It comes under supplying a dangerous motor vehicle.

7
 deepsoup 21 Jun 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Two different things

Indeed.  A successful analogy rests on two things being kinda sorta the same.

 jimtitt 21 Jun 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

Indeed, it's Gethin that keeps on about tyre fitters and is lumping the two issues together for some reason. I explained at the outset the connection between having an MoT (independent safety checks) and the reluctance of cam manufacturers to re-sling cams which in their opinion may be unsafe. Without mentioning tyre fitters.

10
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Is that the doubled sling solution or can you buy that stuff on the reel? 

I guess I have Google too

 Graeme Hammond 21 Jun 2022
In reply to steveriley:

off the reel. 

 apache 22 Jun 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> off the reel. 

It’s pretty stiff, which is good but knots tend to slacken a bit and I do give my hand tied slings a quick tug to ensure the knot is tight even with the ends taped to the cord.

Wouldn’t like to use to replace the tapes on friends as the knot’s a bit bulky (IMO) and there’s always the slippage issue.

 Rick Graham 22 Jun 2022
In reply to apache:

Worth pointing out that a triple fishermans knot is recommended for dynema cord.

Bounce testing a hand tightened sling/ knot shows why, the slippage and further tightening of the knot is frightening. Easy to see how a single or even double fishermans could just pull through.

FWIW I tighten dynema  knots by using two opposing ascendeur/ ropeman / traxion clamps either side of the knot and bounce loading, probably about 2 Kn. Also pull on the free ends with molegrips. Never loosen and probably impossible to untie

 gravy 23 Jun 2022
In reply to McKEuan:

Does WC have any UK operations at all or is design and manufacture all in Bolzano now?

In reply to gravy:

It's all in Italy. Has been for a few years now.

Post edited at 11:31
In reply to gravy:

Just us as the UK Agent/Distributor.

All the R&D and offices are in Italy.

 deepsoup 23 Jun 2022
In reply to McKEuan:

> All the R&D and offices are in Italy.

And all of the sewing machines belong to somebody else - hence, I suspect, Oberalp's difficulty in getting the service that Wild Country used to do themselves up and running again.

Post edited at 13:35
In reply to deepsoup:

Indeed,

As I mentioned previously I am looking at a UK operator just need to get the green flag from Italy.

In reply to deepsoup:

All the cams etc are made out on the Far East, China I believe unless it has changed? The sewing is out there, owned by a third party manufacturer as is common for lots of gear these days. That is the general Oberalp policy, to have others make their kit for them, including most aspects of quality control. 

Post edited at 13:45
In reply to beardy mike:

Out in Taiwan yes. Same as BD.

Majority of Oberalp R&D and quality control is done in Montabelluna. 

In reply to McKEuan:

I would argue that you can't actually do quality control outside of the factory it's made in. It's a nice theory but it's just that. Unless you have full access to paper trails, material and process control, know exactly who is doing what and how, what you are actually doing is testing a few and then guessing that all the processes have been adhered to to reach that result. That's 3 sigma for you though...

 Andypeak 23 Jun 2022
In reply to McKEuan:

> Out in Taiwan yes. Same as BD.

I think BD make their hardware in the US now

1
In reply to Andypeak:

Yep - and they had a massive recall as soon as they did it because someone forgot to show their new workers how to sew a sling right... Only manufacturer who hasn't had a recall is Metolius as far as I know...

 jezb1 23 Jun 2022
In reply to Andypeak:

> I think BD make their hardware in the US now

Mostly in Asia now, just a few things including cams are assembled in the US.

https://www.outsidebusinessjournal.com/brands/snowsports/black-diamond-equipment-cuts-70-manufacturing-jobs/

 deepsoup 23 Jun 2022
In reply to beardy mike:

> All the cams etc are made out on the Far East, China I believe unless it has changed? The sewing is out there, owned by a third party manufacturer as is common for lots of gear these days.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if it's extremely common to at least outsource the high-volume stuff, even if the manufacturer makes some of their other products themselves.  (eg: Alpkit - lots of products manufactured in the Far East, low volume and relatively niche products manufactured in their own workshop, where they also have the facility to do repairs, deal with warranty returns, make prototypes as part of their ongoing R&D efforts, etc.)

I'm sure you'd know better than me as one who is(?) involved in the industry professionally, but I guess it's less common for a manufacturer to have no facility to do any testing or any actual physical work at all themselves.

I have no idea where the bulk of BD's manufacturing is done or has been done in the past, but I'm fairly sure there has never been a time when they were unable to sew a simple sling together themselves in their own workshop.  (Certainly there has never been a time when they'd expect you to chuck an otherwise perfectly good BD cam with a damaged sling in the bin and buy a new one.)

Still, I've banged that drum more than enough on previous threads.  (My tedious philosophical bias that a manufacturer isn't a manufacturer unless they're capable of actually making something, anything, with their own hands.)  It would seem churlish to do it again on this one without applauding the fact that Oberalp have successfully re-instated the re-slinging service for WC cams.  It's really very good news, and hardly their fault if Brexit makes that service difficult and expensive for customers in the UK to access.

2
In reply to deepsoup:

"My tedious philosophical bias that a manufacturer isn't a manufacturer unless they're capable of actually making something, anything, with their own hands."

Again, unless things have changed (Euan?) Oberalp pretty much fall into that category. Apart from maybe Dynafit? I can't remember how they deal with their manufacturing? As far as I know everything is outsourced, but that really is pretty normal as you say. A lot of quality control is left to the manufacturer of the kit with backup checks done at the manufacturer. I really couldn't tell you exactly what QC is done at Wild Country as I've not been involved for a long time... but there are plenty of ways a manufacturer can mess things up either intentionally or by mistake. If you talk to a real QC guy (which I'm not) you'll know that it's a very involved thing to genuinely oversee everything properly, especially when the thing you are making is made in a factory thousands of miles away. Personally I don't like it as a premise for business but that's my personal feeling.

Post edited at 18:54
2
 deepsoup 23 Jun 2022
In reply to beardy mike:

> As far as I know everything is outsourced, but that really is pretty normal as you say.

I know its unusual for a manufacturer not to outsource a chunk of the actual manufacturing, or most or nearly all of it.  But I think it is quite unusual for a manufacturer to outsource absolutely everything isn't it - to the extent that a manufacturer of textile goods doesn't own so much as a single sewing machine in a tiny workshop somewhere?  Perhaps I'm just being naive.

> Personally I don't like it as a premise for business but that's my personal feeling.

Mine too.  We've agreed about this before.

FWIW, I would like the PPE regulations to be different, or not to apply to gear that is bought for purely personal recreational purposes the way they currently do.  Personally, whoever is sewing new slings on the cams, I'd like to be able to approach them directly and for them to be able to take my money and supply me with a sling while leaving me free to decide for myself whether I can use the gizmo that it just happens to be attached to or not.  (Whether that's a cam, hex, tricam, whatever.)  Like Americans can.

In reply to deepsoup:

They do own sewing machines for r and d of clothing and rucksack etc. But not all sewing machine are created equally and you need a pretty specialised sewing machine for this sort of bartacking. Really not the same thing at all. And quite honestly, I'd rather the person who sews my slings knows what they are doing and isn't just some random...

 deepsoup 23 Jun 2022
In reply to beardy mike:

We've been here before too.  Basically agreeing with each other but still bickering.

Yes.  Obviously I'm aware that you can't bartack a sling with just any old sewing machine, or I'd have been daft enough to try it on my own at home by now.

But leaving the machine to one side, it's precisely my point I think that a gear manufacturer should have at least one person working for them who "knows what they are doing and isn't just some random" so far as performing a fairly basic repair to one of their own core products is concerned.  Poor show if they don't imo.

It's great that they've finally been able to get the service up and running again, and merely my own personal feeling that it's still a bit sad they can't do it themselves and have had to outsource even that.

In reply to deepsoup:

I wouldn't call this bickering - I'm in total agreement with you - they SHOULD be able to do it. IMHO (and it is only my opinion) there is a disconnect between the corporate arm of Oberalp and the realities of running a technical hardware department, or at least at the time I worked for them there was. There is a reason that as a contractor I chose to walk away from them...

 deepsoup 23 Jun 2022
In reply to beardy mike:

> I wouldn't call this bickering - I'm in total agreement with you

Oh, cool.  My mistake then sorry.  I'll shut up now.

In reply to deepsoup:

They are doing the reslinging inhouse.

In reply to McKEuan:

Good - really pleased to hear that.

 deepsoup 23 Jun 2022
In reply to McKEuan:

That sounds like real progress then, great.

In reply to deepsoup:

> Yes.  Obviously I'm aware that you can't bartack a sling with just any old sewing machine,

Oh, I don't know... back when I was 17, my mum's sewing machine seemed to do the trick when I made leg loops out of an old car seatbelt to go with the ancient Troll climbers belt I had bought second hand off my chemistry teacher along with my first rope.

> or I'd have been daft enough to try it on my own at home by now.

You calling me daft?

In reply to deepsoup:

It's definitely getting there. Oberalp aren't famed for their swiftness....

 gravy 24 Jun 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Yep, my first harness was a bit of old webbing for the belt and hand sewn leg loops (I didn't have a buckle so they were joined by a carabiner) and I'm still here...

I recall keeping on stitching until I thought the blob of cotton was about as thick as the webbing.

 WhiteSpider88 24 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

I used 6mm accessory cord for mine, should be good for 10-12 kn with a double fisherman's knot.  The knot is annoyingly bulky though, so I left the loops long.  I cinched the knots down by bouncing with bodyweight to reduce slippage. 

4
 deepsoup 24 Jun 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> You calling me daft?

You might very well think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Your legs loops weren't a structural part of a harness or anything though, they were a fancy pants optional extra.

I still have the belt of an old Wild Country harness kicking about somewhere.  Gunslinger?  It was v v bright with lots of squares in different colours, and had a gimmicky sort of tear-off velcro gear loop on the right hand side for a gripper-clipper.  Well after leg-loops were the norm, I picked it up cheap from the bargain bin at the Foundry because the leg loops were sold separately and they didn't have any of those left.

In reply to deepsoup:

Ha, I had that belt plus non matching leg loops from the Outside oddments bin. Back on topic, that’d never pass a safety inspection now.

In reply to deepsoup:

My first proper harness was from the bargain bin in Snow and Rock in Brum. It was a J-RAT one. Whatever happened to them? Anyway it was super lightweight one, probably a very early attempt at a comp harness. It had 1 or 2 gear loops and was seemingly made out of seatbelt like my homemade leg loops! Not comfortable and not particularly practicable, luckily I found a Chouinard/BD Alpine Bod in a bargain bin in a shop in New Zealand a year or so later, which still uncomfortable and ultralight was fortunately a bit more practicable!

 brianjcooper 26 Jun 2022
In reply to apache:

> As I don't live in the UK and can't (economically) send my cams back for reslinging, I resorted to replacing all the tapes on my cams recently using 10 or 11mm 30cm slings doubled through the holes at the end of the stems and then threaded 8cm lengths of 32mm tubular tape over the doubled sling (see how to do this elsewhere on UKC), to keep the doubled slings together. Just have to be careful when clipping the crab through the doubled sling ends to ensure you clip both, and tell your partner about the system else they might only clip one  end of the sling.

I've done the same with some of my WC cams, but without the tubular tape sleeve. Was told the pressure on the tape at the hole in the cam stem might cause failure due to heat, rubbing etc. But surely it's just the same as threading small potholes in rock.    

 apache 29 Jun 2022
In reply to brianjcooper: as you will have guessed, the purpose of the tubular tape is to keep both sides of the sling close together so the tape doesn’t pull through. I usually rack a couple of friends on 1 krab. I’ve also considered using a tie wrap to stop the tubular tape shading down the sling and constricting the end of the slings where you clip the QD into the sling. 
I need to look at Rick Graham’s triple fisherman’s knot method but think it might be too bulky.

In reply to apache:

I did that many years ago with some old HB Quadcams with a ladder stem to make them extendable. It worked pretty well and because the Dyneema cord was only 6mm it was not desperately bulky.


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