/ Trad protection on a seawall....

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rotax123 on 15 Oct 2012

Me and my climbing buddy have been top roping on a seawall in our home town for a while now (yes its the best our local climbing has to offer) It's surprisingly quite varied route wise and has a couple of crack lines going up and several other routes too.
I have been eyeing up a long traverse route that you could protect using small cams (DMM 3cu) or maybe tri-cams but I wanted to check that these will work safely in the gaps between the mortar, The wall is made of granite and is obviously very solid being a seawall. Are the cams likely to "walk" more in the gaps?

Any insight would be appreciated,
Jonny2vests - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to rotax123:

Are you placing them in mortar or granite? If it's mortar, then it might as well be butter :-#

Stopping cams walking in any scenario is usually just a question of extending them correctly.
rotax123 on 16 Oct 2012
Hi, Yes in between the granite where the mortar once was, Ok, thanks for the response!
jkarran - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to rotax123:

If the granite in the cracks is clean and solid (as you might expect for a seawall) and the blocks are securely located (the blocks are secure, cracks aren't expanding) and the cracks aren't too flared or polished then you should be ok. Basically it boils down to judgement. Maybe bounce test a couple of placements from the top rope if you're not sure.

beardy mike - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to rotax123: Bear in mind that cams exert a huge outwards force when loaded, and this may be a problem at the top of the wall in horizontal cracks if there is a chance of lifting a loose block - it may cause the cam to pop. Obviously this may be a non issue if the weight of the blocks is massive, but worth mentioning.
toad - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to rotax123: The EA can be suprisingly paranoid about anything that might be perceived to damage the sea defences - I'd be lary of anything that might be seen as intrusive, even if the actual objective damage is negligible
rotax123 on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to jkarran:
Right, That's good to know! The blocks are very solid, no movement at all.
You would need an absolutely massive amount of leverage force to move them anyway! Some gaps go back quite far into the wall, so my main concern was with loosing the smaller cams from walking too far in. The granite is also quite rough so I don't see them slipping or poping out really.
Oh and with regards to the EA, They have never stopped us top roping or bouldering the lower sections so I'm hoping they will leave us be!
Thanks for the advice, I will use my judgement and test the placements on top rope first!
mikekeswick - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to rotax123: Walking happens (usually) when you just climb past a piece and also when you are pulling the slack in for the second. You stop cams walking by extending them properly. Better to extend it and face a slightly longer fall than for it to walk and then not be sure of the placement/get it stuck.
Alun - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to rotax123:
If you're really in doubt you could drop test the placement with a heavy rucksack full of gear.

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