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 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 41
OP Purple Link Cam Failure

11:41:10 AM
The cam is at home. I'll take some pics tonight and post them up. Omega Pacific obviously know about this problem - see post above!

11:44:46 AM
Glad to hear you're ok Neil. Would also be interested in photos of the cam, especially since the images I linked to above no longer exist (*kicks self for not mirroring them somewhere*).

[Edit: found another source for the image and updated opening post]

11:51:12 AM
My Ukrainian cams haven't broken yet.

12:02:44 PM
On 14/10/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>I love them. I've used all the 4 sizes and consider them my #1 bit of trad gear. They are especially good for those panic situations (usually involving laybacks) where you need to place gear blindly. They tend to morph into non-perfect placements.

Is this still the case Neil?

12:21:12 PM
On 1/02/2010 ajfclark wrote:
>On 14/10/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>>I love them. I've used all the 4 sizes and consider them my #1 bit of
>trad gear. They are especially good for those panic situations (usually
>involving laybacks) where you need to place gear blindly. They tend to
>morph into non-perfect placements.
>Is this still the case Neil?

Yep. I still love them. I just learnt their limitations. I'll be immediately replacing this cam with a new one.

1:02:15 PM
On 1/02/2010 nmonteith wrote:
>I just learnt their limitations.

What was 'wrong' with the placement? Could the same piece have been placed differently or would a more traditional cam have been a better choice?

2:06:23 PM
The cam was buried deep in a placement at the top of a corner, in a flared sort of crack. The cam was so buried that it actually wasn't sitting straight down (the trigger needed to poke out) - but stuck out at maybe 20 degrees? The route traversed hard right at the top of this crack away from this cam. So when fallen on the cam tried to go straight down, and thus the lobe got twisted - and then snapped.
4:08:19 PM
I have had one issue at Frog, I placed a piece high above me, but as I moved up I discovered that I needed that bit of crack quite desperatetly so I grabbed a red OP and placed it just above my hip level, set it, clipped it and removed my high piece and moved up higher only to run out of puff from all the messing around and then promptly fell off.
As I fell and kept on falling more than I expected, the red OP hit me in the forehead as I went for the ride.
It offered no resistance whatsoever.
Upon inspection, it was obvious from the scuff marks that the contact points were on the joints between the middle and smallest lobes.
Now the reason that I chose that cam was because I could not get my face down enough to inspect the crack size, but I knew that the red OP would have the best shot of fitting the flappy finger size crack first go, and I new I didn't have the strength to hang around too long.
Now I suspect that had I placed any other cam of appropriate size it would have held just fine, it was just the wrong size exactly for the OP.
The thing is, it's versatility is spoiled by it's limitations. I cannot trust it in that sort of situation again.
That is the first and only time I have ever pulled gear, apart from some nuts zippering from below when my belayer was standing away from the cliff.
At this stage I would be happy to get rid of the two I have and just go with doubles of normal cams.
Their best application is as anchor pieces where you have the time and ease of vision to check their placement.
I'm not buying any more.
5:52:01 PM
I missed this topic originally whilst in China, which is probably a good thing, as I then wouldn't have bought the green one of these to see if I like them and thus become completely besotted with it and inflict upon any one with the dubious fortune of climbing with me my abundant joy at every placement. Amongst the selling features of finally buying one was the realisation that it weighs basically the same amount as the green camalot - I'd always thought they were far heavier. I think only the gold one is particularly heavy.

8:30:06 PM

The two outer lobes are missing, snapped off. There is a slight remnants of the middle lobe, and the pin holding the inner and middle lobe together is intact on closer inspection. So what failed was the overlapping bit that the pin holds together, which is only about a mm wide.

Phil Box
7:19:36 AM
So more a fault of the placing of the cam rather than the piece itself perhaps? I know that the manufacturer is aware of their Link Cams failing when placed in a position where rotational forces can act on them.

Just goes to prove once again that any cam should always be placed in the direct direction of fall. Further to that though is the need to place at least a medium length trad draw on the sling of the cam to prevent rotational forces being placed on the cam during a fall.

I still see people placing cams with no draw on them. Yeah they may not be a Link Cam but they will still have forces placed on them that can either blow the placement or walk the cam into a less than desirable placement. That or the cam becomes stuck.

9:32:53 AM
I only ever put draws on cams to improve the way the rope runs and lessen rope drag, much the same as everyone I have climbed with in the last 20 years. I have taken a fair few falls on to cams and have never had one blow or break or had any other kind of problem. I do wish that more cams came with an extendable sling like Trango, Rock Empire and a couple of others have. That is a really handy feature.

10:09:34 AM
On 2/02/2010 Phil Box wrote:
>So more a fault of the placing of the cam rather than the piece itself

A bit of both. The placement would be considered bomber for a standard cam, the angle it faced was only slightly different to the direction of fall (no more than 20 degrees). The very fine width of the overlapping sections of the cam lobes is the reason it broke. These sort of fine parts don't exist on normal cams.

10:16:34 AM
Does anyone know who distributes these in Australia?

10:20:54 AM
I should make the point that this particular cam placement held body weight for several hours - Mikl, Bundy and myself jumared up and down on it all morning. It was only when i fell on it later that day did it break. So with a static load it was fine - but a brutal sharp load and it was destroyed.

Phil Box
10:28:06 AM
Might be worth putting something on where Mal Daly keeps an eye on these sort of threads. Maybe the gear heads forum would be the best. I reckon you might get some action on this from advertising it's failure there.

10:40:39 AM
On 2/02/2010 nmonteith wrote:
>Does anyone know who distributes these in Australia?


10:45:27 AM
I just emailed Omega Pacific. By trawling the web it seems i'm certainly not the first person that this has happened to.

10:48:00 AM
Looking at the two photos side by side the point of failure on the lobe looks almost identical to me:

10:30:35 AM
Here are a few more pics of destroyed cams, inc. a few more link cams. I would love to see a video of the whipper that destroyed that #2 camalot (4th pic)...

Neil, is the 11th pic your destroyed cam? I seem to remember you posting that pic, or something similar, not too long ago.

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There are 41 messages in this topic.


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