• Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
  • Should You Use Rope or Webbing to Connect to an Anchor?
  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
  • Can You Lead On a Static Rope?
  • Can I Use Climbing Bolts For Anchors in a Gym?
  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
  • Does Poop Harm a Climbing Rope?
  • Are Homemade Draws Reliable?
  • Shopping for Economy Carabiners
  • When You Fly, Can You Carry On Climbing Gear?
  • Can I Trust Fixed Draws?
  • Which Helmet WIll Fit My Big Head?
  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
  • Are Adjustable Leg Loops Useful?
  • Should I clip ice screws with Screamers?
  • How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?
  • Can I Modify my Crampon Without Compromising the Integrity?
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
  • Caring For Your FIngertips
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?
  • When to Replace Climbing Webbing
  • Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear
  • The Benefits of Cotton
  • How to Pull a Rappel Rope
  • How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate
  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
  • Are 1/2-inch bolts really better than 3/8-inch?
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • Hand Drill Advice
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
  • Is My Invented Knot Safe?
  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
  • Dealing With an Argumentative Partner
  • Will Antifreeze Ruin Rope?
  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?
  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
  • Do Cam Teeth Do Anything?
  • Can I Fix Delaminated Rock Shoes?
  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
  • Should You Lower Or Rap Through Anchors?
  • Should You Clip the Belay As Your First Lead Pro?
  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
  • How Do I Get a Good Climbing Man?
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusiing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Antifreeze
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
  • Fixing a Spinning Bolt
  • Video Spotlight
    A Little Bit of Gunks: Some Bouldering Classics
    A Little Bit of Gunks: Some Bouldering Classics

    Choosing Between C4s and Friends

    15-Jan-2013
    By Gear Guy


    I have been slowly piecing my trad rack together, adding gear as my experience increases. I have been using the Omega Pacific Link Cams because I am 6’ 7”, weigh 265 pounds and need a solid cam that can take a fall. I am in the market for other cams and am deciding between the Black Diamond C4s and the Wild Country Technical Friends. I want versatile cams for horizontal and vertical placements.
    —mongo via rockandice.com

    Your notion that you need less gear than an experienced climber is so ass backwards it would take a three-handed proctologist to get you squared away. Let's roll up our sleeves and dig in.

    As a novice leader (or any level leader, actually) you should stitch up those pitches tighter than a $1,200 Armani suit, and that requires gear, a lot of gear. Buy all the cams you think you need, or just want. Do it now! This will be expensive, but cheaper than being on life support and will spare your family from having to empty your bedpan every week.

    At 265 pounds you are wise to factor your heft into the safety equation. Climbing gear standards are set by bony European drones, not by freedom-loving fatsos like us. The CE drop-test weight, for example, for a single rope is 176 pounds—the mean weight of a 9-year-old school girl in Biloxi. You are 50 percent heavier than that. Your additional ballast could contribute to gear failure, though to what extent is unknown since little to no testing has been done in this area. Let’s just figure that you are more likely to break or pull gear and leave it at that.

    Any of the top-shelf cams that you mention are manufactured using rigid quality control procedures and meet the standards for cams. Both designs have flexible cable stems for vertical and horizontal placements. That is how they are the same. They are different in ergonomics, slinging, ranges, weights, rated strengths and price. The ones you prefer will be the ones you buy and get used to using.

    The key to stacking the odds in your favor isn’t so much which brand cams you use as it is your ability to lower your impact force. I would clip a load-absorbing draw, such as the Screamers by Yates, to critical pieces of pro and to the smaller cams. Rip-apart slings might reduce your impact forces.

    Rope selection is another concern. A rope, more than anything else in your system, can take some of the sting out of your falls. Get a single rope with a low maximum impact force. A rope with a maximum impact force of 1,600 pounds will be gentler to fall on than one with a maximum impact force of 2,200 pounds. Last, wear a helmet, and remember your loyal and brave belayer on Valentine's Day.


    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article:
    Hello