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Gear Guy

Can You Use Cams As Passive Pro?

My climbing partner said that double-axle cams such as the Black Diamond C4s can be used as passive protection with the cams all the way out in a constriction. Is this true for all double- axle cams of different brands and sizes, or is there a limit?

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My climbing partner said that double-axle cams such as the Black Diamond C4s can be used as passive protection with the cams all the way out in a constriction. Is this true for all double- axle cams of different brands and sizes, or is there a limit?

—Nico Wright via e-mail

A passive cam placement requires, to paraphrase Liam Neeson in <em>Taken</em>, “A very particular characteristic.”” title=”A passive cam placement requires, to paraphrase Liam Neeson in <em>Taken</em>, “A very particular characteristic.””><strong>The three double-axle cam designs, the Black Diamond Camalot, </strong>Wild<br />
    Country New Friend and the DMM Dragon, are all CE-certified for passive use and in all sizes as long as the unit has double axles (the smaller Camalot<br />
    X4s have single axles). But, Nico, let’s be honest for a change: You are more likely to see Christ’s face in the clouds than to come across a passive<br />
    cam placement.</p>
<p>A passive cam placement requires, to paraphrase Liam Neeson in <em>Taken</em>, “A very particular characteristic.” That being either a “T” shape, an extreme<br />
    bottleneck, a downward taper or other womb-like aberration that will trap the umbrella-ed cam and keep it from rattling out.</p>
<p>This placement is so particular that in my nearly 45 years on the rock, I’ve yet to see one outside an instructional manual. Then again, I’ve got this<br />
    new how-to book on shibani, and there’s plenty in there I’ve never seen. <em>Gear Guy has spoken!</em>
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<p><em>This article was published in </em>Rock and Ice <em>issue 235 (July 2016).</em>
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