Piece of Protection Perfection - Camp Tricams

Ahhh, Looking Glass in January. Blue Bird skies, cool temps for perfect friction, and no crowds, especially when it has been raining, or snowing for the last week or so. Because of the great weather in between the lousy weather we climbers like to use this time to talk about our protection racks! When these conversations start they usually lead to talk about the C.A.M.P. Tri-cam.
Most climbers have a love-hate relationship with the Tri-cam. What is it really? Active? Passive? Right side up? Up side down? Reliable? Expendable? It certainly answers most if not all of these questions, depending on who you ask. Lets start with a brief history, shall we? Contrary to popular belief, C.A.M.P created this piece of equipment after Ray Jardine developed Friends, the first spring loaded camming device designed to protect parallel sided cracks. The Tri-Cam was the answer to the need for both an active protection piece and a passive piece in one simple unit.
Go to any crag in the Southeast and you will most likely see the four most popular sizes catching a ride up a route. These sizes (.5, 1, 1.5, 2) are commonly known as pink, red, brown, and blue. The pink tri-cam being the cult piece of gear going in pods, horizontals and solution pockets where conventional devices scarcely dare to tread. Uniquely styled, this gear is equipped with a stinger on one side and rails on the other giving a tri-point configuration also giving the Tri-cam a "bird head" appearance much like a woodpecker. The key to a great placement is in the stinger seeking out a depression inside the crack or other placement and the ends of the rails in a mid range configuration.

The exciting news comes in the form of C.A.M.P's release of two new Tri-cam sizes. Capitalizing on the popularity of the pink Tri-cam, a new size has been launched in the Black color, sizing in at .25 with a rated strength of 5 kn active and 3 kn passive. Thinking that they could go smaller, C.A.M.P produced the ultra-small and scary size .125 colored white at a "close to body weight only" strength of 3 kn active and 2 kn passive. This is a piece strictly for the aid climber and high end free climber pushing the grades in "hard to protect" land. The Black size has quickly earned its place on the discerning traddies rack while the White has earned its place as a "key chain" novelty, but nonetheless rounding out the set as the super functional, "I'm run-out and gonna die unless this White fits" piece. ( Seriously, you gotta see this thing.)
One thing is for sure with the Tri-cam though, love it or hate it, it will rule the Looking Glass roost when nothing else will go.

Looking Glass Outfitters

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