Tricam

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A pair of Tricams: on the right, a nylon size 2.0, and on the left, a Dyneema size 1.5. Tricam.jpg
A pair of Tricams: on the right, a nylon size 2.0, and on the left, a Dyneema size 1.5.

A Tricam is a type of climbing protection equipment. [1] A versatile nut/cam hybrid, the Tricam was invented by Greg Lowe in 1973, and came to market in 1981. They are currently manufactured by C.A.M.P. of Premana Italy.

Contents

Design

The Tricam is a passive camming device consisting of a carefully shaped aluminium-alloy cam attached to a length of webbing tape. Most sizes are produced as a solid forged unit, but the larger sizes are made from riveted sheet metal.

The device is inserted into a crack so that pulling on the tape makes the piece cam outward against the sides of the crack, gripping the rock tighter. Camming action is achieved by the position of the pointed fulcrum or pivot of the cam relative to the attachment of the tape. As the webbing is pulled, the downward force is pivoted onto the point, which can bite into soft rock or ice and increases the holding power of the tricam. [2]

Benefits

Tricams are not as easy to place or remove as spring-loaded camming devices (SLCDs) but are cheaper and lighter. Some cracks and pods too shallow to protect with SLCDs are easily protected with tricams. They have no moving parts to freeze, making them an excellent choice for a mountaineer's rack. They can also be used as nuts. [2]

Drawbacks

Placing a Tricam takes practice to achieve proficiency. Care must be taken so the Tricam does not loosen while climbing above it due to rope drag. Typically, this additional safety is provided by clipping a longer sling to the tricam. Tricams can "weld" into the placement after being subjected to a hard fall, making them hard to clean and likely to be left behind.

Specifications

Tricams are available in a range of sizes to suit cracks from 10–140 mm wide. [2] They are especially useful in horizontal cracks, quarry drill holes, and limestone pockets, where they may be the only type of protection that works. The smallest size can also work well in old piton scars.

As manufactured they come in size numbers 0.125 to 7, with strength 2–22 kN, width 10–140 mm, and weight 9–264 g. [2]

Related Research Articles

Climbing protection is any of a variety of devices employed to reduce risk and protect others while climbing rock and ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.

Spring-loaded camming device

A spring-loaded camming device is a piece of rock climbing or mountaineering protection equipment. It consists of two, three, or four cams mounted on a common axle or two adjacent axles, so that pulling on the axle forces the cams to spread farther apart. This is then attached to a sling and carabiner at the end of the stem. The SLCD is used by pulling on the "trigger" so the cams retract together, then inserting it into a crack or pocket in the rock and releasing the trigger to allow the cams to expand. A pull on the rope, such as that generated by a climber falling, will cause a properly placed SLCD to convert the pulling force along the stem of the unit into outwards pressure on the rock, generating massive amounts of friction and preventing the removal of the unit from the rock. Because of the large forces which are exerted on the rock when an SLCD is fallen on, it is very important that SLCDs are only placed in solid, strong rock.

Traditional climbing Style of rock climbing

Traditionalclimbing, is a style of rock climbing in which a climber or group of climbers place all gear required to protect against falls, and remove it when a pitch is complete. Traditional bolted face climbing means the bolts were placed on lead and/or with hand drills. The bolts tend to be much farther apart than sport climbs. For example, a trad bolted route may have bolts from 15–75 feet apart. A sport route may have bolts from 3–10 feet apart, similar to a rock climbing gym. The term seems to have been coined by Tom Higgins in the piece "Tricksters and Traditionalists" in 1984. A trad climber is called a traditionalist.

Climbing harness

A climbing harness is an item of climbing equipment for rock-climbing, abseiling, or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety such as industrial rope access, working at heights, etc. A harness secures a person to a rope or an anchor point.

Webbing

Webbing is a strong fabric woven as a flat strip or tube of varying width and fibres, often used in place of rope. It is a versatile component used in climbing, slacklining, furniture manufacturing, automobile safety, auto racing, towing, parachuting, military apparel, load securing, and many other fields.

Glossary of climbing terms List of definitions of terms and concepts related to rock climbing and mountaineering

This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Rock-climbing equipment

A wide range of equipment is used during rock or any other type of climbing that includes equipment commonly used to protect a climber against the consequences of a fall.

Free climbing

Free climbing is a form of rock climbing in which the climber may use climbing equipment such as ropes and other means of climbing protection, but only to protect against injury during falls and not to assist progress. The climber makes progress by using physical ability to move over the rock via handholds and footholds. Free climbing more specifically may include traditional climbing, sport climbing, bouldering and most forms of solo climbing. Free climbing a multi-pitch route means free-climbing each of its pitches in a single session. At the end of each pitch, climbers are allowed to anchor themselves to belay stations and rest. If they fail climbing a pitch, they are allowed to use the rope to return to the beginning of that pitch and try it again.

Aid climbing

Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which standing on or pulling oneself up via devices attached to fixed or placed protection is used to make upward progress.

Clean climbing

Clean climbing is rock climbing techniques and equipment which climbers use in order to avoid damage to the rock. These techniques date at least in part from the 1920s and earlier in England, but the term itself may have emerged in about 1970 during the widespread and rapid adoption in the United States and Canada of nuts, and the very similar but often larger hexes, in preference to pitons, which damage rock and are more difficult and time-consuming to install. Pitons were thus eliminated in North America as a primary means of climbing protection in a period of less than three years.

Piton

In climbing, a piton is a metal spike that is driven into a crack or seam in the climbing surface with a climbing hammer, and which acts as an anchor to either protect the climber against the consequences of a fall or to assist progress in aid climbing. Pitons are equipped with an eye hole or a ring to which a carabiner is attached; the carabiner can then be directly or indirectly attached to a climbing rope.

Rock climbing Sport in which participants climb natural rock formations

Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

Ascender (climbing) Devices used for ascending, braking, or protection in climbing

An ascender is a device used for directly ascending a rope, or for facilitating protection with a fixed rope when climbing on very steep mountain terrain.

In rock climbing, an anchor can be any device or method for attaching a climber, a rope, or a load to the climbing surface - typically rock, ice, steep dirt, or a building - either permanently or temporarily. The intention of an anchor is case-specific but is usually for fall protection; primarily fall arrest and fall restraint. Climbing anchors are also used for hoisting, holding static loads, or redirecting a rope.

The American Death Triangle, also known as the "American Triangle", "Death Triangle" or "Triangle Anchor" is a type of rock and ice climbing anchor infamous for both magnifying load forces on fixed anchors and lack of redundancy in attachment to the anchor. This anchor is based on the "Stone Dog Hitch".

CAMP (company)

CAMP, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of equipment for climbing and associated activities such as ski mountaineering and industrial safety. The company is based in Italy.

Hex (climbing)

A hex is an item of rock-climbing equipment used to protect climbers from falls. They are intended to be wedged into a crack or other opening in the rock, and do not require a hammer to place. They were developed as an alternative to pitons, which are hammered into cracks, damaging the rock. Most commonly, a carabiner will be used to join the hex to the climbing rope by means of a loop of webbing, cord or a cable which is part of the hex.

Camalot

Camalot is a brand of spring-loaded camming devices manufactured by Black Diamond Equipment used to secure ropes while rock climbing.

Crack climbing

Crack climbing is a type of rock climbing in which the climber follows a crack in the rock and uses specialized climbing techniques. The sizes of cracks vary from those that are just barely wide enough for the fingers to fit inside, to those that are so wide that the entire body can fit inside with all limbs outstretched. Many traditional climbing routes follow crack systems, as they provide natural opportunities for placing protective equipment.

References

  1. Cox, Steven M.; Kris Fulsaas, eds. (2003–2009). Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (7 ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers. ISBN   0-89886-828-9.
  2. 1 2 3 4 , CAMP product manual, retrieved 2008-07-04