Link Cam Inspection Notice & Update: Axle Nut

19 06 2008

Omega Pacific is requesting that Link Cam owners inspect their Link Cams for a potential defect recently discovered.

“As of this posting, the incidents are extremely rare and are not considered widespread, but we feel that it is in the best interest of climbers’ safety to inform the climbing community of the potential for this problem. Should any Link Cam owner wish for us to perform the inspection, we will be happy to do so. Please contact us for information how to prepare the return.”

To determine if your Link Cam should be sent back for repair or replacement:

1) Identify the side of the cam with the nut.

2) Identify whether the axle is “peened” or “mushroomed” over the round nut.

Correct: The axle-end is smooth and flatter.

Incorrect: The axle-end is sharp and has concavity.

Correct: no threading from the axle should be seen.

Incorrect: some threads may be visible beyond the nut.

3) Apply some counter-clockwise force to the nut and attempt to remove it from the axle. It should not rotate. Some very minor movement may be within specification, but you should NOT be able to rotate the nut more than a few degrees.

“If your cams fail this examination – or if you are in doubt of the results for any reason – we request that you contact us at 1-800-360-3990 to arrange for the return of your cam(s). We will repair or replace them as necessary.

We apologize for this inconvenience. Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.”

Michael Lane
Sales & Marketing Director
800.360.3990 toll-free
509.456.0170 international


Health, Empowerment, Research, and Advocacy

11 06 2008

HERA for short. This Women’s Cancer Foundation has been everywhere lately. Besides Climb4Life events, founder and cancer survivor Sean Patrick is drumming up funds through the Partners in Action program.

Women’s Adventure magazine is newest to the list. That means every subscription sends $5 toward ovarian cancer research and advocacy.

Most exciting, HERA is partnering with the Sterling Ropes Recycling Center in conjunction with their Climb4Life event in Boulder this weekend. Eco-conscious Coloradoans are welcome to drop off their worn-out nylon cords. Friday from 3 – 6pm at the local REI. Saturday from 8 – 10am at the Boulder Rock Club. (Normally you’d have to send them in – but still a great option for greening your climbing gear.)

If you’re in the market for new gear, I’ve seen HERA emblazoned on special-release climbing products from Mad Rock to Petzl…

Mad Rock HERA Pad

Mad Rock just released the HERA Pad – a lightweight bouldering crashpad made for women climbers. $139.95 with $6 destined for the cancer foundation. Closed size: 24″x36″x10″. Open size: 48″x36″x5″.

Evolve HERA shoeIn May, Evolve unveiled the HERA women’s climbing shoe. The narrow, non-aggressive fit and extended toe rand make for a comfortable all-arounder. Perforated upper for breathability. Three grooves in the rubber above the big toe designed to relieve pressure as you maneuver on edges. $109 online with standard custom add-ons like split sizing. 1% of online and dealer profits head straight to HERA.

HERA hangboardJason Kehl shaped this minimalist hangboard for HERA and Priced at a not-bad $47.50 and promising 5% of sales to support the cause.

HERA climbing holdsAlso available on, five HERA-themed sandstone holds for $25 with a 5% donation rate.
HERAbinerPun of the day – the HERABINER – courtesy of Petzl. $13.95 each. $1 for its namesake.

P.S. As far as I can tell, the BlueWater Lightning Pro rope from BlackJack Mountain Outfitters is no longer available.

Inside Outside Online

28 05 2008

Quick post to connect to recent articles of interest on Outside Online:

1. Adventure Adviser – “Where are some bouldering spots for beginners?” Answers include Lost Rocks and Bishop, California.

2. Gear of the Year. Not all top 14 products made my heart quiver, but these did.

2.a North Face Primero 60 Backpack. Gorgeous! Sounds ridiculously well-built. And, there’s a woman-specific model. Doesn’t move me when it comes to chalk bags or even harnesses, but does make a difference in packs.

2.b Marmot Aura Tent. Have I ever told you I love Marmot tents? Can’t hide the truth. Is it all about looks? Or do I really value personality? Occasionally fragile, yes, but they’re so handy, easygoing, and never overbearing. I can take them anywhere. They give me plenty of space. So great for bed, I’d even consider a one night stand.

Reduce, Reuse, Resole

27 05 2008

Last week, Jason Hendricks from The Adventurist went on a rant about the so-called “greening” of outdoor gear. And how we shouldn’t rely on manufacturer’s eco-hype alternatives – like recycled polyester base-layers and such – to do it for us. I’m sure this discussion is going on everywhere at once, but for my part, I committed to writing about environmental action you can do, not just pay for. Reducing waste and reusing equipment you already have.

Then, over the weekend, a new climber asked me about resoling shoes. How often? How much? And how? What a perfect lead.

Regular climbers can wear through two or three pairs of shoes a year – more if you’re a chronic gym-goer. As tempting as it might be to buy a shiny new pair, the conscientious and cost-conscious choice would be to have them resoled or do it yourself. Sending your shoe to a repair shop (half-soles only) costs anywhere between $20 and $35 plus shipping. Unless you know people who know people, that’s noticeably cheaper than a new pair.

Reasons to resole your shoe:

1. Toe rubber worn 75 – 80% thinner than the rest
2. Visible holes in the toe or elsewhere
3. Soft spots in the rubber you can feel with your fingers

For #1, you’re safe with half-sole repairs. What’s cool about this, you can mix n match. Say you like the fit of your Evolv slippers, but Five Ten rubber knocks your proverbial socks off. Well sir, you can have both. I’ve seen shops offering Five Ten C4, La Sportiva Vibram XSV, Scarpa Megabyte, Boreal Fusion, Mad Rock #5, and Evolv TRAX rubber soles. Take your pick.

If you notice holes or soft spots, you’ll also need to replace the rand. This is the second layer of rubber that wraps around the toe box and serves as an anchor for the sole. The longer you wait on basic resoling, the greater chance you’ll damage the rand and make the whole process about $20 more expensive.

Repair shops can also re-attach leather or synthetic uppers that are peeling away from the rubber.

Basically, they take your torn-up shoes and return them like new – fit intact. Mostly.

Send them by mail and the process takes a couple weeks. Drop them off at a shop near you and it could take as little as a couple days. To find a locale, try this list (last updated March 22, 2007).

If you’re the DIY type, check out these instructions for resoling at home. I know both Five Ten and Mad Rock offer kits. For quick patches, get handy with Shoe Goo or Aqua-Seal.

And finally, if you’re the procrastinating type, take good care of your soles and they’ll last longer. Keep them away from heat. Clean them between routes. Don’t walk around in them. And store them in a well ventilated place. (Tips courtesy of the Rubber Room.)

Return to the Outdoors

24 05 2008

What inspires you to return to the outdoors?

That is the question Timex Expedition poses and in return for your answer, you could win trips or gear. Submit your story in writing or video.

As to videos, they already have interviews with Conrad Anker, Steph David, and Yvon Chouinard – filmed by another great, Jimmy Chin, as well as David Gonzales, who I don’t know but who’s no doubt an awesome dude. The clips are there for inspiration. You don’t have to compete with them. As a matter of fact, if you enter, why not do what the outdoors teaches so many and only compete with yourself. There’s my inspirational quip for the day.

I especially like Anker’s bitty blog right here, where he waxes poetic about family, Katmandu, and the outdoor tribe.

Click here to get more on the contest.

Thanks for the heads up, Adventure Blogger.

Fusion – Let’s Not And Say We Did

23 05 2008

Reading through feeds on, I came across this one checking up on the credibility of Fusion brand biners and draws. A climber from Ohio saw them on ebay and others, who responded, own and use them. The equipment carries CE and UIAA cert stamps.

But it turns out Fusion has been blacklisted by UIAA:

Fusion (USA): We [UIAA] have received notification that Fusion Quickdraws are being sold claiming to meet UIAA Standards. Fusion is not a label holder, and has made no application until now to become one.

The lists above were last updated 20th February 2008. In case of inaccuracies please notify the UIAA office.”

And for good measure, note that Frendo (France) “is not a Safety Label holder anymore and it did/does not have a UIAA certification for any of its ropes.”


I shudder to think of companies deliberately falsify safety certifications on gear – load bearing or not. It’s really up to the climber to do due diligence. And when it comes to buying gear, focus on shaving ounces, not dollars, off the total.

Curious about certs? Read this.

Just because a non-European brand lacks CE certification or another opts not to apply for the UIAA stamp doesn’t make them less reliable. However, when a company makes a false claim, that to me is a giant red flag. And behind it there’s, like, a raging bull.

Not safe.

Gear Sale on

22 05 2008

Bouldering dot com just became my new best friend.

Now through May 31st you can get 20% off all climbing gear. All you have to do is enter the code “SaveMoney” when you check out.

They’re also offering free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $50.

And when you buy any women-specific climbing shoe or harness they’ll give you a free Fortress Women’s Patrol Watch in lilac for $0. No coupon required. No need to put the ($125) watch in your cart.

Whoever stumbles upon my blog, hope it’s before May 31st.