Monday, June 18, 2012

I recently purchased a set of Wild Country Superlight Rocks mainly because I was impressed with the ability and ease of setting the original WC Rocks, at least in basalt.  However the Superlight Rocks go above and beyond its predecessor.  Here's the good:
  • Combines the parallel crack profile of the WC Rock with the offset profile of the DMM Offsets (in fact by eyeballing it, the WC Superlight Rocks #4-6 match the offset profile of the DMM Offsets #7-9)
  • Surface area of either profile is the roughly the same, eliminating a preferred orientation for setting the nut; just turn it 90 degrees
  • As the name states, these are Super light
  • Single wire eliminates swage for closing standard nut wire loop
  • Attached wire prevents the nut from moving, sometimes allowing you to remove the nut by pushing it out of a placement
  • Thin profile is great in very shallow cracks or when you need to eventually use the location of the placement for your hand or foot
Unfortunately there's always drawbacks to a product of this nature, including:
  • Less durability due to the single wire design
  • Costs around 50% more than a standard nut
  • It only comes in sizes #1-6, making it a replacement for this limited size range, or a supplement to a full set of nuts
  • Smaller surface area may be problematic for soft or friable rock
  • WC Superlight Rocks #1-2 have a load limit of 4kN
These nuts rock and give you a lot of freedom for placements that other nuts simply do not match, however generally they should be thought of as a supplement and not as a first nut purchase.  But if you carefully match these with other nuts, they might just be able to replace your smaller sized nuts, at least in hard, non-brittle rock and/or on alpine routes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

CAMP Pro Nuts manufacturing issues

At a recent browsing of the local REI, I had a chance to check out the CAMP Pro Nuts in person.  Randomly picking a set and comparing it to similar BD nuts, I noticed manufacturing fluctuations in the CAMP Pro Nuts.  Specifically the drilled holes the wire passes through were offset on some nuts.  After further inspection of REI's stock, it was easy to observe that on about 3 nuts out of 14 total nuts (2 full sets), the holes were skewed toward one side.  One of the #5s was particularly bad where the remaining Al alloy between edge of the hole and the edge of the nut was less than 1/2 the radius of the wire hole.  In normal nut placement this theoretically should have little impact, however there is a very minor chance it could affect the placement strength when the nut is placed in the less common fashion along its length.

I still like and plan on purchasing some of CAMP's gear, but this accentuates the importance of inspecting one's gear, not just for wear and tear, but when you purchase the product brand new.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Welcome to the Light'n'Fast blog

We'll update this blog with reviews of products we've tested.  Check back in the future!