James C Watts

James C Watts

Colorado Front Range (Boulder)

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James C's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
Snowshoeing
Sport Climbing

James C's Bio

Software engineer who pretends to be a climber from time to time.

James C Watts

James C Watts wrote an answer about on July 23, 2009

It depends on the binding system that your crampons utilize. These boots are "semi-automatic" crampon compatible, meaning that they have a spot for a heel bail, but no toe bail. In other words, if your crampons have the plastic toe basket (the "Sabertooth Clip") on the front, these should work fine, but if they have a wire bail (the "Sabertooth Pro"), then they are not compatible with this boot.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

5 5

I use this for anchoring to bolts at the top of single pitch sport climbs, which it works quite well for. Probably my favorite application of this is for extending my belay device for rappels. I clip my belay biner through *both* the first little hole and the first "chain link", then when I'm ready to rappel I simply clip the PAS biner to my harness waist loop, creating a secure and redundant connection, which will keep me safe even in the (extremely unlikely) event that my belay loop or this sling fails. Also, this makes it easy to clip my "third hand" prussic directly to my belay loop. Note that this is not really designed to attach to anchors for belaying on multi-pitch routes, as the rope that is already tied to you is far superior for that purpose.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

5 5

I love little dental floss slings, but I find the durability of the 8mm Mammuts leaves something to be desired (though those are very nice as well, just need to be replaced more often). I think that Black Diamond has found the perfect compromise between size and durability with their 10mm slings. These really are excellent slings, and I'm slowly replacing all my other slings with these, other than the two nylon slings I use for carrying gear (these are a bit skinny and uncomfortable for shoulder carry of a heavy rack, which is probably the only use they aren't ideal for).

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

5 5

This is my go-to belay biner for tube devices, as it handles rappelling on even the biggest 11mm fatty singles with ease, and also makes a nice large power point biner on anchors. Plus, the round bar stock is easy on ropes and provides plenty of friction. I might go for something a bit smaller if I have to lug it up a mountain, but for cragging and gym climbing this is a great biner.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

4 5

I have one of these that I've used for various things, including belaying and for the end of my PAS sling, and it works well, but I prefer something slightly larger for belaying with. It also works well with a Munter on small cords, but is probably a bit small for anything over 9mm or so (although it is quite good for a self rescue biner for use with PMMO hitches tied with cordalette and the like). Since I upgraded all my rigging biners to Shadow lockers, it now lives on the rope end of a locking draw, which it also works well for. It does have the sexy feel typical of all DMM biners.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

4 5

I have a couple of these with the Tri-act gate, and find them very useful for certain things. I wouldn't use mine with a tube device or for rigging anchors (though I'm sure they would work fine), but they work great for a GriGri and are nice because they always stay locked and are easy to visually confirm. Also, I use one on a Mini-Traxion for solo top rope, which works well because (again) it stays locked when moving around with it, and the pulley has no trouble swinging around on the biner to load it in the proper orientation in case I fall on it.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

3 5

Not a bad biner by any means, though there are certainly better options available. Due to the gate notch, I wouldn't use these for rigging anchors or for the bolt end on a draw, but I use a couple for the rope end on locking draws and they work fine for that. Plus, the price is right, so you can afford to get a couple extras to use if you run out of nicer biners. All in all, nothing special, but they work and are cheap.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

4 5

I'm one of those people who prefer that my racking biners match my cams in color, so these were the natural choice to go with my C4s. I find that it makes it much easier to pick the size of cam I need off a crowded rack without fidgeting. These biners are light and small, and make for a good trad draw. Due to the size and notched gate, I would look elsewhere for sport draw biners, but these are great for trad. Plus, the price is right, especially if you need lots of biners (and who doesn't?).

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

4 5

A well made and very light wire gate biner that works well for trad draws and racking cams. I definitely wouldn't consider these for sport draws due to the small size and notched nose, but when you need to carry a giant trad rack full of biners all the way up a mountain, these are tough to beat. Plus, the price is right, especially if you need a bunch of them.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote a review of on July 12, 2009

4 5

For general purpose climbing biners, better designs have been around for some time now, but there are still a few things that these ovals are good for. I don't aid climb, so I can't speak to that, but I find that these are still the best choice for racking wires. The oval shape allows them to hold many pieces comfortably, and the huge gate notch can prevent a stray wire from falling off the biner when opening it. Also, these make a handy bail biner that is a bit less painful to leave up on a tough sport route than a $12 Helium or the like.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote an answer about on June 22, 2009

I haven't had this problem myself, but looking at one of mine, I would say shrink tubing would probably work best, but electrical tape would probably work fine in a pinch as well. Also, this shouldn't effect the strength of the piece (though might make it a pain on the rack), but if there is any doubt, replace it. A $9 wire is not worth your life, or even the doubt in your head while shaking and pumped out 15 feet above it.

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James C Watts

James C Watts wrote an answer about on May 27, 2009

From the Mammut ropes information booklet:
"All dynamic ropes from Mammut come with a friction resistant, coloured, middle marking. In choosing a process we made sure that a dye was used that wouldn’t weaken either the sheath or the core filaments. "

I don't have this particular rope, but all of the Mammut ropes I've seen (including the one I own) have two six inch (or so) long black dye marks to signify the (approximate) center of the line.

ETA: Unless, of course, you go for the Duodess model, which changes sheath pattern at the middle point.

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