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Sew up thin cracks.
- The Ball Nuts' 8kN strength (1798lb force) is ready to save your hide if you log some air time
- These allow for fast placements in knife-blade-sized cracks
- Bigger sizes suitable for cutting-edge hard trad climbs
- Works in parallel cracks where stoppers will not
- Item #CMP0020
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I really love these specialty pieces. They take a little bit to get used to and to figure out where they work best but once they start to work they are marvelous. There have been many times where I was climbing a crack that was too deep and thin for any of my nuts/cams, but perfect for these ball nuts. They also feel really solid when you get it in a good placement. Much more solid than I thought. I would recommend adding a few of these to any trad rack as they will always come in handy at some point. I have the two smallest sizes and I believe those are the most useful.
Smallest 2 Sizes (#1 and #2)
If not going for the full set, folks like the smallest 2 sizes. For the bigger sizes, a small cam is usually easier to place.
#1 : 3-6 mm
#2 : 4.5-9 mm
#3 : 6-12 mm
#4 : 8-14 mm
#5 : 10.5-18 mm
Good aid piece
It is a good aid piece for narrow placements.
A bit hard to retrieve especially after high stepping on it but that's an adequate price for the job.
CAMP USA Ball Nut
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Good gear for small cracks.
I used the number 2 to protect the crux of a 24 (low 5.12 in US terms I think) we were working. I bought them specifically as no other piece would fit for the crux. The only other piece below that (which we could get into the crack) was a number 1 RP. We took about 5 falls on the ball nut and it held every time.
However, we did notice that the ball nut shifted about a bit when we were dogging the move, even with a draw on, making the placement a bit sketchy and requiring a reset. It could be operater error, but other climbers I have talked to who also use ball nuts have noticed the same thing. So, I would be particularly careful with ball nuts to check they have not moved if you are resting on them repeatedly.
I think there is room for improvement of the design of these units. For example, the plastic stem is thicker than the size of the head on the smaller nuts, which can make it difficult to set the piece deep in smaller cracks.
Overall, the bottom line is ball nuts do a great job of protecting very small cracks and, for me anyway, did what no other piece could do. But, maybe more than other types of pro, care needs to be taken if they are subject to lots of movement.
That really Thin Line
Ever get to that spot where the 2x0 C3 really does not fit, and your sketched on leading on a piece rated at 6kn? Carry ball nuts. Period. You can place them passively, or actively. They suck into the crack, are bomber, lighter than anything (ever leave gear on the deck because 'it weighs too much'?) Get the ball nuts.
Amazing when nothing else works
The best for parallel thin cracks period.
I have the 2 smallest sizes (1 & 2) of these guys and they are great pieces for your aid arsenal. I have found the 2 smallest sizes to be most useful, above that you can get Black Diamond C3 000's (or other micro cams). These really shine in parallel sided thin cracks where you can't get a decent micro nut placement.
Awesome product great for protecting small cracks quickly!! I've taken a few good falls on the smaller sizes and didn't budge a millimetre. The only issue is that it can take forever to get them out once fallen on....but hey I didn't hit the deck and that's what counts.
I though these were okay until...
I fell on the #3. It was in a shallow flared seam. The ball rotated in the groove of the nut and held fast. The piece was hard to clean, but held the fall like a champ. The 2 and 3 stay on the racking biner with my small stoppers, rocks and microstoppers. Even the larger ones will go places that cams will not. I do not consider the smallest size worthy of lead falls of any size, however.
I've used these fro about 15 years. I've gotten out of a lot of uprotected positions with them. You will have to watch the placement and make sure they are set correctly, but they are usually very solid and I've never had one pull out when fallen on or weighted.
These are a great addition to your box of tricks.
When I became ...
a huge fan was on Arrow Place at Red Rocks using my partners Ball Nut. Better really for aid and granite routes, but we find our purpose for these bad boys in the sandstone at times. A savior at the start of Arrow Place where cacti wait patiently below the crux decking move.
Definitely a great addition... I wouldn't use them as a nut replacement, as I don't feel they are as secure as a good ole chock, but they definitely protect when nothing else will, and with a strength rating for their size that puts other pro to shame. Their construction and design seems rock solid, just be extra cognizant of each placement as with any piece... Its usually not the gear that fails, but the rock around it.
Nice and Unique
I bought the 3 smallest sizes for aid climbing and I have not really used them that much. I would not really want to take wippers on the smallest size. They can be tricky to remove if heavily weighted because of the soft material on the "sliding ball". They are obviously great for small cracks and for podded out pin scars. They are definitely not my "go to" piece but a nice addition to a standard free or aid rack.
These are quite possibly one of the coolest things I've ever used. Super easy to place and clean.
Perfect for small cracks where your C3s can't protect you. Easy to place and remove. It's like a camming nut!
These are great alternatives to pitons and give a greater strength rating over smaller camming devices. I use these a lot. More than I thought I would.
Trango or CAMP. What's the deal with the...
Trango or CAMP. What's the deal with the two manufacturers? CAMP I'm very familiar with. Trango not so much. Are they both manufacturing an identical product (LoweBalls)
Mark, they look a bit different (at least in the photos) and I see the CAMP version appears to have a bit stronger rating..probably in choice of web loops. I think I'll order up some CAMPs/ Thanks
Trango, Camp and Cassin are under the same parent company.
Like Atomic and Salomon skis.
cant find a rocpec anywhere! can someone...
cant find a rocpec anywhere! can someone point me in the right direction?
anyone know why the CAMP #1 ballnut is...
anyone know why the CAMP #1 ballnut is rated for 7kN but the trango #1 ballnut is rated for 4.5kN? Is it really a different manufacturer... they seem identical.
Two possiblities: Wire diameter, being trango decided to use smaller wire thus making a lower rating or trango decided either in testing or for liability reasons that it should be 4.5kN.
Can I have the strenght of the number 1,...
Can I have the strenght of the number 1, 2, 3. It is still 8 Kn?
size 1 is 7 Kn, rest are 8 Kn