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.
For example, the adoption of the dual axle design by Black Diamond, the invention of three-lobed camming units to fit smaller cracks, and the more recent invention of the Link Cam by Omega Pacific, a design that allows one SLCD to span an even larger range of crack sizes.
SLCDs are sold in various sizes to fit a diverse range of cracks from about 6–300 millimetres (0.2–10 in) wide, though devices of below about 10 millimetres (0.4 in) or above about 100 millimetres (4 in) are not often seen.
Built on the company’s original 13.75° constant camming angle, the new Friends have seen notable upgrades, including weight savings.
I have been climbing on them since they came out last summer and after about 400 pitches, here are my thoughts as compared to others cams in their class: The new Friends have been redesigned with Wild Country’s patented hollow axles.
The Climbing Technology Anchor Cams are light, flexible and ideal for any type of traditional climbing or mountaineering.
Hot forged with a lightweight high performance polyethylene sling, each cam is individually coloured for easy identification.
When you release the trigger the cams expand locking the SLCD in place.
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The newly re-engineered Friend cam from Wild Country has taken reign as the king of the double-axle design.
This equates to a stiffer and lighter camming unit as compared to the competition (see chart below).
On average this translates to 16.2-gram weight saving per cam over the Black Diamond C4.