I went out climbing at the Upper Town Wall at Index the other day. When I pulled my gear out of my pack to rack up, I discovered that a trigger wire had slipped off the trigger bar on my #3 BD Ultralight cam. This is not the first time this has happened but it… [Continue Reading]

This winter has been absolutely amazing. I have some of the best days of skiing of my life. Every year, I take a ski vacation to chase snow, and this year ended up doing more of a staycation in the PNW, as Washington was suppose to get blasted with snow. My first visit was Mt… [Continue Reading]

You’ve just finished a sweaty six hour approach to the edge of the glacier. You drop your pack, flake the rope and throw on your harness. You reach inside your pack for your sunglasses… NOOO! You realize that you left your sunglasses on the dashboard of the car. You can’t go on without them. If… [Continue Reading]

I love almost everything about my Dynafit TLT 5 boots. They’re comfortable, lightweight, they’re easy to walk in, climb, and ski well. The one thing that I hate is the lower buckle. Because the buckle portion is exposed on the lower outside portion of the boot, every time I walk in snow, the buckle flips… [Continue Reading]

I have been really bad about posting, but I’m finally getting caught up on some editing. Dave suggested I take a random Monday off the other week and head up to Baker. He was up there a few days before and said it would be awesome so I said, hey why not? I just recently… [Continue Reading]

Black Diamond Ultralight Camelot Trigger Wire Problem and Fix

I went out climbing at the Upper Town Wall at Index the other day. When I pulled my gear out of my pack to rack up, I discovered that a trigger wire had slipped off the trigger bar on my #3 BD Ultralight cam. This is not the first time this has happened but it was a pain because they are very difficult to put back on without a small screw driver. My climbing partner mentioned that he had had problems with his as well.

Back at home, I looked over the cams and compared them to Gen 2, 3, & 4 Camalots. I discovered that Gen 3 and 4 Camalots had a trigger bar stop on the stem that prevents the trigger bar from being pushed forward. On the Ultralights, they did away with the trigger bar stop. The other issue is the trigger wire tab on the trigger bar. The older versions of the Camalot had a simple tab that held the trigger wire on the bar. It was easy to reinstall the trigger wire by simply pushing it up through the trigger bar slot, aligning it with the tab and pulling down on the trigger wires to snug them in place. Because of the smaller diameter wire used on the Ultralights, they slip off easier. It appears that Black Diamond attempted to counter this by adding a nub in front of the tab which to try to keep the wire from slipping off. Unfortunately, the wire still slips off and the nub makes it much more difficult to reattach the trigger wire without the aid of small tools.

I did some looking on climbing forums and found that many people are having problems with this. It appears that when the trigger bar gets bumped forward (when packed or when fumbling with gear) the trigger wires can easily become dislodged, rendering the cam unusable until fixed. This is an annoying repair at the base of a climb but it could be nearly impossible to fix on lead. Some people online suggested epoxy, but if you ever needed to fix a broken wire, it could be difficult to dig all the epoxy out to extricate the wire. I think I’ve come up with a better solution: silicone caulk. Silcone caulk has the advantage of adhering the cable to the bar while still remaining flexible. It also should be easy to remove the caulk in the event you need to replace a broken wire.

Instructions:

I used a small dab of Clear DAP Dynaflex 230 in the small hole on the underside of the trigger bar. I used my finger to push it in and wipe away excess. I also added a dab of caulk on the top of the trigger bar around the clip. I then let it dry overnight and tested it by pushing the trigger bar all the way forward multiple times. It seemed hold up well. I’ll post updates as needed if I find durability issues.