Joe Harris has done a hell of a job for the sales of the ART Spiderjack in the Asia-Pacific Region… and elsewhere across the globe no doubt.
Joe manages to make climbing with the Spiderjack look easy peeezy. Consequently, there are literally hundreds of young tree climbers striving to mimic the World Number 2 (2012 ITCC).
One of the first questions asked by new, and would-be Spiderjack owners is the expected life expectancy for the cam.
Treetools always says the same thing: expect one month to six weeks of consistent climbing out of the first cam. After that you might get six to nine months before the need to change - see previous blog posts on the subject here and here.
But now and then we get a climber who appears to be doing everything right and yet the Spiderjack begins to slip, the result of premature wear of the cam.
By doing things right, we mean they are running a suitable climbing line (Samson Velocity), have mastered the subtle balance between the wooden brake and the lower toggle (so as not to pinch the cam unduly) and they can manage jumps and branch walk with some semblance of order, smooth and efficient.
And yet the replacement cam still wears out and begins to slip on the line following a month of medium use.
Slippage typically occurs when the climber is close to the canopy anchor point. That means there is plenty of weight in the tail of rope, the loading of which could be pressing down on the cam causing it to slip?
Given the high location of the climber even a small unexplained downward movement on the line is amplified loudly to the brain - DANGER!
The question is: is the slippage real? Or is it perceived slippage - the result of hearing too many stories about the premature wearing of the ART Spiderjack cam perhaps?
Treetools cannot adequately explain what is happening in these instances so we would like to hear more from climbers who think they know why the cams are wearing out too quickly.
Spot the difference: the Spiderjack cam on the left is brand new, and the one on the right has done its dash - slipping on the line without so much as a thank you!