Unbelayvable: Unconventional Cam Lube

By Kevin Corrigan ,

Every Monday we publish the most unbelievable stories of climbing stupidity submitted by our readers. See something unbelayvable? Email unbelayvable@climbing.com and your story could be featured online or in print. For more Unbelayvable, check out the Unbelayvable Archives.

Don't pee on these. We shouldn't have to say that. Photo: mattcyp88/Flickr; CC BY 2.0

We were racking up at the base of the Grand Wall in Squamish. We’d opted to use my old rack, but the trigger on one of my #1 cams was stuck. My partner asked to see the cam, turned around, and then I heard a tinkling noise. He was peeing on the cam head. The urine lubricated the cam, but I forced him to carry it for the climb. Instead, I chose to run out the Split Pillar hand crack.
James Lucas

LESSON: Gross. While urine isn’t particularly dangerous, tests have shown that a rope soaked in urine overnight broke after 30 percent fewer test falls. It could weaken the cam’s nylon sling slightly. But this is more an issue of etiquette. Before peeing on your partner’s cam, try the standard method: Clean it in warm, soapy water, and then lube the moving parts with WD-40, bike-chain lube, or a climbing-specific lube. Climbers on Internet forums like to debate the merits of various options. If you're unsure, Metolius's wax-based formula is a safe bet. If that doesn’t work, you still shouldn’t pee on it. Peeing on climbing gear is never the answer.

You would think he would've tried water before pee.

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