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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I did a nice link-up of seven pitches on Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend, but I don't have any pictures. Why? Because I dropped my camera from about 300 feet up the cliff. This is the fourth mini-digital I've lost in about three years: I dropped one in the mud along the Little Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, left one on the roof my rental car as I drove away from Frankenstein in New Hampshire after ice climbing, had one stolen in Spain, and now dropped one off Hallett's northeast face. Years ago I dropped another camera off the Diamond on Longs Peak. The good news is that it's remarkably cheap to replace these cameras. The bad news is I'm a confirmed moron.

Ironically, I was experimenting with a new system for carrying my tiny camera while climbing. This new system cannot be recommended. If anyone has a great method for carrying small cameras—keeping the camera secure and out of the way while leading or following, yet quickly accessible (and secure) for shooting—I'd love to hear about it.


Anonymous said...

I usually wear a belt, and have the camera case body on that, after the second loop of the harness, and before the back loops. A think sling girth hitched to camera loop or body and attached to a spare biner negates the bozo factor usually out in full force with me :-).

I havent found a really convenient case yet (cannon A630 series) tho, so its all a bit too bulky and hard to access as yet.

Anonymous said...

I have a little sony digicam in a lowepro case (fits perfectly) that I put on my shoulder strap. I put the camera's wrist strap through the biner and since the case is up near my head I never need to take the wrist strap out of the biner.

pull it out, shoot, put it back. Since it is on the biner I can even just drop it and let it hang there for a dicy situation. It can bang and even perhaps break, but I will never lose the pics if it did bang while hanging outside of the case

Anonymous said...

They don't seem to make the same case anymore but this one is similar,2012,25.htm
(I got mine at REI)

My camera is OK, it is a Sony DSC-W5 I think. Had a nice underwater housing available for it.
Lou Dawson does some good reviews and loves his Cannon cams.

Anonymous said...

My partner John carries his in his avy beacon harness. Brilliant! It stays close to his body, does not interfere with climbing, and uses a piece of gear that he (and, likely, all of us) already has.

The funny thing is that John has been doing this for years, and I've still been too lazy to follow his lead. My camera does not fit my Barryvox harness as cleanly as John's does. I've barely gotten around to putting a keeper sling on my camera...


Anonymous said...

you should have seen it..........
it was beautiful ! like a Coors Silver Bullett, at terminal velocity.
it wizzed by my head in a streak. I thot "shit, you dropped one of my Cams !!" but, alas: it was ONLY your camera!

then i realized that one camera is equal to money for about 3 cams.

best part of the day was getting Dougald to fetch my pack from about 300' uphill at the off-route start.

he 'owned' me one. see his Feb. issue herein. Grrrrrrrreg.

-Jared said...

Hey Doug

The system I use is similar to the Avy Harness one posted above, with a few little added details. It's the best, most user friendly bozo-prevention rig I've figured out yet, after 5 summers of near-daily camera use.

I use a Canon SD900 (Great camera, btw, their newer SD950 is even better!) in a Lowepro standard compact digital case. The Lowepro case is velcroed into a radio chest harness, with a spring mounted cable "Gearkeeper" gear retractor attaching the camera to the case and harness.

Pros - The camera is solidly attached to you, no matter what. The spring-loaded cable lets you get the camera as far away from your body as your arm can reach, giving you more compositional freedom than you have if the camera is clipped to your pack, jacket, or harness with a runner/cord. If you need to drop it and let it hang, it auto-retracts back up to the harness, keeping it out of harms way til you can put it back in the case. Keeps the camera close to the chest, so it stays warm and relatively dry under a shell jacket, but still close at hand for a picture in any gnarly situation where you have even one free hand. The retractable cable attachment doesn't add another lanyard to get in your way, hanging from the harness, tangled up in cams, taking up space on a gear loop, etc (those little spring-loaded cable thingies are BRILLIANT little bits of gear - not sure why we don't see more folks using them in the mountains).

Cons - the radio harness/camera case combo can be a bit bulky under the jacket, if you're using a gear sling, it can make getting it on/off a little tricky. Also, I would imagine not too many people already own a radio harness, though they are fairly cheap

I'm sure you could rig a similar setup on an avy harness, maybe on one of the straps, or on the side of the harness body.