Overall Design Philosophy

The Valley Giant cams were originally conceived to be strong, stable, reliable and user-friendly offwidth crack cams. Rather than simply enlarge an existing cam, the design process started with a completely blank sheet of paper. Each element of the assembly has been analyzed to determine how to optimize it in the context of a very large climbing cam. Unlike mass-produced climbing cams, the Valley Giants have not been constrained by any existing design, nor have they been compelled to incorporate components originally designed for smaller cams. This complete freedom to design the cams properly - regardless of any other consideration - has resulted in a number of features, many unique to the Valley Giant, that make them the best offwidth cams in the world.

U-Shaped Clip-In Cable

The U-shaped cable was an immediate and logical conclusion, based on the need to minimize the bending moment in the axle. A smaller cam, such as the original Jardine design, can use a single stem in the center of the axle for the clip-in point. But, as the width of a cam increases, loading a long axle in the middle creates intolerable stresses. Moving the loading points very close to the cam lobes greatly reduces the bending moment in the axle, improving strength, reliability and safety.

Cam Lobe Spacers

Early analysis and testing demonstrated that the lateral stability of the lobes was a very important consideration for large cams. The angle between the lobes and the axle is ideally 90 degrees; any deviation from this induces bending of the lobes when the cam is loaded. The effect is pronounced for even very small angular deviations, and rapidly escalates, in a non-linear fashion, as the lobe tilts further and further. The solution was to incorporate unique design elements: cam lobe spacers. These spacers restrain the lobes, minimizing their ability to tilt on the axle, and greatly improve the Valley Giant's strength and stability under adverse loading conditions.

Solid Trigger Wires

Stainless steel spring wire, instead of flexible cable trigger wires, ensures that the head of the cam doesn't flop around when you reach up to place it. The solid trigger wires also stabilize the head of the cam when pushing it up a crack - a very valuable trait in an offwidth cam. Large cams with flexible trigger wires tend to be difficult to push up a crack. The head starts to rotate to one side, tilting further and further, until the lobes snap all the way open and the cam falls out of the crack. When you push a Valley Giant, the head stays symmetric and stable, never tilting to one side or the other.

All Steel Parts Are Stainless Steel

Designing any sort of device for reliable use outdoors, in rain and snow, necessarily implies using corrosion-resistant materials. So, from the very beginning, all Valley Giant steel components have been ASTM 302/304 grade stainless steel, including the cam springs. Using stainless steel also means you don't need to use any type of silicone spray, WD-40, TriFlow or other lubricant to keep corrosion at bay. Those lubricants tend to attract dust and dirt, and quickly impair the smooth operation of a climbing cam. A properly designed cam, like the Valley Giant, works best without any sort of grit-attracting oily spray.

Silver Brazed Cable Fittings

The stainless steel aircraft cable loop is joined to the axle fittings by silver brazing to a depth of 3/4" (19mm).  To ensure 100% reliability of all brazed joints, a tiny vent hole is drilled into each cable fitting. The brazing alloy only flows from the vent hole after the joint is completely filled, and this tiny circle of silver alloy, visible on the cable fitting, is your guarantee that the process was done correctly. The Valley Giant #12 incorporates another unique feature: the cable itself is brazed solid for a few inches near the fittings, creating inflexible rods. This ensures that the long cable legs don't buckle when the trigger is pulled.