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G.O.S.H. Cams
(Gated Open Sided Hauling)

Version A Version B
Version A Version B
 
Version C Version D Version E
Version C Version D Version E

Overview


Version A
(#82, 2074)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Top Open for Rigging
Top Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my G.O.S.H. Cam, Version A from R. C. Schroeder at the 1992 NSS Convention. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

Version A is 51 mm. tall, 79 mm. wide, 52 mm. thick, and weighs 169 g.

Version A has three flying bats stamped on the spine.

Comments

G.O.S.H cams are hand crafted by R. C. Schroeder. Each version was produced in both left-hand and right-hand models. Version A is an early cam that uses a captured spring-loaded pin to hold the side gate shut. Pulling the pin releases the gate. The cam is an early design that was later replaced when R. C. decided that this design didn't always grip well enough on 9 mm. rope.


Version B
(#83)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Top Open for Rigging
Top Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my G.O.S.H. Cam, Version A from R. C. Schroeder at the 1992 NSS Convention.

Version B is 50 mm. tall, 79 mm. wide, 52 mm. thick, and weighs 171 g.

Version B has three flying bats stamped on the spine.

Comments

Version B is much like Version A, except the spring-loaded pull pin is replaced by a captured quick-release pin.


Version C
(#84, 175, 2263)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Top Open for Rigging
Top Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired one G.O.S.H. Cam, Version C from Bill Storage in 1993, and a pair from William Shrewsbury at the 2004 Old Timers Reunion. I acquired another pair in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

Version C is 50 mm. tall, 87 mm. wide, 61 mm. thick, and weighs 196 g.

Version C has three flying bats stamped on the spine.

Comments

The G.O.S.H. cam is a well-made, aesthetically pleasing ascender. On first glance, it unfortunately reminds one of the dreaded Hiebler, but closer inspection shows that this ascender is a much safer machine. It operates on the same principal as the Gibbs, and would normally be used in the same manner.

The G.O.S.H. Cam is machined from solid aluminum, rather than made from stampings and castings. A stainless-steel wear pin helps limit cam wear. The workmanship is excellent. I don't know the breaking strength on the G.O.S.H. cam, and don't care. It is obviously strong enough for its intended use, and under reasonable loads, does no apparent rope damage.

The ascender is the same width and thickness as a standard Gibbs, but only half the height. The side has a hinged gate that opens so that one can thread the rope without disassembling the ascender. Attaching the G.O.S.H. cam to the rope is far more convenient than disassembling the standard Gibbs, and the clumsiness of the massive blue Gibbs is avoided as well. The test G.O.S.H. cam weighs 195 grams, compared to 241 grams for a gold Gibbs (with wear pins) and 272 grams for a blue Gibbs. Many cavers will find the small size and weight of the G.O.S.H. cam attractive.

The small size of the G.O.S.H. cam has three detrimental effects. First, the shortness of the shell allows the ascender to rotate more under load than, say, a Gibbs would. This results in less efficient climbing because a larger lifting motion is required to release the ascender before it can be raised. Second, the rotation reduces the cam-to-rope force, making the cam more likely to slip. The cam design has been modified a few times to help address this problem. This version holds better over a range of rope types, sizes, and conditions than the earlier versions; still, the Gibbs is probably superior under adverse conditions. Finally, the G.O.S.H. cam does not ride up the rope as easily as the Gibbs because the upper part of the frame is not large enough to act as an effective guide. I find that the G.O.S.H. shell tends to rotate sideways and bind more easily than the Gibbs does.

Will it replace my other ascenders? No, but neither will the Gibbs. I find that the Jumar-type ascenders provide more flexibility in the caves I'm used to working in. Your caves may differ, and you should base your ascender selection on your own needs. The G.O.S.H. may appeal to members of the ropewalker crowd who are looking for a either smaller ascender or one that does not need to be disassembled before use. I do not recommend using the G.O.S.H. cam as a safety in rescue hauling systems, but of course, I don't know of any ascender that I would recommend in that capacity - there is enough specially-designed equipment available for that task.


Version D
(#162, 2075)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Top Open for Rigging
Top Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my G.O.S.H. Cam, Version D from R. C. Schroeder at the 2002 NSS Convention. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

Version D is 35 mm. tall, 85 mm. wide, 35 mm. thick, and weighs 121 g.

R. C. Schroeder, who makes these, engraved my name on the ascender in three places. This was his standard practice at the time.

Comments

The G.O.S.H. cam is a well-made, aesthetically pleasing ascender. G.O.S.H. ascenders are highly polished, so the photographs reveal minute imperfections that most people would not notice. The photographs are deceiving - these are very nicely made.

The G.O.S.H. Cam is machined from solid aluminum, rather than made from stampings and castings. A stainless-steel wear pin helps limit cam wear. The workmanship is excellent. Version D uses a machined gate instead of the plate used on the earlier versions. A lip on the gate fits a groove in the shell, providing a locking action that greatly increases the strength of these already-strong small ascenders. The gate has a push-button latch that must be depressed before the gate can swing open. The internal workings are O-ring sealed to protect them from dirt and mud.

R. C. Schroeder showed me the internal workings of the G.O.S.H. cam, but asked me not to give the secret away. I think he was kidding since anyone can buy one and tear it apart, but I'll honor the request anyhow.

R. C. Schroeder has shown that with a proper ropewalking rig, down-climbing with G.O.S.H. ascenders is surprisingly easy. Rope walkers may want to try this ascender.


Version E
(#163, 2075)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Top Open for Rigging
Top Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my G.O.S.H. Cam, Version D from R. C. Schroeder at the 2002 NSS Convention. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

Version E is 37 mm. tall, 80 mm. wide, 36 mm. thick, and weighs 151 g.

R. C. Schroeder, who makes these, engraved my name on the ascender in three places. This was his standard practice at the time.

Comments

Version E is similar to Version D, except that the eye is replaced by a fitting designed to let the ascender to be sewn directly to a foot loop in a ropewalking system.