Its function is to place them in the cracks and fractures of the rock so that they act as an insurance point in the event of a fall when we are climbing.
Climbing friends are mobile insurance elements and have the advantage and particularity that are adjustable. That is to say, each one, within their range, can be adapted to various widths of fissure, which makes them very versatile. This same adaptive capacity makes them very fast to place and take.
The cams are manufactured in different aluminum alloys and are driven by a handle to close them and a spring that tends to leave them open. This particular system is the one that allows you to close them to insert them into the fissures and then expand inside them. In addition the simple force of the dock is sufficient to generate the necessary friction so that they take them force more force the more traction there is on the climbing friends.
The idea of this type of device is not new and it has been used since the 40s or 50s
Friends are the biggest contribution to free climbing and has become an icon of free climbing and general climbing in general.
The use of climbing friends is not limited exclusively to free climbing, but thanks to the incorporation of the flexible cable spindle and the appearance of smaller measures, it has become an indispensable tool for artificial climbing
Since its inception, many manufacturers have dared to make friends, but nowadays only a few have done with an important piece of the market due to details and benefits that others have not achieved:
A greater rank for each friend, which allows to adapt it to more fissures.
The double axis that makes it possible to be used as a passive inlet for progression, but above all it makes climbing friends continue to function correctly for much longer.
The possibility of obtaining spare parts or possibility of repair.
The color coding so that it is easier to locate the size that we are looking for between all the material that we carry.
There is currently a wide variety of designs, but only a few succeed, with some designs remaining for a small group of specialists who need special tools.
Nowadays we can split the friends of climbing into 2 large groups: Friends for large and normal sizes and Microfriends for smaller sizes. Due to its design, regardless of size, there are normal Friends, without a special denomination and "Offset" or asymmetrical that have cams of 2 different sizes to adapt to unparalleled fissures and special situations ... These They would be part of the minority climbing friends.
Here we know these devices like Friends, "Friends", but in the Anglo-Saxon market they are known as "Cams", which literally means cams.