I had a bunch of equipment and personal items stolen from my car while I was out climbing in St. George yesterday. It was a fairly upsetting experience, and without going into it too much, I have yet another opportunity to grow and to let go.
I am reminded of a question asked about another upsetting experience this year. A co-worker asked, “Is it a problem or an opportunity?” His words echo in my head today and have helped me step back and find a new perspective.
So, I have the opportunity to buy a bunch of new climbing equipment.
In the midst of researching climbing gear I stumbled upon some information regarding CCH Alien Cams. These have been indispensable parts of my climbing rack, especially for aid climbing. For the past two years I have babied my few Aliens, because they are no longer in production. Well, I discovered today that Aliens are BACK. This discovery is very exciting for a climbing nerd like me. For a minute I forgot that I was preparing to spend a thousand dollars on new climbing gear. Anyhow, Aliens are set to be released by two European companies, Fixe-Fader and Totem. Both are established and respected climbing gear manufacturers.
Information on the “new” Aliens is somewhat hard to come by, but from what I gather both are going to be released soon and will have all the same features of the “old” Aliens. Fixe-Fader is reportedly using the exact same equipment, materials, process, and name. Totem is releasing the “Basic Cam” as an Alien upgrade with a few improvements and shifting the sizes. The new version uses the same engineering and colors/sizes, but has made them all a bit smaller, eliminating the need for the grey Alien. They are also using rounded cam lobes and a more flexible trigger wire, which seem to be mostly superficial changes.
I will write a review as soon as I can get my hands on some of these new pieces. I found one review of the Totem “Basic Cams” on Mountain Project here. Of course, the expected release date has already come and gone, but perhaps we will have these available in the spring. Until then, sleep easy knowing that you no longer have to buy used CCH Aliens at more than retail price to experience the beauty of this simple but effective piece.