Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond RURP Review

Black Diamond RURP
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Jun 11, 2010
Price:  $17 List  |  $14.95 at Amazon - 12% Off
Pros:  Sometimes only piton that works in horizontal cracks and under roofs.
Cons:  Not as secure as Tomahawks and Peckers in most situations, can't be used for clean aid.
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

RURP stands for Realized Ultimate Reality Piton. They were the original thin piton for micro cracks. Today, they are very rarely used because Tomahawks and Peckers work so much better in most cases. These were used here and there until Charlie Porter place 30+ in a row on The Shield. That lead opened up the imagination of hard climbers for long, sustained and scary thing crack lines.

On 99 percent of walls, you don't need Black Diamond RURPS. I have only placed a handful in my life and they were usually on first ascents. If you are doing a hard aid route or a first ascent, bring a couple. Otherwise, the Moses Tomahawk and Black Diamond Pecker are much more effective. Tomahawks and Peckers are more secure, easier to clean, and can sometimes be used as clean aid placements.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Likes


Rurps really only excel at two things: horizontal cracks and under roofs.

Dislikes


RURPS are hard to place securely. You often need to hit them really hard which makes then difficult to clean. Since the only way to clean is often to yank out on the cable, the cable often breaks and leaves them fixed.

It is unfortunate that Black Diamond uses #2 cable for these. As Mike point's out below in the user reviews, these would easily take #4 cable which is wider, stronger and much more durable. Since RURPs often get fixed, the number two cable quickly breaks leaving a worthless steel-filled placement. BD, please go #4 (or at least #3).

Chris McNamara


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 30, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (3.7)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 25%  (1)
4 star: 25%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 50%  (2)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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   Aug 30, 2010 - 06:35pm
Piton Ron · Climber · Toquerville, Utah

My 1973 Chouinard catalog (collector's item!) there are no prices, but the next one with Machapuchare on the cover has rurps at $1.35 !!

But they had no cables.

I cabled mine at Neptune's with HEAVY cable and the following spring ('76) showed them to Yvon in C4.

They shortly started cabling them, but the cable is too thin.


CMI crack tacs have an offset design that is superior, but they didn't have cables either.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Climber

Aug 19, 2010 - 07:18pm
 
Mighty Hiker · Climber · Vancouver, B.C.

They also look really cool on keychains!




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   Aug 19, 2010 - 07:14pm
Mike. · Climber

Musings from the time machine aside…

RURPs can hold like mad, but can be a bitch to place and clean (which can be better done with heading tools).

The cable gets smashed when placed in a corner.

#2 cable on RURPs is a joke. Why #2? The hole can take up to #4 cable, and the pin can hold enough to warrant a stronger clipping connection.

How often do you find fixed RURPs compared to beak-like pins? How often are they useless (broken cable, difficult/impossible to re-thread)? RURPs may be good emergency insurance, but their difficulty in placing and cleaning, and their overall durability compared to other pin designs makes the RURP somewhat outmoded on vertical seams.

Money would be better spent on more refined tools like Tomahawks, et al. With that said, I would carry a RURP on a thin nailing pitch for that odd placement that just doesn't want to take a beak-like pin.



Climber

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   Aug 19, 2010 - 05:28pm
chiindi · Climber · Lakeview, OR

I used 26 CHOUNARD RURPS on one runout on Kat Pinnacle in 1975. There was nothing else for working the fingernail cracks! I always carried a few, they weigh nothing and when you need them you won't bitch about the extra weight? on your rack. You guys now have more gear choices than I ever had. It was swami belt, runners, stoppers, bongs, nuts, $8 beaners, and helmets were for cops and motorcycle riders. …Not much in the way of cam stuff yet, just a few offerings from Jim Lowe in Colo. Is this turning into a rich mans sport?

$15/ea, are you kidding! Yvon used to ship a bunch to me in an envelope for a few bucks.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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