Ask any seasoned Valley climber to name his favorite small-crack cams, and more likely than not his response will be the Alien. The super-narrow heads and unique cam shapes helped them slip into piton scars and other awkward placements like a hand in a silk glove. When Colorado Custom Hardware ceased production of the treasured piece in 2009, climbers everywhere gasped. But now Spain’s Fixe Hardware has bought the machines and re-launched the Alien with virtually the same design.
Fixe is selling six sizes of Aliens, from black (tiny) to red (jumbo finger cracks). Though Fixe says the design, materials, and fabrication are identical to the old CCH version, our primary tester felt the new Aliens had smoother trigger action.