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tinman_2503


Apr 5, 2008, 7:51 AM
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starting a rack, need advice please!
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I've been looking to start a rack for trad climbing and would like to know if there is any gear to stay away from and must own pieces. also which name brands are better for what styles. thanks
Aaron


minexploration


Apr 5, 2008, 8:02 AM
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Read the forum and do research. Everyone will say find a partner and climb on there rack till you have a good feeling what you like.


tinman_2503


Apr 5, 2008, 8:15 AM
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thanks. i'm not just looking for only name brands either. i'm looking to figure out whats a good starting point for sizes to buy


ja1484


Apr 5, 2008, 8:16 AM
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Must have piece: Search Button.


tinman_2503 wrote:
i'm not just looking for only name brands either.

You should be.


maldaly


Apr 5, 2008, 8:54 AM
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Just wrote this up yesterday for people who attended my clinics at the RRR. I call the clinics Trad Leading for the Chickenhearted so I guess you could call this Trad Rack for the Chickenhearted. It's is what is on my rack so it's obviously weighted towards the Trango stuff.

• Wild Country Rocks. I like these because the shapes is simple and I’m used to placing them. Smallest size up through the size of your big toe (#1 - #8?). Any bigger and they get weird. I usually don’t carry the smallest 2 sizes.
• F.R.O.S.T. Sentinel nuts. Great symmetrical nuts with lots of good karma.
• RP's: #3 - #8 (#1-2 are good for aid only)
• HB Offsets: All sizes except #1 & 2. HB is out of business so DMM is making the larger sizes in forged aluminum now. The small brass ones are only available at the Yosemite Mountain Shop. Don’t know the name of the company that is making them but I hear that it’s the same person who made them for HB.
• Wild Country Lite Rocks: I love these things. Offset like the HBs but taller and on a single cable. Not as strong but they are available in most shops.
• Tricams: #.5, #1, #1.5, #2, #5 (Sometimes I double up on the .5 – 1.5, but that’s just me. The #5 is un-popular with the masses but is probably the most useful nut I carry. Fits from 21⁄2” to 31⁄2”. Great for huecos and building belays in boulder piles. I never leave home without it.)
• Cams: You can spend a lot of $ in this category. I usually carry: Full size range from pinky size through big hands (1/2” to 3 1/2") with doubles from 1" to 2 1/2 ". For most routes this will do. For desert cracks you may need 10-15 all of the same size! I hate tine cams. Anything below ½” is sketchy in real rock. I’ve never had a sub-1/2” cam hold more than 500lbs in real rock. I use the Maxcams and Aliens.
o Trango FlexCams: Terrific value and terrific function. Lightweight and very easy to use. Doubled sling frequently eliminates the need for a quickdraw.
o Trango MaxCams: With a 2:1 expansion these will go where other cams won’t. Work well in flares and pods and the extendible sling frequently eliminates the need for a runner. Be careful: we mean it when we say they are designed to be used in the smaller half of their expansion range. If they walk they can invert ! Best used in highly featured cracks.
o Black Diamond Camalots: I don’t carry these but it would be lame of me to not mention the most popular cams out there. Well made and smooth with a somewhat extend expansion range. Expensive but most people think they’re worth it.
o Aliens: Nice in the 5 small sizes. Flexy cable makes them very stable but hard to get out. I usually carry 2-3 of the small ones. They have major production problems and I wouldn’t trust these any more. I only still climb on mine because I have proof tested them. I hope they can get their sh*t together and begin to manufacture like a real company. Poor customer service and PR.
o Metolius: Popular U-frame cams. Well made and the new versions are quite light. Fat cams are nice for soft and rotten desert rock but don't bother otherwise. I’m not a fan of U-frame cams but many are. Can’t go wrong with the sizes from finger to 1 ½”. The new Master Cams look good (Single stem!) but the jury is still out as to whether they will be as good as the Aliens.
o Tiny Cams: This is a category, not a brand. Be waaaay careful with these. They may seem secure but rarely are. Anything less than ½” should be considered suspect. Small stoppers or BallNutz are usually better.
• Trango BallNutz: Use these instead of tiny cams. They fit into more places are much stronger. Take the time to learn to place them and remove them and you’ll love them.
• Carabiners: You need one carabiner for each cam or TriCam and one for every 4-6 wired nuts. Rack your wired nuts by size, not by model. The new lightweight ‘biners are awesome for trad climbing. The Trango Superfly has become the standard in this category at 30gm but are now lots of other light 'biners. You’ll be amazed at how much weight this pulls off your rack. I use the wire gates exclusively when trad climbing. Bring 6 free wire gate 'biners.
All of this gets carried on a gear sling. I don’t like racking on my harness—makes my pants feel like they’re falling down. It’s faster to hand off a gear sling while swinging leads and you can move it out of the way for corners and chimneys. Gear slings are a PITA when low-angle slab climbing, however.
• Quickdraws: Bring anywhere from 6 to 25 of these. Rack straight gates on the top and bent gates on the rope end. I usually have 6 12cm draws and 6 extendible draws racked with Superfly wire gate carabiners. I also usually have a 12 cm quickdraw rigged with Superfly lockers on each end.
• Slings: 2 shoulder slings, each with 2 Superfly lockers on them. Also 2 48” runners with 2 Superfly lockers on them. I use these for anchor building.
• Belay device: I like the Trango B-52 because it’s light, elegant and does everything well. Really smooth to rappel with, can be used as an emergency ascender and if you insist, you can autoblock your seconds with it. More stopping power than an ATC or Pyramid but not as much as JAWS or and ATC XP. I always rack my belay device on an HMS locker along with an extra Superfly wiregate. When I rig the rope in the belay device I clip the extra ‘biner into my right leg loop (left if you brake with your left hand) with the gate opening up and out. Then, if the lower gets too fast or hot I can then throw in the brake rope as a re-direct and smooth it right out.
• I don’t carry a cordalette when doing multi-pitch trad.
• Knife: I used to carry a tiny locking Gerber knife on a string around my neck. There have been tons of times that I've needed to cut an old sling out of a bolt or pin while hanging of one hand. The knife on a string trick let's you access it one-handed. Better still is the Trango Shark nut tool. It has a folding blade on the handle that stays locked when carried on a carabiner. I don’t tie my nut tool in with a leash. They always get tangled up. Some people use a wrist leash.
• Headlamp: I carry two on multipitch days. A Petzl e-Light on my chalk bag belt or pocket and a Petzl Myo XP in my pack. The e-Light is great for late night descents and the Myo has a beam that can cut steel for the long hike out.
• First Aid Kit: I carry a bandana, knife and roll of white tape. These and the knowledge you get from a First Responder course will get you through just about everything you’ll encounter. If something happens while climbing that requires immediate attention it will be bad and bloody. The tiny squeeze packet of Neosporin you get in those “backpacker” first aid kits won’t do you any good.
• Prussik Loop: I carry a short one wrapped around my right leg loop so its always there as a blocker knot for rappelling. If it’s anywhere else I find that I don’t use it and since I’ve rappelled off the ends of my ropes twice, I like to use it.

There you have it. I use the above items because it’s what I like to use. Almost everything works and is safe with a few notable items. It’s being familiar with what you have and being smart that will bring you to trad climbing bliss.


(This post was edited by maldaly on Apr 5, 2008, 8:59 AM)


8flood8


Apr 5, 2008, 9:25 AM
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WHAT!? no big bros?!!!


tinman_2503


Apr 5, 2008, 9:37 AM
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thanks so much!!! this is exactly what i needed


maldaly


Apr 5, 2008, 9:41 AM
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BigBros are cool but I'd be a liar if I said they were on my rack on a regular basis. I can't climb wide stuff for shit but I do occasionally carry 'bro to protect the lip of a roof. Cams placed at the lif of a roof are always unstable and they trap the rope. 'Bros act as a great rope guide.
Mal


8flood8


Apr 5, 2008, 9:50 AM
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Point noted.

however. i think it would be hard to get me to even attempt a roof that started with something big enough for my #3...

i will be getting a number 2 tho because there is an awesome climb that will gobble it up (should actually change the rating from 10R to 10) woohoo!


maslarkr


Apr 5, 2008, 12:38 PM
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plan on spending A LOT of money if you're going to start a rack (if you buy some cams) Unsure


elnero


Apr 11, 2008, 7:17 PM
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tinman_2503 wrote:
thanks. i'm not just looking for only name brands either. i'm looking to figure out whats a good starting point for sizes to buy

You kinda need all the sizes to climb a route unless you know exactly what pieces you'll need. That or you just need 10 of one size, and climb in the creek.


richardvg03


Apr 14, 2008, 9:00 AM
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I am extremely knew but I feel obligated to let you know that i buy Black Diamond C4's because they can be placed both as active and passive... as long as you know how to place them...


stymingersfink


Apr 15, 2008, 7:09 PM
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Re: [maldaly] starting a rack, need advice please! [In reply to]
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maldaly wrote:
o Aliens: Nice in the 5 small sizes. Flexy cable makes them very stable but hard to get out. I usually carry 2-3 of the small ones. They have major production problems and I wouldn’t trust these any more. I only still climb on mine because I have proof tested them. I hope they can get their sh*t together and begin to manufacture like a real company. Poor customer service and PR.
<leans over, whispering into mal's good ear>

SO Mal...

When are you going to buy that little POS garage-company and start fixing what's broke with it?

You know, you work out that little production problem they seem to have and you'd get some previously disappointed/now very stoked customers who'd swore off ever buying Aliens again.

*shrug* Just a suggestion, ya know?

</whisper>





<returning to rc.n00b SOP>

Use the search function and STFU, n00b!

</SOP>

Smile


dutyje


Apr 15, 2008, 7:42 PM
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maldaly wrote:
Giant post about a rack

This is why everybody should own something Trango. Thanks, Mr. Daly.

Although I will disagree with you on a couple things. The doubled slings on the FlexCams were why I had bought them to serve as doubles throughout my cam range. I've found in practice that I almost never extend the doubled sling because it doesn't add enough length. Actually, the extension difference seems more like hair-splitting than anything else. But I am a bit of a long-slinger. A while back you had inquired about putting a tripled sling on the cams. I would love to see this as an option.

Are Aliens stll untrustworthy? Shame. I want Aliens.

25 quickdraws? Holy Dyneema, Batman! I'm a long-slinger and I love to sew it up, but I don't know if I've ever used more than 12 slings on a pitch.

I love the advice about a draw assembled with lockers. Too few people do this, IMO.

Right on with the Superfly. This is still the best lightweight biner out there for the money. People may see it as company bias, but this biner is the all-star on my rack, half of which is Heliums. The newer biners which shave a couple more grams aren't nearly as nice to use. Dang, I never thought I'd be so riled up about a biner.


bobruef


Apr 15, 2008, 8:43 PM
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Re: [dutyje] starting a rack, need advice please! [In reply to]
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dutyje wrote:
maldaly wrote:
Giant post about a rack

This is why everybody should own something Trango. Thanks, Mr. Daly.

Although I will disagree with you on a couple things. The doubled slings on the FlexCams were why I had bought them to serve as doubles throughout my cam range. I've found in practice that I almost never extend the doubled sling because it doesn't add enough length. Actually, the extension difference seems more like hair-splitting than anything else. But I am a bit of a long-slinger. A while back you had inquired about putting a tripled sling on the cams. I would love to see this as an option.

Are Aliens stll untrustworthy? Shame. I want Aliens.

25 quickdraws? Holy Dyneema, Batman! I'm a long-slinger and I love to sew it up, but I don't know if I've ever used more than 12 slings on a pitch.

I love the advice about a draw assembled with lockers. Too few people do this, IMO.

Right on with the Superfly. This is still the best lightweight biner out there for the money. People may see it as company bias, but this biner is the all-star on my rack, half of which is Heliums. The newer biners which shave a couple more grams aren't nearly as nice to use. Dang, I never thought I'd be so riled up about a biner.

ditto on the superfly. I'm also pretty fond of the superfly lockers. While not super versatile, they weigh nothing.

trango rocks and mal is the MAN.

regarding the passive Camalot comment above, i've place a c4 passivley once. It was a very odd anchor situation and I could have definitely accomplished the same thing w/ a double length sling. I definitely wouldn't consider the passive thing a good reason to purchase them. I digg 'em though.


elnero


Apr 15, 2008, 8:48 PM
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Re: [bobruef] starting a rack, need advice please! [In reply to]
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Pretty sure most cams can be placed passive these days. WC, DMM, and metolius all have full strength cam stops.


maldaly


Apr 15, 2008, 9:07 PM
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Re: [elnero] starting a rack, need advice please! [In reply to]
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Yeah, 25 draws is a lot but it seems to me that I've done more than one pitch with over 20 clips. Add a couple for the anchors and a couple to drop and you're pretty close to 25 draws.

Most of the time I carry 6 extendibles and 6 regular draws for trad routes. For Indian Creek routes, I usually carry 2-3 draws and 2-3 extendibles.
Mal


(This post was edited by maldaly on Apr 15, 2008, 9:07 PM)


rokklimbur


Apr 16, 2008, 1:14 AM
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Re: [tinman_2503] starting a rack, need advice please! [In reply to]
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dont buy palstic biners they melt ohto your rope on fall factors over .36


acorneau


Apr 16, 2008, 7:44 AM
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dutyje wrote:
Right on with the Superfly. This is still the best lightweight biner out there for the money.

I'd love to get some myself. I just wish they came in keylock, especially the locker. I'd buy a bunch!


donald949


Apr 17, 2008, 3:28 PM
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Well Mal's rack is impressive. I started with stoppers and hexes. Then I added Cams, one at a time after graduating from dirtbag college student. I'm also a long sling fan, I have 12 one foot long hand tied slings and 6 24 inch sewn slings. I just want extra slack so I don't pull my pro out as I climb.
The online stores like gearexpress and mountain gear will have sets of stoppers and hexes that you can get into for little $. But if you got money to blow, mountaingear.com has 6 BD Camalots, 8 Hexes, 10 stoppers, 6 24" gear slings, nut tool, and a gear sling, $600. Bada Bing Bada Bang, you're a trad leader. Ummm, climb safe?
Yea, I also like the idea of following a old hand and having them mentor. Just understad, sometimes old hands run it out a little on easy terrain.
Don


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