Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Rock/Ice Climbing in the Adirondacks
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-25-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
eddogg12
...46 or Bust!
 
eddogg12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 320
Beginner Trad Rack

I know this questions is commonly asked on alot of different climbing boards and after searching around the common answer I find is "depends on where your climbing etc..." I have been recently climbing in the gym alot and have some of the basics. Shoes, chalk, bag, biner's, belay device etc. However, as I gain experience I would obviously like to take it outdoors. In the meantime I would like to start building a Trad rack piece by piece.

....I guess my question is....Where do I start? I figure passive Nuts, hexes etc.... But does anyone have an idea some experience with what works well. Like "BD Stopper's 1-10, double up on this one etc." I would like eventually climb some routes in the Adirondacks, Gunks and so on. I know we have some climbers on the board, what's in your Rack? Is there alot of Sport routes in the Dacks, that you climb? Thanks for the help!
eddogg12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2007, 10:20 AM   #2
C4C
Renaissance Man
 
C4C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Pottersville
Posts: 203
I would say a full set of stoppers, A set of cams -fingers to fists (I prefer black Diamond C4s->.3-3) And the smaller sizes of tricams work well in the horizontals at the gunks. You will want a handfull (or more) of alpine draws(a shoulder length sling tripled with two biners) in addition to your normal sport draws. Hexes in the larger sizes are a good light and affordable way to suppliment the cams.

As far as bolted sport climbs, there are a few here and there (and more new ones every week), but it is not Rumney.
C4C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2007, 02:38 PM   #3
eddogg12
...46 or Bust!
 
eddogg12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 320
Thanks for the response.

....I think more than anything else I need a mentor that I can learn proper placement, cleaning, technique, etc... from. I don't believe Trad climbing may be the best thing to do self-taught. Although, Once the time is right to make the transition from the gym to the outdoors I would like bring something to the table gear wise. Moreorless learn on my own gear if possible.
eddogg12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:58 AM   #4
pico23
Member
 
pico23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
Unless you climb in a place with fairly long even cracks I'd venture to say most rock is similar regardless of area. Now that isn't to say the rock doesn't have different properties of holding power, or grippiness, just that most pro works equally well at most areas.

I'm fortunate in that I don't climb hard enough not be able to place pro with 2 hands most of the time, and more fortunate that because I love them I can place them with one hand anyway.

They = tri-cams and I've found these little beauties can equalize any type of rock. Place it actively or passively and they really are solid.

I've climbed mostly in the Gunks/Daks. A bit in NH, a bit in Seneca, NRG, Arkansas, a few days in Joshua Tree.

But a typical rack IMO, should have 1.5 sets of stoppers (doubles of the mid range stuff).

A full set of tri-cams. A full set of cams (choose the brand you want, but from a size perspective .5-3.5 in BD sizes usually does the trick). Leave what you think you won't need on a specific climb or take it all.

Personally I carry 2 off each tri-cam from pink through brown. And one of all the others. Occasionally double up on the blues to. Just one green and grey.

Passive pro is easier to confirm placements and I trust it more. It's all I've fallen on. I save the cams (SLCD) for belays!!

As far as slings and biners. Shoulder length Spectra only. I climbed on nylon for a long time, and people kept telling me how it would freeze in winter. Somehow I made it 2 seasons without it freezing, then it wouldn't stop freezing!!!!

So spectra weighs less, absorbs less water, and is more abrasion resistant...it also is more affected by UV.

For biners I mostly have Omega Dovals on the rope side of the sling. I triple the slings and rack them on my harness. If it's a straight route or crux move, short clips, for everything else I use them full length. Rope drag can really suck, avoiding it is a necessary skill. Having full length slings is a good way to cut rope drag down. Dog bones and sport draws are IMO fairly useless in trad climbing.

Take some tied slings for rappels, threading through cracks, and other things.

Also, add a few screamers to the rack. 2-3 are nice to have when you come across a piton or a sketchy bolt, or for when your already run out and you'd like to put something. They are a bit pricey, but when you fall on one it becomes a full strength double length sling so all isn't lost.

Oh and an advantate of using tricams, when you have to bail a tricam cost about 1/4 of a SLCD so you rarely get into the issue of "is my life worth an extra $60?"
__________________


"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes
pico23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 11:13 AM   #5
eddogg12
...46 or Bust!
 
eddogg12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 320
Thanks for the detailed response. So I have been hearing alot that Sport quickdraws might not be the best investment? I was thinking about picking up a 6 pack of BD draws like the 12 cm ones, although it sounds like that might not be the best purchase?
eddogg12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 07:52 AM   #6
C4C
Renaissance Man
 
C4C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Pottersville
Posts: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddogg12 View Post
Thanks for the detailed response. So I have been hearing alot that Sport quickdraws might not be the best investment? I was thinking about picking up a 6 pack of BD draws like the 12 cm ones, although it sounds like that might not be the best purchase?
Probably not if you want to climb trad. The alpine draw (double length runner tripled) can be used for sport bolts just fine.

Pico --do you seriously mean a complete set of tricams??? even the huge sizes??
C4C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
pico23
Member
 
pico23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
Quote:
Originally Posted by C4C View Post
Probably not if you want to climb trad. The alpine draw (double length runner tripled) can be used for sport bolts just fine.

Pico --do you seriously mean a complete set of tricams??? even the huge sizes??

Well I don't own, and I wouldn't carry the yellow (it probably covers the range of a #4 camalot or maybe bigger).

I do carry pink to grey/green which are big but lighter than cams. So IIRC (since my rack is stored in the garage) pink, red, brown, blue, dark blue, green, grey...and if my partner who love the tris shows up, we go a bit lighter on the cams and take a second set of tricams.

But people have a love 'em, hate 'em relationship with tricams, and lets face it they aren't sexy like SLCDs.
__________________


"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes
pico23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 06:47 PM   #8
JClimbs
Callousedhand
 
JClimbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SE Adks
Posts: 436
My two cents:
Tri-Cams to size ~3 (you can often get these as a set).
BD Stoppers or WC Rocks, smallest to fat finger thickness.
Cams: these are the costly investments, so you should either: buy a set, which is a big chunk'o'change but generally cheaper than one at a time; or pick sizes based a bit on the difficulty of climbing you do. If you climb below 5.6 exclusively, then medium to largish cams will be useful most often. If you climb 5.5 to 5.8 - or higher - then very small to medium are the ticket. I also prefer camalots; though to be honest I don't own 'em; I got a set of HBs before they went OOB, real cheap.
Get a chock pick, if you don't already have one. It will save you a lot of money in the short run.
If you want to do some rock climbing on Crane some time, give me a shout. I would be happy to show you 'round!
JClimbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 11:05 PM   #9
pico23
Member
 
pico23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
Quote:
Originally Posted by JClimbs View Post
My two cents:

Get a chock pick, if you don't already have one. It will save you a lot of money in the short run.
I'd second the chock pick (aka. nut tool) and add make sure both the leader and second have one.

They are suprisingly good at cleaning choss out of cracks, and help to remove poorly placed gear while on lead.

make sure it has some cord on it, and then biner it or girth hitch to a shoulder length sling when you start following, a little finesse with one of these saves the nuts over the long haul. rather than yanking and schredding the cables a few taps of a nut tool usually get the nut loose.

Also while on the subject, if your leading don't be affraid to fix that nut. Make sure rope drag and wiggle won't shake it loose, unless the second has a heinous traverse he can always call for tension while working that nut loose, on the other hand, gear dangling down the rope doesn't do the leader any good.
__________________


"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes
pico23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
JClimbs
Callousedhand
 
JClimbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SE Adks
Posts: 436
Better yet, OPPOSE your placements! Any pc. that will be subjected to more than single-vector force should be opposed.
Don't cheat the length of your runners, either. While your falls may be slightly longer, your successes will be greater, rope drag rare, and rope wear reduced hugely. I watched two guys at the Gunks Thursday literally lock their rope up, stuck tight as a drum. Fortunately, the leader had managed to pull enough rope to drop the other end down to the follower so he could climb up on that end. The whole problem was due to short, modern-style quickdraws under a small overhang at a dogleg-left in the route. The rope, running tightly left under the 'hang then abruptly back upward was rubbing harshly against the rock and finally just plain stuck. On an alpine ascent, or a bit farther apart, the same mistake could have been tragic.
Again, give me a call if you're interested in heading up some climbs on Crane, Huckleberry, Shanty, or any other nearby crag!
JClimbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:24 PM   #11
percious
Transplanted
 
percious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Arvada, CO Avatar: The Scenic Trail
Posts: 734
Make sure you save your cash and buy what you want after you know what you want. Don't skimp out and get those $30 czech cams just because you want to get out there. Find a leader for the gunks over at www.rc.com and put some miles in seconding. Climb with anyone and everyone that you can (as long as you think they are safe). Learn about safety, and spend a day or two with a guide if you can afford it. Your life is worth that much.

-percious
__________________
http://www.percious.com
percious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 06:00 AM   #12
pico23
Member
 
pico23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
those czech cams aren't all that bad. anything CE certified is usually safe to climb on. just because brand X or y makes it doesn't mean it's magical or holds any better.

I picked up a set of Rock Empire Robots before going to J-Tree, and I figured they'd be fine for aiding in the Gunks/Daks/Northeast and fill in my rack when I needed extra cams on trad (i hate SLCDs so these things see no use). They are the same as the Trango Flex cams so they are legit.

However, while I'm not a gear snob I do think going with either Friends or Camalots are better (and I hate to say this) because everyone else uses them (this is coming from the anti-conformist). The reason, guide books list things in Friend and Camalot sizes and while it's not all that hard to cross reference it's just easier to pull the Green Camalot (#5 or is it #6) out of the gear box when you know that will get the job done.

seconding though is key. more so than getting guided lessons. My partners and I learned from scratch, and I feel because we weren't force fed it in a rushed day of guided climbing we really knew the stuff we were learning. Too many people think if they spend a day or two with a guide they are good for life. Sadly, when the poopie hits the fan, the guide usually isn't there. That IS NOT TO SAY that guided lessons are a waste. Quite contrary, but you do need to practice what you learn, and regularly. And it helps if you have the basic principals of every guided lesson down before you head out on a guided lesson. Practice afterwards, even the stuff you figure you'll never use.

It's been a few years since I worked on escaping the belay and such and while the prinicipals are still in my head, I'd probably struggle to do it under durress, if I could do it at all, a day of practice and I'm sure it will come back.

Personally though seconding is something that should be emphasized. I jumped on the sharp end way too soon. In the end it held me back, still does. Truthfully, I've probably led more pitches than I've followed. Thats not to say I'm not a competent second, actually I'm a damn good second but I'm not much of a leader despite more experience. I place really good gear, build good anchors, and enjoy the challenge but the confidence just isn't there as a leader because I $h!t my pants way too many times early on when I should not have been leading.
__________________


"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes
pico23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 09:45 AM   #13
eddogg12
...46 or Bust!
 
eddogg12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 320
Thanks for all the responses guys. I was actually looking into those Rock Empire Cams, particularly the Durango's which are, from what I've read, remade Trango Flex Cams. All the Rock Empire cams are CE certified and I've read many people have fell on them on different occasions. I would like to later build out my rack with friends, and Camalots just like everyone else. I also like the Robots, but I'm unsure if they are flexible like the Durango's are? Pico23, are the Robots you have flexible? I guess I may be leaning towards the Robots because they are rated at a higher "Kn". 14kn on the Robots as opposed to 12kn on the Durango's. Is this something I should be worried about?
eddogg12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 11:28 PM   #14
JClimbs
Callousedhand
 
JClimbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SE Adks
Posts: 436
Between 12 and 14 kN is a fair difference, though fall force is a tough thing to estimate anywhere but in the most controlled conditions. If one kind has a rigid stem I recommend getting the other. Horizontal placements with rigid-stem cams are quite tricky: if the stem pokes out much at all the strength of the cams is moot, because you're limited by the shear-strength of the stem - which is almost certainly MUCH LESS than 12k, probably more like 6, way too fragile to hold diddly. A flexible stem will actually transfer most of a fall's force to the cams where it belongs.
Oh, by the way, if those Rock Empires are truly Trango Flex-cams, then don't waste your money on the small sizes. I have a #2 Flexcam which fits almost nothing. It's bizarrely non-useful pro.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and strongly recommend that you drop the big bucks on Camalots or Technical Friends. I've used just about every cam out there, and every time I use them, I think the Camalots are the ticket. I know, they're expensive...but when you're dinking with your cheap cams and looking at the jagged talus below as your arms pump out, you'll be thinking nasty thoughts about your bargain...
JClimbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 11:59 PM   #15
pico23
Member
 
pico23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddogg12 View Post
Thanks for all the responses guys. I was actually looking into those Rock Empire Cams, particularly the Durango's which are, from what I've read, remade Trango Flex Cams. All the Rock Empire cams are CE certified and I've read many people have fell on them on different occasions. I would like to later build out my rack with friends, and Camalots just like everyone else. I also like the Robots, but I'm unsure if they are flexible like the Durango's are? Pico23, are the Robots you have flexible? I guess I may be leaning towards the Robots because they are rated at a higher "Kn". 14kn on the Robots as opposed to 12kn on the Durango's. Is this something I should be worried about?
Ed,

I will look for some info on Chris ??? (Harston, maybe) which I found so enlightening I saved it to my HD several years ago. A black diamond engineer who was very careful to explain that climbing gear isn't designed to never fail. Ratings are really just an idea and an average. Such as how many falls a rope can take and how many Kn a biner is rated. Situations dictate whether gear fails or works. He really got both technical and philosophical at times which was a breath of fresh air in a sport where gear is Kn's and falls, and active and passive. Basically nuts and bolts type stuff, and he kind of made it personal.

That isn't to say a biner rated to 25Kn isn't better than a biner rated to 20Kn but it is to say it doesn't necessarily mean one will never fail and one will.

Keep in mind though that your gear really isn't exposed to horrendous forces. Your rope and your belay absorb a lot of the fall (reason why fresh ropes are important, as is a good belay). Most falls put less than 8Kn on your top piece. And your body can only sustain 12Kn before your organs turn to mush.

If you absorbed 12Kn how much did the top piece absorb? 1.66 is the multiplication factor...guess what, the 14Kn cam failed as well as you just hit 19Kn.

Here are my feelings on the Robots. They are very good cams. But the biggest caveat is they are really a TCU. The middle cam lobes are very closely spaced. The Durango's are very similar though. Both have a flexible wire stem. The Robot is just a dual stem (like Metolious 4CUS and TCUs), and the Durango is sort of a Alien knockoff. I'd have to break them out to see if they are narrower than a Camalot or Alien but they the middle lobe spacing tends to make them more prone to walking. Is this a serious problem? Not really. Definitely use longer runners though to avoid rope drag wiggleing them.

The advantage of the robots is single finger placement, and being able to stick a nut tool (remember that from up above) into the crack to help retract a cam that walked inward. And as opposed to real camalots the Rock Empires (any of them) allow you to clip directly to the cam for shortening up placements while aiding like the Aliens do.

I actually rappeled off the black robot as bail gear on the top of a climb in J-Tree. I couldn't find the rappel bolts and it was getting dark. Nice bottle necking crack, figured a $25 cam was expendable if the fit was perfect and I was going to hit ground safely.
__________________


"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes
pico23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 10:44 AM   #16
eddogg12
...46 or Bust!
 
eddogg12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCLIMBS
...but when you're dinking with your cheap cams and looking at the jagged talus below as your arms pump out, you'll be thinking nasty thoughts about your bargain...
This is a true statement. This is what I'm worried about. I have heard good stuff about the Rock empire, but at about $20 or $30 extra I could go with the Camalots, that's not a whole lot extra for piece of mind. I'm not one for cheap gear by any means, but I believe there gear out there, that doesn't need to be extremely expensive to be good as well.

It's when I hear things like......
Quote:
Originally Posted by pico23
...I actually rappeled off the black robot as bail gear on the top of a climb in J-Tree. I couldn't find the rappel bolts and it was getting dark. Nice bottle necking crack, figured a $25 cam was expendable if the fit was perfect and I was going to hit ground safely...
That makes me think, these cams may be a good start.

The good thing may be.....that If a do pick up a set of 8 cams for less than $250, is that I don't believe that they will become completely useless once I pick up a few friends, or Camalots. I'll still be able to use them, maybe just use my judgement on when to place????

I seriously appreciate everybody's feedback, as I'm pretty new to the sport of climbing and would like to avoid making rookie mistakes.
eddogg12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 01:38 PM   #17
pico23
Member
 
pico23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
Just to note...I've also placed them as gear. But since I really don't use SLCD's (my main partner and I actually use them for belay anchors and climb on passive pro more often then not) I don't really use extra cams.

Basically, they've served the role as a second set nicely. I don't think we'd read any reports of you dying on them (because of the cam) while you worked your way towards picking up camalots or friends.

On the flip side, there really isn't any reason you couldn't start leading on passive pro and skip the cams altogether till you save some money for the good cams.

Really a 1.5 set of nuts, and a set of tri-cams, and maybe a few (not too many, hexes) and you should be able to lead anything in the 5.2-5.5 range in the Gunks. Clearly if it states Red Tech Friend, or (big #6) green camalot, I'd avoid it on nuts and tricams but most 5.4 G's swallow nuts and tricams.

Cams might make climbing safer but a solid nut tends to walk less, and still be where you fixed it if you fall, a cam, any brand, might have taken a walk. It's also easier to judge passive placements. The difference between a good cam and a bad one isn't much depending on what size cam (think green alien). Mid size cams #1 and #2 camalots tend to be easier to judge.
__________________


"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes
pico23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2008, 05:40 PM   #18
Dave B
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Bump up an old thread...

One thing that hasn't been mentioned...Many (most?) people starting out climbing start going with a friend or two.

If you are good climbing buddies, a good way to start a rack is have one guy buy wired nuts, and the other a couple cams, and each of you buy a few draws, runners, free biners, etc.

A full rack of wires, 2-3 cams and hexes will get you up a surprising number of easy-moderate routes. Learn to trust tying off trees and natural chockstones.

A few advantages: Cheaper start-up, a chance to play around with gear that's not yours, so you can see if you like it before you buy it, and, as you build a climbing relationship with your buddy, and you BOTH develop full-blown trad racks, you will also have doubles of important sizes, so if you go climb a long, sustained single-size crack, or go off to do a long route, you'll have the necessary gear.

At least, that's how it went for me
Dave B is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.