Reply To: Trad gear – basic

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Ok so trad gear. You have many phases of a trad rack.

Phase 1 – Seconder

You dont lead trad but you are out learning how to place gear by seconding someone who is experienced. When you second someone you climb up after them and take the gear out. When taking it out,  look how its placed (especially with nuts, hexes). It will help you pick up placing gear and you get to climb at the same time.

Gear required:

  1. Harness
  2. Shoes
  3. belay plate & screwgate
  4. Nut key (
  5. screw gate – for abseiling if required
  6. prussik (~6mm thick cord tied in a prussik knot. ~1m long) – for abseiling if required

to save on money initially you can loop the prussik around the nutkey and use the same screwgate you would for abseiling to connect the nutkey to yourself. in the long run you will get more screw gates

phase 2 – Starting off trad climbing.

You have been seconding experienced people for a while and you want to get a piece of the action. Find an experienced climber who is happy to teach you and would most likely use their gear for your first few climbs. After you first few leads you are super psyched and realize trad is for you. as you are still inexperience you will be climbing with other experienced people so will either borrow a lot of their rack or borrow gear from the club.

Gear Required

  1. 5 x Quick draws – standard draws you use at the wall
  2. 5 x Quick draws – either 5 more standard draws but preferably ones of variable lengths (you will learn why). maybe a couple of extendable draws made from 2 snapgates and a 60cm sling
  3. 1 hms screwgate – when building anchors you will want a hms screw gate.. trust me! ( hms Link)
  4. 2 x screw gate – standard sides screwgates – smaller and lighter than big HMS screw gates. You will use them in anchors
  5. 120cm sling – can be used as gear on a route or in the anchor.Sling link
  6. 240cm sling – mainly used in anchors can be really useful for throwing around a huge block making a bomb proof belay.Sling link

Phase 3 – First Trad rack (prepare to start eating rice and gravy as you will have no money)

You have been fully bitten by the trad climbing bug. You climb with other experienced people but you have enough experience that you can climb with people with the same or less experience than you. you will now start getting your own gear and borrowing less from the club. (Except cams)

  1. 1 set of nuts – e.g. DMM wallnuts, Wild country rocks, Black diamond stoppers. Link
  2. 1 set of hexes – e.g. DMM torque nuts, Wild country Rockentrics, Black diamond Hexcetrics link

… start thinking about cams

Phase 4 – Friends with someone who robbed the Bank of Ireland in 2012 and can afford cams now. climbing more and climbing some harder stuff. nuts and hexes don’t cut the mustard any more and you want some friends.

  • cams are generally cheaper bought in sets. e. g. Wild country Helium friends com in sets 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and 1, 2, 3 . This will give you a good range of cams. to start with
  • Keep your eye out! – There are always deals to be found, rock run, v12 outdoor, bananafingers, joe brown etc. lots of good places to hunt out a Dragon cam for 35 quid in stead of 50!

maybe look at Camp Tri cams (a.k.a poor mans cams)

  • handy things that will go where cams go and some places cams wont!
  • ~£60 for 4 tricams which is just over the RRP for 1 cam. Good value!
  • fiddly but awesome once you are used to them

Future phases involve, I need more cams, my nuts are too big and I want to go to fairhead