/ new to trad
Ok so I've recently started to get into trad climbing and now want to buy my own rack. What would everyone recommend getting for a beginners trad rack?
I can get cheaper DMM gear because of where I work so any recommendations for DMM kit would great, but any input on the right gear would be much a appreciated.
Thanks in advance
DMM gear is as good as it gets, lucky you.
I'd start off with a set of Wallnuts, a set of Offsets, and a set of either Dragon cams - top end - or Demons - cheaper but perfectly serviceable - up to size 5.
And - unfashionable but still useful - a set of Torque Nuts. Good at least for building belays so you can save your cams for where you really need them.
That should get you started until you know what you like / don't like / need more of
You won't go wrong with DMM. If you are planning starting with other people it's worth coordinating your first purchases. My first two pieces of gear were cams for that reason.
It depends to some extent where you climb. Peak gritstone will take all the cams you've got. The climbs are short and often you only need a few nuts.
Whereas, for longer routes (limestone or Wales/Lakes multipitch) the priority would be at least a set and a half of nuts. And, although cams are important, nuts are so much cheaper.
Re draws and extenders, some people seem to swear by longer extenders but others prefer a mixture. For most gritsone routes 10 is more than enough, but for long or multipitch routes I'd take 15-16.
But, as someone said, you can always mix and match with your partners. Another philosophy, therefore, is to try what other people have got before you buy too much of your own!
Don't forget a few slings, 2-3 screwgates for belays and a nut key.
Dragon cams 1-5
Specter quickdraws x6 15cm x4 18cm x4 extenders
x2 120cm slings
x1 60cm sling
x4 small screwgates
Should form a good rack for any occasion, enjoy!
Here’s my take on it:
Double up on smaller wallnuts and you’re done. Maybe even triple up but you’ll only need to do that once you’ve got your eye in for your favourite size.
10 extenders for the grit? 6 max is all you need!
You can never have enough slings mostly 2 meters, or enough screw gate crabs.
I started my Trad kit off with:
Cheap single 50m rope
Set of wires
A couple of cowbells, as I could not afford cams
Couple of slings
Few screw gates
For me, those were the basics and it showed willing to those I climbed with. However I was lucky enough to have a mate who came fully loaded with the kitchen sink.
> 10 extenders for the grit? 6 max is all you need!
The dislikes seem a bit unfair.
I've started carrying 4 or 5 after always arriving at the top with loads of draws. Dragon cams help, and the grit eats them in all sizes.
Exactly, especially if you have the extendable cams. Grit routes are mainly straight and eat cams, and are rarely much over 15 m. Found myself with a lot of leftovers at the top frequently, so took less.
> You can never have enough slings mostly 2 meters, or enough screw gate crabs.
2m slings? An odd length to recommend in my opinion.
> for longer routes (limestone or Wales/Lakes multipitch) the priority would be at least a set and a half of nuts.
Totally. I did most of my trad climbing in Wales and eventually accumulated & carried triples of small to medium wires up to about Rock/Wallnut 7
I've got a set of brass offsets and RP's so am tripled up to size 2, I also carry an extra size 3. But I didn't find I needed any of that until I was on longer E1/E2 pitches.
Decent article here - https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/buying_a_rack_of_climbing_gear-840 even if I do say so myself.
Agreed for limestone nuts are brilliant.
If the OP's going to be doing limestone I recommend one set of wallnuts and double up with a set of offsets. The offsets open up more placements and can be a real help when nothing else fits.
It's a good belt and braces article for those who can invest Some of these lists are way too extensive though for a beginner starter on a budget. Most will start on shorter single pitch stuff, where a single rack of nuts, a pack of three medium cams, a couple of short slings (with crab) and a few long slings (with locking crab..one very long), 8 extenders of varying length, two prussics on locking crabs and a nut key, would do for most, with the advice of leading within limits to avoid the need for gear every metre. I'd advise people who are struggling with money to join a club or try and get partners on places like the UKC Lifts and Partners forum to ensure they enjoy the lead game before investing.
I'd recommend beginners try limestone after they have learnt to lead competantly. Lower grade limestone is great for the experienced but often a bit loose and polished for beginners (with Pembroke the main exception and the odd weird crag like Harborough being perfectly OK)
On south-west limestone I started with a set of nuts and a set of hexes and about 8 short draws (I wasn't climbing anything harder than severe though). Once into HS/VS then cams 1,2,3 are helpful.
On grit or hard sandstone you will want a decent set of cams to start with really, as the cracks are often very parallel and grippy.
On 20m+ routes on limestone, granite, rhyolite, dolerite and similar I generally carry a set of nuts with doubles up to 7, full set of offsets, set of micros, cams 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, hexes 5,6,7, 2 short draws, 6 longer draws, 4 extenders. Over the shoulders I have 1 fat nylon 60cm sling with a screwgate (very reassuring if you get to lasso a tree), 2 120cm slings with screwgates (if you're on limestone then get skinny dyneema slings as they will be a lot easier to thread), 1 240cm sling with a screwgate. On the back of the harness I have nutkey, 3 screwgates, prussik, big boa, belay device. If the route looks like it'll take it then I also have a couple of bigger cams and hexes 8 & 9 (a full set of hexes is very useful for a lot of routes in the Wye).
If you can afford it, I'd go with double-axle cams (like the DMM Dragon) to start with, as you'll wish you did later down the line. They have a wider range and feel more secure in the rock.
I like to carry a lot though (more than most), as I don't like surprises. I don't ever want to leave the hexes at the bottom and then realise halfway up the climb that I need them, and I generally finish routes with a few draws left. I'd much rather that than use my last draw 10m from the top and have to improvise with other bits of kit or shit my pants and run it out. If it's a massive crack all the way up I'll probably leave the micros at the bottom though.....
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