Metolius Nuts by Kenton Cool
There is probably not a single climber in the world that doesn't have a favourite nut, mine is an old number 5 that stopped me decking out in Pembroke a number of years ago. Being a person of habit, and having a certain emotional attachment, and 17 years experience of using other brands of nut, it was with a certain reserve that I racked up with the new Metolius ultralight curve nuts, as I had never used them before. But I looked at them with an open mind and a fresh pair of eyes, and they didn't disappoint.
Like most new nuts, these Metolius offerings come in a choice of funky colours, helping with nut selection in 'the heat of the moment'! Seeing them on your harness is quick and easy (once one is used to the colour codes), and they also have a clear colour code on the join, which will mean easy identification even if/when the anodising on the main nut scratches off, although as an old-timer, I have to say that I still size the nuts rather than check the colour. The nuts have a side-to-side curve which means that they sit extremely well in crystalline rock or flared cracks.
All sizes are slightly different to my usual nuts, but like the cams I recently reviewed (UKC Review ) this isn't a problem. They are however narrower in the opposite plane making them seem more square in shape. This took a little getting used to as on my existing rack a size 5 rock can be 'made' into a size 6 if placed sideways, this is not the case with the Metolius nut as the sideways placements are smaller than a standard one.
The feature that everyone who fondled my nuts liked was the fact that the wire is soldered into the nut, meaning there is no hoop of exposed wire at the top of the nut. For the winter climber this is a good move. How many nuts have to be thrown away after a good pounding with an axe? A lot! It's always the exposed wires on top that takes the battering and therefore get damaged. How the soldered top will fair over time I'm not too sure but after a few winter Chamonix routes mine are looking fine still.
These little babies are Metolius' answer to the R.P. Like a couple of other brands Metolius have gone for a metal mixed for the head of the nut. By using Silicon-Bronze they have come up with a compromise between the traditional Brass or steel Micro which is hard but can shatter those crucial crystals and Aluminium which can be too soft. This mix of metals allows the nut to bite into the rock surface (like Aluminium) while still retaining the holding power (like the brass and steel). Added to this metal mix is a slight curve to the nuts - allowing a slighter better placement than a standard straight-sided micro. The sizes available don't go as small as some competitors out there but hey lets face it who regularly uses a RP 1! All the Astro nuts have a colour-coded collar for quick identification.
All in all a nice package for those out there who want to scare themselves with marginal pro in thin cracks. Certainly as useful as any other leading brand.
Metolius Nuts – In Short:
Well made, bomb-proof nuts. Different shape, which works well in flared placements. No wire 'loop' on the head of the nut means bashing them in winter won't damage the wire. The different sizing and colouring means getting used to them after a standard set of WC or DMM nuts takes a while. The micro wires are extremely well put together and as good as any I have used. Good nuts and good design.