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Ideal Trad Rack MN
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By Pontoon
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan 28, 2014
Can anyone recommend an ideal trad rack suitable for the crags nearest to the MN metro without going totally overboard? I can afford cams, but I don't want to waste money (e.g. no quadruples in offwidth sizes).

So far I have a BD nuts 4-13, BD hexes 4-10, BD C4s .5-3, 12 draws, 2 neutrino biners, 2 sets of CAMP tricams blue/brown/red/pink.

The places I've climbed most often so far have been Palisade/Shovel Point and Taylors, but I've climbed a lot of places in MN and plan to go to more (e.g. Devil's Lake).

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By rocknice2
From Montreal, Quebec
Jan 28, 2014
BD ice tool fusion2
I can afford cams, but I don't want to waste money.
So far I have a BD hexes 4-10, 2 sets of CAMP tricams.


Too late!

What are the 2 neutrino biners for?

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By Kiri Namtvedt
Jan 28, 2014
I don't think you need to fret too hard about making it "ideal", as there are a lot of options that work. Generally you don't need incredibly wide crack gear and you don't need a ton of pieces of the same size (as most MN climbs are not too long and require an assortment of sizes).

Sounds like you've got all the gear you need, although if your draws are all quick draws you might want to add alpine draws.

I like having small cams. I like having a BD #4 cam. I don't have tricams but I know people who swear by them. That's all I'd say about your collection.

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By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Jan 28, 2014
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after f...
Kiri Namtvedt wrote:
Sounds like you've got all the gear you need, ... I like having small cams.


I'd agree with these 2 thoughts. You are fine for now. When you have cash, you might think about a set of metolius mastercams (skip the 0 and the 00 for now).

I have a set of hexes that I got for free, maybe used a hex 6 times in the last 10 years. Also I got a few tricams for free long ago, finally gave them away myself after never using them.

I have 2 sets of nuts, which is nice for leading at Devil's Lake. Often you will use a couple for an anchor setup, and then it's nice to still have a complete set to lead with.

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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jan 28, 2014
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
Once you get into trickier trad, you'll want smaller nuts! But basically, what Kiri and Chris have said ....

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By Pontoon
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan 28, 2014
rocknice, the neutrinos were given to me free by the shop that sold me the cams. I plan to get one neutrino for each cam and get a bunch of slings. I have the camp tricams for top rope anchoring but will bring them for trad climbing until I find I don't use them.

Chris, I do have the cash to get cams. So I should get micro cams... A single set or a double set?

And should I consider doubling up on the .5-3?

Kiri, I'll add a single #4. Also my draws are all quickdraws.

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By Be Esperanza
From Asheville, NC
Jan 28, 2014
OKellys Crack, J Tree
I like small cams. A single set will do to start. The BD X4s are becoming popular. I think the sizes you would want to start with would be grey and blue

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By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Jan 28, 2014
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after f...
Misread your OP.

If you have the means, what I would do (in addition to a second set of nuts) is get a set of mastercams 1-6, and then double up on #1, #2, and #3. Also I'd pick up one #4.

You probably don't *need* the doubles on the C4's for MN or WI but sooner or later you will end up in the Black Hills or Red Rocks.

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By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
Jan 28, 2014
Flatirons
- Set of cams from .5"-3"
- Set of nuts with doubles in middle sizes
- Slings

Beg/borrow/steal everything else.

Save the rest of your money and just go climbing.

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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Jan 29, 2014
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
If you plan on leading harder routes at Devil's Lake, I'd recommend #1, 2, and 3 ballnuts. Those things are the shit.

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By JeffL
From Salt Lake City
Jan 29, 2014
I'd say you've already got an ideal rack. I used to live in MN, now I'm living in Utah where there's lots of multipitch trad. I've never owned hexes, and only own tri cams because I bootied two small ones.

The first and most important thing that you are missing is trad draws. If your route wanders you're not going to want to chain quickdraws together to get the desired extension. I would recommend 5 shoulder length dynema slings, and 1 double length sling. I personally go with dynema because it is less bulky and a little lighter on the shoulder lengths, but I like nylon better for the double length. It lets me identify that it is the long one, and I'd rather use nylon for my personal anchor system when rappeling. With 5 trad draws plus a double length you should be able to get up any single pitch route without terrible drag. You can bring your draws for placements that don't need extending.

The 2nd thing I'd recommend is smaller cams. I consider a standard rack to contain a .3 and a .4 bd c4. You could also grab 2 or 3 c3's while you're at it. That being said, you can easily get by without anything smaller than a .5 if you're creative with nuts and comfortable at the grade. Just skip the small placement and look for bigger ones.

Finally, my favorite pieces EVER are offset nuts. I have HB, but DMM makes them now and they are the best. They fit in so many places where regular nuts and cams don't, plus they sit so nicely. You barely have to set them for them to be bomber, and you can easily find multidirectional placements if you're placing a nut as your first piece. I would say get a set of offsets as your 2nd set of nuts. I place my offsets on almost every pitch because they are so handy.

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By Pontoon
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan 29, 2014
OK, so I'm thinking:

2 sets of nuts
hexes (because I have them)
tricams (because I have them)
.5-#4 C4 with doubles on 1-3.
Set of micro cams.
Slings and neutrinos.

I think that's enough to satisfy the gear itch while not spending a fortune. Thanks for the advice everyone.

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By Kiri Namtvedt
Jan 29, 2014
I have one ballnut and have used it, so I guess I second the ballnuts. I've kinda stopped using quickdraws when I'm tradding, except that I throw a few on my harness just because I have them. Mostly I rely on alpine draws - for most MN, WI and SD climbing I've used approx 10-14 extendable draws.

Re: small cams, I bought three of the Camalot C3s and have not regretted it.

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By Kiri Namtvedt
Jan 29, 2014
Nothing wrong with having two sets of nuts; I only have one and generally I don't need more, but they're light and if you go somewhere with longer pitches...

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By Jeremy Riesberg
From Boulder, CO
Jan 29, 2014
Palisaid, SD.
For a second set of nuts, consider DMM offsets, the larger anodized ones are great!

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By Pontoon
From Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan 30, 2014
OK, I had to research ball nuts. Cool invention!

1 set of BD normal nuts
1 set of DMM offset nuts
#2 and #3 (maybe #1) ball nuts
hexes (because I have them)
tricams (because I have them)
.5-#4 C4 with doubles on 1-3.
Set of micro cams.
Slings and neutrinos.

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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Jan 30, 2014
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
FWIW I use the number 1 and 2 ballnuts quite a bit more often than number 3.
Edit: The number three is about the same size as my smaller nuts, so it's not quite as useful as the smaller guys.

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By ferrells
Jan 30, 2014
Sean Ferrell on Fred's Roof
In MN, all I've ever needed is a single set of cams from aliens (blue to red) up through camalots (0.4 - 4). 1 regular set of BD nuts, 6 alpine slings, 6 draws, some free biners.
Because a lot of areas don't allow bolts, you'll want vast amounts of webbing, or a static line, to use trees 20-30 feet back from the cliff.
I have a fair amount of other gear, but I don't even bring it with me when I climb trad around here. There's actually some decent trad leads in this barren wasteland. Good luck!

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By carter
From Minneapolis, MN
Jan 31, 2014
Below is my standard lead rack for MN. I personally dont think the brand matters too much. I used BD sizes because most people know their sizing.

BD cams .2-3 optional #4
BD Nuts 3-13
6-12 trad draws (a mix of trad draws and quickdraws is fine)

If you want to start doubling up, start with the .5-2 range for cams, and then work your way bigger and smaller after that. Dont forget to add in a .1 too. For doubling up, I like to get a different brand/model since some cams work better than others in certain situations.

I would suggest to double up on cams before doubling up on nuts. One set of nuts is usually enough in MN. I agree with Jeremy on the DMM offsets for a second set of nuts.

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By Adam Burch
From San Dieger
Mar 5, 2014
you local?
"I agree with Jeremy on the DMM offsets for a second set of nuts."


I'll 3rd that - DMM Alloy offsets changed my life

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By Michael Z
Jul 16, 2014
Maybe I'm late to the party, but I also live in the Metro so ill toss in my $.02 because its better than the rest.

If you plan to set toprope anchors:
Webbing: 2 lengths, 15-25 ft. Super handy around here. If you want to splurge a little i love my 21 ft sewn cordlette. Its in every anchor i build.
Slings: 4 shoulder length dyneema for trad draws, 2 each of shoulder and double length for anchors etc.

I like to have a length of 7 mil cordelette for a backup friction knot, just in case i decide to rap something.

Probably a few extra lockers.

Other than that youre set. The route that needs more pro than you have will be hard to come by. Maybe some more small cams.

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By Mark Lutterman
Aug 2, 2014
I'd 2nd Ryan Watts from Jan. You have plenty for Mn and Wi. Have fun!

Long webbing is handy for top ropes.

I love nylon shoulder length slings. They last longer and test better than new hightech dyneema etc in their stretch in a shock load. They can be tripled and easily extended for quick draw or full length.

I love my Hexes and small Tricams. Tricams are the only light passive pro I would use in softer rock. Both are lighter and cheaper than slcds. Not factors for MN or WI, but nice when you get to longer stuff elsewhere.

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By NickMartel
From Tucson, Arizona
Aug 3, 2014
Once you add some trad/alpine draws, go with thin sewn dyneema slings and full size or 2/3-3/4 size ultralight biners right from the get go, that is a pretty nice "light to medium" rack. To upgrade to nice big full rack status I would add:

1 set Metolius cams 00-6 (or all the way to 8) either U-stem Ultralight Powercams or single stem Mastercams. I prefer U stems. They will complement your C4's well.
(Alternatively a second set of BD cams C3's/C4'scams/X4s if you want to keep it all 1 brand). Now you should have 2 full sets of , at least one of which goes down all the way to 00.

1 BD C4 #4, #5, and #6

1 set DMM IMPS micro brass nuts
1 set DMM Offset Brass Nuts
(both racked together on 1 ultralight full size biner)
Alternatively you can use the BD Micros and Offsets, I prefer the brass to steel most of the time but have have both.

1 set CAMP/Lowe Ball Nutz.

Eventually you can get a 3ed set of cams of some special type depending on your local rock, objectives, aid climbing or if you just want to become a gear head examples are: Totems, Aliens, Link Cams, Offset Cams, Metolius Fat Cams, Valley Giants, Splitter 2-Cams, Zero's
Then you can get wide stuff like Big Bros.

Also I feel like if you want to carry hexes the DMM Torque Nuts are the best of the hexes. Maybe consider a switch/trade over.

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By ferrells
Aug 4, 2014
Sean Ferrell on Fred's Roof
Haha! awesome. All that stuff would allow you to climb every one of the trad routes in MN and WI, leaving behind your gear as you went!

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