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second 4 or a 6 for desert towers?
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Jul 13, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: prindle
Planning a month long trip to the desert this winter. Most of the routes I really want to do are listed on my to do list, and Im mostly looking to do towers: some classic, some obscure, both aid and free, and wondering which cam would be more useful. Leaning towards the 4 because I'm not a huge fan of offwidths (maybe this means I should get the 6 and aid them though?) and because I think it would be more useful outside of the desert. Have one 4 and one five as far as bigger gear goes at the moment. Would like the opinions of some people who have climbed a lot or a wide variety of towers on which they use more and which they think is more essential. Other possible climbing destinations for this period include Zion and Red Rocks, depending on weather, but I don't think that either would be significantly useful on any routes I want to do there.


Seth Kane
From Bozeman, Montana
Joined Sep 22, 2013
148 points
Jul 13, 2014
My vote is for a second #4 AND a second #6! I am not a big fan of pushing a #6 for a while and then looking down at 50' of rock with no pro. KevinCO
From Loveland, CO
Joined Mar 22, 2006
85 points
Jul 21, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Thats a tough call but I think if you decide on a second #4, you should try to find an old pre-C4 #4 that is a little bit bigger than the C4 #4, which on very splitter desert cracks can make a difference. Andrew Mayer
Joined Nov 14, 2010
120 points
Jul 21, 2014
Seems like most towers have some ow especially if they're moderate. I'd get the 6. The new 4 fits fist cracks well. Only ever really needed one for the vast majority of towers I've done. marty funkhouser
Joined Dec 8, 2007
34 points
Jul 21, 2014
I just looked at your to do list. You don't need a second cam in either of those sizes. You are set. Have fun. highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion
From Colorado
Joined Oct 29, 2012
43 points
Jul 22, 2014
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the OP is choosing between getting a second #4 or first #6. If that is correct I would go for the #6 before a 2ed #4. YMMV NickMartel
From Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 30, 2011
1,456 points
Jul 22, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Desert Tower
Iv'e done a LOT of desert towers without a #6. And when I go to the desert to climb I would rarely go without at least two #4 sized cams. Plus #6 is dang pricey. I wouldn't bother with the #6 unless you have something specific you are going to need it on.

Depending on your hand size, a #4 size crack can be a burly size to climb. Around a #6 size is when I can start to get my leg in there, use arm bars or chicken wing, or my head.

That's my take anyhow...
Frosty Weller
From Colorado
Joined Mar 24, 2004
1,132 points
Jul 22, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Chillin' at City of Rocks
Get a #6!!!

And learn to love the awful!!! There is nothing better.
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
459 points
Jul 22, 2014
#6 is currently on sale for $82.44, free shipping, from kevin neville
From Somerville, MA
Joined Jun 20, 2013
45 points
Jul 22, 2014
Princess Mia wrote:
Get a #6!!! And learn to love the awful!!! There is nothing better.

Or in other words, if you learn the skills to climb them, you can brag about them because far fewer people practice them. If your foot isn't over your head, all you are doing is learning to climb like in the 60's and 70's but with better shoes and more gear.

They aren't harder and they certainly aren't more fun. You can claim that esoteric tough guy crap all day but some painful silly ass thrutch is in no way comparable to a single pocketed steep climb.

Back to the subject though, don't worry about extra gear. Presumably, you have a partner. Practice the wide stuff on single pitches until you're comfortable without most of the gear. The last thing you want is to have to drag multiple big pieces up anything taller than a pitch.
From Colorado
Joined Oct 29, 2012
43 points

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