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Minimal Gunks Rack?

Original Post
gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

New trad leader potentially getting out to the Gunks this weekend. I've followed in the Gunks fairly extensively, and am just starting to build up a rack. My most likely partner is a strong climber but has never climbed trad before.

What I'm trying to figure out is if there is anything that would be a 'must buy' item before trying to get on some (very) easy routes. Right now my rack is just:

BD Stoppers 4 - 13
DMM Dragon cams in gray, purple, red, yellow, blue (missing green)
5 shoulder-length slings
2 alpine draws
1 cordelette
2 prussiks

I've got lots of assorted carabiners (including lockers) and webbing that I could cut and tie into slings if need be.

I was thinking about picking up a set of DMM offsets to supplement. Or tricams in pink - brown.

Will this get me through some easy classics? Is there anything that is obviously missing?

crackatoa Spiesbach · · Boulder,Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 70

The offset nuts are nice.. but I'd get 2 pink and 2 red tricams over the offsets.. I place those guys everywhere in the gunks... get doubles in the sizes fingers to hands as you're next purchase.. In camalots the money sizes at the gunks are .5-2 When you start to lead harder get some tcu's because there are lots of places for small cams at the gunks.. Once you break 5.10 micro nuts and small cams are indispensable.. You're rack is fine for the beginner routes though.. have fun

Rui Ferreira · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 869

Many difficult climbs have been led with fewer and less sophisticated gear; much depends on your ability and comfort level to climb sections when none of your pieces fit and finding placements for the ones you have left on the rack.

Don't feel obliged to climb full pitches when you start running out of gear for the belay. Stop when appropriate and make solid anchor with the pieces you have left.

My typical Gunks rack consisted of BD stoppers 4 - 10, some of the sizes complemented with WC Rocks (#7 - #10)

BD Camalots or similar WC flexible Friends 0.5 - 2. Doubles in #1 and #2

Metolius TCUs or Master Cams #1, #2

Early on I used the pink and red Tricams, but the small flexible cams do the same job these days without the risk of your second not being able to retrieve the gear.

Also have a tool to remove stuck gear...your second should also have one.

Brian Shaffer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40

Could use more draws, 10 would be OK plus a 120 cm sling. The alpine style are better at the gunks as the climbs can wander a lot left and right.

David Baddeley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 30

To me that rack would feel a little light - but I'm a beginner and a chicken. The size range is good, and covers the most common Gunks sizes, but I'd be a lot more comfortable with the green (assuming colours match more or less to the BD ones) and at least a few doubles in the BD .4-1 range. Tricams are also excellent, and a good way to get more coverage in this size range without dropping too much dough. As mentioned earlier, lots of people have climbed hard on similar or smaller racks, but I know I'd be more comfortable with a few more options. It might be worth starting off on a few single pitch climbs which have bolted or chain anchors so you can just clip in if you have run out of gear getting there (Rhododendron & Bunny come to mind, although I remember being a bit run out at the end of Bunny with a double rack).

As to obvious omissions, a double length sling or two would be useful, and I'd seriously think about taking more alpine draws.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100

Yellow C3 for pin scars

Dan.G. yorlig · · Queens, NY · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 0

If you are looking to climb in the range of 5.4-5.6, you should be able to get on a lot of climbs with the gear you have. Dennis or Asphodel are fun ones.

If you invested in that missing green cam, you will deff get your moneys worth out of it. After that, you may consider looking into the smallest blue cam or pink-red tricam size; whichever you'd want to spring for as they cover about the same range. that sized placement pops up pretty often.

I have never climbed there with offsets. For me, regular nuts have worked out just fine. Plus, why not spend money on more useful gear?

you should be good with 7-8 slings and 1-2 extended runners.

gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

Thanks all.

@David, the DMM cams match up by color to the BD cams in the same size range. Would've gone for the BDs but had a great deal on the dragons.

Looks like tricams will be the next budget friendly move.

Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 150

I use hexes a fair amount up there and they are a fairly cheap investment. If you get good at placing them, they can be really useful

Kevin Heckeler · · Upstate New York · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,411
Kurt G. wrote:I use hexes a fair amount up there and they are a fairly cheap investment. If you get good at placing them, they can be really useful
What is this, 1984? The next thing you'll tell me is an actor won the Presidency.
PRRose · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

A few more slings and double up on nuts in the medium sizes. Climb late on Sundays or early on Mondays and you can probably booty a few pieces to fill out your rack.

Kurtz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 4,317

+1 on the yellow (#2) C3. It fits in so many places in the Gunks, not just pin scars. The only piece I have two of.

You've seconded in the Gunks so you know that there are lots of ledges on the easier classics. Sew it up! You'll need more draws.

june m · · elmore ,vt · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 43

No need to double up if you dont have a full rack yet, I would say go for the green cam and the tri cams. If I climb with someone elses rack I take all the duplicates off but I like to have a dozen slings/draws

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

don't wast the money on those tricams. save if for micro cams. set of micro stoppers usually handy at the gunks I recall....

JK- Branin · · Southern New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58

I don't climb at the gunks, and the one day in my road trip a couple years ago I planned to was rained out.

That said, I love tricams. They're awesome. Very few trad areas where I don't use them.

Alex CV · · Greater NYC area · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 200

I started leading at the Gunks in the early 1990's with a similar rack but with more alpine draws plus a couple of double length runners for anchors. Besides the missing green, I also had the pink and red tricam. I quickly found that small cams were very useful, especially in the green Alien size. Eventually I grew the Aliens I owned from blue to red. And now I carry double Aliens blue through grey. I use these far more than any other pieces. You have Dragons roughly yellow and red Alien-sized it looks like so just a couple of smaller cams then. C3's are quite good as an alternative and diversity is good.

Remember that if you place three pieces at the top of a pitch for an anchor, you won't have them available when you lead the next one. And long pitches require a lot of gear and draws. A full 50m rope-length pitch broken up into 10' sections is 16+ pieces. Or a 25m pitch (more typical) with 5' between pieces to keep you from hitting ledges.

Another way to manage the budget is to climb with friends who also have gear and combine your stuff.

Good luck, and wear a helmet!

- Alex

Alex CV · · Greater NYC area · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 200

Also check out the Rock and Snow Annex for good deals on used gear.

- Alex

Adam Gellman · · Jersey City/Burlington · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 140

highly recommend tricams (pink and red are essential, anything bigger is nice), a green .75, and some hexes in the larger sizes. all of these can be had at rock and snow annex for cheap. Makes the gunks way more fun. As for slings, if you done mind bulk, and wanna spend minimal cash, pich up some webbing and tie your own runners.

JK- Branin · · Southern New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58
Dana Bartlett wrote:Experience level, familiarity with the area, and climbing ability influence what each person considers to be necessary equipment.
And personal preference.
Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

pretty funny when people tell you that tricams are esential..... been climbing 35+ years had a full rack of tricams to yellow #5 at one point. had the red and pink on my rack up untill this summer when I took them off to save weight alpine climbing in the tetons. don't miss them at all...... I would like annother yellow C3 though;)

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

Good climbing gear lasts a long time. I have cams on my rack that are 25yeras old.....

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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