Best micronuts for california granite


Original Post
Eric MC · · Oakland, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 3

I'll occasionally see micronuts or RPs recommended for some moderate routes in both Tahoe and Yosemite.  

In your opinion what's the best brand/model small nuts (and what sizes) for free climbing on California granite.

Peenuts? DMM brass offsets? any other favorites?

Thanks for your input!

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 745

Yes, all of those, I love HB offsets, they set well in the base of p scars,  but for granite grab a full set of Steele micros (doubles in 3, 4, 5, A#5Steele is a well loved wire for sure!)

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 307

I have the Metolius Astro nuts (the "free" set), they work pretty well and they're a bit cheaper than the other brass. But I've only used the old HB style brass a couple times so I couldn't say for sure if they're better or worse.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

RPs,  HB Offsets, BD Steel Nuts, ... any and all.

Jordan Collins 1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 5

Dmm offsets!

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 420

Don't get too crazy with offsets for free climbing. The placements you are likely to get that are worth trusting are going to be fine with traditional RPs. You want nice rounded edges so they are not hanging up on crystals and place quickly and easily. The older RPs got, the better they were (more and more rounded edges). This is going to make them easier to clean as well.

This "handling" quality is more valuable on tenuous stances than the benefits of offsets which are more of an aid tool, imo, in our stone. You want something that goes in smoothly in the obvious good placements, not something that takes a lot of work to place. Micro nuts worth falling on have a lot of contact surface, not small points of contact that will break off in a fall, though they might be good for body weight.

The top 3 largest sizes are by far the most useful. The smallest are really just for aid, imo.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,225
King Tut wrote:

1) Don't get too crazy with offsets for free climbing. The placements you are likely to get that are worth trusting are going to be fine with traditional RPs. You want nice rounded edges so they are not hanging up on crystals and place quickly and easily. The older RPs got, the better they were (more and more rounded edges). This is going to make them easier to clean as well.

2)  Micro nuts worth falling on have a lot of contact surface, not small points of contact that will break off in a fall, though they might be good for body weight.

Numbers added to the above quote are mine, for clarity.

1)  Amen to that, and a lot of people don't seem to get that, but it is important.  I do worry about the astros and the more 'curved' nuts though, as they seem to get less surface than some of the less curved nuts much of the time.
2) Adding this - in grantie you can probably use a harder nut effectively, like the BD copper-steels.  In softer rock (sandstone, etc) you want a nut that deforms more and gets more surface area instead of tearing out that minimal contact area of the rock with a very hard nut - so brass might be better.

I might also mention - the DMM offsets are now the old HD offsets, more or less.

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,390

To add on to what's been said above.  DMM Peanuts are the ideal free climbing micro nut for the granite you're asking about.  The Peanuts are made of a harder aluminum which helps prevent deformation under load AND come with more rounded edges than most micro nuts.  I've found they seat exceptionally well in pins scars etc.  2nd would be BD Steel and WC Superlights (the singe wire ones).  In the larger sizes, DMM offsets are standard but more and more, I like the new WC Superlight OFFSETS which are significantly lighter than the DMMs and act as standard Rocks as well.  For Cali granite these days I would rack up with DMM Walnuts and Peanuts as the mainstay and if I knew the route was pinned out or ate nuts, add the WC Superlights and Offsets.   

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350

I use peenuts and dmm offsets as my only offset nuts now (after using all brands of offset brassies) They seem to fit better and require less fiddling. YMMV

Eric MC · · Oakland, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 3

Thanks for the advice everybody.  I'll probably pick up some peenuts, they are also half the price of the brass stuff anyway!

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 420
Eric MC wrote:

Thanks for the advice everybody.  I'll probably pick up some peenuts, they are also half the price of the brass stuff anyway!

Kevin is going to be 100% up to speed with what is working for aid (or more, I don't mean to pretend I know his climbing) but be sure to get a clarification from him about using peenuts for free climbing. The narrow heads of traditional RPs are a key part of their success as compared to other styles of wire nuts, in my experience. The peenuts may be the cat's meow for flared stuff....but, it is those narrow and shallow spots that I found nuts of that width to be less ideal and RPs the cat's whiskers. YMMV.

Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 355

Anyone know why DMM decided to make the Peenuts less rounded in the second gen? I had to replace my purple and the new one's edges are way sharper than the original design (not to mention it's a bit bigger all around - pretty much the same as a green now). Not sure I like that change, though they also seated the cable into the nut which is awesome.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350
King Tut wrote:

Kevin is going to be 100% up to speed with what is working for aid but be sure to get a clarification from him about using peenuts for free climbing. The narrow heads of traditional RPs are a key part of their success as compared to other styles of wire nuts, in my experience. The peenuts may be the cat's meow for flared stuff....but, it is those narrow and shallow spots that I found nuts of that width to be less ideal and RPs the cat's whiskers. YMMV.

No joke, tut's words should carry more weight than mine imo

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350

And for me, I tend to run it out rather than fiddle in small nuts when freeclimbing. If I have to place, then I'll usually nest them

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 420
kevin deweese wrote:

No joke, tut's words should carry more weight than mine imo

Well, I'll take that at face value and thank you for it but just say my opinion is only based on free climbing pro and those few routes I know that really need them. When I was back in my aiding days we didn't have offsets. 

Many of these natural placements for micro nuts are shallow in Granite and the narrow heads are good for that. This is very different from aid climbing were most micro nut placements are in the bottom of pin scars (flared) and the width is less a concern as the pins have made it deeper. For free climbing most of those routes don't have pin scars. ie RPs are very nice on the top of Lazy Bum for example or Adrenaline or Peters Out in the Valley, shallow placements with bomber #3-4-5 RP slots.

Also, keep in mind that these routes that really need them are rare and can have route specific needs for one type or another to get a bomber crux placement etc.

Just one old guy's perspective. Others have their's to share too.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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