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Building a Trad Rack for Red River Gorge


Original Post
Steve Everden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

I'm looking to build a single rack for the Red. Wondering what people would suggest as far as SLCDs are concerned, especially where to double up. I've got my hands on a set of DMM nuts and Dragon2s #00-3. DMM is less expensive than BD given my particulars (I know, it's odd). I'm transitioning from sport to trad so I have plenty of draws and am planning to add a few alpines draws, 1 or 2 coredelletts, couple extra lockers, and a handful of sewn doubles into the mix. 

What am I missing? What do you find yourself using when cruising the Red?

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 195

Lots of Red and Gold Camalots (sorry, I know BD), so: doubles of hand sizes would be helpful.  If your partner has a rack, I don’t think you’ll need doubles of everything.

Rick Lewis · · Indianapolis, IN · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 50

I would add more alpine draws, Especially starting out, learning to extend your pieces will be helpful. you probably want to have equal numbers of draws to alpine on your harness ( depends on the climb too) Trad in the red can be weird for placements at times but its great! 

Josh Gates · · Wilmington, DE · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 1

As a beginning trad climber, where are you targeting in the Red? I'm in the same boat, planning a trip for March. I'm thinking Fortress Wall and some stuff at Muir.

Stephen Lander · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 11

A set of nuts and singles of .3 - 4 BD will get you up a large percentage of the routes. Crack size tends to be variable so you don't need to double or triple up that often. The first sizes I would double are .75, 1, 2, 3. I'd get at least 6 alpine draws to start but I usually have 8-10 on me. I never regret adding a bit more weight to have the option to extend more pieces.

Josh, for beginner trad Fortress is hands down the best wall, but as such it is usually fairly crowded (for a trad crag at least). Tower Rock, Pebble Beach, Global Village, and Lower Small Wall are some other good options. 


Carter Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 10

I would also add a guidebook for NC and The New for trad lines. (Mostly joking, but also totally worth going there too! It's only a few hours away if you need to chase weather.)

Joey S. · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 30

My starting rack was a set of DMM nuts, BD (.3, .4, double .5-3, 4), 8 alpines, cordalette, nut tool, a couple 8 ft lengths of 1 inch webbing and quicklinks.  Some climbs at the northern crags don't have bolted anchors so the webbing/quicklink combo is nice to have if the old tat looks suspect.  There are some moderates you'll need BD sizes 5 & 6 for (Good Tang, offwidths at Long Wall & Muscle Beach).  I have DMM Dragon sizes 3, 4, 5 (BD sizes 1, 2 ,3) I could part with.  PM if you're interested.

pat a · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

My doubles of #1, #2 and #3 get used a lot.  #4 is great...even when I don't "need" it, I still use it on 75% of routes. 

The #5 and #6 get used if you've got 'em.  They're rarely "necessary" but turn some PG-13/R climbs into chill sewups.  Especially when you're starting out, it's common to run into 10-20 foot sections of offwidth that can be scary without pro.

DMM offsets fit everywhere. Tricams are great in pockets and in filthy, wet cracks.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern States
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