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Using hexes to double your rack for multi-pitch


Original Post
Zach Schmidtke · · Crystal Lake, IL · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Hello, 

I have a set of hexes laying around and am headed to the Albuquerque area in a couple weeks. I would love to do some trad multi-pitch, but don't have a double set of cams yet (like almost everyone else, money is tight). Is it feasible for the multi-pitch in that area to used hexes to double your rack? 

Thanks in advance everyone!

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Affirmative. 

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,545

Absolutely.  That sounds like my rack most of the time in the Sandias - unless my partner insists otherwise.

You probably know - just don't treat them as a direct replacement for a cam.  More like a large nut for constrictions.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 135

What did people ever do before cams?

Of course you can go with hexes instead of doubling your cams, as long as you know how to set hexes, you have alpines so the ropes has less chance of displacing them, and the hexes are appropriate for your climb.  Heck you can climb with nothing but passive gear if so inclined.

Mike Womack · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 1,648

If you know how to place hexes, then they are super bomber and can be extremely helpful.  Go for it!

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

YGD™.

Ryan Swanson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 35

DMM Torque nuts make me moist.  Wired hexes on the other hand...  yuck

I love racking and placing my cowbells.  No one ever looses your location with all that clanking.

Zach Schmidtke · · Crystal Lake, IL · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

I know how to place them an have used the on single pitch routes. I just wanted to know how practical it is for multi-pitch and for the NM area. Thanks for your responses.

Stephen Lander · · Columbus, OH · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I love carrying a few hexes on pretty much any trad climb. I'll place them on easier sections so that I know I still have a cam left at that size if I run into harder stuff above. Same idea applies for anchor building, if I can use a hex and save a cam I'll do it every time.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Stephen Lander wrote:

I love carrying a few hexes on pretty much any trad climb. I'll place them on easier sections so that I know I still have a cam left at that size if I run into harder stuff above. Same idea applies for anchor building, if I can use a hex and save a cam I'll do it every time.

This.....hexes have saved my ass at many a multipitch anchor when I've ran out of the proper sized cams to place.  I can almost always find at least one bomber placement and I'm getting quicker and quicker at it (speed is safety afterall in multipitch).

OrganicChemistry · · Tucson · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95
Ryan Swanson wrote:

(red and green DMM torque hexes) 

JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 951

It's absolutely possible, and even a good idea.  But you have to be comfortable, and have good eyes for placing them, otherwise they're just bulky things decorating your harness. I learned to "trad" at the Gunks, then lived in CA for a while.  I carried and placed tricams regularly.  

But there are two drawbacks:  first, you have to have partners who can clean whatever you place.  Second, if you're swapping leads, that's your partner's rack too, so your partner has to agree to take them along as part of his/her rack.  

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
JSH wrote:
Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 160

There's a reason cams were invented.. just like nylon replaced hemp..

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,545
Hobo Greg wrote:

There's a reason cams were invented.. just like nylon replaced hemp.

Funny Greg. :)

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Hobo Greg wrote:

There's a reason cams were invented.. just like nylon replaced hemp..

Only thing they are absolutely objectively better for and that is splitters.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
Christopher Smith wrote:

Only thing they are absolutely objectively better for and that is splitters.

On easy stuff you can get away with nearly anything or nearly nothing....

But as the grades increase and you find stoppers and hexes filling your locks and jams....cams come into their own more and more.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
King Tut wrote:

On easy stuff you can get away with nearly anything or nearly nothing....

But as the grades increase and you find stoppers and hexes filling your locks and jams....cams come into their own more and more.

Ya I guess I was being a bit pedantic from a pure protection standpoint and not so much on the practical side of actually getting up a damn climb lol.  Doesn't always seem to work out that way though.  I've certainly had plenty of climbs where the passive pro fit best were I couldn't possibly get something for my hands, granted this is usually small nuts on cruxy finger cracks that only have certain spots wide enough to even get the tiniest of finger locks in.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
Christopher Smith wrote:

Ya I guess I was being a bit pedantic from a pure protection standpoint and not so much on the practical side of actually getting up a damn climb lol.  Doesn't always seem to work out that way though.  I've certainly had plenty of climbs where the passive pro fit best were I couldn't possibly get something for my hands, granted this is usually small nuts on cruxy finger cracks that only have certain spots wide enough to even get the tiniest of finger locks in.

No worries. We all slap out these posts and its not like they ever sum the totality of our thoughts on a topic.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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