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Stuff you don't NEED, learn from our mistakes


Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Patrik wrote:

I have different thoughts on this. I have seen in the last ten years or so a LOT of beginners starting out with a shiny rack of double set of cams and single set of nuts. After two years, they have a rack of "experienced" double set of cams and a still very shiny set of nuts. With zero relevant experience in placing nuts. Starting out with less gear than you "need" will force beginners into practicing creative solutions. IMO this is a lot safer when being on easy "beginner terrain" than after two (or four) years they want to start pushing the grades into 5.10 or higher. Yes, I know that there are areas where climbing with only cams works fine, but there are also places where solid nut skills are absolutely required, especially in "non beginner grades" (5.10 and up). Many beginners seem to be suspicious about passive gear and are very trusting in cams that do not come out no matter how they yank on them. When placing only cams, many develop a "plug-and-go" attitude where fine tuning a placement is just not needed (or at least they think so). For some, nut skills simply don't develop at all if they have more gear than they need, because they will always take the "easy way out" and plug in a cam. I have also seen that their eyes get "tuned" into seeing only cam placements. With the most georgeous bottle-neck nut placement an inch away, they still prefer a mediocre slightly flaring cam placement.

All that makes me almost glad I learned how to climb and protect before cams existed.


chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 600
Nick B wrote:

Anti cross loading belay lockers. They are a pita and not necessary.   Get a nice big autolocking hms biner (triple action or magnetron. Not dual action like twistlock, you are better off with a screw gate in that case) and call it good.

Almost.. this style biner is sweet for rope travel on a glacier, or any other circumstance where you have to tend a locker and its orientation.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

In retrospect after 12 pages - it probably would have been a good idea to restrict the conversation to exclusively rock climbing.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 405

Never been happier to uncheck the Notify on Site button for a thread. 

Patrik · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 30
Roy Suggett wrote:

Patrik wrote " Don't trust your mentor to decide what gear you "need"! "...hum...this is a slippery slope.  So if he/she is not trust worthy on gear, then what ARE they trustworthy on?

Your mentor should be able to show how to use the gear, not necessarily knowing what type of gear fits your style of climbing. Some mentors might still haul around two cordelettes, double PAS, and triple tricams (which is rarely ever "needed" nor suitable outside the Gunks).

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Patrik wrote:

...and triple tricams (which is rarely ever "needed" nor suitable outside the Gunks).

Not triples, but I've found tricams very useful in the solution pockets on some Whitehorse Ledge (NH) friction routes.


NRobl · · Hyrum, UT · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1
rafael wrote:

said by the guy who has so far only advanced anecdotes about cheap headlamps being superior.

Seriously, if you have done some research on headlamps, share it. If not, you are just trolling. 

I have at least an n of 20 on headlamps.  Not all of them were owned by me personally, but I'm including what other people have had that I was able to compare to my own.  There were many instances wherein someone else's cheap headlamp made by a battery company was much brighter and lasted longer than the expensive ones I owned. I have yet to see an expensive headlamp ($60-80 range) make a significant difference relative to a cheaper version.  Other people in this thread have suggested the same. 

Also, how was my original two line post about headlamps any different than all the other posts about gear people thought unnecessary? If I was trolling, so is every legitimate post in this thread.

I literally posted two lines of script about headlamps that I didn't even think warranted any response, but I had someone jump up my ass about it, so I defended that post with a bit of sarcasm.  Following that, I had a pack of angry chimpanzees pounding trees, shaking branches, at me... over an opinion on headlamps.  Nonetheless, because it seems to get you so upset, I'm happy to keep mocking you.  My endurance for maintaining the obnoxious exceeds that of a twelve dollar headlamp.

NRobl · · Hyrum, UT · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1
Marc801 C wrote:

He also says he has a propensity for losing headlamps, so he's making his blanket recommendation on a data point of one.


Always a condescending comment coming from your direction.  Then you follow it with the personal ego boost:

"All that makes me almost glad I learned how to climb and protect before cams existed"

Are you getting your strategy from Donal Trump?  

NRobl · · Hyrum, UT · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1
Nick Drake wrote:

If you want a large sample size go to any meeting of the mountaineers, boe-alps, WAC, Mazamas, etc... Outside of your little bubble there are actually a lot of people in the world who care about more than cragging single pitch routes. 


And a lot of people who don't take headlamps so seriously.

SeƱor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
NRobl wrote:

And a lot of people who don't take headlamps so seriously.

Can we all agree, for the purposes of this thread, that a headlamp is needed for most climbers?

Is there anyone here who bought a headlamp when they were a noob and now it just sits, lonely, in that box with all their hexes and figure eights?

JonasMR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 6

Ever since I bought my night vision goggles, my headlamp has been relegated to the dead gear bin.

Seriously though, Andrew is right.  Seeing a rope length at night is fairly important, and argues for a good headlamp (not one made by a climbing company).  But having SOME headlamp to rig your raps and such is the real deal breaker.  A bad headlamp is UNLIKELY to kill anyone, so everyone can just chill and make purchasing decisions as they see fit.

In fairness, other than the no helmet suggestion, I don't think anyone has said anything here that might get someone killed.  So that's something.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 487
AndrewArroz wrote:

Is there anyone here who bought a headlamp when they were a noob and now it just sits, lonely, in that box with all their hexes and figure eights?

No but I can think of a time when I was too damn stubborn to buy a head lamp and was constantly walking back to the car in the dark and sometimes getting lost along the way. Any headlamp is a hell of a lot better than no head lamp. 

NRobl · · Hyrum, UT · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1

I agree with both of you guys.  Thank you!

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 487

Clothes.

barefoot naked climbing because everything else is gumby aid shit. 

Nate Tastic · · 88,4,108,50, 80 · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
eli poss wrote:

Clothes.

barefoot naked climbing because everything else is gumby aid shit. 

Where is all this coming from? Eli, you've turned over a new leaf! Also, get a headlamp.

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0
Patrik wrote:


I have different thoughts on this. I have seen in the last ten years or so a LOT of beginners starting out with a shiny rack of double set of cams and single set of nuts. After two years, they have a rack of "experienced" double set of cams and a still very shiny set of nuts. With zero relevant experience in placing nuts. Starting out with less gear than you "need" will force beginners into practicing creative solutions. IMO this is a lot safer when being on easy "beginner terrain" than after two (or four) years they want to start pushing the grades into 5.10 or higher. Yes, I know that there are areas where climbing with only cams works fine, but there are also places where solid nut skills are absolutely required, especially in "non beginner grades" (5.10 and up). Many beginners seem to be suspicious about passive gear and are very trusting in cams that do not come out no matter how they yank on them. When placing only cams, many develop a "plug-and-go" attitude where fine tuning a placement is just not needed (or at least they think so). For some, nut skills simply don't develop at all if they have more gear than they need, because they will always take the "easy way out" and plug in a cam. I have also seen that their eyes get "tuned" into seeing only cam placements. With the most georgeous bottle-neck nut placement an inch away, they still prefer a mediocre slightly flaring cam placement. 

What I would do differently starting out: Don't trust your mentor to decide what gear you "need"! I ended up with a fig-8 rap device and a dedicated gear sling that I never needed. Never buy a hex that is smaller than your biggest nut. 

I agree with this. I've also seen this issue with other climbers who don't take the time to hone their passive gear placement skills. Particularly spending time on the ground working all kinds placements whether active and passive, and makes me wonder if some of the dislike for things like hexes, and tricams is the result of this. The last thing I'd want to do is learn a new piece of gear while I'm climbing. Spending many hours on the ground placing gear and bounce testing some of them has helped tremendously with seeing the placements and selecting the right piece and size. And also gaining confidence in what I've placed. 

I see the mentor as a starting point, at some point you will likely branch off and discover your own way. 

Ryan McDermott · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 95
Ryan Maitland wrote:

Dope Ninja?

If so, my friend and I enjoyed that traverse (pitch 5?) in some pretty strong winds as well, without radios, and tons of rope drag so rope commands were inneffective. We made it but bailed for margaritas immediately thereafter.

Yup! Fun stuff. 

Hector Luevano · · Seattle, WA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 10

Oh. My. God. Guys, CONRAD ANKER IS USING A PAS WHAT A NOOB. One of you surely much more experienced and accomplished climbers should totally tell him how stupid and unnecessary a PAS is. 

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 476

Big wall aid climbing in a party of 3 isn't something beginning climbers need to worry about yet. 

fritzthekat · · Portland, OR · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 5

Meh, I love my PAS. Perfect extension for comfy rappelling and cleaning with a third hand. Ideal tool if I would have to rescue rappel with an injured partner. And the other day, my friend was able to clip into my tether at a rappel anchor to avoid joining the anchor cluster at Red Rocks. AND it wraps around my waist when I climb to stay out of my way. Sooo, as long as I don't gain 20lbs, what could be better?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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