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ULTIMATE RACK based off of analysis


Original Post
John B · · Calgary · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 10

I tracked FirstPersonBeta's placements to help determine the perfect rack,  lead climbing 54 pitches total in squamish, redrocks, gunks, seneca, lonepeaks.  half of which were multipitch.

whats important is the double placements, these arent necessarily the cams he used,  but approximate range is somewhat accurate, also he owns a triple rack:


Here is a list of what i think would be the perfect selection of gear for versatility and low weight:
BD #0.1 to #4 or equivalent,  doubles in the #0.3 to #2

Here is a Picture of the cam range and selected cams for what may be a good starter rack, totems as doubles for the most used range:



BD Camalot X4 #0.1 Red 
BD Camalot X4 #0.2 Yellow
BD Camalot X4 #0.3 Blue
BD Camalot X4 #0.4 Grey

BD Ultra Light Camalot C4 Purple #0.5
BD Ultra Light Camalot C4 Green #0.75
BD Ultra Light Camalot C4 Red #1
BD Ultra Light Camalot C4 Yellow #2
BD Ultra Light Camalot C4 Blue #3
BD Ultra Light Camalot C4 Grey #4

TOTEM CAM 0.5 Black
TOTEM CAM 0.65 Blue
TOTEM CAM 0.8 Yellow
TOTEM CAM 1 Purple
TOTEM CAM 1.25 Green
TOTEM CAM 1.5 Red
TOTEM CAM 1.8 Orange

Triple OZ rackpack for colored biners and light weight

DMM Stopper Set
DMM Offset Stopper set

Pink Tricam
Maybe an offset 0.1 by 0.2 x4 instead of one of each

8 ultralight alpine draws
2 ultralight double length alpine draw
10 ultralight quickdraws

cheaper version: 14 Black Diamond C4 0.3 to 4, doubles in 03 to 2 and a set of cheap stoppers or equivalent
PS i know u can get by with a lot less.. and i have no experience trad climbing myself,  i just wanted to know what to buy!

EDIT i got permission for the climber i tracked to expose and link to his channel..  FirstPersonBeta on youtube and added the data on climbs to this first post
https://www.youtube.com/user/RandomDiscourse
awesome channel!
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
John B wrote: I tracked a specific trad climber placements to help determine the perfect rack,  lead climbing 54 pitches total in squamish, redrocks, gunks, seneca, lonepeaks.  half of which were multipitch.
It all depends on where and what you climb. There is no such thing as the 'ultimate' or 'perfect' rack.

PS i know u can get by with a lot less.. and i have no experience trad climbing myself,  i just wanted to know what to buy!
So this is basically pointless then.


John B · · Calgary · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 10
Marc801 C wrote: It all depends on where and what you climb. There is no such thing as the 'ultimate' or 'perfect' rack.
good point!
I've looked up the climbs i want to do in my area and most only require a single rack to 4" which ive already bought
im holding off on buying doubles,  hence i did the analysis

maybe i should have named it "well rounded rack"

i really like how the totems compliment the c4's though for cam range!
Chris Reyes · · Montclair, NJ · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 40
Marc801 C wrote: It all depends on where and what you climb. There is no such thing as the 'ultimate' or 'perfect' rack.

So this is basically pointless then.


I guess you don't need a ton of experience to collect data. That said, looking at this we're left to assume that each placement was the ideal placement - which may or may not be fair.

Still, a fun little thing nonetheless.

What's the grade spread for the data? I imagine that could impact the type of placements.

Also, I'm not sure I see how your rack reflects the data. Looks like a BD rack doubled with some totems - which I'm pretty sure is super common at this point.
Pjm · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 20

John, very cool data! The bell curve is obvious for sure and it's interesting to see the slight jump of the yellow #2 C4 - that cams fits a lot of stuff in that bigger range, I use it all the time. 

John B · · Calgary · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 10

here is the data:   from firstpersonbeta on youtube


i know every climber is different with placements,  but its super interesting nonetheless.. and i think sharing this would be super cool!

Edit: i added this to the first msg body as well for new readers!
climber pat · · Las Cruces NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 241

Why have a totem 1.5 or 1.8, their range is completely covered by the corresponding BD?

Zachary K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 160

The rack you need varies by the crag. Squamish and the Gunks are about as different as it gets.  I think this data would be more useful if you broke it down by location. 

Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,691

As has been said, the rack you need is entirely dependent on the routes you're climbing (which will evolve with your personal progression and/or regression) so trying to ID the 'perfect' rack is fully tilting at windmills.  Just go buy a bunch of cams and a set of stoppers and use them.  Until you're operating at 80-90% of your limit, make/model won't really matter anyway.

John B · · Calgary · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 10
Zachary K wrote: The rack you need varies by the crag. Squamish and the Gunks are about as different as it gets.  I think this data would be more useful if you broke it down by location. 

i agree..  unfortunately the data set is already very small while including all those areas and i was going for a versatile rack

check out the specific climbs in the data if you would like
Vic Davalos · · Rhode Island · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 5

This is sweet!  Nice job.  Looks like it took a fair amount of effort too.  For s&g's it might be fun to calculate the cost of this rack.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 161

Yep, this is the perfect rack for someone who leads mid-11s and feels comfortable placing a total of 2 cams on easier routes.  I wouldn't try climbing anything out in Indian Creek based on your "ultimate rack."

You are pointing out that you need singles in the small and big sizes, and doubles from about 0.3 to #2, that is a whole lot of data gathering to state the obvious.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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