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zchandran


Jul 7, 2009, 8:03 AM
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Basic question on racking cams
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I just put together my starter trad set: set of BD stoppers, TCUs, couple of BD C4s, tricams, and 4 tripled trad draws. I'm testing placements on really easy 5.3-5.5 routes to familiarize myself with the gear.

I'm trying to come up with a decent system for racking all this. I've read through a lot of the older threads, but still have some basic questions. I understand that everyone has their own way but I just want a starting point to work from.

I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc. I'm leaving all the stoppers together. My overall system is to use bentgates solely for clipping rope so that they do not get nicked up.

So when I place a SLCD/tricam I can quickly clip the rope into the bentgate and I'm good. My question is about the trad draws. When I put in a cam and then want to extend it, do I just leave my bentgate on it and also clip in a draw to the sling?

It seems like my system involves a LOT of carabiners. Is this normal or am I missing something obvious?


apeman_e


Jul 7, 2009, 8:14 AM
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zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc.

why do this? why not just clip to harness?


tomcat


Jul 7, 2009, 8:15 AM
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Dunno if this will help or not but....

Don't put all your wires on one biner.If you drop that unit,all your wires are gone.Put three or four on a biner.

C4's I'd put each on a separate biner.Most of the time you will already know which one you want and don't need a selection to try in front of your face.

Small cams,I group two to a biner.Oft times it might take either size,or be close to either size,so it's right there to switch.Follow?

I wouldn't normally go with the biner on the cam,then clip a trad draw to that biner.Near the end of a lead,if I'm not running short on biners,I'd leave the biner in place,and clip the trad draw to the cam sling directly.Less to go wrong.It actually isn't that much slower to take a sling off over your shoulder and thread it through the cam biner and clip in,or,if you are using it full length,just clip it.

Tricams I only carry slab climbing,for solution pockets,but some folks worship theirs.They tend to be a two handed placing project,so I keep my three on one biner.


(This post was edited by tomcat on Jul 7, 2009, 8:18 AM)


Logikal41


Jul 7, 2009, 8:15 AM
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I generally leave the carabiner hanging on the sling attached to the cam. So it pretty much serves no purpose when i use my trad draws. However, sometimes i take it and combine it with either the gear end or the rope end of the trad draw to make an opposite and opposed set of biners if i am worried about the gate opening (by rubbing on rock or other reasons). I also sometimes take the extra biner and keep it with me incase its a really long pitch and i need to improvise to make more draws or use it on the anchor.

It depends on the situation but most of the time they serve only for racking purposes.

`Matt

Edit: I agree that you should not have all your wires on one biner. It would be a mess if you drop the 'biner and its also more cluttered. It makes for faster placements if you can reach down and grab the biner with 1 size range (say - small, medium, large) then match the stopper to the crack.


(This post was edited by Logikal41 on Jul 7, 2009, 8:20 AM)


Gmburns2000


Jul 7, 2009, 8:34 AM
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I rack my tricams all on one biner (I only have three so if I drop that biner I'm not completely toast). I tend to have two separate biners for nuts, with various sizes on each biner in case I drop one. There's no reason to carry the extra weight of an additional biner for clipping individual pieces when they are so small. Just use the trad draw for nuts and tricams.

For cams, I have a biner for each cam and clip those separately to my harness. There's no need to group cams together (except maybe the smallest ones) because they are more difficult to manage when on one biner (for me anyway). When I clip a trad draw to these cams I let the spare biner stay on the cam's sling. As a result, I tend to buy light-weight biners for racking my cams, because that's all I typically use them for (though sometimes I'll clip directly into them).

The reason I do it this way it two-fold: 1) I typically know which cam I'm going to place, so I don't need a selection in front of me to try various pieces, but I may not know which of the smaller pieces I'm going to place, so a selection in front of me works best for the smaller pieces and; 2) larger pieces are harder to manage when all are on one biner. Besides, cams weigh a lot, too, and having to lift all of those cams each time would be a pain in the ass.


chilli


Jul 7, 2009, 8:40 AM
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zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc... ...When I put in a cam and then want to extend it, do I just leave my bentgate on it and also clip in a draw to the sling?

i group cams by size (a couple per biner), except the larger ones which get their own biner. then i place, and clip, or more typically place and extend (which i think you'll probably be doing a fair bit on meandering easy routes). keep in mind, by doing this, i'm saving on weight, but sacrificing the extra time of re-racking a cam each time i place one. if the racking biner isn't being used, i take it with me on the double-shoulder-length sling i 'wear' (i often end up using them later). this saves me some bulk.
i keep all my tricams on a single biner to save bulk as well (which is sometimes where i use the racking biners i took off placed cams).

zchandran wrote:
I'm leaving all the stoppers together.
i split mine up so i have some larger and some smaller on two biners. that way, if i drop one i still have a decent mix of sizes.

granted, my system isn't perfect, but i like it ok.

edited for insert


(This post was edited by chilli on Jul 7, 2009, 8:46 AM)


zchandran


Jul 7, 2009, 8:45 AM
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apeman_e wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc.

why do this? why not just clip to harness?

I tried putting each piece directly on the gear loops, but it just got too crowded. The only pieces I'm clipping directly to the gear loops now are the #2 and #3 C4s. I have a #5 on my wish list but that's a few months away.

As to the other ideas:

1. I'll split the stoppers up into three groups: two biners with the commonly used sizes and the large ones separately. I hadn't really thought too much about dropping the whole thing since I'm doing single pitch right now. It also makes sense because when I add a few duplicate sizes the organization will stay the same.

2. I like having the option of opposed carabiners when extending so I'll leave the bentgate on even when adding on a draw.

Thanks for the suggestions.


hafilax


Jul 7, 2009, 8:48 AM
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Yes, just leave the racking biner on piece and clip the draw to the sling. Another way to do it is to keep a couple of slings over the shoulder with a single biner each. To extend a cam you pull off the sling and clip it to the racking biner saving a step in extending to full length.

You're going to want more slings for routes that take a lot of nuts and to deal with rope drag and keeping your gear from doing funny things as you're climbing above it. I only direct clip a cam when the placement is ideal.

If you only have one set of nuts I wouldn't split it up. Most placements are in the mid range of the nut sizes (#8 stopper) making it a bit more of a crap shoot in picking the right set. I have doubles in the mid range so I can split them up and have some overlap between the sets. You're not going to drop them or at least you shouldn't. I split them mostly to have some pieces of each size on both sides of my harness.

I rack all cams individually. I don't really see a purpose in putting multiple cams on one biner other than to save weight. It also forces you to pick the right size right off the bat.

Rack the tricams on a single biner like the nuts. If you're proficient with them they are easy to place and remove with one hand.


tedman


Jul 7, 2009, 11:41 AM
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I use 4-5 double length slings and put em over the shoulder with a single biner on em, then 6-8 trad draws on the harness. place a cam, clip the shoulder length sling to it, rope into the single biner. doubled trad draws are for stoppers/tricams. All my cams get their own racking biner, 1 set of normal nuts on one oval, 1 set of offset nuts on another. 3 tricams and random booty gear on another.


dingus


Jul 7, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Recommend use a gear sling, particularly if multipitch is in your future. The bullshit of transferring pro from one harness to another and nback again is, well, bullshit.

Just hand your partner the sling with what's left of the rack and rerack onto that. Your storage issues evaporate and you go faster to boot.

And again, if multi-pitch is in your future, imagine a rack with a double set of cams in ever size... how do you rack that?

Me and my friends rack like sized cams together but they all get their own biner. Not every experienced climber likes this however, as , has been pointed out, there are a lot of extra biners using this method.

However, in my own climbing the added convenience of quick clips outweighs (hehe) the weight of the additional biners.

Cept for the alpine and wilderness climbing with long approaches... then I'm all anal about biner weight. Then I suffer the inconvenience of slings and no extra biners.

Adapt, improvise, overcome.

DMT


vegastradguy


Jul 7, 2009, 12:14 PM
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zchandran wrote:
apeman_e wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc.

why do this? why not just clip to harness?

I tried putting each piece directly on the gear loops, but it just got too crowded. The only pieces I'm clipping directly to the gear loops now are the #2 and #3 C4s. I have a #5 on my wish list but that's a few months away.

man, grouping cams onto one carabiner...dicey, imho. what if you fumble? now you've dropped two or three cams instead of one. ugh....

if you must group them because you think your harness is too crowded, clip one to your harness, then clip another to the carabiner on the one on your harness- stack them bascially. that way, when you go to use a cam, you only have to grab one. (this works really well for double cams, not so good for single cams and you need the one clipped to your harness)

also, imho, you should try a shoulder sling for your gear- especially if you think the gear is too crowded on your harness (esp if we're talking about a single set of cams!). either that, or get a harness with more/bigger gear loops.

as for leaving the carabiner on the cam- yeah, thats pretty much standard. there are other ways of doing it, but they all end up being more work than its worth, imho.


apeman_e


Jul 7, 2009, 12:29 PM
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zchandran wrote:
apeman_e wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc.

why do this? why not just clip to harness?

I tried putting each piece directly on the gear loops, but it just got too crowded. The only pieces I'm clipping directly to the gear loops now are the #2 and #3 C4s. I have a #5 on my wish list but that's a few months away.

With the amount of gear you have, your harness is not too crowded.


welle


Jul 7, 2009, 1:52 PM
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zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc. I'm leaving all the stoppers together. My overall system is to use bentgates solely for clipping rope so that they do not get nicked up.

So when I place a SLCD/tricam I can quickly clip the rope into the bentgate and I'm good. My question is about the trad draws. When I put in a cam and then want to extend it, do I just leave my bentgate on it and also clip in a draw to the sling?

My understanding is, that bentgates are not recommended for trad, especially if you are clipping directly into your pro, without extending it with a sling. I have my cams on dedicated neutrinos, BD even makes them color coordinated with your C4s (at first I thought it was unnecessary gimmick - I only bought them in a set because of a better deal - but now I find the colors handy - for re-racking). I leave the racking biner on the pro, except for the first piece or hard moves - in such situations I take that biner off the cam and clip it opposed to the rope and the rope end of my trad draw. Since you already invested in bentgates, just use them for racking or the pro end of the draw.

zchandran wrote:
and also clip in a draw to the sling?


the sling of the SLCD? clip directly into your SLCD - eliminate an extra link...


zchandran


Jul 7, 2009, 3:06 PM
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vegastradguy wrote:
zchandran wrote:
apeman_e wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc.

why do this? why not just clip to harness?

I tried putting each piece directly on the gear loops, but it just got too crowded. The only pieces I'm clipping directly to the gear loops now are the #2 and #3 C4s. I have a #5 on my wish list but that's a few months away.

man, grouping cams onto one carabiner...dicey, imho. what if you fumble? now you've dropped two or three cams instead of one. ugh....

Sorry I wasn't more clear - each TCU/tricam has a bentgate through the sling, and then I clip that bentgate to an oval on my gear loop. When I want a particular TCU, I only unclip that one from the oval - the oval and rest of the cams stay on the harness.

Also, I suppose my gear selection is paltry to someone who's experienced, but to me it's amazingly crowded. I'm used to climbing with about 4 sport draws on each side, plus a PAS, ATC, and a couple of slings, so the first time I put on all my new gear it felt like I had disassembled a Borg cube and attached it to my harness...

I already have a Metolius sling with four gear loops, once I work my way up to multipitch the plan is to use that. Only multipitch I've done so far is with a guide in Yosemite last month, and my sole contribution to the gear organization was handing him a tangled sweaty mess of slings and gear after following each pitch... Smile


vegastradguy


Jul 7, 2009, 5:22 PM
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zchandran wrote:
vegastradguy wrote:
zchandran wrote:
apeman_e wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'm putting each TCU, tricam, and C4 on its own bentgate carabiner and then all the TCUs group together on one carabiner, all the tricams on another, etc.

why do this? why not just clip to harness?

I tried putting each piece directly on the gear loops, but it just got too crowded. The only pieces I'm clipping directly to the gear loops now are the #2 and #3 C4s. I have a #5 on my wish list but that's a few months away.

man, grouping cams onto one carabiner...dicey, imho. what if you fumble? now you've dropped two or three cams instead of one. ugh....

Sorry I wasn't more clear - each TCU/tricam has a bentgate through the sling, and then I clip that bentgate to an oval on my gear loop. When I want a particular TCU, I only unclip that one from the oval - the oval and rest of the cams stay on the harness.

Also, I suppose my gear selection is paltry to someone who's experienced, but to me it's amazingly crowded. I'm used to climbing with about 4 sport draws on each side, plus a PAS, ATC, and a couple of slings, so the first time I put on all my new gear it felt like I had disassembled a Borg cube and attached it to my harness...

I already have a Metolius sling with four gear loops, once I work my way up to multipitch the plan is to use that. Only multipitch I've done so far is with a guide in Yosemite last month, and my sole contribution to the gear organization was handing him a tangled sweaty mess of slings and gear after following each pitch... Smile

well, my advice to you would be to figure out the best way to organize now- i dont rack differently depending on whether im climbing single or multipitch- i rack the same way every single time- that way, when i'm cruxing, i dont have to think about where i put the gear this time.

interesting approach with the oval...sounds like you're making it harder than necessary to get to your gear- i cant see how the oval would make it easier to sort, seems like it would turn the cams the wrong way and bury some against your hip underneath others.

anyway- get a harness with four gear loops (and preferably a haul loop) minimum if you use the metolius sling (which is what i do), OR get something like the Misty Mountain Cadillac or Yates Astroman if you prefer racking on your harness. either way you go- figure it out now and stick with it.


acorneau


Jul 7, 2009, 7:31 PM
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Here's how I usually rack up:

-Offset nuts on one biner, left front gear loop.
-Regular nuts on one biner, right front gear loop.
-Odd # cams, 1 biner each, smallest up front to largest, left front, behind offsets.
-Even # cams, 1 biner each, smallest up front to largest, right front , behind nuts.
-3 trad draws, 2 - 12" slings with biner, 1-2 sport draws, on each rear gear loops
-Cordelette, double-length sling, extra biners/lockers, etc., center rear gear loop

Luckily my Wild Country harness has 5 gear loops, so I can rack everything (mostly) on my harness.


(This post was edited by acorneau on Jul 7, 2009, 7:34 PM)


vegastradguy


Jul 7, 2009, 7:38 PM
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acorneau wrote:
Here's how I usually rack up:

-3 trad draws, 2 - 12" slings with biner, 1-2 sport draws, on each rear gear loops

wow, you only carry 7 draws? must be nice- i usually carry 12, and that often isnt enough!


acorneau


Jul 7, 2009, 7:51 PM
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vegastradguy wrote:
wow, you only carry 7 draws? must be nice- i usually carry 12, and that often isnt enough!

Not quite: six trad draws (3 each side), four 12" slings (2 each side), 2-4 sport draws (1-2 each side), and 1 or 2 double-length slings (in the back) for a total of 13-18 slings/draws.

This seems to cover most of what I place, but sometimes I'm a little thin on selection by the end of the pitch and have to make due.


herbertpowell


Jul 7, 2009, 8:04 PM
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I try to keep my racking simple so that it is FAST.

Chocks all go on keylock biners (no snags!). I break them up onto a few biners. I tend to rack them by size, others rack odds and evens in case they drop a biner full of chocks, that way they still have a range of sizes.

Cams, tri-cams, hexes, etc all go on individual biners. I want to grab the size I want, fit it in the crack, and be able to move on.

Slings are tripled with two biners. This way I can clip a chock easily. If I clip a cam, I just clip the cam's sling, and leave the cam's racking biner there.

A few spare biners on the harness are used when equalizing chocks for anchors, as I use a cordelette usually. The spare biners can also be used if I need to set opposing chocks somewhere, or equalize several small chocks.

The overall goal is to be able to place pro and move on quickly. . . as well as clean the pitch and re-rack quickly.

I agree with the others. . . get a gear sling. I put pro on the gear sling, and slings and draws on the harness.

A lot of climbing is about creating systems and practicing those systems thoroughly.


Partner rgold


Jul 7, 2009, 8:24 PM
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VTG's good advice not withstanding, I rack differently for short and long climbs. On short climbs (time not at all critical, whatever that means to you) I like to group my gear on single biners. Yes, fumbling is a theoretical problem, but I've never dropped anything in nearly forty years, so I'm not worried about it, I really like having choices at hand when I grab some gear, and I like the reduced weight of fewer biners.

Nuts: One complete set, divided in half and each half (about five nuts) racked on a single biner (make sure it is some sort of keylock---no notched gate). In places like the Gunks, I usually have another biner with various brass trinkets as well.

Cams: I rack three small cams to a biner in sizes up to Yellow C3---two biners worth. Then two medium cams to a biner (in sizes up to Yellow C4). Anything above a Yellow C4 gets its own biner.

On long climbs (time possibly or definitely critical), I still rack nuts as described and still carry my usual six smallest cams on two biners, three to each. But then the rest of the cams have their own racking biner which isn't used when a quickdraw is clipped to the cam but is used when a full-length sling is used.

The advantage of each cam having a racking biner is that the second can remove the cam and rack it in its place and the quickdraw or long sling in its place for the next lead. Since I often find I place half the rack or more, it is faster to use this method and then have the last pitch's leader hand over the gear sling to the second who is about to become the leader and who already has all the cams placed and quickdraws and slings used properly racked and ready to go. I've found this to be faster than passing a "leading sling" of gear back and forth and reracking onto it. Moreover, it allows each climber to rack gear in the way that best suits their own style and does not punish one of a pair of very differently sized climbers.

Having gotten all OCD about this, I think it worth mentioning that it is important to climb with other people's gear and set-ups and not turn yourself into one of those people who have to have their own gear, racked in their special way.


dingus


Jul 8, 2009, 5:33 AM
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If my partner brings her rack I make a point of using her racking system too. It is a good practice to walk in another leader's shoes, so to speak.

DMT


gimmeslack


Jul 8, 2009, 6:14 AM
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Re: [dingus] Basic question on racking cams [In reply to]
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The only time I've had a nut slip off biner, was when using keylock. Then someone mentioned that the only notch-gate biner they still carried was for nuts - serving as a last-chance fumble saver. Goot idea...


shockabuku


Jul 8, 2009, 6:37 AM
Post #23 of 29 (3363 views)
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Re: [zchandran] Basic question on racking cams [In reply to]
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I've never had a (significant) problem getting my nuts off of a notched gate biner, but I have had that notch save a couple of nuts I would have otherwise dropped. So I don't put my nuts on keylock biners even though I love them to use them for other applications.

I rack my nuts on three separate biners, micro-nuts, small nuts, large nuts. Pink through blue/purple (4 total) tricams two each to a biner, and my passive pro goes on the left side of my double sided gear sling.

Cams go on the right side of the gear sling, small cams go two, sometimes three to a biner up to about .4 Camalots/equivalent, then one to a biner larger than that.

I rack my draws on my harness (usually about a dozen tripled draws) with a few extra locking biners and my belay device. I don't like to carry a cordellette though I do sometimes on my harness.

One of my big concerns with racking gear is to keep the bigger and more dangly stuff behind my hips so that I don't step on it or catch it on the rock or in my clothes. Occasionally that's difficult to do.


Partner angry


Jul 8, 2009, 6:42 AM
Post #24 of 29 (3356 views)
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Re: [zchandran] Basic question on racking cams [In reply to]
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I didn't read all the responses, and opinions, assholes, and GUing blah... Anyway this is what I do and I like it a lot.

For the cams, I rack the smallest to biggest on a 1" piece of webbing. A 1" sewn runner is getting harder and harder to find these days. I like it because it's stronger than many of the padded models, less sweaty, and equally comfortable. The thinner ones bite into your shoulder and the padded ones just annoy me.

I only place cams on it.

I have two purple biners with my nuts. Smallish to mediumish and mediumish to biggish. I won't carry larger than tha BD 12, usually 11. The purple distinguishes them from anything else on the rack. If I'm carrying RP's, they are on their own blue biner. All these get racked on my harness.

I carry 10-12 runners or QD's. These are also racked on my gear loops. The runners are tripled up. I don't carry them over my shoulder because I frequently take off my sling or switch what side it's on. It's a wide crack thing I suppose.

If I'm carrying a blue and black alien, I rack those behind me, near my butt. That way, I never grab them by accident and I know exactly where they are without them polluting the rest of my rack with their ideas.

Now lately on the harder routes, I've been doing what I call rapid fire pieces. This doesn't work for an onsight. I'll place cams that I know I'll be desperate for right on my harness, in the proper order, if I know it. The rest go on the gear sling.

If you climb a severe overhang or roof or offwidth roof, you won't be able to reach the gear sling. I found this out in the most hilarious way possible. Adjust accordingly.

At a belay changeover, throw the sling over your partner, he takes the cams he cleaned and puts them on, grabs the nuts, and straightens out the draws/runners. I've done this in under a minute, it's never slow.

I'm toying with the idea of just stringing a 1000ft rope down routes and minitraxing my way up. All the joy of climbing with nothing else. Trad leading is obsolete.


skinner


Jul 8, 2009, 7:21 AM
Post #25 of 29 (3334 views)
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Re: [dingus] Basic question on racking cams [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
Recommend use a gear sling, particularly if multipitch is in your future. The bullshit of transferring pro from one harness to another and nback again is, well, bullshit.

Just hand your partner the sling with what's left of the rack and rerack onto that. Your storage issues evaporate and you go faster to boot.

And again, if multi-pitch is in your future, imagine a rack with a double set of cams in ever size... how do you rack that?

Me and my friends rack like sized cams together but they all get their own biner. Not every experienced climber likes this however, as , has been pointed out, there are a lot of extra biners using this method.

However, in my own climbing the added convenience of quick clips outweighs (hehe) the weight of the additional biners.

Cept for the alpine and wilderness climbing with long approaches... then I'm all anal about biner weight. Then I suffer the inconvenience of slings and no extra biners.

Adapt, improvise, overcome.

DMT

I agree with everything dingus said here.

I've always disliked using partners racks with multitple cams racked on single biners. Especially when you are *out there* and all you want to do is plug a cam in, clip and go.. fiddle farking around with a biner full of cams, rather then just selecting what you need, and plugging it in makes no sense imho.

With wires, tri-cams, etc... sure rack them together, but yes, split them up.
Another dislike
I have is wired nuts racked on notched biners, I find the notch a pain in the ass and have BD positrons specifically for this purpose.

I carry a mess of slings, and pretty much extend everything. It keeps the rope running smoothly, prevents cams from walking out of sight into a crack from direct rope movement, and leaves wires placed as they were intended in the direction of the fall. But I don't like shit around my neck,
especially long slings. I know a lot of people do it this way, it's just not my bag. I use the twist-n-fold method which leaves me with nice bundles that don't hang down, and won't snag or get caught up on anything. I rack them way around back on my double gear sling, because I don't have to look at them when they are racked this way as it obvious just by feel, whether it's long. med, or short sling.

In general, I rack in order of length, shortest at the front, to longer gear at the back to keep all the dangley stuff out of the way while climbing. I always have a mess of free biners chained together up high and up front for easy access after placing a wire or anything where mulitple pieces are racked on a single biner, rigging multi-piece anchors etc.

I hate single gear slings. It stems from aid climbing where you tend to have so much gear that organization is essential, but I find with double gear slings in general, the gear tends to be racked up higher and out of the way, The nicest thing about doubles is, that you don't end up with all your gear sliding around to the front of you every time you lean forward or bend over. You have way more options for racking, so you can spread the gear out more, and distribute the weight evenly side-to-side.

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