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Hex Users! How hard do you climb?
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Poll: Hex Users! How hard do you climb?
5.7 or easier 8 / 14%
5.8  7 / 12%
5.9 12 / 21%
5.10a/b 11 / 19%
5.10c/d 7 / 12%
5.11a/b 7 / 12%
5.11c/d 3 / 5%
5.12a/b 0 / 0%
5.12c/d 0 / 0%
5.13a or harder 3 / 5%
58 total votes
 

uni_jim


Aug 13, 2009, 11:27 PM
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Hex Users! How hard do you climb?
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So, there are some people on here who think that hexes are the bees knees, and others who consider them obsolete pices of equipment which served their purpose, but have no place on a modern rack.

I have found it quite enjoyable to read some of the heated threads on the use of hexes, and saw one post where (i think it was angry) threatened to make a poll relating the use of hexes to the grade climbed. I have made this poll.

So, my question is, what is the hardest lead that you have placed a hex on? In your post, you can add your hardest hex-less lead if you wish (could be interesting to see if there is a difference).

My hardest hex lead was a 5.10c at lost boys Jasper Alta.


AntinJ


Aug 14, 2009, 12:09 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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Good idea Uni...


uni_jim


Aug 14, 2009, 12:15 AM
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why thank you, but it is not mine, i just put it into action.


northfacejmb


Aug 14, 2009, 12:40 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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5.10a and counting.. I can't see dropping these off my rack anytime soon either. But maybe that has something to do with why I'm not climbing 11b... hum..


patto


Aug 14, 2009, 3:28 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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I don't know what this is meant to achieve. The answer I gave has more revelance to how hard I climb than my placement of hexes.

How do you plan to make sense of the data?


Guran


Aug 14, 2009, 4:22 AM
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Re: [patto] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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Yeah this is a bit beside the point.

It is true that it is (generally) quicker to place a cam than a hex, therefore a climber using both will (generally) prefer a cam if climbing at his limit.

However, where I place a panic piece, a stronger climber could hang on without hurry, picking and choosing from the rack. (or just run it out)

I use hexes (where appropriate) if I'm at a good stance saving the heavier cams for protecting more strenous bits. My "good stance" might cause a 5.7 leader to hold on for dear life while a 5.12 leader consider my "cruxes" as rest positions.


camhead


Aug 14, 2009, 5:53 AM
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Re: [Guran] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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Guran wrote:
I use hexes (where appropriate) if I'm at a good stance saving the heavier cams for protecting more strenous bits. My "good stance" might cause a 5.7 leader to hold on for dear life while a 5.12 leader consider my "cruxes" as rest positions.

Good point. If a climber places a hex from a no-hands rest, and then proceeds into 5.12 territory with cams, it would be a bit disingenuous for him to say "I led a 5.12 with hexes!"

However, what is truly and undebatably badass would be Earl Wiggins's 1976 onsight first ascent of Indian Creek's Supercrack, a sustained 5.10 splitter, no rest stances, which he protected with mostly hexes, though with some very early prototypes of active camming devices.


kovacs69


Aug 14, 2009, 6:59 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs. I voted 5.9 but hell...i am only a 5.10 sport climber so I lead 1 difficulty less than I sport and I place hexes almost at my peak. What you really should do is a poll on how far below you peak climbing ability do you place hexes on lead...ie 1 grade, 2 grades and so on. I have seen one of my partners place hexes on 5.12 but he can climb 5.13. You will never get a good answer though. Hex users love hexes...non hex users don't understand why we love them and think they are obsolete. I think we should make a new category of climbing...non-mechanical climbing...in other words, protection without moving parts...no cams or ballnuts.

JB


(This post was edited by kovacs69 on Aug 14, 2009, 7:25 AM)


LostinMaine


Aug 14, 2009, 7:38 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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Placed a small hex climbing "A Dare By The Sea" (5.10 c/d) in Acadia last fall. But, it was my first piece before the sustained portion of the finger crack, so it was not a gripped placement at all...


wmfork


Aug 14, 2009, 7:41 AM
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Re: [kovacs69] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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I stopped using hexes simply because they are no longer that useful for me. On routes I'd project, there never seems to be a place for them. On an easier pitch of a multi-pitch, I'd just run it out a bit.

On the other hand, I don't think hex users understand why some non-hex users would rather flow through a climb rather than making longer stops to fiddle with gear.


rockandlice


Aug 14, 2009, 8:16 AM
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Re: [wmfork] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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I crushed Cobra Crack with nothing but hexes. Headed to Yo to go walk the secon ascent of Meltdown. Again, I'll only be taking hexes.


mnottingham


Aug 14, 2009, 9:09 AM
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Re: [LostinMaine] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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That's a righteous lead man! I TR'd "A Dare" in June and got it 2nd try. I didn't really look at it for leading (I don't trad lead that hard yet). I'm curious about what else you plugged in for pro, particularly above the crux. I remember jug hauling above the finger crack but I can't recall if there were cracks or good features for pro. What a great climb.


the_climber


Aug 14, 2009, 9:36 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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I find people always find it hard to really figure out this question. Did you place them or just rack them? could you have used a cam? would you have been able to protect it better if you had brought and used hexes? all the other what if's?
It's always a question and what protection a climb affords, what types of features the rock has, and so on.

My hardest lead with hexes (outside of aiding) would be about 5.9/10a depending on who you asked... mind you that was on new ground cleaning out placements along the way and with a good sized rack with everything from Brassies, pins, tricams, hexes, to a #3 camalot. That particular pitch had a number of key placements (read only oppertunity in that section) that only afforded hexes. The placements were bomber where it would have been too shallow for a cam. I think the only cams I placed on the pitch were on easy ground at the top of the pitch. Everything else was hexes tricams, pins, and nuts. It really comes down to using th eright tools a the right time.
Could I have placed more cams, sure but not safely. Cams skate out of muddy cracks that were just cleaned out, whereas a hex or tricam (placed properly in the given situation) holds better.

It all cames down to the rock, and the skills of the climber. Hexes and tricams are easy to learn, but few climbers truely become proficient at them these days.


(This post was edited by the_climber on Aug 14, 2009, 9:40 AM)


damage


Aug 14, 2009, 9:40 AM
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Re: [camhead] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
Guran wrote:
<snip>
However, what is truly and undebatably badass would be Earl Wiggins's 1976 onsight first ascent of Indian Creek's Supercrack, a sustained 5.10 splitter, no rest stances, which he protected with mostly hexes, though with some very early prototypes of active camming devices.
Nice video, thanks for the link.


jt512


Aug 14, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Re: [kovacs69] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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kovacs69 wrote:
It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs.

Actually, it's impossible, since there is no control group. At what level are non-hex users climbing?

Jay


scrapedape


Aug 14, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Re: [jt512] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
kovacs69 wrote:
It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs.

Actually, it's impossible, since there is no control group. At what level are non-hex users climbing?

Jay

Good point.

But even if we knew that, it wouldn't necessarily tell us anything about causation.

It often seems to me that the implied message of the hex skeptics is that hexes are for beginners, so you shouldn't use them. That better climbers don't use hexes, so if you want to be a better climber you'll have to ditch the hexes. Often, however, this advice is being given to... beginners.


uni_jim


Aug 14, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Re: [the_climber] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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the_climber wrote:
Did you place them or just rack them?

i am asking if you placed them, i agree with your statement about rock type and climbers skill.


Partner angry


Aug 14, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: [scrapedape] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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scrapedape wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kovacs69 wrote:
It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs.

Actually, it's impossible, since there is no control group. At what level are non-hex users climbing?

Jay

Good point.

But even if we knew that, it wouldn't necessarily tell us anything about causation.

It often seems to me that the implied message of the hex skeptics is that hexes are for beginners, so you shouldn't use them. That better climbers don't use hexes, so if you want to be a better climber you'll have to ditch the hexes. Often, however, this advice is being given to... beginners.

Excellent point.

Once people stop being beginners or at least climbing routes for beginners, they typically ditch the hexes.

The trouble is that a good many "experienced" climbers have been climbing nothing but beginner routes their entire life and could not climb anything more difficult than a beginner route. \

These experienced climbers then praise hexes with all their years of wisdom when instead they should be lamenting spending half their life as a n00b.


jt512


Aug 14, 2009, 11:40 AM
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Re: [scrapedape] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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scrapedape wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kovacs69 wrote:
It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs.

Actually, it's impossible, since there is no control group. At what level are non-hex users climbing?

Jay

Good point.

But even if we knew that, it wouldn't necessarily tell us anything about causation.

Oh, please! If the better climbers are less frequent users of hexes, then what does that tell you about the usefulness of hexes on harder climbs?

In reply to:
It often seems to me that the implied message of the hex skeptics is that hexes are for beginners, so you shouldn't use them. That better climbers don't use hexes, so if you want to be a better climber you'll have to ditch the hexes. Often, however, this advice is being given to... beginners.

I don't understand what you are trying to get at or how it relates to the question of the usefulness of hexes on harder climbs.

jay


LostinMaine


Aug 14, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Re: [mnottingham] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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mnottingham wrote:
That's a righteous lead man! I TR'd "A Dare" in June and got it 2nd try. I didn't really look at it for leading (I don't trad lead that hard yet). I'm curious about what else you plugged in for pro, particularly above the crux. I remember jug hauling above the finger crack but I can't recall if there were cracks or good features for pro. What a great climb.

Above the crack, there is no pro. Just a small roof and some good jugs. The crack is pumpy and sustained, so gear was tough (all small cams), but I TRed the route about 6 times before leading it to be sure I found spots where I could place solid gear rather than just plugging and hoping. Running it out above the crux wasn't too bad; it would be a clean fall, but if you can pull the crux, the 5.8 rock above isn't bad at all. A Dare is one of my favorite climbs in Maine.


Partner cracklover


Aug 14, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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My hardest lead with hexes on my rack was a few at 5.11a. Hardest without was 12a.

Assuming you're just talking about trad.

GO


scrapedape


Aug 14, 2009, 1:06 PM
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Re: [angry] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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angry wrote:
Excellent point.

Once people stop being beginners or at least climbing routes for beginners, they typically ditch the hexes.

The trouble is that a good many "experienced" climbers have been climbing nothing but beginner routes their entire life and could not climb anything more difficult than a beginner route. \

These experienced climbers then praise hexes with all their years of wisdom when instead they should be lamenting spending half their life as a n00b.

Could i have progressed more as a climber if I'd put more time into it? Probably. Is the fact that I'm a weak-ass climber due to carrying hexes? I'm pretty sure it's the other way around.

To my view, the fact that plenty of people never get past climbing beginner routes (as you point out) is why it's not a bad idea for a beginner to buy hexes. There's a chance that they'll be using them for longer than they think. (And if they do move on? There will be plenty of noobs to buy those hexes from them.)


tradrenn


Aug 17, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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Hardest lead with Hexes - 5.8
Hardest lead without - 5.11a

Voted for 5.8


Partner cracklover


Aug 17, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Re: [jt512] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
kovacs69 wrote:
It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs.

Actually, it's impossible, since there is no control group. At what level are non-hex users climbing?

Jay

But it's an excellent way to disprove such commonly stated beliefs as: "no-one who's gotten past the beginner stage still climbs with hexes"; "hexes are useless for modern climbers, except as a learning tool"; and "I've never heard of anyone climbing with hexes who wasn't a n00b on a 5.2"

GO


jt512


Aug 17, 2009, 11:08 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Hex Users! How hard do you climb? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kovacs69 wrote:
It is hard to say from this poll if hexes are useful on harder climbs.

Actually, it's impossible, since there is no control group. At what level are non-hex users climbing?

Jay

But it's an excellent way to disprove such commonly stated beliefs as: "no-one who's gotten past the beginner stage still climbs with hexes"; "hexes are useless for modern climbers, except as a learning tool"; and "I've never heard of anyone climbing with hexes who wasn't a n00b on a 5.2"

GO

First of all, as written, the question in the poll is too poorly written to be much good for anything. Secondly, each of your "commonly stated beliefs" is exaggerated. The real issue (which is succinctly illustrated in tradrenn's post) is the relationship between the utility of cams hexes and the difficulty of the climb.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Aug 17, 2009, 12:12 PM)

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