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By The Maverick
Dec 1, 2012

Might anyone have any sound advice on climbing gear for the beginner? I literally did my first climb with some friends at Rumbling Bald. Of course, my friends had me doing multi-pitch climbs and I was too ignorant to know better.

A week later, we went to a climbing gym on a rainy day. By that evening, I confirmed my addiction to the sport. Further confirming my addiction,I purchased a Black Diamond Momentum AL harness, a couple of locking biners, a Mammut chalk bag, and Five-Ten Coyote lace ups.

Bottom line is, I need one of two things:

1. An affordable gear list
OR
2. A Climbers Anonymous (CA)rehab center

Help!!!


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Dec 1, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

In order of necessity and general chronological order of most climbers' purchases (taking into account that you already have some of the basics):

1. ATC belay device
2. two 2 foot slings or daisy chain or PAS
3. two more 2 ft slings (anchors)
4. four more locking carabiners (anchors)
5. 70m 9.8mm dynamic climbing rope
6. climbing pack

This completes your top rope set up.

7. 10 - 12 quickdraws
8. 4 more 2 ft slings (alpine draws)
9. 8 non-locking carabiners (alpine draws)
10. (completely optional) gri gri
11. (completely optional) stick clip

This completes your sport rack

12. set of stoppers (I prefer DMM wall nuts. a lot of folks swear by BD) w/ nut tool
13. 2 - 3 larger sized hex nuts
14. set of c4s
15. set of c3s
16. set of big bros
17. set of tri cams
18. non-locking carabiners to rack above gear

There's your trad rack

19. repeat steps 1 - 18 as you see fit
20. remember to replace your harness and rope every few years and your metal gear before it wears to the point of being dangerous.


welcome to the club. :)


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Dec 1, 2012

You should also have a "mentor" or someone to help you learn. Including which gear to buy.


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By The Maverick
Dec 1, 2012

Wow! Thanks for the quick reply. Very helpful. At this time, I like sport climbing, probably because the sport is still new to me. I am sure I will be getting into more aggressive climbs as I progress.

Hope you don't mind, I copied and pasted your list to Word.doc for my future reference.

Most grateful regards.


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By wivanoff
Dec 1, 2012
High Exposure

In addition to what you already have: A belay device.

Wait on everything else until you have more experience. You'll know what you'll need when the time comes. It'll come soon enough.

I understand the excitement. And I know too well how to be a gear whore. But, buy now, and you'll end up with a bunch of stuff that you'll wish you didn't spend money on.


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By The Maverick
Dec 1, 2012

Frank,

Thanks, I do have some experienced folks helping me out. Actually, my neighbors are the one's who introduced me to the sport. They have all the "general" gear, but the items more specific to me is what I have been hunting. However, I would like to have a complete list of gear for future climbs with other folks as I progress.

Excellent advice on climbing with a mentor though. I did learn to belay using a Gri Gri with an instructor at a climbing gym recently.


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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Dec 1, 2012
11th hour of the Sundial

wivanoff wrote:
buy now, and you'll end up with a bunch of stuff that you'll wish you didn't spend money on.


  • 1^^^^^ finish what you need now with a belay device of choice then get out with your mentor a lot, you'll pick up on whats needed as you get out more and thus save all the money from buying useless gear and instead spend it on better useful gear


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Dec 1, 2012

Helmet.


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By The Maverick
Dec 1, 2012

In Southern speak, "Thanks yawl"! Yep, super excited about climbing. Makes sense about not ending up with useless gear and spending money on superior gear. Next investment, belay device...and helmet. Lord knows, I don't need anymore self-inflicted injuries.

Honestly, I am whitewater paddler and mountain biker. I also backpack. Put ALL that together...I am already a gear whore! LoL!


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By Steven Groetken
From Tucson, AZ
Dec 1, 2012
On top of Hitchcock Pinnacle.

Sharpen your skills before you can't pay the bills (I.e. get geardicted, it's way too easy to buy a set of cams that you wont need until you get better and "forget" to pay the electric).


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By The Maverick
Dec 1, 2012

Steven Groetken wrote:
Sharpen your skills before you can't pay the bills (I.e. get geardicted, it's way too easy to buy a set of cams that you wont need until you get better and "forget" to pay the electric).


Funny....kinda sums it all up, right? LOLOLOLOL


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By tsmartt
Dec 1, 2012

here's a useful link about picking climbing shoes

super topo has a collection of gear reviews that could be helpful.

who knows, the 5.10 coyotes may be excellent shoes, but the day may come when you're looking for something else. many climbers have multiple pairs of shoes. i'm a big fan of the la sportiva miura lace ups, a shoe that feels at home on just about any terrain.

for quickdraws, the black diamond positrons are very nice for the price range they're in.

jury is out on the big bros. tri cams are really cool, but i rarely use mine, could just be due to where i climb. i don't often see hexes used either, sold mine a few years ago and haven't missed them.

some may scoff at this, but a couple quicklinks from a hardware store can be really handy for all kinds of things, as well as lots of prusik cord.

a stick clip is very cheap, and easy to make. painters pole and a small clamp.

hope i was at least somewhat helpful, have fun climbing!!


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By Joe Stark
From Iowa
Dec 1, 2012
Warming up

If you're sport climbing definitely get a grigri and a stickclip.


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By OldManRiver
From Cottonwood Heights, UT
Dec 1, 2012
Red Rock, Cannibal crag

Realistically you're likely not going to be leading sport climbing groups for a while. So focus on getting a top rope setup, developing your climbing skills, learn to lead belay and climb, etc. THEN get a sport rack when you're ready to take friends sport climbing or be the lead climber.

It can take a while to get your skill/strength to the point of leading comfortably so take it easy and try to enjoy the sport in each step.


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By bearbreeder
Dec 1, 2012

experienced people to go with over and over again ... thats what you need ...

dont bother buying anything for the first while until you figure out in real life, not on the intrawebs, what you should buy ...


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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Dec 1, 2012

You have shoes and a harness, the next thing you need is a helmet. Unless you're going to be exclusively climbing inside, you should get one and wear it. Fellow climbers are much more likely to have a spare belay device to lend you than a spare helmet.

1. helmet
2. belay device

After that, climb with your friends on whatever gear they have and by the time you're ready to need your own gear you'll know what you want from trying out what others have.

Have fun!


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By will smith
From boulder
Dec 1, 2012

2nd to
1. helmet and
2. belay device

then go climbing and ask a lot of questions, not only of the people your climb with but the other you meet as well. See how things are done, what you like and don't, I like rocks other than bd stoppers as they tend not to get stuck as easily IMO. When you are ready to start leading start thinking about what to buy. Have fun, be safe.


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By ErikaNW
Dec 2, 2012
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010

3rd (or 4th, 5th?) to helmet and belay device.

I would also invest in a rope (60m or 70m depending on what crags you are hitting) - simply because ropes wear out and it is a really nice gesture to share that expense with your climbing partners/mentors, even if you aren't leading yet, rather than relying on their gear all of the time.

Have fun and climb safe!


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Dec 2, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

i always forget about the helmet


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By wivanoff
Dec 2, 2012
High Exposure

ErikaNW wrote:
3rd (or 4th, 5th?) to helmet and belay device. I would also invest in a rope (60m or 70m depending on what crags you are hitting) - simply because ropes wear out and it is a really nice gesture to share that expense with your climbing partners/mentors, even if you aren't leading yet, rather than relying on their gear all of the time. Have fun and climb safe!


It IS a nice gesture. So is buying the beer after climbing. So is carrying your friend's gear for them.

To the OP:
You had some advice about buying a skinny rope. But, if you're going to buy it for youself and use it for toproping, I'd recommend you buy a fatter rope that will take the abuse. Doesn't have to be a dry treated rope. Check out what you're friends are using. If you get something similar they'll be more prone to use it. By the time you're ready to lead, you'll want to replace that first rope anyway.

Oh, and forget the Big Bros. Forget the 'set' of Tricams. When you're ready you might want 0.5 - 2.0 Tricams. But, likely not a full set.

And +1 on the helmet. There are some that will accept a ponytail nicely. Look at the Petzl Elias.


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By Mike Belu
From Indianapolis, IN
Dec 2, 2012
Summit of Rainier.

If you stick with it in NC, you're going to end up trad climbing. To save some $, get the guide ATC from the start. If u get the regular ATC, you'll just end up buying the guide ATC down the road. Have fun.


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Dec 2, 2012
tanuki

It has been said by others, but I will add my vote for the buy a helmet and an ATC Guide, then just go climb A LOT with more experienced folks.

There are all sorts of options for each piece of gear. After you get a few hundred pitches under you, you will start to develop a preference for what brands / styles you like, and what you really need to do the climbs you like. Gear is cool! We all like shiny stuff! IMHO, the best thing you can do at this stage is to concentrate on getting better at climbing and learn how to use the gear. Worry about spending a lot of your money later!

Climb safe and have fun!!!


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Dec 2, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

should also add that the list above is not to be bought in one trip to the shop... I listed the items in order of how they are typically acquired.

It usually takes at least a couple years to accumulate that stuff. Also, I agree with everyone that later on, as you get into trad, you could get away with just a couple of tri cams, and big bros are really only for a very specific type of climbing that a lot of climbers don't even get into.

Just giving you an idea of what your gear closet could look like should you continue this addiction.

I would still go with the 9.8mm rope (10mm at the most) if you plan on leading in the next couple of seasons. My first rope was a 10.3 and though it was solid and burly, it was heavy and cumbersome by the time I began to lead. It's a matter of preference though really. These days I use a 9.4, but that is a little too thin IMO.

That said, definitely go with the ATC guide. It has higher friction for thinner ropes and the option to run it over the low friction side for the thicker ones.

One other thing I forgot to list aside from the helmet: Freedom of the Hills. Every climber ought to own a copy of this.

And yes, as others have mentioned; the gear is only as good as the person at the other end of the rope. Choose some good, safe, experienced partners that you can have fun with and trust your life to...

Glad to see the excitement in a new climber! I hope this thread has turned out to be helpful for you :)


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Dec 2, 2012
...

"If you're sport climbing definitely get a grigri"


Nix that Gri Gri idea!

Totally NOT needed.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 2, 2012
El Chorro

Mike Belu wrote:
If you stick with it in NC, you're going to end up trad climbing. To save some $, get the guide ATC from the start. If u get the regular ATC, you'll just end up buying the guide ATC down the road. Have fun.


I spent my whole life climbing it NC with a regular ATC. It wasn't until I moved to Thailand that I bought a Reverso.

OP - helmet and belay device. And a love for rhododendron for the approaches in Linville Gorge.


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By Mike Belu
From Indianapolis, IN
Dec 2, 2012
Summit of Rainier.

^^^ how do u bring up the second on multipitch? I'd think for the $, the atc guide (or reverso) would be the best value.


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