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Big cam for the Gunks?
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By Emmett Lyman
From Washington, DC
Jun 4, 2012
Personal photo

Hey all,

I'm still a novice trad leader, and just starting to push through the Gunks 5.6 range. This weekend I led Baby and Wrist for the first time, and found those wide cracks at the P1 cruxes were begging for something much bigger than my BD #3. Am I going to see a lot of this at the Gunks, or are these just a couple of oddball climbs? In other words, should I be on the lookout for a #5 or is it a waste of money beyond those two easy climbs?

Thanks!
Emmett


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By rogerbenton
Jun 4, 2012
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible.

i think there are a few routes that you can use the bigger stuff on but for 95% of gunks leads you should be good with a #3 C4 and smaller.

for example, there is decent gear to the right of the wrist OW, as well as just before and after the OW section.


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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Jun 4, 2012
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.

You won't use a #5 very much beyond the two climbs you listed... and as rogerbenton pointed out one can usually engineer a solution without wide cams.


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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jun 4, 2012

Generally, the harder the climbs, the smaller the gear. You'll not find much use for anything bigger than a #3 C4 at the Gunks.

I rarely bother bringing my #3 unless I know I'm doing a route where it's especially useful.


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By Jeffrey Dunn
Administrator
Jun 4, 2012

I rarely bring a #4 to the cliff, nevermind bring it with me on an onsight lead. Double up in finger size and smaller gear first before buying big cams. As an FYI, you can definitely see from the ground the big cracks on those routes, as well as see that the mountainproject pages all specifically identify those routes as wanting what I will call a "not normal" piece of gear.


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By JSH
Administrator
Jun 4, 2012
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker

Really, no.

Do you have a british accent? If so, I met you halfway up Baby, we were rapping from Easy O.


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By Gunkiemike
Jun 4, 2012

All of the above is good advice. But... there's no denying that it's a blast, once you've got a couple big cams, to charge up the wide cracks (few as they are) that scare the bejeebers out of your friends.


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By MaraC
Jun 4, 2012
taking a break from climbing shoes before rapping off Arrow

The only other climb I can think of besides Baby and Wrist where a big cam might be useful is Layback. I have a #4 and the only climb I've placed it on is Miss Bailey. Get another pink tricam and you should be fine. :D


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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jun 4, 2012

A number 4 is nice for Layback - if you can place it. There's good pro just below the crack anyway, and I don't fancy getting out of the layback position to slot a big cam.


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By Emmett Lyman
From Washington, DC
Jun 4, 2012
Personal photo

Thanks for all the replies, folks! Great news, indeed.

I climbed Layback a while ago and recall that it felt a bit committing, but I don't think I would've paused to get a piece in even if I had one to place. And now that I've pushed through Baby and Wrist without pro (guess I didn't look to the right on Wrist) I've got no worries about doing it again.

Anyhow, I appreciate the beta... mostly because it means I don't need to spend anything. I've got the smaller cracks sorted pretty well (a blue metolius goes everywhere!), though I hear you MaraC... I'd gladly trade my black or blue tricam for another pink. :-)


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By Emmett Lyman
From Washington, DC
Jun 4, 2012
Personal photo

JSH wrote:
Really, no. Do you have a british accent? If so, I met you halfway up Baby, we were rapping from Easy O.


Wasn't me... it was the last climb of the day, so we were probably on it a little later.


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