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Big Stoppers, should I bring them on multipitch?
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By Dylan Dwyer
From Missouri
Jan 29, 2013
after OS soloing the first flat iron, direct route
This seems like an odd question to pose considering the amounts of gear one brings on a multipitch, but i just don't feel like i place my biggest 3 stoppers very often and am considering taking them out of my multipitch rack. what's the use of hauling up unused gear, right? Just interested on anyone else's take on this (especially if you think this is the dumbest idea you've heard of). it's not really a weight concern but i think bringing another few small nuts would be much more useful (and lighter!). of course this is route dependent, but a standard rack would include EVERY size nut wouldn't it?
thanks,
dilimanjaro

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By Allen Corneau
From Houston, TX
Jan 29, 2013
On the one hand I would say you don't place your three biggest stoppers because you don't look for spots when they would work well, most likely opting for cams instead.

On the other hand, if you don't end up using something often enough then it's probably a good idea to leave it in the pack unless you know you'll need it on a particular climb.

I personally have WC Rocks and DMM offsets and place them as often as I can so I can save my cams for when I really need them.

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By Nick Sullens
From Yosemite/ Weed
Jan 29, 2013
I've stopped carrying my largest stoppers, I also found that I never used them. They aren't that heavy, but as you say, what is the point of carrying useless gear? I carry a set of metolius astro nuts, and then numbers 5 through 10 BD. I've found that I place nuts more often now that I carry less of them, perhaps because of ease of use?

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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Jan 29, 2013
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
i dont carry stopper abot a #10 BD...i occasionally wish i had the #11 & twelve if im linking pitches and runing out of gear, but make do with what i have. Tricams tend to overlap the bigger nuts and give you more options...though i do not own any

T

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By joshf
From missoula, mt
Jan 29, 2013
Me
I would not worry about bringing larger nut sizes on multipitch...in a hole/crack that size you'll be able to make something work, especially if you have a narrow headed cam like a tcu or an alien. There are notable exceptions to this of course...If you're committing to a difficult pitch and you've worked it, maybe a big nut might be a better/easier placement than a cam. A better/more diverse multipitch choice (IMO) would be the first three sizes of tri-cam's...they work both passive and active, in pockets, have an excellent range, and are generally more useful (if you take the time to place them and depending on the area of course).

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jan 29, 2013
Bocan
One thing I can say for having big nuts (ha)is that if I can I'll try to lean a bit more on passive for the belay to free up the cams for the next pitch. Of course that works better in theory most times, and I second bringing the tri-cams instead of the bigger nuts.

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By T Howes
From Sisters, OR
Jan 29, 2013
Use more passive gear at your belays.

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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Jan 29, 2013
Me on Supercrack
3rd on the tri-cams. I don't carry any stoppers bigger than a pink tri-cam. The tri-cams cover more range and work in more places (including flares). So my biggest stopper is an 11 DMM offset or a 10 BD.

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By jim.dangle
Jan 30, 2013
You could probably lose them if you want as more and more people seem to climb with just multiple sets of cams. At the same time, they are more light weight than cams, and can often take the place of cams at belays (as has been mentioned). Depending on what type of climbing you are doing, they are also far cheaper to leave behind if you have to bail and I would much rather rap off stoppers than say tricams (yikes!)

Maybe its just me but I always find a good stopper placement in the bigger sizes to be the most bomber pro there is-- at least psychologically. I am always relieved to sink one and would fall on one all day.

Cams are just too mechanical for my sorry mind. Not that I don't use them though.

Jim

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By SteveP
From tehachapi, CA
Jan 30, 2013
king
I have fist size WC hexes I take up with me every time because I love the sound of those cowbells. no lie.

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Jan 30, 2013
Eiger summit
I'm surprised that no one mentioned the obvious... It depends on the climb. If you are climbing a climb with a crack with a width that will take big nuts than take big nuts.

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By BrianCarson
From Redlands, CA
Jan 30, 2013
Trashcan Rock - West face - Bimbo 5.10a
All cracks take big nuts...Just depends on the pucker factor.

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By nbrown
From western NC
Jan 30, 2013
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai
Brian wrote:
I'm surprised that no one mentioned the obvious... It depends on the climb. If you are climbing a climb with a crack with a width that will take big nuts than take big nuts.


Agreed.

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By Brian in SLC
Jan 30, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
I prefer not to carry hexes anymore but, do stock the biggest stoppers (DMM's) when climbing multi pitch stuff at most areas. I tend to toss in a quick belay with stoppers if I can, and, save the cams for leading. Seems faster/more efficient to me.

Plus, if I had to bail, I'd much rather leave a couple of large stoppers than a cam or three.

Folks tend to develop their own standard racks where they climb. If you don't tend to use your biggest stoppers, yeah, might make sense for you to adjust.

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By coldatom
From Cambridge, MA
Jan 30, 2013
Jurassic Park
Brian in SLC wrote:
I prefer not to carry hexes anymore


Why, out of curiosity? I know they're out of fashion, but they're versatile and bomber, if a little fiddly. They handle parallel cracks that nuts can't and they don't walk. There's no piece I'd rather fall on than my green Torque Nut.

That aside, I stopped carrying the 3 largest nuts as well.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Feb 1, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
MTKirk wrote:
3rd on the tri-cams. I don't carry any stoppers bigger than a pink tri-cam. The tri-cams cover more range and work in more places (including flares). So my biggest stopper is an 11 DMM offset or a 10 BD.


Tri-cams! Just don't use the small black tri-cam passively. Depending on where I am climbing, I will carry black to blue, navy, or white. Much less weight than carrying another set of cams and more versatile, which on multi, the weight starts to matter.

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By Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
Feb 1, 2013
I've climbed with a few people who leave #11 to #13 at home. I've seen one of my regular partners take the 2 nut biners and painstakingly re-rack all of them so that he can carry every other size for mixed, short or otherwise unnutworthy pitches. He usually ends up 40 grams lighter with all the sizes he doesn't want... Cough T-rizzle cough.

I probably place one of the 3 big guys on every other pitch I do in the Wasnatch.
Also, you'd never be able to do this (and piss off your follower to an unbelievable level) without your largest nuts:

This is the 2nd piece of a real anchor...
This is the 2nd piece of a real anchor...

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 1, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stile...
Do you find yourself placing them? Your answer should help you determine whether or not to carry them..

Personally, I don't carry anything above BD #9 or 10 and I never have a problem.

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By Brian in SLC
Feb 1, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
coldatom wrote:
Why, out of curiosity? I know they're out of fashion, but they're versatile and bomber, if a little fiddly. They handle parallel cracks that nuts can't and they don't walk. There's no piece I'd rather fall on than my green Torque Nut. That aside, I stopped carrying the 3 largest nuts as well.


For parallel cracks, for speed and bomberness, I prefer cams.

I like especially the wired hexes that are shorter wires as they carry well and if I'm going into the alpine, and, not carrying much including no cams, I'll usually toss a few of those in. But, standard rack, too fiddly like you mentioned for me. Super versatile, though.

Tri-cams? Pain in the arse. Bomber gear, sure, but set them hard and watch your partner stuggle to clean. Ask the eyebrows at Looking Glass how easy they are to remove...ha ha. Great for mixed as they set well in an icey crack.

Personal preference and what you get used to, mostly. Milage and local rock type too.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Feb 1, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Brian in SLC wrote:
Tri-cams? Pain in the arse. Bomber gear, sure, but set them hard and watch your partner stuggle to clean. Ask the eyebrows at Looking Glass how easy they are to remove...ha ha.


There aren't many "fixed" tri-cams at the Glass, so I am not sure what you are referring to. Tri-cams are easy to clean if shown how to do it. If the tri-cam doesn't budge by hand, simply insert the carabiner attached to it between the wall and the sling (or use a nut tool to do the same thing). The tri-cam rotates backwards and loosens. The only tri-cam difficult to clean is the small white, unless you have sausage fingers. I'd also be wary of setting tri-cams hard while leading, you can easily blast yourself in the face or fall backwards if it comes loose.

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By bearbreeder
Feb 1, 2013
i have an easier time cleaning tricams than nuts ... if you have issues cleaning tricams its likely due to lack of practice

big stoppers ... depends on the route and your knowledge thereoff ... and how much you like passive gear ... tricams will work pretty well where big nuts will fit and are more flexible


as to big nuts ... you ALWAYS want to make sure your nuts are big when yr leading ;)

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By scott cooney
From La Casa Taco
Feb 1, 2013
11th hour of the Sundial
the new tricams have much stiffer straps to allow for overhead placing and I forsee it'll make them even easier to clean, plus they are tapering the sides now so like a nut, where you can place the primary way or on the tapered edges.

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By Kevin Craig
Feb 2, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
Wow, seriously? Have I really turned into an old fart? There's nothing like a well-placed #11 - 13 stopper that you can hang a truck off of to inspire confidence. Fewer worries about things like walking or rotating out of place or relying on spring tension or a dozen other things. Also, as has been noted, good for anchors to save cams for the lead. Though I'm a also a big fan of Tri-cams since they work where nothing else does, I don't see them as a replacement but rather as a supplement to the large nuts on my rack. To each their own though I suppose.

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By BrianCarson
From Redlands, CA
Feb 2, 2013
Trashcan Rock - West face - Bimbo 5.10a
Took all my stoppers up a route at Joshua Tree today, and used the 11, 12, and 13 in the anchor at the top.

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By John D
Feb 2, 2013
I like having my biggest stoppers, and find that I do place them, however I used to climb with a guy who wouldn't take a stopper bigger than a number 11. His reasoning was that you could turn the 11 sideways and it was as big as the 13.

I think if you don't use them, don't take them, sometimes it's more of the mentality that would leave the biggest stoppers behind (as well as any other superfluous gear)

For me, it depends on the area and the climb and my objective. If I'm going on a long day (15 pitch or more) climb, if I don't think I'll place those big stoppers, I leave them. When I climb in the flat irons, I usually carry them, especially if I'm trying to do a non SLCD ascent. If I'm doing an alpine style climb or something with a multi hour approach, I'll gauge it on if I think I'll need them on the route, and what other pieces am I taking that are the same size range. Usually I try to have as little overlap as possible to minimize the weight while still having all the bases covered.

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By Pete Spri
Feb 3, 2013
Do the multipitches that you do have bolted belays? I think large nuts are good for setting up anchors, instead of using up your finger sized cams on belays.

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