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maintenance for iron
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By T.L. Kushner
Oct 2, 2011
I don't do a lot of aid climbing but recently invested in my first set of hooks. i picked up a BD grappling hook and a BD talon. i haven't gotten a chance to use them yet though. this afternoon i went to go place them in my gear bag for an upcoming trip where i was planning on aiding a pitch or two and saw some tiny spots of, what i assumed to be, rust. i hadn't kept them in a particularly damp location. i was really surprised that they would begin to rust after only a few days so i was just curious if i was doing anything wrong. frankly, i'm not even positive if it is in fact rust. it just looked like a bunch of amber colored spots covering a couple of the surfaces.

is this actually rust or something else that i had not considered?

is this normal for hooks/pitons/other iron gear?

is there a way to prevent this from happeneing? such as coating them in some sort of oil.

is there any type of protocol for removing the rust? steel wool? just let it be?

please help. i'm really excited to get into aiding more difficult routes and it's really discouraging to think that supposedly re-usable gear like hooks would decay away this quickly.

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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Oct 2, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.
gentle scrubbing with fine grain steel wool then just some silicon oil on top. requires maintenance just like other gear. no worries though, iron lasts a very long time!

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