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Dec 15, 2012
Some Like it Hot (5.12b). Devils Tower, WY
rogerbenton wrote:
op's question had nothing to do with how hard people climb.


Sure it does. I doubt he was asking about racking methods for their aesthetic worth. How you rack is inherently tied to how hard you climb. I have seen plenty of climbers struggle on routes that they would most likely have the physical ability to climb if they didn't waste energy clipping, unclipping, slinging, and reslinging so much stuff from their harness and shoulders.
Sean Nelb
From Grand Junction, CO
Joined Apr 27, 2007
414 points
Administrator
Dec 15, 2012
El Chorro
Obviously your rack will change a lot depending on where you are but I typically do something like this:

Cams with individual biners.
A set of offset nuts with a third to a half set of regular stoppers. Split onto two biners.
Few tricams on a biner or added to the stoppers.
2-4 helium sport draws (or any light skinny dyneema draw)
2-4 trad draws
2-4 24" slings over my shoulder with one biner
0-2 48" slings over my shoulder with one biner

Total I usually take 10-14 ways to attach the rope to my gear. Pitch length, single or double rope and how much passive gear I think I'll place usually dictate how many slings I take. Lately it seems like I take less cams, more stoppers and draws but thats because of where I've been climbing.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Dec 15, 2012
Puffy jackets and Happy Boulders
I use either style depending on what I'm climbing.

If I'm cragging at Indian Creek or the Cookie or something where it's mostly straight up cracks where i don't have to worry about rope drag and I just want to plug-and-go, then I will rack each cam on it's own.

But most of the time I will bundle 3 to 5 cams on a single biner. The main advantage is that it's a lot easier to fit a lot of gear on your harness. I don't climb with a gear sling so if I have a double set of cams, plus nuts, draws, bail cord, approach shoes, water bottle, and more all on my gear loops it will quickly turn into an impossible clusterfuck if all the cams are racked individually. Having five .2-.75" cams all on one biner makes it a lot easier to manage.

If I find myself approaching a cruxy looking section that will be sustained then (while at the last good stance) I will pick out a few cams I think I will want to place and "pre rack" them by putting quickdraws on them and moving them up to the front of my harness so I can plug-and-go.

Also I'm not a fan wearing slings over my shoulders (like several people here have suggested) for a few reasons: First and foremost, when you lean forward they will dangle in front of you and get in the way or caught on something. Second, if you have the slings over your left shoulder then you can't take one off without also taking your right hand off the rock, which can be annoying if you're placing your gear from a key right-hand fingerlock and don't have anything good for your left hand. And third, though it's extremely rare, it is possible to choke to death if you take a lead fall and one of the slings snags a knob on the way down.

Just my $.02 to add to the variety of opinions on this topic.
Bryan G
From Yosemite
Joined Nov 17, 2007
4,609 points
Dec 15, 2012
Bocan
The only cams I double up on a biner are the micros. If I'm trying to save weight I'll throw 4-6 slings with one biner over my shoulder instead of on my harness. Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
927 points
Dec 15, 2012
Halloween 2011
Since you didn't spend money on biners, I suggest buying this book and reading it thoroughly

$20
$20
nadeleets
Joined Apr 16, 2010
39 points
Dec 16, 2012
BETA: For me, crux move was sticking the move to t...
One thing I'm surprised hasn't come up yet is chaining cams of the same size so organizing on the harness is easier and less cramped but they're still racked individually. For example: I clip a #2 to my gear loop, and then I clip the next #2 to the biner of the one already on my harness. Anyone else do this? Drew Nevius
From Oklahoma
Joined Jun 27, 2012
484 points
Dec 16, 2012
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible...
bearbreeder wrote:
climb hard enough and youll realize the reason why people generally dont do this ;) the questions was asked why ... and the answer is that once youre pumped out of your mind on a sustained 11+ finger crack at your limit ... you arent going to shuffle through your 2-3 TCUs on a single biner to select the best one ... for the OP ... keep in mind that a lot of the stuff that people can get away with on moderates ... dont necessarily work when youre on "hard" sustainted climbs at your physical limits thats also one of the reasons why people generally dont carry cowbells anymore for hard cragging =P




so do you not use nuts, or rack them individually? or are nuts for people who don't climb hard?

i think knowing exactly what piece you need and grabbing the right one the first time is a bigger time saver than reclipping a cam to your harness before grabbing a draw.

not fumbling around and being smooth with whatever racking method you use is whats up.


  • edit to add*

i do not in fact climb "hard". but when leading at my max it is the moves and not the gear that gets me.
rogerbenton
Joined Sep 5, 2011
259 points
Dec 16, 2012
Sometimes i rack nuts single, but generally when I'm pretty sure that's the needed size- like at a rest looking to a cruxy section. The only other time may be single nuts on wires (not that I advocate this) but I have done it many times esp. when gripped john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
2,259 points
Dec 16, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
I'd say it depends. Do you always have to do it the same way?

First of all, there is a difference between hard crack climbing and hard face climbing. A hard crack will generally involve placing a number of pieces of the same size, it is often obvious from a distance what they will be, and the crack itself is parallel-sided and easy to judge. Makes sense to have each cam on its own biner for this.

Hard face climbing is a different world. Looking up, you usually have absolutely no idea what size pieces will be needed. Often you can't tell from any one position where the next piece will be and what size you'll need. And when you find a placement it isn't in a nice parallel-sided crack, there are wiggles and obstructions and...features...that make it harder to get the placement right on the first try. The result is that you may have to carry a wider range of gear, will need a draw on every piece, will not know which pieces are needed until the placement reveals itself, and even then may have to fiddle.

In this case it makes sense to have at least 2 or 3 of your small cams on a single biner, just as we do with nuts. The potential for having to experiment decreases as the crack size increases, so it still makes sense to have larger cams on their own biner, since there is no advantage to having different-sized cams on the same biner in the bigger size ranges. That leaves a gray area of middle-ranges up to personal preferences and perhaps some foreknowledge of what the route offers.

Another consideration, already mentioned, is whether the climb is short or long, which is to say whether re-racking time matters or not. If re-racking time matters, then it is most efficient to have cams on a dedicated biner, and ideally that biner is not used for clipping the cam unless no extension is used. That said, a lot of re-racking inefficiency comes from the second clipping gear to themselves willy-nilly with no system. If the party has agreed on a racking system and the second knows how to adapt to it (for instance, not taking apart trad quickdraws), then the difference in reracking time between having each cam on a biner and multiple cams on a biner can be greatly reduced, although not eliminated.

On short routes where time is not an issue, one can think about the tradeoffs between saving a little weight (pretty minimal savings with today's light biners) and saving a little time when pumped at the crux. It seems to me that saving time wins out if you are at your absolute limit, but for routes below that limit, putting doubles on the same biner saves a bit of weight and also some space on the rack.
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
263 points
Dec 16, 2012
rogerbenton wrote:
so do you not use nuts, or rack them individually? or are nuts for people who don't climb hard? i think knowing exactly what piece you need and grabbing the right one the first time is a bigger time saver than reclipping a cam to your harness before grabbing a draw. not fumbling around and being smooth with whatever racking method you use is whats up.



nuts are much easier to place on lead off a bundle ... when im climbing hard i place no more than 5-6 nuts per biner ... and when i know ill be placing a particular size, ill rack em individually on the ground or a hands free stance if there is one ...

like i said there are many things people do that work on moderates that generally dont work on harder sustained routes ... which is one reason why you generally dont see too many people place multiple cams on a biner when they climb "harder" climbs with few rests

almost ANYTHING will work on a moderate with good stances ;)

put it this way ... gear is the only thing saving your azz ... and the ability to place gear fast and well is absolutely key ... especially after a crux when yr pumped out of your mind, but there still no "good stance" ... yr also much more likely to drop your "bundle of cams" at that point
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
1,876 points
Dec 16, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the backgrou...
rogerbenton wrote:
so do you not use nuts, or rack them individually? or are nuts for people who don't climb hard? i think knowing exactly what piece you need and grabbing the right one the first time is a bigger time saver than reclipping a cam to your harness before grabbing a draw. not fumbling around and being smooth with whatever racking method you use is whats up. *edit to add* i do not in fact climb "hard". but when leading at my max it is the moves and not the gear that gets me.


This is not a dig at your climbing ability...but your profile says that you climb 5.8-5.9, at this level there is almost always a good stance between the hard moves to stop and place gear. So it makes sense that you'll not get shut down placing gear since you'll be able to stop at good places and place it. As climbing gets harder the availability of good stances will usually go down too, often requiring the ability to place gear in less than ideal places.

I'll sometimes group cams together when I'm climbing long moderates or alpine routes where I'd rather save the weight and space. Even then I usually think that the time lost while cleaning and re-racking is not worth it, since I believe it is easier to re-rack if every cam has it's own binder. But if I'm climbing at my limit, I'll definitely rack cams individually.
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
109 points
Administrator
Dec 16, 2012
El Chorro
csproul wrote:
It also makes it easier to clean IMO. The follower can place things back in order as s/he cleans them, and you don't need to take the time at the end of a pitch to put all the cams back on the appropriate carabiner.


This is enough reason for me to dedicate one biner to each cam. I hate fucking around at the belays unless there is red wine involved.

rogerbenton wrote:
i do not in fact climb "hard". but when leading at my max it is the moves and not the gear that gets me.


Can you do v0- boulder problems? If so then it isn't the moves that are causing you to fall off - it is you being pumped. Everyone can improve their efficiency. If you ignore certain ways that it can be done, you're only holding yourself back.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Dec 17, 2012
Foot
As I said in my original question this is the method that I learned from from the guy who taught me to climb, and I was wondering other people did this.

I appreciate all the feed back and will likely try out some of the suggestions.
kcradford
From Asheville, NC
Joined Feb 21, 2012
6 points
Dec 17, 2012
Which way again?
Ryan Williams wrote:
I hate fucking around at the belays unless there is red wine involved.


Classic.
Cunning Linguist
Joined Feb 15, 2007
2,478 points
Dec 17, 2012
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible...
Ryan Williams wrote:
Can you do v0- boulder problems?



ryan, hopefully one day i will amount to a pimple on a v0- climbers behind.
rogerbenton
Joined Sep 5, 2011
259 points
Dec 18, 2012
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
Drew Nevius wrote:
One thing I'm surprised hasn't come up yet is chaining cams of the same size so organizing on the harness is easier and less cramped but they're still racked individually. For example: I clip a #2 to my gear loop, and then I clip the next #2 to the biner of the one already on my harness. Anyone else do this?


I gave that a try this morning...actually works pretty well. Thanks for the tip.
Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Joined Dec 10, 2010
112 points
Dec 18, 2012
cover
Drew Nevius wrote:
One thing I'm surprised hasn't come up yet is chaining cams of the same size so organizing on the harness is easier and less cramped but they're still racked individually. For example: I clip a #2 to my gear loop, and then I clip the next #2 to the biner of the one already on my harness. Anyone else do this?


yup
Brandon H - SC
From Jackson SC
Joined Aug 27, 2012
34 points
Administrator
Dec 18, 2012
El Chorro
rogerbenton wrote:
ryan, hopefully one day i will amount to a pimple on a v0- climbers behind.


I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not. I only asked because I assumed the answer would be yes - judging by your profile.

Anyways, I think you at least understand my point. Don't ever give yourself limits.


Re: chaining double cams. I've seen a few people do this and have tried it. It takes me longer to grab the cam this way and sometimes the biners get stuck. Maybe it's just me - but I didn't like it so much.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Apr 1, 2015
I'm a noob at using trad gear but was wondering about this as an efficiency method + weight saving:

With cams, pre-load them with an extendable alpine draw. The middle 'biner being the the one racking to your harness. Making sure the Cam is on the outside and the gate of the rack biner facing your hip. That way you can put your finger and thumb into the Cam, lift up and then pull the gate of the rack 'biner all in one move and take it off you harness.

Place the cam, and then you'll have an un-extended alpine draw ready to clip in to. Or extend the draw if needed. If you need to extend more, then take one of your single biner/draws off and chain it to the current extended draw.

If you have 10 Cams, this will lighten your load by 10 'biners which is a 350 grams or so depending on your 'biners. Also it allows quicker placement. Also having alpine draws pre-loaded on your cams means that you can always use the draw to stop the cam walking.

To re-rack you just make an alpine draw as you would normally with the Cam on one end of the draw making sure the cam is on the outside for racking.

I'd love to hear opinions.
Gaz
Joined Dec 6, 2013
10 points
Apr 1, 2015
I've climbed with someone who had color coded draws and 2 color coded biners for every cam, on a double rack it wasn't that much weight, then every piece is moderately extended, and you only need a few alpine draws for nuts or anchors. If you find yourself chronically under slinging your pitches it's a great idea. I don't think a shoulder sling would be better,it would add to the cluster greatly. Jon Rhoderick
Joined Jul 21, 2009
572 points
Apr 1, 2015
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
I carry two and sometimes three very small cams on a single carabiner, but rack all the largest ones on their own carabiner. The narrow range of small cams makes it more likely that the first one you grab may not be the best, and having a selection right in front of you seems ideal to me, just as is conventional with nuts. The speed and efficiency of placing and reracking is decisive in the bigger sizes.

The difference in selecting a cam from one of two or three, plugging it, and clipping it rather than selecting a cam from the rack and doing the same thing is pretty small, the main addition being that the unused cams have to be clipped back to the rack, which you do as you are reaching for the rope, so this doesn't seem contribute a lot to the pump deficit. But if the cam you grab off your rack is wrong, as is more likely with the small ones, and you have to put it back and grab another one, then you will pay a bigger energy penalty, so overall it isn't clear to me that you are better off racking small cams on their own carabiners, at least in some climbing areas.

And indeed, some of this depends on the climbing area. The more uniform the cracks, the easier it is to predict what you'll be placing, and eventually there is no advantage to having a selection on a single carabiner. Especially since you typically don't have to extend in those situations and so can clip into the racking carabiner and be done with it.

I get the lightest carabiners I can for use as cam-racking carabiners on the larger units. Using color-coded ones helps in keeping things organized on multipitch lead changeovers.

Climbers who head off on multipitch routes without discussing and agreeing ahead of time how they will be racking their gear an then end up with clusterf#cks are suffering from a communication failure rather than some intrinsic racking problem.
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
263 points
Apr 1, 2015
Great idea. I hadn't thought about smaller cams on one 'biner like you do with nuts. Easier to rack for sure. Gaz
Joined Dec 6, 2013
10 points
Apr 1, 2015
Iceland buildering
Gaz wrote:
I'm a noob at using trad gear but was wondering about this as an efficiency method + weight saving: With cams, pre-load them with an extendable alpine draw. The middle 'biner being the the one racking to your harness. Making sure the Cam is on the outside and the gate of the rack biner facing your hip. That way you can put your finger and thumb into the Cam, lift up and then pull the gate of the rack 'biner all in one move and take it off you harness. Place the cam, and then you'll have an un-extended alpine draw ready to clip in to. Or extend the draw if needed. If you need to extend more, then take one of your single biner/draws off and chain it to the current extended draw. If you have 10 Cams, this will lighten your load by 10 'biners which is a 350 grams or so depending on your 'biners. Also it allows quicker placement. Also having alpine draws pre-loaded on your cams means that you can always use the draw to stop the cam walking. To re-rack you just make an alpine draw as you would normally with the Cam on one end of the draw making sure the cam is on the outside for racking. I'd love to hear opinions.


This is how I was taught as well and how I prefer to rack. I've tried clipping cams onto the harness gear loops without pre-loaded alpine draws and then taking slings off my chest for extensions as I place the cams. But I found that method to be more cumbersome because I frequently extend my placements (which, obviously, is a function of the types of routes I climb on).
Fan Z.
From Washington, DC
Joined Apr 6, 2012
76 points
Apr 1, 2015
Follow-on stupid noob question - anyone ever rack cams on ice clippers? It would seem to be easy enough to put four or five came on each clipper, you wouldn't need a carabiner per cam, and you could have your fingers on the trigger from the moment you pull it off your harness, so you're not trying to bite it to switch hand positions halfway to the placement. Thoughts? GregMiller
From Louisville, CO
Joined Jul 23, 2012
6 points
Apr 1, 2015
I prefer doing any of the above, depending on the situation.

-Hard routes or straight-up routes (no extension), rack individually

-Alpine or easier routes with long approaches, cut the weight and bundle cams (ex - put #0.75 through #2 on a biner). smaller cams on another biner

-for day routes or general climbing I like a hybrid: small cams together (like blue through yellow alien) since its harder to pull the exact size for those, and larger cams on single biners
EQueezy
Joined Apr 25, 2013
22 points


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