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Standard southeast rack?
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By evan h
From Denver, CO
Dec 28, 2013
Troll Cave (V3), Three Sisters Park.
I grew up in NC, but didn't get into climbing until I moved out west. I do most of my trad climbing in Eldo and South Platte, with my standard rack consisting of doubles of cams and stoppers/RP's. I guess what I'm getting at is the need for tricams. I know these are quite handy in NC/TN, but can I get by without? Are there certain walls/routes that absolutely require these?

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By Josh Kornish
From Missoula, MT
Dec 28, 2013
Humboldt Bouldering
Primarily a large sack of nuts

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By george wilkey
From travelers rest sc
Dec 28, 2013
me
I thought all racks consisted of: 1st, all you can afford, then all you can justify to your wife, and finally all you can carry with the help of friends.

seriously, yes you can get by without tricams but they do come in handy sometimes. I have carried them for years but rarely place them. doubles is plenty good for just about anything.

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By bernard
From birmingham, al
Dec 28, 2013
near trapps, Shawangunks, NY, 2008
a single set of cams.....but with the full range, beginning with the smallest TCU or 4-cam units......so maybe 10-13 units all together.....omitting larger than #3 camalot unless you know explicitly otherwise. My opinion is, you may often find placements for a 3.5 or 4, you are also likely to find neighboring placements at a smaller size, and eliminating the larger units saves considerable weight. Also, i've found that the .5, .75, and 1-inch sizes are handy to have doubles of, if you must carry duplicates.

A full range of nuts......i usually group them with 3-4 per carabiner and have what i take spread across 4 carabiners, smallish on one side of my harness, larger on the other side.......with sizes having some overlap but not necessarily doubles for each size. I used to carry a .5 and 1 tricam before my rack got swiped some time back. I've not replaced them but still consider those sizes the handiest.

No RPs or very thin wires unless explicitly called for

As stated, i cluster the nuts a few per carabiner and have each cam with its own carabiner. I've seen others with a fist full of cams per one carabiner......or their whole nut collection on one carabiner.......but to me, this invites time-wasting fiddling when trying to assess/sort/place for the proper fit.......which can easily then turn to desparation if your stance is precarious.

Break your rack down to manageable sub-units and work on developing a decently calibrated eye for the proper placement size.

Keep in mind when you say "southeast", i'm thinking routes in length of 40 - 100+ feet....not multi-pitch

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By csproul
From Davis, CA
Dec 28, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the backgrou...
I found the RP's helpful for places like Moore's wall. Tricams are nice for eyebrows at places like LG and occasionally at a few other places, but I rarely took them unless I explicitly knew that I'd need them. So, nice in some areas, but you can definitely get by without them. Your rack will get you through just fine for the most part.

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By Scott Phil
From NC
Dec 28, 2013
Tricams are handy, but not necessary in most circumstances. While I frequently place them, I can recall only a few instances where it was a tricam or nothing. That said, they are relatively inexpensive and will add some versatility to your rack.

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By Adam Paashaus
From Greensboro, North Carolina
Dec 28, 2013
After you get done climbing be sure to head up to ...
I've climbed a good bit out west... CA, CO, WY, ID, and UT. What I have found is you will end up using more smaller pieces here. Rarely a need to double on 2's and 3's. .75 might be the handiest size but of course it all depends on location.

As far as tricams go, I have them and place them occasionally but would not consider then crucial, though I haven't climbed that much at the nose area at looking glass (eyebrows).

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By mattjohnson
From Laurens, SC
Dec 28, 2013
I primarily climb trad at Looking Glass and Rumbling Bald and seem to use yellow, orange, and red tcu sizes most, but I've used everything from a number 4 nut up to a #4 C4 multiple times

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By Derek DeBruin
Dec 28, 2013
This may be considered anathema, but I'll go ahead and say definitively that you do not need tricams to climb safely and successfully in the southeast. I lived in Colorado Springs for a while (and climbed at Eldo, Elevenmile, etc.), learned to climb in NC, have climbed all across TN/AL/NC/GA, and you just don't *need* the tricams. Tricams are not really necessary. The place they're most useful is Looking Glass Rock, particularly at the Nose area.

If you have doubles from about 0.3 to 0.75, the tricams probably won't be used much. If you're looking for an excuse to buy tricams, go for it (they're cheap), and get 0.5 to #2 (pink to blue).

I always bring at least one #3 with me. In TN/AL, I also bring a #4 (nice for sandstone, which tends to be wider sometimes). In NC, #4 depends on the destination. Nuts and RPs always make an appearance. For most single pitch, a single set plus nuts suffices. Multipitch typically demands doubles.

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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Dec 28, 2013
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
my rack consists of:

Cams:
Black Diamond: .1-#4 camalots with doubles in .75-3, 1 red C3
Metolius: purple, yellow, orange mastercams, yllow/blue, yellow/orange offset mastercams

Nuts
I dont even know why i carry them anymore but: #3-#11 regular BD's, #2-#6 HB Brass Offset

Tricams:
I know how to place these but frankly offsets are more versatile for the climbing i do

climbed up to low 12 with these before school started. Pick and choose as you want

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By evan h
From Denver, CO
Dec 29, 2013
Troll Cave (V3), Three Sisters Park.
Great, thanks guys. I'm going for a short outing at the T-Wall, so it sounds like what I've got will be plenty.

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By 5.samadhi
Dec 30, 2013
me
I have climbed around NC for 10 years on and off and have climbed many of the classics trad routes up through 5.11 and never once placed nor needed to place a tricam. Micro cams help a lot.

I tend to avoid "eyebrow" routes though because for the most part I find them junk. YMMV.

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By Mark Byers
Dec 30, 2013
Profile Pic
Of course you can climb in NC without Tricams but why would you want to?

Josh Kornish wrote:
Primarily a large sack of nuts


Amen to that. Unfortunately, I have to make do with what I've got.

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By jeep gaskin
Dec 30, 2013
i agree that tricams are not critical pieces on most glass routes. they do offer some advantages at times however: #1 they weigh very little,#2 they have multiple placement options, #3 they leave finger space that active cams consume. if your building anchors, they are often the 3rd piece. i carry the black through the brown. i seldom carry a #3 cam. i have found, much to my surprise, that offset cams are very handy. they open up the edges of eye brows, not just the center, expanding pro options. if you are aiming for routes between chaos and odyssey this winter' i'd recommend adding pink to blue and blue to yellow offset master cams. of course those routes were originally done without them, but why put yourself through that again.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Dec 30, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
I totally agree with Jeep's 3 reasons. I would like to add one more, the tri-cams from pink and up replace the BD stoppers 11-13. I no longer carry the larger nuts. The tri-cams are often better than their equivalent stoppers because as Jeep mentioned the versatility in the placement. This is especially important when you start climbing sandstone cracks. I don't carry doubles in the .5-1/2 camalot sizes any more either, because the tri-cams cover them and at a fraction of the weight. I believe a rack of 4-5 tri-cams weighs the same amount as one #2 camalot. I can definitely name a few routes where the tri-cam is mandatory to protect a crux sequence, but most of them aren't "selected".

Don't ever double up on the same size and same brand, unless its #1 camalot and higher. I have found frequently that having my BD rack supplemented with some Metolius, especially in the finger size to be crucial. This is apparent at places like the Bald, especially when you start breaking into the 11's. One last piece of gear I would like to add is the three smallest ball nutz, blue to gold. These protect many quartzite cliffs and a few granite climbs.

I am not thrilled that the offset mastercams are becoming the new standard. I am starting to see way more routes being put up where one or more of these are required. I have gotten away with placing tri-cams in these offset placements a few times. I guess I am not happy about having to buy more cams and add more weight to my harness.

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By ViperScale
Dec 30, 2013
I love tricams and have climbed alot of areas in NC where the only thing that would stay in was tricams.

The newer ones have a nice stiff neck that makes them almost as easy as a normal stopper to place.

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By Russ Keane
Dec 31, 2013
Where's Waldo?
It seems that whenever you have horizontal features, you are going to want Tricams. I second them being handy, and lightweight. And I agree with leaving the larger nuts at home, in lieu of tricams.

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By 5.samadhi
Dec 31, 2013
me
TomCaldwell wrote:
I totally agree with Jeep's 3 reasons. I would like to add one more, the tri-cams from pink and up replace the BD stoppers 11-13. I no longer carry the larger nuts. The tri-cams are often better than their equivalent stoppers because as Jeep mentioned the versatility in the placement. This is especially important when you start climbing sandstone cracks. I don't carry doubles in the .5-1/2 camalot sizes any more either, because the tri-cams cover them and at a fraction of the weight. I believe a rack of 4-5 tri-cams weighs the same amount as one #2 camalot. I can definitely name a few routes where the tri-cam is mandatory to protect a crux sequence, but most of them aren't "selected". Don't ever double up on the same size and same brand, unless its #1 camalot and higher. I have found frequently that having my BD rack supplemented with some Metolius, especially in the finger size to be crucial. This is apparent at places like the Bald, especially when you start breaking into the 11's. One last piece of gear I would like to adding is the three smallest ball nutz, blue to gold. These protect many quartzite cliffs and a few granite climbs. I am not thrilled that the offset mastercams are becoming the new standard. I am starting to see way more routes being put up where one or more of these are required. I have gotten away with placing tri-cams in these offset placements a few times. I guess I am not happy about having to buy more cams and add more weight to my harness.

Agreed. Couldn't imagine bc climbing without tcu's

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