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kjohns

getting into passive pro

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OK, I am looking at buying a passive pro rack (I was told to get that first...get good at it ...and add on later). So does anybody have any input on this. also any suggestions on places to "get good" at. Thanx

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personally i like the wild country stoppers and some tricams!

 

a climbing store!? there is a decent on down in e bremerton, have not been there for a few years but they used to have a couple of hotties working there!!!

 

 

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Just buy a set of cams and take the springs out until you feel comfortable with stepping up to active pro, then put the springs back in. Time-tested and proven technique.

 

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kjohns said:

OK, I am looking at buying a passive pro rack (I was told to get that first...get good at it ...and add on later). So does anybody have any input on this. also any suggestions on places to "get good" at. Thanx

 

Hey KJ,

If you are going to go out trad climbing, I would recommend getting some cams in addition to the passive stuff. They are easier to place and easier to evaluate than passive pro and therefore less likely to pull than a marginally placed nut/hex. Placing passive pro takes a bit of practice and you want the greatest safety margin when you are just getting started. Cams sure are expensive though. Make sure you like climbing before making the investment.

 

Leavenworth is a good place to do some easy trad climbing.

 

Best of luck.

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Dr_Flash_Amazing said:

Just buy a set of cams and take the springs out until you feel comfortable with stepping up to active pro, then put the springs back in. Time-tested and proven technique.

 

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yelrotflmao.gif

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I THINK IT IS EASIER TO "KNOW" THAT A PIECE OF PASSIVE GEAR IS PLACED CORRECTLY THEN A CAM.

 

 

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erik said:

I THINK IT IS EASIER TO "KNOW" THAT A PIECE OF PASSIVE GEAR IS PLACED CORRECTLY THEN A CAM.

 

 

Improperly placed passive gear often falls out when the climber gets above the piece and it gets jiggled. Cams might walk, but even so, they will usually hold a fall.

 

Cams are also faster to place, so if you are sketching above a runout or marginal pro:

 

"Wham, Bam, Thank you cam!" Isn't that a Metolius ad?

 

Anyway, newbies need to learn to use all kinds of pro and having a wider arsenal available while learning is a good idea.

 

I would also recommend placing lots of gear of all kinds in cracks while standing on the ground. Check em out. Wiggle em. Yank em. Figure out what stays put and what doesn't and WHY. Then try some faux-leads (placing gear while being toproped). Progress from there.

 

Cheers.

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I'm gonna disagree on the "trust your cams" remark. I and many of the people I know were taught to learn on passive pro first. I think you cheat yourself if you rely only no cams and don't become familiar with the passive stuff.

 

I would recommend a set of nuts with maybe doubles in the middle range. I use and like the BD nuts. I would also suggest a half set of hexes in the medium size and maybe one or two big ones if you want to get into some bigger cracks.

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Having taught a bunch of mounties how to place gear (yes I admit it). Here is how it usually goes.

 

student: Oh I'don't need cams. Passive gear is bomber. And cams walk. And they are expensive and they are hard to place yada yada yada.

 

me: Oh so you don't want to borrow any?

 

student: Oh, uh, sure can I use you 0.5 through 3 camalots and a set of aliens? These hexes sound like cow bells.

HCL.gif

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Alpinfox said:

...They [cams] are easier to place and easier to evaluate than passive pro and therefore less likely to pull than a marginally placed nut/hex...

How do I say this tactfully:

You are an idiot, and you are dead fuking wrong.

...Placing passive pro takes a bit of practice...

As opposed to cams which take less practice? hellno3d.gif

You are not an Alpine Fox. Maybe an Alpine Lemming.

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kjohns said:

OK, I am looking at buying a passive pro rack (I was told to get that first...get good at it ...and add on later). So does anybody have any input on this.

That was good advice; much better than Aplinwannabe's advice. You cannot go wrong with a set of nuts. Wild Country Rocks, Black Diamond Stoppers or the cheaper rip-offs of their design (ABC, Smiley,etc.) makes no real difference. If you can get a good deal (used rack) of hexes 4-11, then take it. Otherwise just start picking up cams one at a time in the 1" to 3" range. Once you get a full set of cams and develop the skill to place them you will not use the hexes very often, but by becoming proficent with hexes and stoppers you will develop a more intimate awareness of the stone's features which will improve your movement over stone as well as your ability to protect yourself and your partner.

also any suggestions on places to "get good" at. Thanx

Leavenworth has a lot of easier crack routes that serve well. For a first outing, I would reccommend Mtneers dome unless most of it is so easy for you that it bores you to tears, or you get trompled by mounties. Progress toward multi-pitch classics like R&D Route, Sabre, Midway.

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Retrosaurus said:

 

How do I say this tactfully:

You are an idiot, and you are dead fuking wrong.

 

 

Careful there Mr. Tactful, you might hurt my feelings. cry.gif

 

You may disagree, but I certainly do think that cams are easier to place than passive pro, and the newbies that I have taught to lead have agreed. I've heard several times, "I trust cams a lot more than nuts" from newbies. Passive gear can be bombproof, but I've seen gumbies put a nut into a crack, it stayed put so they assumed it was good, but when it gets a little tug, BING! That can happen with cams too, but I think it's less likely.

 

Of course people should learn how to place passive gear, but I think heading out to do routes as a newbie with ONLY passive gear is sketchy (even though that is how I, and many others, learned). Being safe is the most important thing and if they get halfway up a crack with no constrictions so the nuts don't work and they don't know how to use or don't have hexes, a cam is going to save their ass.

 

My rec is, as I said the first time, get both active AND passive pro and learn how to use them by placing them while standing on the ground. Jiggle em, yank em, weight em, and see what stays put and what doesn't.

 

Evaluating placements (passive and active) is tricky, but the general idea is that you want as much of the working surface of the pro in contact with the rock as possible. For cams, this means all lobes should be touching the rock and the the lobes should be somewhere near the middle of their active range. Jiggle them a bit and make sure they don't walk to much. For nuts, you need to find a constriction in the rock that at its smallest point is thinner than the fattest point of the nut you are placing. Again you want as much of the metal surface touching the rock as possible. Give it a bit of tug down with arm-weight to set it. DO NOT lean back or use body weight when setting/testing the pro because if it pops, you will likely fall. It's a little harder to explain how hex placements work, but I'll give it a try. Hexes should be placed in a crack with the large flat surfaces against the walls of the crack such that when the hex is weighted it tries to turn and thereby cams itself into the crack. That's probably hard to visualize from my description, so just go out and try it.

 

For any given crack, you generally have a lot more suitable cam spots than nut/hex spots. Another reason why cams are nice to have.

 

Remember that gear often gets pulled up slightly when you climb above it, especially if the sling isn't long enough, and that this can cause a nut/hex to pull out or a cam to rotate/walk. Then do some faux-leading (placing gear while toproping). Then do some real leads.

 

Apparently Retro and I agree that Leavenworth has some good beginner cracks. Isn't it great that we can all agree on something? grin.gif

 

I wish you luck and good times.

 

Cheers,

-AlpinLemming?

 

 

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From "Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills"(I know this isn't "The Bible", but it's a good general reference)"Spring-loaded devices, both wedges and cams, are easiest to place, but are heavier, more expensive, and somewhat less reliable than passive chocks. However, they often work in parallel-sided and flaring cracks where it is difficult or impossible to get anything else to hold."Hmmm... some support for my argument that cams are easier to place, but some support for my detractor's admonition to not "trust your cams". Anyone care to discuss how cams are "somewhat less reliable" than passive pro? I concede that theoretically a well set nut in a good constriction is totally bomber, but in the real world, wouldn't most people agree that your average nut/hex placement is more prone to coming out after being pulled upward or failing after the fall because the constriction wasn't ideal?I've never done one of these before, but:

What is "easier" to place, passive or active pro?PassiveActive

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Alpinfox,

 

I have to agree with Retro on this... Beginners should start with passive pro and there is a very important reason that they should do this, but I'll get to that in a minute.

 

First, you're quote from Freedom of the Hills is a quote that makes an assumption. The assumption is that the climber has knowledge of both passive and active pro. For a climber with a solid background in both types of protection, cams tend to be easier to place. For a beginner, it is often hard for them to see whether or not their placement is correct. Indeed, I've taught beginning lead courses many many times and perhaps eighty percent of the cam placements are poorly placed; whereas maybe twenty percent of the passive pro is poorly placed.

 

The problem with your Freedom of the Hills quote is that "easier to place" is relative. I don't believe "easier" applies to a beginner. An advanced climber sketched out on lead should be able to fire in a cam correctly without even thinking about it. This is not how a beginner will employ their cams.

 

Now for the main reason that a beginner should start with passive pro. If a beginner starts with cams he or she will begin to rely on them. Because cams have all kinds of moving parts they appear to be safer than stoppers. A person who does not start with passive pro tends to learn cams and then get stuck on them. The result is that you will see somebody carrying ninety some odd cams on a one pitch climb because they don't know how to use anything else effectively.

 

Perhaps the wisest rack for the beginning leader would include a set of stoppers (or the eqivalent), a few tricams, some hexes, and only one or two cams. A rack like this should be employed for at least a year before more cams are added... And even then they should be added sparingly. The time tested result of this plan tends to be a climber who relys on passive pro when they can and uses cams when they absolutely need a piece which is "easier to place."

 

One means by which many people choose to practice leading is referred to as "mock leading." In this particular scenario the leader is toproped while pulling a rope up behind him. He places pro as if he is on lead and clips it to the rope he is trailing. If you don't have two ropes, you can simply toprope with one end and tie into the other end like it's the sharp end...

 

Hopefully, this info will help you out...

 

Jason

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Neither? I'm not really up for following a newbie up a multi-pitch trad route, sorry.

 

Methinks your slope is getting a little slippery in that argument you're having with Mitch.

 

 

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DMM wallnuts are flinging awesome and better than any other stopper design I have placed. Hands down better than BD stoppers. Disagree and I will beat you with my #11 hex yellaf.gif

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its funny alpinelemming is arguing with mitch!!

 

hahahahahahahahaha

 

retro is about as solid as castle rock dood!

 

who are you? uh yeah thats what i thought!

 

bigdrink.gif

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"Spring-loaded devices, both wedges and cams, are easiest to place,

 

yeah duche-bag.... they are, but that doesn't mean that they are easy to learn to place...any dumb-ass with $$$ can pick up a sett-o-cams and plug-em into the crack....it takes practice to learn how to place them so as to not be overcammed, able to walk and to know whether it is sound for a fall... mitch knows his shit... so back off... i have yet so see anyone who agrees with your point of view (except for DFA...and that jsut dosen't count) there is a reason that people start with nuts and hexes...because they are cheaper, more fool proof and they teach you placement adn rock feature (something that is extremely difficult to do with cams....so....shut up and quit taking the 'bible' out of context heretic! the_finger.gifwave.gif

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erik said:

its funny alpinelemming is arguing with mitch!!

 

hahahahahahahahaha

 

retro is about as solid as castle rock dood!

 

who are you? uh yeah thats what i thought!

 

bigdrink.gif

 

Who is Mitch and why should I care? Are you suggesting I shouldn't discuss this important topic because you don't know who I am? That's pretty juvenile. Go back to your sorority gossip threads Erik.

 

I don't know who Castle Rock is either, so I have no idea how to interpret your comments. Try to say things a bit more relevant and internally consistent to the discussion at hand. Perhaps you could even put in your "two cents" on the issue of what a newbie's rack of pro should look like.

 

Maybe I shouldn't expect much else than spray and personal insults on this website.

 

 

p.s.

How did I take "the bible" out of context fence-sitter? I even quoted "somewhat less reliable" bit? That seems like a pretty honest and complete quotation to me.

 

 

 

 

 

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alpi

 

i did add my two cents,

 

stoppers are more bomber, think of the ald addage, kiss.

 

keep it simple stupid!

 

stoppers are just that simple, it fits or it does not fit. easily inspected with a quick look.

 

yoiu dont know what castle rock is?? omfuggindog...............

 

seriously?? case closed!

 

have fun!

 

 

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I'm a newbie and have more confidence in the nuts I place than in my cams. With a well-placed nut, the only way the placement will fail is if the cable breaks or the rock disintegrates. Cams are a bit tricksy, especially the larger sizes, *especially* in places like Vantage where cracks flare towards the back a lot. Didn't Kropp have almost exclusively cams in when he fell and ripped almost every piece?

 

There are several excellent, easy climbs that you can lead without a single cam. The Tooth and Ingalls' south ridge, to name a few. I agree that starting with passive pro is a good idea for a newcomer. Having to carefully select climbs to lead based on what kind of rack you have is a good exercise in judging the rock, too.

Edited by slothrop

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erik said:

alpi

 

i did add my two cents,

 

stoppers are more bomber, think of the ald addage, kiss.

 

keep it simple stupid!

 

stoppers are just that simple, it fits or it does not fit. easily inspected with a quick look.

 

yoiu dont know what castle rock is?? omfuggindog...............

 

seriously?? case closed!

 

have fun!

 

 

I thought you were talking about a Castle Rock person...

Yes I know what Castle Rock (Leavenworth) is.

 

OK. Well it seems I have definately been outvoted on this issue (even by the newbie who wieghed in).

 

Newbies: Apparently the concensus is that you are best off with a rack of passive pro to start out. I still disagree, but that is only my opinion.

 

Cheers,

bigdrink.gif

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What type of pro is easiest to place?

 

Some examples:

1 Second pitch of Reed’s Pinnacle Direct: Nuts way easier to place until the last twenty feet!

 

2 Virtually any crack at Indian Creek: I say cams are easier to place!

 

3 Midterm – cam again!

 

4Iron Horse – Nuts rule!

 

In general I would say that cams are easier to place but that esp in the smaller sizes a good nut is far better than a good cam.

 

What should a beginner buy?

 

I agree with Jason – only buy a few cams but also only buy a couple of med to large hex type pieces. Placing pro is almost and art and an essential skill to be safe while climbing. (it is also essential to be efficient!) It is best to learn this skill on easier climbs – as a beginner – than at the school of hard knocks later. A selection of stopper type pieces is essential and then I would buy some hex type things. In general don’t buy the smallest and largest of each type. My personal preference is Wild Country stoppers. REI has Clog stoppers on sale. These are essentially old style Wild Country (same manufacturer.) As far as Hexes I have only used BD but there seems to be a number of options now. Id say go with what you main partner uses so that your sizing will remain consistent. Unless of course he/she hates what he/she bought.

 

PP

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