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telemarker

small, medium, large rack

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I have a question that needs a more detailed answer: When a route description calls for a small rack, what does this mean in terms of cams (assuming camalots), nuts, etc...? Also, the same question for medium and large. Does a small rack consist roughly of one set of camalots-.5 to 3-plus one set of nuts and a set of hexes-5 to 9-? Or is rack size strictly subjective to the climber's comfort level on runouts vs. sewing it up?

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Small, medium, large generally refers to number of pieces you take. Like for a mostly 4th class ridge you might take a "small rack" of a half set of nuts and a few hexes or 3 Camalots. A large rack would be double set of nuts and cams and some other stuff like pins and tricams and whatnot.

 

A standard rack seems to vary by location. Most guidebooks give an example in the intrioduction. For alpine rock routes i usually take set o' nuts, 1 full set of cams from ) TCU up to #3 Camalot, 6 tri cams, and a dozen shoulder-length slings with biners. I will only take a big piece like #4 camalot if specifically told to or of there might be big wide cracks like on a first ascent of unknown ground. cause it sucks to have to back off.

 

If it refers to size it would be "take a thin rack" meaning you need lots of finger sized pieces but no big stuff.

 

Dont forget to take horsecock.

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You ask a good question and one that seems to bother a lot of people who send me e-mails asking "what do you mean by a small rack to 2 for such and such a climb". And it seems, sometimes, that they want a specific gear list which I can't provide unless I know how bold a leader they are and how creative they can be with their placement of pro.

 

I more or less agree with Dru: for me, a "small" rack contains no duplicates or overlap in sizes between stoppers, tcu's and larger cams, and does not include every size even in the range that I am carrying. But it is not a completely objective standard: a "small" rack for an Alpine scramble would be much thinner than a "small" rack for climbing at Index, and even on any given climb there will be differences in personal comfort level. Although it is all relative, there is a limit to this theory of relativity: even though some people routinely carry triple sets of cams for a crack climb, a set of doubles would not be considered a "small rack" unless you were headed for Canyonlands or something.

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Small rack = AA

Medium rack = C

Large rack = DD

 

Most people wear slings on their racks but some just let their racks hang free.

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My Cascade "small rack" has about a dozen pieces with enough biners and slings to clip 8. One mid size camalot, three or four slung stoppers and a run of small wires. For a "mid sized" rack I throw in a few TCU's and two small tricams and a large Camelot, maybe some more wires if it looks thin, or another large camalot if it looks fat. For a "large rack" I look at the route, consider the strength of my partner, and start hanging gear.

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i would say rack size is subjective to the team of climbers. granted i may feel comfortable with less, though if i am swaping leads with someone who wants to have more, fine by me. though they are carrying the extra.

 

for the past 6 or so years i have beeb lugging around a double set with a set of stoppers. well i have stopped that and i have found that my ability to place pro efficently and my desire to crank harder have increased.

 

i now climb with a set or less. granted i am just trying to lead the harder pitches and i tend to bring a couple extras when i am pushing myself.

 

a large rack in my opinion would be just short of a stardard aid rack. a medium would be some where between a set of cams and stoppers to a set and a half. a small rack is just a couple pieces.

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