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carolyn

necessities, novelties, and plain uselessness

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Slowly but surely I am beginning to acquire my OWN gear instead of always having to borrow or depend on someone else. What I found tonight

as I was marking some old stuff and new shiny things with tape is that some of it is useless...or is it? And, then the thoughts of ..."oh wouldnt this be nice" or "shouldnt I have more of these?" went through my head.

 

I currently do some part time work at a store which allows me to prodeal gear. I wont have this opportunity forever and wouldnt mind taking advantage of it while I can. I need to plan ahead (ie/get ice screws NOW, even if I dont plan to lead for a while).

 

I know gear depends a lot on what type of climbing you are doing as well as location. Most of my interest has peaked in ice, trad, and mountaineering.

 

Soooo.....

what do you find as necessary (other than [HORSECOCK] )? what do you find as a novelty (what would you like, but can and have done without)? and what would you consider useless (wasted money)? If you also wouldnt mind explaining why, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

 

Thanks!

 

[rockband] (I havent heard anyone mention Prince yet! [Wink] )

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Here's a couple of gear buying strategies:

 

1. Buy what your friends are always needing to borrow from someone else, ie. #4 Camalots, Big Bros, small Aliens and Micro cams, tiny nuts, basically what most people don't have but what still gets used fairly often.

 

+Your partners will have to invite you if they want to use your gear.

+You save the wear and eventual replacement of your gear because it is used less often than say, a # 2 or 3 Camalot.

-You'll end up climbing a lot of offwidths and thin cracks.

-You won't have a suitable rack for taking someone with no gear.

 

2. Buy only ropes, no protection. Have a rope for every occasion (ice floss, doubles, heavy toprope). Let your partners worry about a whole lot of gear and its wear and replacement, while you manage 3 or 4 ropes and replace them over a longer period.

 

+You'll always have the right rope for the occasion.

-You won't have much gear

 

I'm not following any of these strategies, and I can't really say they're good ideas, but they could be.

 

I don't know about this Prince thing you mentioned, but my avatar pic has got to be the closest thing to Prince on this site. Squint hard [big Grin]

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if you get a set of hexes and a set of cams, you will find the hexes to be near useless or at least never used pretty damn fast.

 

likewise if you get a skinny rope the fat rope hardly gets used.

 

lots of webbing is always a necessity cause you can rap off it or extend anchors or hand-tie aiders or leash your snafflehound or whatever. [sNAFFLEHOUND]

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Since you're trying to take advantage of the prodeal, I would suggest buying the most expensive stuff first. You don't save much with a prodeal on slings! But with cams, ropes, boots, ice screws, climbing shoes, crampons, etc. the savings are enough to make me jealous!

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over a 35-year climbing career, I've found that:

 

hardware (with the exception of pitons & carabiners) becomes obsolete in a few seasons, and it's relatively easy to find partners who've got the latest goodies if I don't...

 

alpine boots are the most difficult item to buy and replace - a good pair lasts long enough that the same model will be unavailable by the time they wear out (I occasionally find myself wishing I'd had the foresight to buy about four pairs of Galibier Super Guides)

 

top-quality down clothing & sleeping bags last forever-I'm still using a down parka and pants that I bought in 1972! The sleeping bag that I bought the same season was stolen in South America in 1990, or I'd still be using it, too.

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quote:

2. Buy only ropes, no protection. Have a rope for every occasion (ice floss, doubles, heavy toprope). Let your partners worry about a whole lot of gear and its wear and replacement, while you manage 3 or 4 ropes and replace them over a longer period.

You see, i had a different theory for the past year and a half...the folks I climb with all have ropes, so why bother buying one myself? [Wink] .

 

I actually just got my FIRST rope. Im already thinking about another rope.

 

I opted against a few hexes for now...dru thanks for confirming my decision.

 

Cams...going to wait a bit longer...what are the most frequently used (the necessary sizes)?

 

stoppers, just got a set...are there ones I should double up on or is that excessive?

 

webbing...Im learning...each time I get out and find I have to tie a number of pieces together because I dont have anything long enough. [Embarrassed]

 

ovals...Im either losing them or just never seem to have enough.

 

prussik...simply for backup on rapps...why do I have a zillion of them, all different mm and lengths? Too many people telling me too many things, maybe. What is standard? Or is it really just preference?

 

rapp/belay devices...I just use an atc...any reason to have more than one kind? Okay..I suppose that one I could read about a bit more on my own...but feel free to give input.

 

Maybe I could rephrase my question...

 

what are the things you dont leave home without when you go craggin? climb a long alpine route? multipitch route on rock or ice?

(hmmmmm...I think I left that question wide open for some good spray! [Roll Eyes] )

 

haireball...good thinking re boots. Maybe I will have to think about another purchase this winter.

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If you want to take advantage of your pro-deals now, get all the high-ticket stuff. You can always find cheap clothing and gear, but if you see your pro-deals are gonna run out consider getting your ice tools, backpack, mountaineering tent, ice screws and sleeping bag now. To answer your question about "never leaving home without it": HORSECOCK [HORSECOCK]

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maybe I should first think about replacing that smelly shirt, huh figger8? Damn thing will never smell like roses again! [laf]

 

And no, not worried about losing the prodeals...as long as I can find the time to work the minimum amount of hours at the store. Just dont expect to be there forever and dont want to waste my hard earned, minumum wage money on frivolous schtuff!

 

ummmm...need I say...Bob Dylan!!!! [rockband]

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Guest

Good call on the no rope situation, any loophole that allows you to save money on gear is great.

Suggestions:

 

Cragging: Single speaker tape deck, duct taped for protection and slung for carrying on multi-pitch routes. Expensive brand name flip flops with climbing rubber soles (check La Sportiva).

 

Alpine: Packs to carry medium and light loads. Packs are expensive items and can last a long time. An item worth spending money and pro deals on. Low top approach shoes (low tops fit in pack better and are lighter), lightweight crampons (Grivel G10 or whatever basic style that fits both your shoes and boots). Bivi that is a compromise between lightweight and bombproof (most ORs).

Rat trap or pellet gun [sNAFFLEHOUND]

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quote:

Originally posted by carolyn:

What do you find as necessary? what do you find as a novelty (what would you like, but can and have done without)? and what would you consider useless (wasted money)? If you also wouldnt mind explaining why, I would greatly appreciate it.

A couple of notes:

 

1. Think about gear weight and overall pack weight. Sometimes it comes at a price (neutrinos vs. ovals, sewn vs. tied runners) and other times not (Red Ledge shell & pants vs. Squashed Bird). Buy light, multifunctional gear.

 

2. Remember your partner has gear as well. Use their stoppers and cams as your second set.

 

My rack and harness gear for trad:

Smiley stoppers: 4-12

Wild Country Hexes: 3-8 (I use hexes)

DMM Cams: .75-4

5 DMM Pro biners for racking above (get light keylock biners for racking gear)

Metolius gear sling w/ 4 loops (very cool)

6 single sewn slings

2 double sewn slings

16 Neutrino biners

21'x5.5 Maxim cordelette

rappel ring

3 tied slings - single, double, triple

belay gloves (Home Depot)

2 hero loops (6 mm perlon)

BD nut tool

3 oval biners for racking above

Pear shaped locking biner + ATC

locking biner

daisy chain + locking biner for personal anchor

harness

 

deleting gear as beta warrants, and borrowing from partner as necessary.

 

Works for me.

 

[ 08-20-2002, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: Attitude ]

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"To help us understand what we were experiencing from a point of view seldom visited by the western mind. We were trying to make sense of this new awareness. To unfold the mysteries. Drugs were equipment".

 

Jim Bridwell. [big Grin]

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quote:

Originally posted by dbconlin:

uuuhhhh....what's a hero loop?

Short length of cord tied into a loop. Used with a prussik knot to latch onto a rope for rescue, pulling on ropes, etc.

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Hero loops are also attached to aiders as hand-holds for moving up in the steps. Also, you can use hero loops for tying off short on pins or rigid friends.

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quote:

Originally posted by Attitude:

My rack and harness gear for trad:

[...]

 

3 tied slings - single, double, triple

belay gloves (Home Depot)

2 hero loops (6 mm perlon)

 

[...]


Attitude has identified him/herself as a Mountie! [geek]

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quote:

Originally posted by chucK:

quote:

Originally posted by Attitude:

My rack and harness gear for trad:

[...]

 

3 tied slings - single, double, triple

belay gloves (Home Depot)

2 hero loops (6 mm perlon)

 

[...]


Attitude has identified him/herself as a Mountie!
[geek]
[laf]

 

I was sport climbing with a friend who out weighed me by a good 60 lbs. I tried lowering him barehanded one time. Owwww. Now I have gloves for such situations. They also make long rappels a little more enjoyable.

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

[ 09-18-2002, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: Attitude ]

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quote:

Originally posted by chucK:

quote:

Originally posted by Attitude:

My rack and harness gear for trad:

[...]

 

3 tied slings - single, double, triple

belay gloves (Home Depot)

2 hero loops (6 mm perlon)

 

[...]


Attitude has identified him/herself as a Mountie!
[geek]
I've got almost exactly the same stuff on my rack... I must have learned from closet Mounties!

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quote:

Originally posted by rbw1966:

Hero loops are also attached to aiders as hand-holds for moving up in the steps. Also, you can use hero loops for tying off short on pins or rigid friends.

Or as keepers for stacked nuts.

 

Or as on one trip, to fix someone's broken backpack.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cpt.Caveman:

Conlin,

 

I see your ass made it out of the Bering Sea
[big Drink]

Cavey-

 

I made it; I am alive! Now I'm in Boulder. There's a lot of climbing here, but ClimbingBoulder.com isn't near as cool as y'all at CC, so I'd rather waste my time surfing here.

 

How you doin'?

 

[big Drink][sNAFFLEHOUND]

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quote:

Originally posted by carolyn:

Most of my interest has peaked in ice, trad, and mountaineering.

 

Soooo.....

what do you find as necessary? what do you find as a novelty? and what would you consider useless? If you also wouldnt mind explaining why, I would greatly appreciate it.

Wow, this is a great series of questions and I am surprised you havent gotten more answers.

 

Buying gear is so tough, even if you have money to buy it. I was in a similar situation as you are many years ago, working for EMS, and I racked up a huge credit card bill before I left the company. That credit card bill stayed with me for 5-6 years (I carried the balance) so my first rule is

 

1) DONT BUY ANYTHING YOU DONT HAVE CASH FOR

 

Other than that, several people nailed some of the most difficult things in their answers (boots, multifunctional stuff), but I think I can reiterate for emphasis and add a bit myself.

 

Ok, you identified ice climbing, mountaineering as interesting to you. These can be exceptionall expensive areas if you buy retail, so Alex's rule number two is

 

2) Buy solid used equipment if you can help it. Obviously not ropes. But crampons, ice tools, and such, get them used. You will save even more than pro-dealing

 

Now, with that out of the way, here is my list

 

Necessary Necessary equipment you should absolutely deal with now:

-----------

helmet - Ecrin Roc is nice

good gore-tex climbing jacket. Arcteryx, Pata, other makes

sleeping bag - only DOWN.

Boots/footwear. Boots are really hard to get right! Dont buy platics, buy really good leather boots and fit them correctly!

pack - something to carry stuff in for a variety of trips. I have 2, a 50L bag (you might get a 40L if you are small) for ice climbing and overnight climbing trips in the mountains, and a larger bag (used Dana Terraplane) for longer trips

Petzl Zipka/Tikka headlamp. Indespensible

harness. I like the Arcteryx Verro as a good all-around harness

crampons - a good all-around set like the 2F. I have 2 pairs, a set of aluminum for mnt travel, and a set of Grade 8s for technical ice.

 

Novelty Stuff you should get if you have the cash, but shouldnt if you dont.

rock climbing rack - hardware takes a long time to accumulate, go slow

climbing rope - you will need a partner to learn initially, use their rope until you are able to confidently lead things, or if you are going out often enough to warrant getting your own

tent - single wall tent or ultralight 4 season

ice tools - used is good until you get good enough to know the difference

 

useless not much is truly useless, until you buy enough of one type of equipage that you stop using something you've got in favor of the other something. Still, here is my list of useless eq I have bought and sold over the last 15 or so years

large "backpacking" internal frame packs. Anything larger than 50L is TOO BIG for the lower 48, unless you are going in for a week

poor quality Randonee equipment - Ramer plates suck

poor quality snowshoes - get something very durable, not the MSR crap

bulky synthetic sleeping bags - buy DOWN

poorly tailored outerwear - take the time to get the right fit.

poorly fitting boots - take the time to get the right fit for the RIGHT BOOT. Platics are rarely if ever the right boot. You have amazing options now, might I suggest a pair of Scarpa Freneys or La Sportiva boots?

heavy tents - go with single wall, Bibler, Garuda or very lightweight double wall tents

pound in ice protection - just buy smileys/BD and you'll do great.

 

Here is a link you can use for some more thoughts

 

http://www.mountainwerks.org/alexk/climb/light.htm

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