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satori

Starting Alpine Kit

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Here is my Alpine Kit...in progress. I have all the basics (bivy equipment, layers, helmets etc.) but are not pictured. I plan on investing in more screws after I pay my tuition. Any comments or recommendations are appreciated. My apologies for the cell phone picture quality.

Alpinekit.jpg

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Looks like a good start. People give me a hard time about being an old fogie, but I like to keep a couple hexes with me in case I have to leave a piece on retreat. Much cheaper to replace than cams, and if placed well bomber enough to rap off a single piece.

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Thank you for the comments Q. I don't have much experience with hexes other than messing around the base of the local crag. Those I know who use them seem to use sizes 7-9 (BD & WC)and never touch the rest. Is this true for you also?

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that hex choice is good. I would add pink, red, and brown tricam to that passive pro mix.

 

so what are your alpine climbs that you are preparing for? this will assist in gear choice advice.

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Yeah I've whittled em down over the years to just 3 left. Mine are old relic hand-me-downs so I don't think the numbers match up, but just a bit larger than my biggest nut, to just a little bigger than a red BD #1 cam. Gene also made a good point with pinky. I never leave the ground without it. No matter how much the second bitches about it.

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I'm planning on Shasta and Rainier (if possible) this year. I'm going to spend time ice climbing in Montana and Colorado in 2013, and I would like to gain some mixed experience as well. I'm trying to round out my experience and I'm making sure I have the correct equipment to successfully train and engage these activities. Generic answer, I know, but plans are still in the works. I'm an outdoor education student and I need a certain amount of field time for my program. I am using this disciple to satisfy this requirement.

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Looks good, agree on tricams+few WC Hexs. No need for more then 6-8 screws for most alpine (as opposed to ice climbs). Might add a picket or two for summer climbing.

Bigest thing I'd say is getting out there. Worth spending on that rather then gear you can always borrow.

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That's a great start.

+1 on the hexes. The 3 biggest WC hexes are great, I don't bother with the smaller ones though.

With a partner we usually end with plenty of hand-sized gear, but taking double #3 or a #4 camalot is obnoxious. The hexes are lighter, and usually just a functional. Like tri-cams there are things you can protect with hexes were nothing else works.

 

They're a bit pricy but I'm also a fan of the gold link cam and or larger size metolius super cam, but only 1 or the other. For 1 piece you end up covering the range of roughly the #1 and #2 camalot, it's a nice way to get more flexibility without many more pieces.

 

way down the road and by no mean needed, but if you get itchy fingers for more gear the Alloy Offset DMM nuts are the the bomb, as are the DMM brass offset nuts :tup:

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another vote for the hexes - I like WC's curve-wall hexes - a very real improvement over the original Chouinard design, plus they weigh less. At minimum, I'll carry a range that will cover from about an inch to about three inches (probably three hexes). I don't care for Metolius' curved-wall units...

 

I carry fewer cams, unless expecting long sustained rock sections. I've found that I can pretty much cover nearly the range of a full rack with only a pair of link cams. this makes them worth carrying, which makes them worth buying...

 

lastly, I NEVER leave for the alpine without a warthog, or a specter (aka bulldog) or both. each can be either ice pro, or rock pro, which, like the link-cams, makes them worth carrying. I have, on occasion, belayed off anchors which included a specter driven into a rock crack, and rappelled off a warthog driven as a rock peg. In each case, one piece performs the functions of two more specialized pieces - saving me weight and bulk.

 

you don't specify what you carry for bivy gear, so I hesitate to comment - it may be worth your while to explore bivy options with this crowd...

Edited by montypiton

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One more vote for hexes. Instead of doubling up on hand sized cams, I will bring a set of the four largest hexes. Great for belay and rappel anchors. Not all climbers like them. I did the Tooth with a friend with a few stoppers and hexes. Following his lead he slung a chocktone and clipped the whole rack of hexes to it rather than carry them the rest of the pitch.

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Occasionally I will carry the #11 BD hex but generally any speed on route I may gain from carrying hexs instead of cams is lost on the time spent cleaning the hex. I almost always opt for cams.

 

That said I would argue and I think most would agree the route you are looking at will dictate the rack you bring. I always approach it from the perspective of "what is the minimum I need to bring?" and then go from there.

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You need seminars too. Don't forget the seminars! And a new camera. That's the shittiest photo I've ever seen.

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You need seminars too. Don't forget the seminars!

 

Good point Pete. Working with people that have more experience and expertise in a particular discipline is a great way to make rapid progress on the learning curve.

 

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+1 on the hexes. Also, get a decent rack of pins if you're planning on climbing choss. The two smallest knifeblades, two smallest Lost Arrows, and the smallest angle is a good start.

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I'm planning on Shasta and Rainier (if possible) this year.

 

You can leave most or all of that at home for both of those peaks. Rock pro on volcanoes is tits on the bull.

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Thank you for the comments Q. I don't have much experience with hexes other than messing around the base of the local crag. Those I know who use them seem to use sizes 7-9 (BD & WC)and never touch the rest. Is this true for you also?

 

I bring a BD #8 on every climb and usually place it (often at a belay anchor). Sometimes I bring a 7 and/or 9. 10 and 11 are only if the route takes gear to 3" and 4" respectively. I don't go lower than a #7

 

 

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-1 on the hexes, I've never used them and no one I've climbed with uses them. The last time I took tri-cams was on the Salathe and didn't place them even once. Dust collectors.

 

Cams are faster, work in more possible placements, and are usually more secure

 

You have more than enough rock pro for any route on Rainier or Shasta

 

Depending on the route on the volcanoes what you really need is an alpine axe that you can plunge the shaft. Also you might consider a leash that tethers at the head of the axe, again for plunging.

 

the link cams are known for breaking. I've seen 3 of them broken at local shops

 

I would look at Ti pins. Especially on routes where you only think you might need pins.

 

If you are going to do more technical rock the next thing you need is some smaller narrower cams, like the Metoleus

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-2 on small hexes. The larger ones can actually be used. The smaller hexes are a complete waste IMO. I dutifully carried them for a season but found that small hexes I never used as they are a pain in the ass to place and one usually has nuts that fit instead and take a bite easily and postively.

 

The larger fist sized hex, I still tote around along with the 1 1/2 inch guy. These actually have enough camming action to fit a wide variety of cracks and can take the place of a very valuable #2 cam at a fraction of the cost. No you are not going to be placing hex's on 5.10 stuff, but there is a LOT of ground that is 5.0 or 4th class where hex placement is easily done.

 

PS. I notice you have a #4 4" cam in there. Personally I find I never need such a cam. EVER. If I do, it needs to be MUCH larger (off width stuff) and I can always find placement for nuts, tri-cams, slings, or #2 sized cams. Personally, I would sell the one I have if I thought there was a sucker out there willing to buy it. Biggest waste of money I have ever spent. Hmm then again, that movie I paid $10 bucks for the other day has got to be tops.....

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Hey Satori,

 

You said you wanted to climb Shasta and Rainier. For climbs on peaks like those (for most of the routes), you wont really use anything in your photo. Get a basic light axe, some lighter crampons, and lighter boots oriented more more for walking comfort than warmth. You will basically be walking on slopes less than 40degrees with occasional crevasses that you will hope to avoid, probably by following the steps of everyone else on those routes. Snag a super light/basic harness and a 7.5-8.2mm rope. If you are a skier or snowboarder, you'll save your knees (and have more fun) by descending on skis rather than walking. Don't worry about stockpiling loads of gear before you get started, that stuff is often overkill and just weighs you down.

 

Have fun!

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Thank you all for the input. The rock gear I use on a regular basis. One new Cobra and the screws were very generously gifted from a friend. Thus, I had to buy a matching tool. I picked up the boots and crampons for a planned trip to CO and UT next season to ice climb. I am working on gaining experience in the various aspects of this discipline and I am just curious if I am headed in the right direction from an equipment standpoint. I don't plan on bringing cams and pins etc on Shasta or Rainier. Just trying to be well rounded, keep the bar high, and make sure I have the (some) appropriate technical equipment to train with.

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