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Trad Gear


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Protection

'Traditional climbing gear' refers to a large assortment of equipment that you place inside formations in the rock. The equipment is placed, such as in a crack in the rock, then the rope is clipped into the equipment (similar to clipping into bolts) minimizing the fall distance for the climber. Traditional climbing gear is often called 'Pro', 'Protection', 'Trad Gear', or just 'Gear'.

Pro is divided into two main categories including 'Active Protection' and 'Passive Protection'. Though there are exceptions to the rule, generally 'Active Protection' contains moving parts and 'Passive Protection' does not.

The collection of gear carried while Trad Climbing is called a Trad Rack.
Popular Protection (View all Protection)
Metolius Master Cam
$44.96 - 59.95

Building a Rack
Learn how to place Passive Protection. Walk along the bottom of a crag and place a nut every two feet to get the hang of finding nut placements. Nut and Hex placements are an art form. Active Protection is generally much heavier and much more expensive than passive protection, plus passive protection can go in cracks that active protection can not.

Active Protection includes Cams, Big Bros and Ball Nutz.
Passive Protection includes Stoppers, Hexes and Tricams.
The Transition
If sport climbing is your thing and you're starting to get the hang of it, but you start to ask yourself if hopping from bolt to bolt is limiting you, the short answer is 'maybe.' You really need to consider what you want from climbing when you contemplate the investment of transferring from a 'sport climber' to a 'trad climber'.

There are a lot of good reasons to invest in a Trad Rack. I have found the main benefit of Trad is adding adventure to your climbing experience. Trad climbing is free of lines and rules. You can go any direction you want and make your own choices regarding protection. Trad climbing areas typically have much smaller crowds allowing you to obtain solitude rarely enjoyed at your local sport crag. This freedom allows you to pursue lines off the beaten path; when you see about 50 guys sharing 3 rows of bolts, you can keep on walking, assured in the knowledge that you just need a good line and not a silver highway.

The major downside of trad climbing is that it is expensive. If you are trying to create a self-sustained trad rack you are looking at a bare minimum of 600 dollars. This compares to a 100 dollar sport rack. Trad climbing also tends to take more time. Organizing a rack prior to a climb, placing protection, building an anchor and reorganizing the rack for the next pitch all takes time. The gear affiliated with climbing is addictive for many and your climbing rack has a good chance of being your largest home insurance claim.

Passive vs Active
Learn how to place Passive Protection. Walk along the bottom of a crag and place a nut every two feet to get the hang of finding nut placements. Nut and Hex placements are an art form. Active Protection is generally much heavier and much more expensive than passive protection, plus passive protection can go into cracks that active protection can not.

Starter Rack
If there was ever a standard for a starter rack (which will need to be expanded) here it is:

- 1 set of nuts - $90 (sizes 1-10 or so, no micro nuts)

- 6 cams (.5, .75, 1, 2, 3 inch pieces and doubles on one piece depending on your area) - $300

- Nut Tool - $8

- 5 shoulder length slings to make extendable runners - $30

- 17 biners - 10 D-shaped carabiners, 7 ovals $95

- 2 cordlettes - $20

- 4 locking biners - $32

This totals to: $575

Logic:

17 carabiners - The 10 D-shaped carabiners are used to create five extendable runners using two carabiners each. Six oval carabiners are for the cams. One oval is for the nuts.

4 locking carabiners - Two sets of two lockers for anchors. If you are only doing single pitch climbs this can be reduced to two lockers and you only need one cordlette.

Here are a few cheap and easy solutions to cut cost:
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