/ Wired hexes or Monster Wires?

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Chay - on 06 May 2013
Hi All,

I've always carried a set of WC Rocks, DMM Micros/1s,2s and a set of allow offsets. Supplemented with 7cams including some for larger placements.

Now then, I'm looking to buy a couple of pieces a little bigger than my WC 10 wire; either BD Wired Hexes or the big WC rocks.

Have you used either? thoughts? Please don't suggest WC hexes, they're clunky/heavy and irritating. Torque nuts are okay, though I find the extendable loops crap because they don't pull through.

C
Baron Weasel - on 06 May 2013
In reply to Chay: I've got a BD #11 wired hex and it's both wicked and massif :-)

BW
Chay - on 06 May 2013
In reply to Baron Weasel: I really like the idea of it being on wire; this is two fold:

Easier to place above you/in awkward placements
I can smack it with my axe in winter without damaging dyneema.

Also, they're much neater & less bulky.

C
Dopey_172 - on 06 May 2013
In reply to Chay: I have both the WC large nuts and some old school WC hexes and I think they are both great. They fit different sorts of placements but I would say if you can only get one set go for the hexes.
Chay - on 06 May 2013
In reply to Dopey_172: I've had some hexes before; the dyneema WC ones and hated the bulky/heavy design (imo) but the hexes themselves fitted great and got used a lot, so I think you might be right..

Neat wires with the useful hex does seem a better option atm.

C
cb294 - on 06 May 2013
In reply to Chay:
> ..., they're clunky/heavy and irritating.

But they sound nice! MORE COWBELL!

CB
ledifer on 06 May 2013
In reply to cb294:

like :-)

Someone must have made an orchestra of hex / torque nut wielding climbers. Going to search YouTube now, if it's not been done, who's with me?

Umm back on topic, I'm a torque nut fan, you get used to pulling the tape by the stitch after a while, then they're brilliant.
Landy_Dom on 07 May 2013
In reply to ledifer:
> (In reply to cb294)
>
> >
> Umm back on topic, I'm a torque nut fan, you get used to pulling the tape by the stitch after a while, then they're brilliant.

+1
Jamie B - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

I'm less convinced about the BD hexes. Firstly the wire is too thin to have enough rigidity for you to place them above your head. Also I don't think the shape is as versatile or cams as well as torques/rockcentrics.

I share your thoughts about having gear on wire; WC dyneema seems to degrade quite quickly when it is being exposed to winter abuse. Torque nuts on wire would be my dream package!
victim of mathematics - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I think fundamentally any large hex on wire is going to be too floppy to place above your head. For this not to happen the wire would have to be totally rigid, which would bring other problems with it (like stabbing you in the leg whilst you were thrashing around in chimneys). Basically once you get above a certain critical size, hexes on wire are just a bad idea.

I agree with you about the shape of the BD hexes though. The best hexes I've ever used were a couple of old HB Quadratics, they were magic. When you got one of them in, everything was suddenly alright with the world.
Jamie B - on 07 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> any large hex on wire is going to be too floppy to place above your head. For this not to happen the wire would have to be totally rigid, which would bring other problems

I've used WC Rockcentrics on wire and this was not an issue. Wire stiff enough to place high but not rigid. Unfortunately they stopped making them - they were probably a bit heavy.

the power - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay: cams
Bob_the_Builder - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

I have the large WC rocks and they're great. you can bash them in on winter routes too. Having said that I've never really got the hang of placing a hex, probably something I should sort out.
Morgan P - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:
> Now then, I'm looking to buy a couple of pieces a little bigger than my WC 10 wire; either BD Wired Hexes or the big WC rocks.

I'd personally go for ones on slings, you can't use a hex in a camming position if it's on a wire and often thread them which again you can't do with a wire one. I also find it's great to be able to use the hexes as back-up slings if I've used my normal ones before I get to the belay stance. Everyone's different though :)

> Have you used either? thoughts? Please don't suggest WC hexes, they're clunky/heavy and irritating. Torque nuts are okay, though I find the extendable loops crap because they don't pull through.

Very true about the WC hexes.. I have a pair - wish I'd bought torque nuts! I think dynemma just starts stiff and so sitting down for 5 minutes when you get them and extending and shortening the sling repeatedly should loosen up the dynemma slightly so it can bend width ways to get through the holes easier.

Chay - on 07 May 2013
In reply to the power: I have cams- as stated in the OP. 7 cams up to really big.

C

Blue Straggler - on 07 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
>
> I think fundamentally any large hex on wire is going to be too floppy to place above your head.

Agreed. The C.A.M.P. Carvex 7 is the biggest that will realistically work (and it is a brilliant big nut / small camming hex and strongly recommended to the OP). Bigger than that, certainly in the Carvex range, and they flop around so you might as well have a normal one on tape.
martinph78 on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay: I must be one of the few folk who doesn't like the DMM torque nuts. Not because of the tape (that's the good thing about them!), but because of placing them.

Maybe I haven't quite got the hang of them, but many times I've been placing them wishing I'd kept my old Camp hexes on a cord. The torque nuts don't seem to bite like the old hexes did, and I am never happy placing them across the face (not in the "camming" position). When camming them they work ok when weighted, but as soon as I unweight them they just seem to sit loose and often lift out even when extended. Also stacking them doesn't work for the above reasons either.

For that reason I'd put up with the weight/clunkiness of the WC hexes.

PS - I also find similar issues with the DMM wallnuts. They don't seem to bite like the WC wires I have. Think it is the anodising and the hollow section they are made from, like the torque nuts?
CurlyStevo - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Martin1978: i like torque nuts and wallnuts. i personally find wallnuts tend to bite / get stuck more than rocks. Torque nuts are the third type of hexes ive owned.

when you say accross the face do you mean the sideways flaring placement?
The Ex-Engineer - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay: Good question...

I personally think WC Rocks above size 8 are not great. I much prefer DMM Wallnuts 9,10 & 11 than the similar sized Rocks. As such, I would suggest you initially buy a size 11 Wallnut rather than anything else. I think you would find that a useful addition to your rack.

When it comes to something larger than that, I spent a long, long time looking at all the options. What I have used for the last 5+ years is a WC Rockcentric 6 on wire. It is an extremely good proxy for a size 12.5 Wallnut.

Unfortunately Rockcentrics on wire have been out of production for years but you can pick them up second hand if you are patient enough. They have slightly stiffer wire than the BD Hexes which I prefer and they also have a transverse taper which the BD Hexes do not.

I've not used one but the Camp Carvex size 7 mentioned by another poster would probably be the closest thing to the Rockcentric 6 still available.

Anyway, I think a size 11 Wallnut plus a one of:
- BD Hexentric 7
- Camp Carvex 7 on wire
- WC Rockcentric 6 on wire
would be a useful option for you to consider and potentially better than going down the route of the larger WC Rocks.
Chay - on 07 May 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: Thanks!

Very useful information; that's definitely the size range I'm looking at. I have plenty of cams so I don't really want to be buying a set of hexes- of any kind. I love cams, but this is the size range that gets placed A LOT- for that reason I'd like something more hard-wearing, saves giving my cams such a beating!

That could be a good option!

C
martinph78 on 07 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> when you say accross the face do you mean the sideways flaring placement?

Yeah, in this placement I find them quite dubious. I think it's the thinner section they use, or the angle of the taper, but they seem to hang on any imperfections in the crack (every crack then!). I've done a very quick sketch here:

http://sdrv.ms/11XOzvh

The red part is where the bulge in the crack sits inside the torque nut. So in effect the nut is hanging rather than seated.

This is an exaggerated example of what I am trying to explain. I'm placing them in the same places as I've placed CAMP hexes before and never used to have any concerns.

As I say, they just never seem to sit quite right, unlike hexes which seemed to fit every time. I keep practicing with them but 9 out of 1 times find myself wanting my old hexes!

I also find that the edges have a radius and undercut which mean that they don't seem to seat as well in a camming position. The old hexes had much more surface area in contact with the rock than the torque nuts do.

As I say, might be just me, but I'm not as comfortable with the placement of them as the old hexes.



the power - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:
> (In reply to the power) I have cams- as stated in the OP. 7 cams up to really big.
>
> C

get more
Ron Walker - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

It's funny over the years my rack get smaller to save weight and I now use a mixture of WC and old Camp hexes rethreaded with dyneema above wires size 9. I climb mainly on granite but the versatility and lightweight racking of even the older square edged Camp hexes rethreaded on 5 mm dyneema is hard to beat. The older square hexes seat far better than the fancy newer curved ones especially in winter. I've thought about getting some of the BD ones on wire and then cutting and drilling them to take dyneema as they are square edged but lighter. In fact I'd happily take a few knackered BD wire ones off folks hands....!
Ron Walker - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to CurlyStevo)
>

> As I say, they just never seem to sit quite right, unlike hexes which seemed to fit every time. I keep practicing with them but 9 out of 1 times find myself wanting my old hexes!
>
> I also find that the edges have a radius and undercut which mean that they don't seem to seat as well in a camming position. The old hexes had much more surface area in contact with the rock than the torque nuts do.
>
> As I say, might be just me, but I'm not as comfortable with the placement of them as the old hexes.

I'm glad it's not just me!
See also https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151587942764883&set=a.10150385106579883.378917.7275548...
matthew - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Jamie B: > (In reply to Chay)
"........Torque nuts on wire would be my dream package!"

Wire's more durable than dyneema but it's noticeably heavier, poor at camming into horizontal cracks and not immune to damage. How about Torque nuts on that stitched aramid cord? Stiff enough to give more control over the nut but flexible enough to use in camming mode. Should reduce the clanging and replaceable with stiff knotted cord when it wears out.
andic - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

What are you climbing on?

I find TNs superb on grit, I'd happily go cam-less on most easier stuff and just carry TNs and a v large carvex.
CurlyStevo - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
Well it depends on the crack but the torque nuts are very similar in their sideways profile to rockcentrics and both place best in to flaring placements. I manage to get plenty of bomber placements using this configuration (much the same as I also do with sideways wallnuts).

With regards to the the other placements, the standard nut style placement, I think I perhaps do mildly prefer the shape of rockcentrics to the torque nuts, the torque nuts aren't tapered enough. In the camming position I think both rockcentrics and torque nuts do tend to be a bit unstable and you really have to make sure the hex is wedged in firmly if you want it to work and stay put. I think the old camp hexcentrics are better for this placement.

CurlyStevo - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Ron Walker:
I like the shape of the camp hexcentrics but they are too heavy for me to want to carry regularly now a days.
CurlyStevo - on 07 May 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
I don't like the Carvex or indeed most hex on wire, I find if you place it above your head using the wire then the hex tends sit on the corner on one side which obviously isn't optimal. Also the wire makes placements more likely to twist and lift (especially out of the most camming placement). I agree a wallnut 11 is the best option for this size. Above this I think hex on dyneema/cord is the way forward as the hexes are big enough you can get your fingers and hands in the the cracks (generally).
The Ex-Engineer - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Ron Walker:
> It's funny over the years my rack get smaller to save weight

Ditto!

> I've thought about getting some of the BD ones on wire and then cutting and drilling them to take dyneema as they are square edged but lighter.

Interestingly I'm currently debating about whether it would be possible to do something similar with DMM Wallnuts 7,8 & 9 for use as part of a minimalist scrambling/mountaineering rack.
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deadahead - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

I've not used them, but Metolius does a hex on wire (the 'Curve Hex') that is shaped somewhat similarly to the WC Rockcentric/DMM Torque Nut and is on wire. Not sure if they're available anywhere in the UK though...

http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/curve_hex.html
deadahead - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

They also do a version (the 'Alpine Hex') that has a small dyneema loop at the bottom of the wire...

http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/alpine_curve_hex.html
The Ex-Engineer - on 07 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I think what DMM really need to do is produce a size 12 Wallnut. But until such time, I find a medium 'hex' on wire of that approximate size just adds a few more useful options.

All things being equal, I would agree that a size 2 Torque Nut is probably slightly 'better' for the reasons you give. My Rockcentric 6 is certainly not a fixture on my rack and is probably left behind as much as it is taken. However, I think you may be overlooking the advantages in terms of simplicity and efficiency of having a bigger option available on your krab of large wires.
flaneur - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

My personal view is large rocks work best when the cracks are fairly uniform (eg gritstone, granite, slate). Cams also often work as well in these kinds of placement but a large passive placement has a certain bombproof reassurance especially when the crack is iced-up. Large wallnuts work better in more irregular cracks (eg rhyolite, some types of limestone). Rockcentrics, hexcentrics and their ilk work best in very irregular cracks (e.g Pembroke limestone).

I like rocks and wallnuts on wire as the placements are often easy to spot so they can be poked in on a long reach and the direction of pull is straight down so they are less likely to lift out. I like hexes on tape or rope as placements are often at a funny angle or stuffed into pockets, so placing at a stretch is hard and the extra flexibility over wire is useful. It's all a matter of the best compromise.

As a result of trying all the options I have some large rocks and wallnuts on wire (~11-14) and various rockcentrics on tape for sale if anyone is interested.
martinph78 on 07 May 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to Martin1978)
>
> What are you climbing on?

Mostly sandstone (hard) or dolerite/whinsill.

As I say, I just find that they lack the friction when seating compare to other gear. I still wonder if it's the anodising (as with the wallnuts).

The reason I went with them was they covered the same range (supposedly) as my previous 6 Camp hexes, weighed half as much, and I like the extenders on them. Just wish the seated better!


Sy Finch on 08 May 2013
In reply to Chay:
I will always carry a set of size 5-7 WC hexes on mountain routes,sometimes multi-pitch in blocky terrain. Not particularly for placing on lead, but for belays. Often I have encountered a belay where the best and sometimes only placements have been for hexes. They are great placed both sides and very re-assuring. As you say, some may find them clunky and irritating, don't carry them, but one day you will wish you had them.
I have a sey of WC rocks 11-14. Only used once or twice so can't really comment much. They are quite narrow on the one side which I find slightly limiting compared to the hexes. I would choose the hexes over these most times.
Also, I have used hexes on some bold climbs to weight down small slings on spikes, nobbles,etc. They can also be used to extend if neccessary - slide the hex to the middle of the sling and uses between draws to extend, which will also help massively in stopping gear lifting.
Just a few thoughts, hope this helps.
Jamie B - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Sy Finch:

He's asking about protection on wire.
Sy Finch on 08 May 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
...oh
peter myers - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

I use some BD hexes on wire which are bigger than the number 10 WC nut or DMM wallnut.

I have been using them for about 8 years, the wire is certainly stiff enough to place them over your head or out of reach up to a certain size. I do this all the time.

The red one is the next size up from a number 10 wire(number 7 BD hex??). Then comes the black one(size 8?) then the gold( size 9?). All of these are fine on wire,however the next size up( red again #10?)is too heavy to get the benefit of the wire and it does flop over if you try to place it at a distance. To be honest I rarely carry this one or the biggest one in the range( black number 11).

I actually lost the red one(number 7) a couple of years ago so i started using a number 11 wire instead - the green DMM wallnut. This has been fine and I have never felt the need to replace the hex.

I find the hexes to be very versatile and useful they go in many places where a nut would not but a cam would, however they also go securely in tapering placements where a cam would not be so trustworthy. Plus they are light and you can carry all 3 on the same biner with the biggest of the nuts.

Hope this helps,

Pete
Skyfall - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Chay:

Don't like hexes and the like on wire - too floppy to really place overhead and don't cam properly (which is half the point of them). I'd get whatever shape you prefer (I havce rockcentrics) on tape. Their is a certain art to hexz throwing to get a placement above you (I met my climbing partner of may years on UKC discussing this very point!).

I don't really get the v large nuts on wire either. I'd rather use cams or small hexes (genric use) on tape.
CurlyStevo - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Chay:
One thing to bare in mind is the large nuts are significantly heavier than torque nuts for the range of sizes they cover.
Hannes on 10 May 2013
In reply to Chay: I really don't like the big nuts and would rather have hexes and that is saying something as I don't particularly like hexes either
Voltemands - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ledifer: Even though I agree re pulling by the stitch and I do love my torque nuts, I think he's right in that the dyneema doesn't always pull through easily. Great kit though.
Jasonic - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Chay: Remember seeing a local guide working on Ben Nevis whose rack, apart from icescrews + wires was wired hexes.
Chay - on 10 May 2013
In reply to peter myers: Thanks, Pete!

Very helpful.
C
CurlyStevo - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Voltemands:
Yeah the dyneema definately doesn't pull through as well as you'd like!
peter myers - on 30 May 2013
In reply to Chay: Your post made me take a bit more notice of what i do with the hexes actually, i have noticed that sizes 8 and 9 do flop around when i hold them above my head actually. However, what i do is hold the wires half way up and then i can reach higher than i could if the hex was in my hand but not as far as if you were using a wire. If you hold far end of the wire they do flop over. So i can place them out of reach but not a full wire's length out of reach. Sorry not to be more accurate initially. also my hexes are from 2004 so the wires might be different now.

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