/ Wired hexes or Monster Wires?
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.
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.
Neat wires with the useful hex does seem a better option atm.
But they sound nice! MORE COWBELL!
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.
> 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
> 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.
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?
when you say accross the face do you mean the sideways flaring placement?
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.
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!
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:
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.
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....!
> 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...
"........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.
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.
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.
I like the shape of the camp hexcentrics but they are too heavy for me to want to carry regularly now a days.
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).
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.
They also do a version (the 'Alpine Hex') that has a small dyneema loop at the bottom of the wire...
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.
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.
> 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!
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.
He's asking about protection on wire.
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,
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.
One thing to bare in mind is the large nuts are significantly heavier than torque nuts for the range of sizes they cover.
Yeah the dyneema definately doesn't pull through as well as you'd like!
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