/ How much does your rack weigh?

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BStar - on 31 Aug 2014
I often think that my rack (just things that clip to the harness, not ropes) weighs far too much, so for a bit of 'fun' I thought I'd weigh it with my suitcase scales... 4.1kg

So how about everyone else's?

Obviously is depends on route length, rock type, grade, climb style etc etc but for the sake of this thread lets say it's the top end of your grade, 2 or 3 pitches long and you have no beta.

Hooo - on 31 Aug 2014
In reply to BStar:

I weighed my rack the other day, in a fit of geekiness. The whole lot together ( everything that clips on ) is 5kg. I carry almost all of it on every route. The only stuff I regularly leave behind is my no.6 Dragon (250g ish) and my micros. For long pitches I'll add another set of wires from my partner too.
hands solo on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

my rack is 5.5kg lots of cams and walnuts carry most of it apart from some of the bigger cams
wilkie14c - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

Many climbers climb with nothing at all or perhaps with just a chalk bag. Weight of rack is a direct connection to your state of mind and confidence, it's up to you find where you fit. Give me a set of cams and 1 to 10 wires and I'll have a go at anything I think I can up ;-)
Greenbanks - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

Don't know if you've seen James Pearson's account of how he sets up his rack - its got a number of decent tips, some of which are clearly linked to weight-reduction. Just had a quick search on here but can't seem to locate it: watched it about a week ago so it must be here.
AlanLittle - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Greenbanks:
I can't really think of a quicker search than the first google hit for "James Pearson rack". Here you go:

http://www.vimeo.com/103335420

... don't hear him talking much about weight though. He says he likes Superlight Rocks because of the shape, not the weight saving. He's actually carrying a little bit more than I typically would, which I suppose makes sense because he's rather more likely to be in places where not having exactly the right size wire could be life threatening. Although I've also always adhered firmly to the "small wires weigh nothing, carry all you can find" school of thought.

I assume he doesn't carry the full double set of cams all the time.
Post edited at 07:16
krikoman - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

I don't know how much my rack weighs but, my rucksack weighs 3 stone when loaded for a trip out. obviously this has ropes, shoes and the rest of my gear in it. Which is why I hate the walk in.
Greenbanks - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

I know he doesn't talk about weight per se, but more about organising gear for a climb. Seems to me that there is a tendency for a lot of climbers (I'm guilty!) to put every piece of kit on their harness irrespective of the kind of route they're doing. Of course, it much depends on the individual route and the beta you have for it.
David Coley - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

From the book High: advanced multi pitch climbing -

"I weighed my kit. All the items were relatively modern, even the heavier versions, and the lightweight ones not the lightest possible, so it probably represents what might be found on most racks. Here are my findings:
•A older trad rack might weigh in at over 4.3 kg (91⁄2 lbs), while a state-of-the art one at only 2.7 kg (6lbs). This difference is greater than an additional set of wires AND cams, i.e. you could take two sets and still be carrying less just by buying lighter gear.
•The snapgates weigh more than the cams and three times as much as the helmet.
•Lightweight versions of most things, from harnesses to cams commonly weigh 20 to 50% less.
•Over a whole rack the difference averages almost 40%.
•This creates a difference of 1.6 kg between the two racks (including the helmet and harness) - i.e. equivalent to carrying a full 1.5 litre water bottle.
•A harness, helmet, large cam and a set of wires weigh approximately the same as each other.
•4 sling draws weight only 40 g more than 4 very short extenders-less than the weight of one more extender (with carabiners), and far more useful.
•If we add in another set or wires and cams, even with lightweight versions, we might add over 1 kg. This might bring the total weight up to 5.3 kg. This is a lot of weight to be climbing through overhangs with.
•Including a cordelette with carbineer might add another 220 grams; four unnecessary locking carabiners 160 to 300 grams; a nut key with carabiner for the leader another 90 grams. (Whereas a potentially very useful wind proof might only add 65 grams – not much more than a screw- gate.)"
David Coley - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to David Coley:

A bit off topic, but I just weighed the cams on my aid rack: 7.5 kg! And that's just the cam's.
BStar - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Hooo:

I have tried to get the weight down as much as possible, but as a relatively new climber (2 years) I don't like going too light 'just in case'. I now don't carry any hexes as I've subbed my cams got them and I rarely take my largest size 4 WC cam out too, these weren't included in the weigh in. I usually find I take way too many quickdraws out but the odd time I end up putting 12 in a route I am very grateful for them!

For the record, my rack include 2 sets of nuts, some micro wires, 5 or 6 cams, 12 QDs some of which are 'alpine draws', 5 slings and then probably 5 screwgate/snapgates.

I was very tempted by the superlight nuts but I would probably use them in addition rather than a replacement which is going the other way than what I want!

Hoo, you said for longer pitches you give your partner a set of nuts too, is that for replacing nuts used at a belay?
Jon Didymus - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

my multi-pitch rack (2 sets wires, 15 QD, 8 cams, slings, screwgates etc) is about 3.5 Kg
Gordon Stainforth - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

All depends on the route, doesn't it? If you're climbing Great Slab at Froggatt your rack will weigh nothing, whereas if you're doing Left Wall it will be quite heavy.
pec on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

I think the weight of your rack tends to go un-noticed because you put each piece on and take it off separately. If you ever take your harness off whilst your rack is still attached you suddenly realise just how heavy it is. Carrying even a modest rack is like you've just put on half a stone.
robapplegate - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

Too much :)
Hooo - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

I probably carry too much, but I like to have lots of gear in. I've been known to place over 20 runners on a long pitch. I'm also terrible at judging what I might need, so usually just bring it all.
What I meant about the extra set of nuts is I carry two sets, one borrowed from my partner as I only own one set. So I'm carrying over 5kg on a big multi pitch route.
The Ex-Engineer - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar: How long is a piece of string...

It would be far easy to answer if you'd named a specific route or routes. On recent evidence I'd say I generally carry less gear than most and my rack whilst not at the bleeding edge of lightweight gear is modern and pretty lightweight. However, when it comes to deciding what gear to NOT carry I've got the benefit of 19 years and several thousands routes worth of experience.

I wasn't climbing on my rack yesterday but I took 7 wires, 2 hexes, 2 cams and 6 extenders when heading off to climb in the Northern Corries. We were aiming to climb something around Severe and about 3 pitches in length.

Equally, around Chamonix in 2003 on big rock routes up to around E2 I've climbed on a rack of 5 wires, 3 medium cams and 6 extenders.

Your rack will generally weigh as little as you want it to weigh. For most climbers that I see, the determining factor is rarely the objective requirement of what is actually NEEDED on the route, it is the subjective assessment of how little they are prepared to climb with, which is generally much greater.
Jimbo C - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

All the gear I've got weighs about 5kg, but on a typical route I carry about half of it. Depends on route length obviously, but a good guess of what sizes you'll need can often be made from the ground.
AlanLittle - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

That's about what I'd carry for a Severe too.

I weighed up what I'd normally carry for a reasonably long pitch somewhere near my limit - 2 sets of wires, one set of cams without any really huge ones, around 12 or 15 draws and a few slings - and came to 3.6kg. That's with reasonably light modern kit but not the absolute lightest, for example I could save around 200g by going from Spectre 2's down to Phantoms for my krabs but I'm not interested in doing so.

For cracks or other cam-intensive territory (e.g. Gogarth) I'd double up on at least some of the cams and then be carrying considerably more.
Hooo - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

Wow. I'd carry more than that on a 10m route that I could see clearly from the ground and I had loads of beta for! I suppose it's all down to experience.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

3.5 kg for long pitches, if I leave the two largest cams in the bag (which I would if I thought it was top of my grade and couldn't see any likely placements from the below). Just over 4kg with the two extra cams on.
Joak - on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to David Coley:

> From the book High: advanced multi pitch climbing -

From the book "The Handbook of Climbing: Allen Fyffe & Iain Peter" (Foreword by Hamish MacInnes)-
"As an extremely rough guide as to how much to carry, consistently using up three quarters of your rack on a pitch indicates that you either have good judgement or are pushing your luck, whereas having three quarters left at the end indicates overcaution or bad planning."
Handy if you happen to dislike weights, measurures and bathroom scales......and dinae mind roughin it:)
DubyaJamesDubya - on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to Joak:

But it rather depends how much you are taking. Three quarters of ten pieces or three quarters of forty pieces is a very different experience.
HeMa on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

always too much, yet still not enough of the right gear...
BStar - on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to HeMa:

That's definetly the way I usually feel!

So moving away from the actual weight, any tips for cutting a rack size down?

- ditch hexes, use cams instead
- plan your rack for the route instead of taking everything
- be bold?!

Any more?

Only double up certain nuts?
Buy the latest and greatest lightweight gear only
Reduce number of racking crabs for gear?
Reduce number of extenders?

BarrySW19 on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

On the other hand, I suspect my excess fat weighs more than my entire rack so I can think of better ways to reduce weight than micro-managing my rack setup. :-)
HeMa on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:

> - ditch hexes, use cams instead

For summer, yes... winter, the other way around.

> - plan your rack for the route instead of taking everything

ding ding... for single pitch, read the route and take what you think is right... then add a few extras. For multipitch, read the description and try to figure out what is needed and whot not.

> - be bold?!

That certainly helps.

> Only double up certain nuts?

Jah, for me, that generally means 4-7 or so.

> Buy the latest and greatest lightweight gear only

It helps.

> Reduce number of racking crabs for gear?

Maybe, helps with nuts... but perhaps not that much with cams. see below.

> Reduce number of extenders?

Yup, for straight lines and/or good use of double ropes, cams generally don't require QDs/extenders... so cut the amount, but of course then you'd need a biner per cam.
Joak - on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> But it rather depends how much you are taking. Three quarters of ten pieces or three quarters of forty pieces is a very different experience.

That goes without saying. How much you carry is very much down to a personnel judgement call. A couple of winters ago in Glen Coe I decided to save weight with a "We won't need ice screws on a grade II, leave them in the car" approach. On the day all my perceived bits of usable rock/spikes were sheathed in ice and I had to run out a couple of rope lengths with no gear while my ice screws sat idly in the car.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to Joak:
> (In reply to DubyaJamesDubya)
>
> [...]
>
> That goes without saying. How much you carry is very much down to a personnel judgement call. A couple of winters ago in Glen Coe I decided to save weight with a "We won't need ice screws on a grade II, leave them in the car" approach. On the day all my perceived bits of usable rock/spikes were sheathed in ice and I had to run out a couple of rope lengths with no gear while my ice screws sat idly in the car.

I've come to the conclusion that leaving gear in the sack or car is almost a guarantee that said gear will be needed on the route.
The Ex-Engineer - on 04 Sep 2014
In reply to BStar:
> - ditch hexes, use cams instead
In large sizes yes. Large hexes are heavy and cams offer more range so a single large lightweight cam is often a better bet. However DMM Torque nuts 1 and 2 are by far the lightest possible gear option in that size range so would be top of my list.

> - plan your rack for the route instead of taking everything
Surely that goes without saying?

> - be bold?!
Possibly. Far better just to get properly good at placing gear and assessing the quality of it. Only incompetent climbers who place poor gear they don't trust need to lace every single route.

> Only double up certain nuts?
Absolutely. You can even go further. On many routes under E1 with pitches less than 30m I might double up sizes 5-7 but probably will not have all normal sizes. I rarely carry a DMM size 10 Walnut and won't carry an 11 if I'm carrying a TNut 1. Also I will regularly ditch sizes 1 & 2 especially if it will help allow me to get down to just one krab of wires.

> Buy the latest and greatest lightweight gear only
On a targeted basis. Saving weight on kit you always carry makes far more sense than saving the same amount on kit you only sometimes carry. Equally there is no point having the latest expensive skinny 60m double ropes where a cheap 40m single would actually be lighter and far quicker to climb with.

> Reduce number of racking crabs for gear?
> Reduce number of extenders?
I have cams and hexes with extendable slings so greatly favour the second option. However I always have slings and plenty of spare wiregates. IMO if anyone has to resort to stripping down an extender to get an extra krab or use extenders in a belay, that is proof of a poorly conceived/balanced rack. Finally, it is worth bearing in mind that some nut placements don't need extending, a single krab may be sufficient.

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