/ Racking Wires

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BnB - on 01 Sep 2014
Having just invested in a some offsets to balance my Wallnuts and WC wires, I'm in a dilemma (OCD heaven, I should say) as to how to rack them. Always recognising that it isn't necessary to take EVERYTHING up EVERY route, there seem to be two approaches:

1. Rack according to set/type (maybe split across 2/3 wiregates per set), advantages include:

a) being able to drop a carabiner and still have as many of the same sizes elsewhere on the harness
b) keeping similar gear on either side of the rack for those awkward chimneys where you can't get to one or other side of your harness

Main disadvantage

You can't always quickly access the ideal nut when you may have grabbed it already from the carabiner to hand, so have to fiddle about on the other side of your rack or lazily settle for less bomber protection

2. Rack according to size across 5/6 wiregates, with overlapping sizes at the extremities of each division, the main advantages being

a) instant access to maximum choice of gear
b) easy shifting from one size to another if your first guess is out
c) very rapid carabiner identification from the rack

all of which add up to time saved and protection optimized at the risk of

a) getting caught in an awkward posture with the gear on the wrong side of the harness
b) dropping all your wires of a given size range in one fell swoop.

What do you experts recommend?
highclimber - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:


> What do you experts recommend?

There's no 'experts' on here - it's the internet!

I rack mine as such - size 1-6 on one crab; 7-11 on another; offsets on another.
Coel Hellier - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

It is a matter of personal style and which works for you. Even if you rack by size, you're still liable to grab the wrong bunch if the placement is on the boundary.

AlanLittle - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to highclimber:

Normally by size: micros, 1 to 6, 6 to 10.

Occasionally a set per krab if I'm in a situation where I'm scared of dropping a vital part of my gear in the water and never seeing it again.
In reply to BnB:

Normally I have two krabs for wires, 1-10 wallnuts on one, alloy offsets and brass small nuts (I have a few RPs and few HB brass offset) on the other. Any nuts that get found/recovered that look in decent nick go on the second krab with the offsets, so I might have a few more wires in the 2-4 kind of size on there. Has worked well as a system for many years!

On big routes where you are climbing multiple 40-50 mtr pitches we often take a third set of nuts; but it surprisingly easy to take more than you actually need even when building belays and climbing long pitches.
BnB - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> On big routes where you are climbing multiple 40-50 mtr pitches we often take a third set of nuts; but it surprisingly easy to take more than you actually need even when building belays and climbing long pitches.

Surely the point is that without highly accurate beta you SHOULD take more than you need in order to at least have the right option for each placement. I certainly wouldn't take one QD per wire!!
ianstevens - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to highclimber:

> There's no 'experts' on here - it's the internet!

> I rack mine as such - size 1-6 on one crab; 7-11 on another; offsets on another.

I'm a big fan of this as well - it becomes especially handy once you get your eye in for "offset" placements.
RyanOsborne - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to ianstevens:

I do it this way too. Like Ian says, when you spot an offset placement, you want to reach straight for the offsets rather than fiddling around trying to get an offset off of a general wire caribiner.

On a slight tangent, I've just started using the BD Oval Wires for racking, and they're much better than the asymmetric ones I was using before.
David Coley - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

I go for small on one carabiner, medium on another, large on another. On long multi pitch routes I find it really helps when it comes to re-racking at the stance if these are colour coded. e.g. put red electrical tape on all the "big" wires and spay paint the carabiner that holds them red. This also means you can find the right set of wires quickly. Here's a picture: http://people.bath.ac.uk/dac33/high/4Gear_files/image020.png

This means anyone in the team can re-rack without asking how to order them
victim of mathematics - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

One krab with 1-10 WC rocks - when climbing on grit that's usually all I take.
One krab with tiny stuff
One krab with 1-5 from various manufacturers
One krab with 6-10 from various manufacturers

Covers most bases for me to allow for minimal re-racking whether climbing single or multi-pitch whilst also mitigating against the disaster potential from dropping one of the krabs in the sea.
Blue Straggler - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

Small to medium are divided equally across two wiregates but actually kept on the same side of harness. Big wires all together on one wiregate on the other. In fact I keep all small-medium on the right and all big gear on the left, though I class BD Camalot 2 as "medium". This has never caused serious issues, yes I have had annoying moments in chimneys or in hard positions having to reach to my right with my left hand to fumble for the right gear, but overall I like it. Horses for courses
In reply to BnB:

I was thinking about climbing Stetind last year, we took lots of nuts http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4wZ5f_3h1-M/UiWzXzEBswI/AAAAAAAAGk0/DXMGpSciq6c/s1600/DSC_0034.JPG (and read the gear bit here if you are interested: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2013/09/stetinds-sydpilaren-south-pillar.html ) basically two and half sets, and it was a bit too much. Same with cams. I agree that it's always better to have a bit too much than too little, but you can get to a point where you finish a pitch still with lots of gear and finding the right size from a skirt of gear gets more of a hassle.

Of course there are loads of other factors - granite tends to be quite reliable rock, you sink a number 6 nut deep into a crack and you can trust it and feel good climbing above that gear. But some other rock types or with small gear it nice to have "nest" of runners when you find the placements, to give you that confidence that something will stick!
BnB - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Nice write up. And a very similar rack to mine if you exchange your superlights for my offsets. I agree two of each in the popular cams feels right for big pitches. That was day to remember wasn't it?
andrewmcleod - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

(all DMM gear)

I put the 7-11 Offsets and the 1-5 Peenuts on one crab, the two largest micro wallnuts (1/2 and 3/4) and the 'solid' wallnuts on another crab, and the 'hollow' wallnuts on another crab. This isn't terrible for organizing similar amounts of nuts on each crab (there are only ~5? on the crab with the biggest nuts, but then they are the biggest nuts) but mostly I just do this so I can rerack them reasonably quickly. I am considering changing it a bit though...
GridNorth - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

There is no right and wrong way, it's a personal preference. I rack 1-6, 7-10 on seperate BD Ovals on the right. I then rack 1-6 lightweight rocks and DMM Offsets 1-5 and 1 x brass offset(the largest) on the left. 2 x smaller Torque nuts and larger cams, 2 per krab, on the right. Smaller cams go on the left. Micro wires go at the back but on the front right if I am confident I will need them. Big cams and Torque nuts only get carried if I have some certainty that they are required. On a long multi-pitch routes at my grade limit, E2/3 in Morocco for example I wuold carry the lot but use a bandolier for the bigger bits of gear.

I prefer this system because it is easier to get the next size, up or down, without having to put the whole bunch back. When I have climbed with friends racks with similar sizes bunched together I find it can take longer to get the correct nut. This a particular problem early in the season when I haven't got my eye in. It is also easier to check that you haven't lost anything.

It's all very mathematical and organised but I'm a bit anal like that.
HeMa on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

Depends on the route and whotnot.

On longer routes I generally have about 2 sets (generally a little less), roughly one set per biner (so one set per side). These biners might not include the smallest sizes (more or less size 3 upwards)

If thin climbing is expected, I have a third small biner with small nuts & micros.


For shorter routes (a few pitches or single pitch), I generally take one biner and perhaps add a few extras from the other (if the route looks like it).
Gordon Stainforth - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Small to medium are divided equally across two wiregates but actually kept on the same side of harness. Big wires all together on one wiregate on the other. In fact I keep all small-medium on the right and all big gear on the left, though I class BD Camalot 2 as "medium". This has never caused serious issues, yes I have had annoying moments in chimneys or in hard positions having to reach to my right with my left hand to fumble for the right gear, but overall I like it. Horses for courses

My system was more or less identical to yours, except I had a bunch of very small/small wires in addition. Plus a few things, steeped in superstition, on the back of my harness, like my talismanic Moac and doubled tie-offs for long runners.
Gordon Stainforth - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Actually, also, for big long pitches, quite a few big nuts, like hexencentrics, hanging on individual krabs on the back right side of my harness.
BarrySW19 on 01 Sep 2014
> In reply to highclimber:
>
> There's no 'experts' on here - it's the internet!

Funny, I've never met anything but experts on the internet. :-)
AlanLittle - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to RyanOsborne:

> On a slight tangent, I've just started using the BD Oval Wires for racking, and they're much better than the asymmetric ones I was using before.

Yes but, FORTY_FIVE GRAMMES? The horror! Have you taken leave of your senses?

(Sorry, I've just been reading the "what does your rack weigh?" thread)

Firestarter on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I rack mine the same, but I double up on the last/first numbers - so I'll have 1 - 6 and 6 -10. I also prefer ovals, the wires don't get so bunched up I find.
Merlin - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

I rack mine by my thumb size, so I know at a glance/touch whether the required wire is bigger or smaller.

Bigger or the same on one krab, smaller on another. If I'm carrying two sets of nuts I use the same technique over 4 krabs. I would use the same principle for offsets and rack them on the same krabs as the other wires.
Martin Hore - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

I'm a bit old fashioned re the choice of wires I carry - all WC rocks plus a set of DMM brass offsets - but it works for me. I rack the rocks on 4 colour coded krabs (WC featherlights from the 80's - long since withdrawn from sale because of their sharp 9mm radius and low gate-open strength). I rack 10,9,8,7 - 9,8,7,6,5 - 6,5,5,4,4,3 - 4,3,3,2,2,1,1. The overlaps mean I seldom pick the wrong set (at least until I'm a way up the pitch) and I can drop any of the sets and still have a full range (Rocks 1 and 2 are overlapped by my brass offsets and rock 10 by my smallest hex. I rack all the wires on one side but near the front so I can reach with either hand.

I'm seriously contemplating breaking my 20 year old system and investing in some DMM offsets in larger sizes, but I'm not yet convinced they will work better than Rocks 4 and upwards placed sideways.

It's all personal preference of course.

Martin
Stewart_DarkSide - on 01 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

On the subject of 'dropping' I use a Wild Country leash clipped between my harness & the nut carabiner in case of a butter-fingers moment. Needle Sports sells them separately from the nut key.
AlanLittle - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Stewart_DarkSide:

Good idea. Can you get to far overhead placements with it?
andrewmcleod - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Stewart_DarkSide:

I use a little retracting string-spool type thing (like what bar people sometimes have their little tag for the tills on, or some people use for their key) for my nut key - but it is a bit short sometimes.
Stewart_DarkSide - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:

8' from tip of toe to end of nut... or in simple terms unrestricted reach (they stretch to over 3').
The Ex-Engineer - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB: I just keep it fairly simple; Micros, Small, Medium and Large with a maximum overlap of one size between krabs.

However, more often than not these days my rack gets seriously stripped down to 2 krabs (Smaller & Larger, with no overlap) or even just one krab (e.g. sizes 3-9).

FWIW I think it is pointless worrying too much about the consequences of dropping wires. First, it rarely happens and second, even if it does the outcome in the UK isn't likely to be that serious since these days if the route is relatively hard and serious you'll probably be carrying cams covering a similar size range anyway.
Hooo - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

>. First, it rarely happens

Speak for yourself! :-)
I really need to work on not dropping wires... Although you are right... I've never dropped a whole krab and it's never put me in a serious situation.
alastairbegley - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

until recently i racked my wires on 4 crabs (doubles 1-8)
Micros
1-4
5-8
8-11

However, I have just been converted to ovals so now rack my wires
Micros
1-6
6-11

Thankfully, I have only dropped an entire crab of wires once due to trying to fiddle in a crap wire in the middle of a runout. Made the top of the route a bit more exciting
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GrahamD - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to BnB:

I think the actual choice of racking is lessimportant than picking a scheme and just getting used to it. Having said that I never got used to oval karibiners for racking !

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