A broad selection of nuts and hexes form the basis of a traditional climbing rack, and so they should Ė any time spent trad climbing is time spent spotting and filling nut placements, again and again, ad infinitum (until you start dreaming about nut placements!).
Itís no surprise that we form a very close relationship with this part of our racks. And itís not long before we develop an acute understanding of what does and what doesnít work well on our favourite crags. You know youíre going well when you can look at a crack and guess the correct size for each placement, first time - every time!
The three most popular styles of wired nut are DMM Wallnuts
, Wild Country Rocks
and Black Diamond Stoppers
. They are all similar, but different in subtle ways and most climbers mix and match at least two styles in their rack.
Cracks come in all shapes and sizes of course so make sure you're prepared for all eventualities. For the tiny fissures there are micro wires such as the DMM I.M.P. Brass Nut
, and for the bigger cracks there are cow bell
style nuts such as DMM Torque Nuts
and Wild Country Rockcentrics
There are also quirkier options such as the DMM Offsets
Ė a surprisingly effective design which often works well where your standard Wallnuts, Rocks or Stoppers are struggling to bite. Camp has two strange looking, but strangely effective designs: the Tricam
(which works well in quarry shot holes) and the Ballnut
which fits old peg slots well.
The best tactic is to build up a varied rack - the more choice you have, the better your chance of staying safe on the crag. With micro nuts in particular it is always worth having a decent selection, as you may need to bunch and equalise the placements. They also donít weigh very much so even doubling the number you carry will have little effect on the overall weight of your rack.