Getting a wide range of climbing protection is an essential step for any aspiring climber. This includes both passive and active protection. Passive climbing protection refers to pieces without moving parts. On the other hand, active protection pieces are made with moving parts.
Passive protection climbing items, such as hexentrics, nuts, micronuts, tube chocks, and tri-cams serve to protect you from possible injury. Also, they can provide you with better overall climbing performance. In this article, we will show you which passive protection items should be found in your climbing kit next to the climbing harness.
Types of Passive Protection
Nuts are the basic part of any passive protection kit. They are also known as chocks, tapers, and stoppers. They are essentially different varieties of tapered metal wedges that are attached to a cable with a loop on one end.
The wedge fits into a crack while the other end is connected to an anchor. It is designed to stay in place even if a load is attached to the wire. Some nut models have special cutout areas that provide a better fit for rocky and uneven surfaces and are used for different climbing techniques.
Nuts are available in many sizes, from size 1 to size 13. The dimensions can vary depending on the shape and the manufacturer. To get the most adequate placement, you should maximize the area of the wedge that gets in contact with the rock. Nuts are not a good fit for parallel-sided cracks due to their wedge shape.
The most common passive protection is an aluminum wedge with curved faces as well as a concave and a convex side. Besides, nuts can have a front-to-back and a front-to-bottom taper. These types of passive protection climbing items are called offset nuts and are more secure when it comes to pinning scars and flares.
2. Micro Nuts
There are extra small nut options, such as size 0. Typically, any nut model that is smaller than size 7 is called a micro nut. There are a few larger micro sizes in every starter nut set. Micro nuts are used in case no other climbing protection fits. They are typically used in old piton scars and thin cracks by many aid climbers.
Micro nuts generally do not have enough surface area for a good hold due to their tiny size. That is why most of them are made from a softer material, such as copper and brass. These metals can easily be molded to any rock shape, which creates a better placement by increasing the contact area.
Hexentrics are six-sided tubes of an asymmetrical shape that do not require a hammer to be placed adequately. They are placed just like nuts – directly into the narrow sections of the crack. Hexentrics are typically used in parallel-sided, widening, and tapering cracks. If a downward pull is applied, the wedges and the hexentrics will rotate and secure themselves tightly inside the crack.
Because of this special rotating placement, hexentrics are basic passive protection climbing items that allow you to get a secure hold when dealing with parallel-sided cracks. This means you will be safe from accidentally falling and injuring your body. Getting adequate hexes is as important as getting quality climbing chalk or climbing shoes.
Tri-cams are a type of climbing protection that provides versatile support. It can be seen as a cam and nut hybrid that is useful when it comes to cracks that are too straight-sided or too large for nuts. They have a sling instead of a wire that is connected to an anchor. Besides, they have a point on one side and are rounded on the other side.
A tri-cam should be placed into a crack and secured into place. Keep in mind that properly placing these items requires some practice. However, once you master the technique, you will be able to enjoy its benefits, even if you are just getting into rock climbing.
5. Tube Chocks
Tube chocks are protective items that are suitable for pockets and parallel-sided cracks that are extra wide. They come in many available sizes, from 3’’ to 12’’. To put it simply, tube chocks can be compared to a curtain rod in the shower.
They utilize a powerful spring mechanism that allows them to expand and firmly lock into place. Tube chocks are supported by a locking collar that holds them tightly. These items are designed to resist pull coming from any direction. This means they can be used in angled, horizontal, and vertical cracks in many types of climbing.
Q: How Do You Use Passive Protection?
When deciding where to place a passive climbing protection item, look for a crack with a narrowing that is similar in shape compared to the nut. Once you find the right shape, attach some load to check whether it fits properly. You should also pay attention to the direction of the force that is going to be applied.
Q: What are Stoppers Used for in Climbing?
Stoppers, or nuts, are used for protection in rock climbing. They are metal wedges attached to a wire and they serve to protect you from falling. They should be placed into a narrowing crack of the rock. Make sure they fit properly and they are able to hold a load. Stoppers come in different sizes and shapes.
Globo Surf Overview
To enjoy risk-free climbing, you need to invest in proper passive climbing protection. These climbing items refer to protective gear that does not have any moving parts but still provides you with the necessary support.
Passive protection includes nuts, micro nuts, hexentrics, tri-cams, as well as tube chocks. Every climber has different climbing needs, so you should choose your climbing protection according to your climbing technique and location. It is important to keep in mind that you should also get appropriate active climbing protection to be completely secure.