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#52315 - 05/27/10 02:03 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: schwortz]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
Originally Posted By: schwortz

if you just bought a set of dmm (i.e. hb) offset brassies then why would you buy rps at 20 bucks a pop? how much brass do you need?


You are right, I don't need that much small stuff. I just asked about older generation RPs in case I stumbled upon a good deal on flea-bay.

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#52318 - 05/27/10 02:19 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: Welle]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Speaking of strength ratings: I had a #1 BD on our rack for no good reason whatsoever - I'd found it walking into the Narrows in Zion - and Scott placed it the other weekend. As the best piece between him & the deck 30ish feet below, for 5-8 feet of steep 5.8+ climbing to follow. He even said something about feeling like he would break that eensy wire just testing it. He still hasn't heard the last of it from me, though you could point out that it was my fault for having it on the rack to start with.

Anyway. For real gear, I/we have HBs down to green - that's #5?, BDs down to #3, and some BD micronuts - 3, 4 and 5, I think. I like the box-ish dimensions of the BDs.

Gabe, do you have rec.s for something similar but better than the BD micros?

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#52320 - 05/27/10 02:57 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: Julie]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
for my regular stoppers, I have a mix of WC and BDs. I never paid attention to, but after climbing on my partner's BD-only set, I realized I like streamlined design of WC Rocks better.

Yes, would like to hear about BD micro alternatives. Don't the new BD micros have some sort of brass/iron alloy to make them softer?

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#52326 - 05/27/10 03:34 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: Welle]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I think a mix of brands is best. You can leave off the tiniest size or two, which really are just aid pieces, and also the biggest sizes, which are covered just as well by the small range of ordinary nut sets.

The extremely asymmetrical nuts (offsets) work best in pin scars in vertical granite cracks, which of course we don't have any of in the gunks. They can be very effective in the gunks too, but are quite tricky to place and are harder to judge because you may not be able to see how much contact you've got, especially if you have to place them narrow side in (which is the pin-scar orientation).

If you have a vertical crack with a flared taper, then an offset narrow-side in is a good bet. But I find them as useful narrow-side out wedged between pebbles. In any case, you have to jerk-test them hard, and be absolutely prepared for them to come flying out when you do. I'll often get the rope clipped in and then climb down to a more solid stance and test "remotely" by jerking on the rope. As usual in the Gunks, double ropes make this somewhat safer. And double ropes make the use of tiny pro overhead a lot safer.

In the sizes you do carry, I think it is worthwhile having multiple choices in the same basic range. One shape may not work well where another shape does, and beyond that if you are hoping for protection for anything beyond the shortest possible falls, you will probably want to be placing at least two in one spot, and/or several very closely spaced.

I don't find it to be true that one only uses these trinkets on 5.10 and above. On the newer routes in the Near Trapps that were done long after the fixed piton convention, I think you'll find essential uses on climbs as easy as 5.7, and plenty of occasions on routes below 5.10. Do not leave the ground without 'em.

In the Trapps, fixed pitons left over from the old days have, in a number of cases, made small wires little more than optional backup pieces. Even so, there are a number of routes in the Trapps below 5.10 where small brassies or their equivalent are extremely useful, and the number may grow as ancient fixed pins disappear.

On routes that don't call for these small nuts in principle, I still find myself using them for opposed placements to keep larger nuts from lifting.

A biner of tiny wires adds negligible weight to the rack, so there's no reason not to carry it on all climbs.

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#52329 - 05/27/10 05:43 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: Julie]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
Originally Posted By: Julie
Gabe, do you have rec.s for something similar but better than the BD micros?


Here's what I use now - the DMM IMPs.

Allison bought me a set for X-mas, and I've only placed them a half a dozen times - which is why I didn't volunteer any info about them in this thread. I like them very much so far, but time will tell - haven't fallen on one yet.

Back to the BD micronuts, my problem with them is that the steel is so hard that on hard rock like at the Gunks or in granite, it tends to catch on little irregularities and pivot, and never seats really well unless the placement is a keyhole. And in soft rock like desert sandstone I like them even less, as they tend to cut through the rock like a hot knife through butter.

I really think brass is where it's at, as it melds to the shape of the rock. And in comparison to other brassies/RPs - the DMM IMPs are harder, and won't shear as easily.

Note - they are not a replacement for offsets since they're straight-sided.

But one nice thing about the straight sides is that you can use them for aid as slider nuts with each other in totally parallel cracks only a few mm deep. I know that's not much of a selling point in the Gunks, I just thought it was cool.

GO

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#52352 - 05/28/10 10:09 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: GOclimb]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
bd swedges/micronuts arent steel - they're copper/iron

if you've only used them a few times how do you know the imp's rip less often? from experience? or are you just parroting dmm's marketing info? they imply the copper alloy is harder than other brass (also copper alloy) so given that the swedges are also a copper/iron alloy i'm having a hard time believing you can tell the difference in shear without some actual numbers...

like rg said....different nuts work well in different places....

but i'll disagree and say if you need to rely on micro-nuts on easy climbs then maybe its better to improve your offense instead of relying on your defense

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#52359 - 05/29/10 02:49 AM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: schwortz]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Ha ha, I'm inclined to say the very same thing about cams. Anyway, I'm sure Gunks 5.7, 5.8, and 5.9 are easy for some people, but certainly not all, and not me in particular. You need the small stuff for some routes at these levels in the Nears unless your offense consists of onsight soloing of those grades.

Here's another thought: if you aren't carrying them on those "easy" routes, then the very first time you'll be trying to place them is when you are at your limit and pumped silly. Wouldn't it make more sense to get used to the funky shapes and learn to spot where they fit before you are maxed out on the "hard" stuff?

It's not as if you are lugging a ton of gear up there if you add a bunch of micro nuts to your rack.

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#52370 - 05/29/10 09:20 PM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
With my experience and the grades I climb you can take my 0.02 with a grain of salt which is why I didn't post immediately.

To the OP: I own BD, Metolius and some old HB curves. I like the curves and Metolius far more than the BD nuts at the Gunks. Actually I no longer carry the BDs.

As far as carrying them I can't think of any reason not to carry them. You get a whole biner full of them for less than the weight one mid-sized cam. Knowing that I can protect a wider range placements provides enough mental security alone to make carrying them worthwhile for me.


Edited by Mark Heyman (05/29/10 09:20 PM)

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#52436 - 06/03/10 12:35 AM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: rg@ofmc]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
ok rg. you've got me.

you _could_ say the same about cams.
you would be basically soloing/pretty runout on some routes.
and it would make sense to learn how to place them.

but it still doesnt mean they're going to hold a fall...
and you still dont need more than a set of them for most routes

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#52437 - 06/03/10 12:40 AM Re: Which Micro Stoppers? [Re: schwortz]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
Originally Posted By: schwortz
bd swedges/micronuts arent steel - they're copper/iron


Okay, iron rather than steel. The point is that they are hard as hell, and just skitter right off crystals. I've had one pull on a small fall because I couldn't get the damn thing to seat.

Quote:
if you've only used them a few times how do you know the imp's rip less often? from experience?


Where did I say that the IMP's rip less often than the micronuts? Where did I say anything about having experience about how often they rip?

Quote:
like rg said....different nuts work well in different places....


No shit, sherlock. And there are certainly places that the BD micronuts will fit perfectly. As has been noted recently, even a stopped watch is right twice a day. Hell, even machine nuts or a pocket full of pebbles would be better than nothing. But believe me, for years I tried to like the BD micros, and always was much happier with the brassies on other people's racks.

GO

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