Pack Your Bags

BONUS WEEK! Check out the picture of the route below.  The first person to guess the route correctly will get a random book out of Treasure Tub of Books.  Tempting, I know.  Here’s a hint…it’s in the Gunks.

My name is Brian, and I am a gear junkie.

One of the things I enjoy most about climbing (aside from the actual, well, climbing) is the gear.  It’s shiny, it’s esoteric…it’s like proof of membership in an exclusive brotherhood, where you have to know to understand, and outsiders just don’t get it.

Kevin Jorgeson posted his gear list for his upcoming trip to Yosemite, and Climbing Narcissist estimated the costs to be between $5,000-6,000.  After wiping the drool off of my chin at the sheer number of cams he is bringing with him (and will need!), I started thinking about the gear that I carry with me.

100_0037Two summers ago, my wife cleaned up and painted one of our spare bedrooms and converted into an office, obstensibly for the both of us, but in reality I probably get the most use out of it.  One of the cool things that she did was get the small closet in there cleaned out so that I could have a gear closet.  I have it all organized now, and it makes packing for trips so much easier.

This is the rack (I’m rather proud of it, modest as it is):
Metolius Rangefinder Cams, sizes 1-8 (with 2 #6s)
Metolius Stoppers, #1-8
15 OP Doval Wire Gate biners
5 BD straight gate biners
5 BD bent gate biners
5 or 6 OP locking pear biners
15-20 2′ slings (this seems to fluctuate from trip to trip)
4′ 6mm cordalette loop
Petzl Corax harness
Petzl Elios helmet
Mad Rock Demon
FiveTen Coyotes

Gunks, Fall 2008, seconds before falling as I attempted to reverse a move after my last cam popped out.  20 feet above my last piece.

Gunks, Fall 2008, seconds before falling as I attempted to reverse a move after my last cam popped out. 20 feet above my last piece. BONUS: Name that route!

During our last trip to the Gunks this past spring, we had what I would qualify as one of the best trips yet.  We only were able to get one day of climbing in due to the weather, but the one day that we were able to pull on some routes was rather productive.  We completed three routes of 2-3 pitches each (which isn’t bad considering I was the only one there able to set gear and we had a group of about 8 people there).  I was so unbelievably tired at the end of the day that I could barely walk.  I got back to the camp site (which was, rather unwisely, at the top of a very steep hill).  It was an awesome tired.

I’ve tallied the value of my gear before (I think that I still may, may be under the $1,000 mark, but not by much), but I was curious as to how much the gear that I carried up with me every time I climb a route that requires gear weighed.  My brother, sister-in-law and I started trying to figure it out, and when we got home I weighed the gear.

(I’m sure that there is more, but this is just what I can remember off of the top of my head.)

Grand total: 25 pounds of gear are clipped to my harness and slung over my shoulder every time I start a trad climb.

Granted, my rack isn’t anything special, and I’m sure it will grow (who can’t use a few more cams? I need some 0’s and 00’s).  I did make a decision early on in the building of my rack to try and cut weight as much as possible.  While I never really had the money to go completely with Dyneema slings, I did keep the weight down by going with the Dovals.  They are super light and probably have led to a few ounces in weight savings.

I love gear.  My 20% coupon from REI came today (with the catalog for the fall sale with not a single piece of climbing gear shown…a rant for another day), and if I can get the funds together, I think it’s time to get something new.  Maybe.  Any suggestions?  And how do you keep your rack light?


6 comments so far

  1. John on


    • clmbr121 on

      A nice guess, but ultimately, incorrect. You’ll have to head to the other side of the highway to get this one.

  2. John on

    C’mon. Give another hint. Gotta be between 5.3 and 5.7.

    • clmbr121 on

      You’re right about the grade range. After Uberfall, before Betty.

  3. John on

    If it really is between the Uberfall and Betty, it must be among these: Boston; Dennis; Belly Roll; Jackie; RMC; I think my guess is RMC. The grade I’ll narrow to 5.4 t 5.6, right?

    • clmbr121 on

      Grades, correct. It is not RMC, but tantalizingly close. I did climb RMC this past spring after our trip there. It rained on me at the top of the third pitch, but wow, what a great climb.

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