WVCC Reviews - Supported by Rock Hardware

How To Organise Your Rack!

(Bolder edition December 2007)


For those new to the sport, this can be a daunting task. Should you rack the gear on your harness or on a gear sling? Either way, it is a personal choice.

Most people appear to rack all their gear on the Harness Gear Loops. This can be a nuisance when crack climbing. Apart from scratching all your gear, it can be just painful. However, racking on a Harness works really well for shorter routes and sport climbs! Many climbers cannot stand the weight of a rack of gear around their neck.

I believe the advantages of a Padded Gear Sling with loops on it, out way the disadvantages, when multi-pitch climbing? When swinging leads with your partner, a well organized gear sling can be easily handed over. Saving time one on long multi-pitch routes is a safety issue and shows good judgment.

Either way, the basics of racking the gear is much the same. Rack the gear in order of smallest pieces to the largest ones. This goes for wired nuts, hexes and/or spring loaded camming devices. I like to split a set of 10 wired nuts into two halves. Sizes 1 to 6 on one oval karabiner and sizes 7 to10 on another.

If you double up on your wired nut sizes, I like to keep them on another separate karabiner. If you drop a sub-set of wired nuts for any reason, it is re-assuring to know that you have some more to continue with.

Quick-draws can be clipped directly on to the harness gear loops. You can organize sling (dogbone) lengths in sets on individual loops.

Quick-draws can be clipped into other quickdraws to save loop space.

Spare karabiners can be clipped into each other in sets and racked off one krab. Accessory gear like prussics, gloves, chalk bag etc can be clipped to the rear of the harness.

60cm and 120cm (twisted) slings can be put over your shoulder. If you are using a gear sling, remember to put the slings above the gear sling. You may wish to extend a quick-draw or wrap around a rock bollard. They need to be lifted off with ease. I carry long slings or cordelettes in a small purposely made nylon bag and hang it off the rear of my harness.

There is no right or wrong way to organize your rack. Experiment. Over time you will develop a personal preference for what works best for you. Climbing location and style of climbing may dictate your decision?

Safe climbing...

Regards Steve.

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