Beginner’s Traditional Climbing Rack

A rather advance rack, with virtually every cam size available, great if you about to embark on a long adventurous route somewhere, but not necessarily ideal for a beginner!

I am often asked what equipment a beginner would need to start climbing outside, and the answer depends on where and what you want to climb. If it is multipitch climbing then you will need a few more quickdraws and screwgates between you and your climbing partner.

However the essential are:


Wires: 1 to 10 wires, although eventually you’ll want 2 sets of 1 to 10m and a size 11. These need to be racked large, medium and small on three separate carabiners when you get up to 21 wires you want no more than seven of each carabiner.

Hexes: Three is a good number to start with start from the size bigger than a number 11 wire and go up to size 9 from there.

Camming devices: Based on the DMM sizes I recommend a size 1, 2, 3.

Quickdraws: Eight is a good number to start with, in terms of length go for 2 short, 2 medium, 2 long and 2 extra long (4ft – 120cm sling tripled over).

Slings: 2 x 8ft – 240 cm Slings with one screwgate for each. 1 x 16ft – 480cm Sling plus screwgate.

Screwgate: 2 HMS carabiners and 2 D shaped carabiners

Rope: 1 x 50 metre single rope (10mm to 11mm)

Advance Rack

If you have the above and are starting to go up through the grades then consider getting more cams, both smaller and larger. More slings of both 120 cm and 240cm, you’ll also need at least 12-14 quickdraws when it comes to harder, longer and more complex pitches. You’ll also need to consider getting some micro wires like DMM peenuts, micro-walnuts and IMP’s.

For free advice on what you need for a rack contact mark reeves here.

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