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General => Rock Climbing: Trad => Topic started by: danf on September 07, 2012, 09:31:05 PM

Title: "Typical" rack?
Post by: danf on September 07, 2012, 09:31:05 PM
I'm starting to think about trying to put together a rack as money allows... Question is, what is considered a "full rack" for this area?  There's obvious items- nuts, tapers, etc- but is a single set enough?  And what sizes?  What are the common cam sizes that are used (I know each manufacturer labels differently...)?  How many people use tri-cams?

Before anyone asks, I have no experience leading or following trad at this point.  It is definitely something I want to learn though.  I want to start putting together a rack now, so that when I am at the point of climbing trad routes (either leading or following) I don't show up empty-handed.  I do want to start playing around with the gear on the ground (or even on sport climbs) to familiarize myself with it. 

Thanks for any insight!
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on September 07, 2012, 09:40:33 PM
Start with a single set of stoppers  BD sizes or equivilant #4 to #13  eventualy you will want doubbles of #4 to #8 a single set of cams from 1/4 in to 3" would be the eventual goal.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 07, 2012, 10:13:15 PM
To OP, looks like you might be a number of months late for a great deal on a complete rack from Al :) -
http://www.neclimbs.com/SMF_2/index.php/topic,5728.0.html 

p.s.  Do not even get people like Strand started on tri-cams!  I used them some in NH but much more so at The Gunks.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DLottmann on September 07, 2012, 10:41:19 PM
Don't "double up" on ANYTHING until you have some mileage under your belt. Many, many, new climbers over-buy out of eagerness early on. I would recommend:

1 set of BD Stoppers, size 4-13
The Pink, Brown, and Blue Tri-cam
A few finger-tip cams, either aliens or C3's
BD Cams .4 thru #2 or #3
8 shoulder length slings
16 biner's for above slings, I like the Petzl Ange if you go dyneema for above slings
2 quick draws
2 double length nylon slings
1 shoulder length nylon sling (for racking)
1 cordelette
5 lockers
1 belay device
2 prussiks

That's my general set-up for most anything New England. Occasionally you need something else but your route research will tell you that and by then you'll know who to borrow it from.

And since I learned from a lot of reading and some professional guides, and later became a guide, I'd suggest finding one of those as well, unless you can hook up with an awesome mentor, or squared away climbing club/group. A few days with a good guide can be well worth it...

My guiding philosophy: http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/guiding-philosophy/
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: Smear on September 08, 2012, 06:18:39 AM
Hey Dman,
one thing I would add is the Red tricam. ;)
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 08, 2012, 09:49:31 AM
I much prefer Wild Country Rocks to BD stoppers,,, no need for any tiny cams right away...1"-3: is fine.. I like WC or Wired Bliss.

Cordalette ? nope,, prussiks ?  never used them, they get in the way, a standard sling can do the same thing. MORE BINERS !!!!!
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DWT on September 08, 2012, 09:57:59 AM
I would add a lightweight knife to the kit.  I keep a small knife and tibloc on a biner that never leaves my harness.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 08, 2012, 10:17:34 AM
Yeah, red tri-cam.  Good size. :)   And I prefer DMM Wall Nuts.
And, DMan, why 5 locking biners, not just 3 and more non-locking?
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 08, 2012, 12:42:04 PM
Lockers ?  I used to own two, lost one and never had a need for two again. It goes on my harness and comes off at the end of the day.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 08, 2012, 12:44:41 PM
Yeah, red tri-cam.  Good size. :)   And I prefer DMM Wall Nuts.
And, DMan, why 5 locking biners, not just 3 and more non-locking?

I was going to say practically the same thing, pink and red tricam (usually not carried except for on whitehorse or at the gunks) and I only carry 2 lockers - one for tying in to belay and one for when I need to come off the belay onto a leash. (My partners always carry their own 2 lockers.) I could see 3 lockers though, because sometimes it's cool to have one available for a critical clip.

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 08, 2012, 12:46:58 PM
Lockers ?  I used to own two, lost one and never had a need for two again. It goes on my harness and comes off at the end of the day.

Curious, if you're tied into the belay and need to come off onto a leash, what do you do?
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 08, 2012, 12:55:06 PM
Yeah, 4 lockers between leader and second should be just about ideal.  Carry 3 lockers like JBrochu said if your second only has one.  If I find myself a locker short, I use two non-locking with opposite gates and opposed at the anchor(s).  I sometimes use a locker for a critical piece, e.g., Jesus nut.  And one of my lockers is on the rope end of a draw.

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DLottmann on September 08, 2012, 12:55:23 PM
It takes two lockers to use a Reverso or Atc Guide for belaying a second of an anchor, plus 1 to clove in with, so Ild say 3 minimum.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 08, 2012, 01:00:44 PM
Ah, DMan, now I get it.  Yes, not being a guide,  I do not yet own one of these fancier devices.  Thinking about it though.  On that note, which do you prefer?  Reverso 3 or ATC Guide?

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 08, 2012, 01:03:32 PM
I would add a lightweight knife to the kit.  I keep a small knife and tibloc on a biner that never leaves my harness.

I keep my tiny little knife in the zippered pouch on my chalkbag, along with 2 aluminum rap rings in case I want to replace/clean up some tat in the woods. For the same reason, a few of my shoulder slings are always tied nylon.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 08, 2012, 01:20:34 PM
Lockers ?  I used to own two, lost one and never had a need for two again. It goes on my harness and comes off at the end of the day.

Curious, if you're tied into the belay and need to come off onto a leash, what do you do?
Like to rap ??? I clip direct to the anchors with slings and  single biners,get the rap ready.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: wivanoff on September 08, 2012, 01:24:43 PM
Lot's of good advice here.

When/if you do decide to double up on stoppers, might I suggest getting them from a different manufacturer? ie: if you have BD stoppers, get similar size WC Rocks or DMM Wallnuts. The slight difference in size and shape is sometimes very helpful.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 08, 2012, 04:39:26 PM
Lockers ?  I used to own two, lost one and never had a need for two again. It goes on my harness and comes off at the end of the day.

Curious, if you're tied into the belay and need to come off onto a leash, what do you do?
Like to rap ??? I clip direct to the anchors with slings and  single biners,get the rap ready.

Yeah for a rap. This is where I use my second locker and was wondering what you do with only 1.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: danf on September 08, 2012, 06:35:02 PM
And since I learned from a lot of reading and some professional guides, and later became a guide, I'd suggest finding one of those as well, unless you can hook up with an awesome mentor, or squared away climbing club/group. A few days with a good guide can be well worth it...
That's in the thought process going forward.  I wish I'd been climbing a year ago- around a year ago I did some work for one of the members on this forum (just now discovered he is here) and found out he was a climber then but had no experience myself at that point.  At a minimum I would have hit him up for more advice at the time.  The guy that taught me to lead climb (sport) also climbs trad and has taught many people over the last several years so he's an option.  But utilizing the services of a guide is definitely something that I've thought about.  But in the meantime, it's a lot of reading and asking questions!
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DLottmann on September 08, 2012, 07:13:32 PM
Ah, DMan, now I get it.  Yes, not being a guide,  I do not yet own one of these fancier devices.  Thinking about it though.  On that note, which do you prefer?  Reverso 3 or ATC Guide?

I own both and don’t feel the differences are big enough to make either really stand out, especially the newest incarnations. That being said I almost NEVER use them in “guide” mode, more accurately “direct belay off the anchor mode” as I also carry a Trango Cinch which I do 95% of my 2nd belaying with. Main reason is almost friction-less take in of rope as the 2nd climbs. Even better than the Gri Gri in that regard, and can be installed on a loaded rope as an emergency ascender, handy for leader rescue.

Getting back to Reverso/Guide one nice advantage to carrying one over a regular ATC is they have the ability to function as an emergency ascender, and with practice you could switch from belaying a leader to ascended the loaded rope to help a fallen/injured or unconscious leader with just one prussik added to the system.

Leader rescue is an oft neglected skill in recreational climbers, and it is fallacy to assume the guy your belaying is immune to getting hurt someday. I’ve been refreshing my systems mentally since tomorrow I’m teaching a self-rescue course to a client from one of my avalanche courses last winter.

Somewhat getting off topic, but every trad climber should ask themselves this question:

"If my leader pitches off, whacks himself unconscious, can I get to him safely, stabilize him, and bring him back down to the ground from 3 pitches up Cathedral/Whitehorse/Cannon, etc.”

Skills to be mastered are “Escaping the Belay”, “Ascending a loaded rope”, "Lowering/Counterbalance Rappelling”.

If you know, and practice these skills, you can meet the paramedics at the car, or drive your buddy with a broken ankle to the hospital yourself. If you don’t, you may have to sit tight for hours while rescue services scramble to come get you.

You can learn these skills from books. I couldn’t. I needed hands on instruction. To each their own.

Back on topic:

Forgot the red tri-cam!

I find 8 slings with 2 biners gives me plenty of biners since I rack cams on single biners as well.

5 lockers doesn’t weight shit. Leave the #4 cam at home unless needed. I’m abit OCD so when I have time I’m going to inventory my rack and get an ounce count. I’ll share it at some point.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: Admin Al on September 10, 2012, 06:48:05 AM
if you're climbing here in the Valley I would definitely get all the basic Tricams (ignore what Strandman says). also, just go ahead and get the blue, #3, Camelot. there are lots of places you will use it.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 10, 2012, 09:30:20 AM
Tricams should be named "try placin' them"  ;)

How many people have actually ever had to tie off the leader while the leader was knocked out ???? You have to detach from the belay?? Wow ! and then what do you do ?
How did the leader get knocked out on an overhang ?
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 10, 2012, 10:02:14 AM
Sorry. i cross posted myself.. getting very confused by Dman and how to lower people. I thought i knew... guess not
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: frik on September 10, 2012, 01:40:04 PM
Most importantly - Ignore all the BS about self rescuing....

It sounds like money is an issue, so don't waste it on gear with limited functionality. As Stand said, start with a set of stoppers - the particular brand is not that important - and you don't need the smallest sizes. I'd add a couple hexes as well, ones that are bigger than your largest stoppers but nothing too big. This should give you a fairly decent set of mid range options. A lot of recommendations are "nice to have" items, rather than "gotta have" - which is what you are shooting for.
So assuming you already have a belay device and locker for it, I'd actually skip buying any more lockers until you've got the
meat of the rack taken care of. So maybe enough biners to rack your gear with 15 free (20 total - or thereabouts). For slings, just buy nylon webbing by the foot and make your own with a water knot. To get a quick draw; double up a regular length sling. Seriously climbers did this for decades without everyone dying, so don't be afraid to tie your own, just remember to check the knots every once in a while.   At this point your rack is pretty much what a lot of folks climbed with back in the day. And remember that most of the climbs you'll be leading, were safely climbed many times with nuts only. I hate to say this, but you should probably invest in a nut tool, or better yet, make one - at this point it doesn't need to be fancy. 
And whoever said a knife, is borderline retarded - or climbs at Rock Rimmon on a regular basis.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 10, 2012, 02:07:42 PM
At this point your rack is pretty much what a lot of folks climbed with back in the day.

That's because that was the only gear available to you guys!

Should he purchase a horse to get himself to the crag? After all, that was all his great grandfather needed and he got around just fine!
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DWT on September 10, 2012, 02:34:41 PM
 
And whoever said a knife, is borderline retarded - or climbs at Rock Rimmon on a regular basis.

What's wrong with Rimmon princess?  What do you cut old tat away with?  Your toenails?
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: frik on September 10, 2012, 02:36:35 PM
I've never "had" to cut tat away.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DWT on September 10, 2012, 02:42:29 PM
Hmmm.... rapping of old shitty tat or getting a dollar store knife that weighs an ounce.  Which is retarded?
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: frik on September 10, 2012, 02:52:38 PM
JB - that analogy would possibly be valid if i was advocating for carrying a pocketful of chockstones, or possibly a single soft steel pin. The fact is, passive gear works almost as well as cams in most of the easier & "moderate" NE climbs.

If the OP hadn't mentioned funding issues then I'd advocate for cams etc ...... money solves all problems.
Also: carrying extra rap rings in you chalk bag is moronic. 
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: frik on September 10, 2012, 02:54:22 PM
Nice false dichotomy you got there DWT.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 10, 2012, 03:42:19 PM
Also: carrying extra rap rings in you chalk bag is moronic.

I obviously don't need to carry them, and didn't advocate for OP to carry them, but I can't see how it's in any way moronic.

Two aluminum rap rings weigh almost nothing. There are still lots of places on the cliffs out in the woods where people just rap off a sling without leaving a quicklink, biner, or rings. In those places I cut the tat off and put up a new sling with both rings.

You know what I carry - it's a little more than you, but it's not like I'm walking around with an El Cap rack, or even as much stuff as the average NE trad climber.

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DLottmann on September 10, 2012, 05:36:42 PM
Wow... is there a topic we can have on this website that doesn't get heated?

There are climbers who just add more slings to a rats nest, and there are climbers who are considerate.

ANY rap anchor with more than 2-3 slings/cords on it is bullshit IMO. Cut out the crappy old ones so you can inspect what is left, and add a new one if you have any concern. But adding a new sling to a ratty 5 sling anchor is so 1970 of you ;)

IMO Tricams are more useful in MWV than hexes... Don't forget they can be placed passively as well...

I haven't carried a Hex since 2001. I would recommend them before doubling up on #1-#4 BD cams though...

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DLottmann on September 10, 2012, 05:43:27 PM
How many people have actually ever had to tie off the leader while the leader was knocked out ???? You have to detach from the belay?? Wow ! and then what do you do ?

How did the leader get knocked out on an overhang ?

Not many I'd guess, but I've seen a few unconscious leader's hanging from ropes and I don't feel like I've been at it that long (not my party).

What do you do after detaching from the belay? You ascend the loaded rope to help your partner! Or you call for a rescue. What would you do?

The injury/accident reference in the OTHER thread was not the leader getting knocked out, it was a lowering of the 2nd accident.... Lost control of lowering her back to non-overhanging terrain resulting in sudden deceleration onto a ledge, mainly because lowering someone on an auto-locking plate sucks to begin with and coupled with belaying 2 people at the same time with the same device further complicates the problem.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 10, 2012, 07:08:45 PM
I love this thread.. a guy asks about a basic rack and we talk about somebody dead, hanging on the rope.

other than to get ready to rap, i have never, not once untied from the belay... If the leader is knocked out, then you are in deep shit, esp with one rope.  "you OK ?' If no answer, then good luck. Ya i know how to do it but it's  pretty complicated.

Cams 1"-3"
wires #1-6
biners
slings

That will do ya
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: M_Sprague on September 10, 2012, 07:42:30 PM
What if the leader is passed out, John?

John"s suggestion is a good  stripped down version of what I was thinking. I would want more smaller cams and a full set of nuts to add to that though.

IMO, to start, I really wouldn't feel any rush to run out and buy a bunch of gear just yet. You should and most likely will be following an experienced leader who already has a rack and most leaders prefer leading with their own rack, grabbing a few toys out of yours if they don't have them. They probably would be most happy if you brought a good new rope to beat on rather than theirs and offer to carry a big chunk of the weight. The tradition is that the noobe always carries the rope (plus some of the rack if possible).

As far as getting stuff, once you have a few lockers and a handful of shoulder slings plus two biners per sling (you can make them, but knotted slings can be a pain since the knot catches on things like when you extend your sling from the tripled up alpine draw configuration), I'd pick up a nut tool and a set of rocks or stoppers. For the tool, I would suggest one with a clip and a nice rounded end that doesn't cut into your palm if you have to tap it a little. (there is an art to using them. Force is usually not the way). For a second set of nuts I would recommend some offset ones. If you don't already have them, you should get some quickdraws, various lengths. Next, when you can you will want a good set of cams, like a set of Camalot C4s. They will be what your partner first rifles through  to fill out their rack most likely. I'd skip the #s 5 and 6. I hardly ever use mine. I do use the #4 though. You can get a set of the "favorite" sizes, #.5 to 3 for under $300 and then pick up the #4 and the two smaller sizes when you save up. I think it is worth getting a set of those matching colored Nuetrino biners for racking your cams. I like the biners anyway, but the colors make grabbing the correct cam just that much faster.

That is already a pretty good rack. As you go on and find you like leading certain types of routes you may want to fill it out with more specialized gear like a few more small cams or micro stoppers, but unless you are a gear hog, wait until you have actually used a friends and found them useful and needed. If you climb a bunch on the Whitehorse slabs or at the Gunks, you will probably find a few tricams handy. Hexes can be useful, but if you stay trad climbing, you really are going to want a set of cams. Put the money towards the cams before hexes.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on September 10, 2012, 08:34:48 PM
The knife is for when the leader is dead or close to dead on the sharp end and you need to get home in time for the  football game :P
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 10, 2012, 08:40:03 PM
If the OP hadn't mentioned funding issues then I'd advocate for cams etc ...... money solves all problems.


OP asked what is considered a typical "full rack" for the area. He didn't ask what the bare essential minimum rack is to start with.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: apbt1976 on September 10, 2012, 09:54:28 PM
The knife is for when the leader is dead or close to dead on the sharp end and you need to get home in time for the  football game :P

Yeah no fuck ups or wasting time on Sundays. Gotta be home in time for the game if at all possible. Last  couple years it was no problem for me as i did all my climbing during the week. This year i think my partners are gonna be weekend guys. I have not missed a football game in 2 years. May be a tough football season for me this year. Conflict of interest.

Hows your dog doing ;)
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on September 10, 2012, 10:00:21 PM
Is not me Dog...
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 10, 2012, 10:35:29 PM
Not real time but you football fans ought to get a TiVo or DVR or equivalent so you can have the cake and eat it too! :)
Not too many rock climbing weekends left in NE for 2012 so make the best use of them!
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: apbt1976 on September 11, 2012, 12:59:02 AM
Not real time but you football fans ought to get a TiVo or DVR or equivalent so you can have the cake and eat it too! :)
Not too many rock climbing weekends left in NE for 2012 so make the best use of them!

Shoulder season football then the best season of all "ICE SEASON" plus i just got some big old tires for the truck that make a mess of deep snow and ice. Should be a good winter so long as my feet don't shit the bed on me? If they do i guess i will just hibernate in front of the tv Sunday and Monday night. Tuesday - Friday could be tough though!
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on September 11, 2012, 06:37:30 AM
I could actuaLLY care less about football. just making a joke. one year i climbed ice so late didn't get home untill the 2nd half of the super bowl...
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: apbt1976 on September 11, 2012, 09:34:06 AM
I could actuaLLY care less about football. just making a joke. one year i climbed ice so late didn't get home untill the 2nd half of the super bowl...

Lucky you no conflict of interests  :-*

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: danf on September 11, 2012, 08:40:58 PM
Wow, out of all the various forums I'm on, I think you guys take the cake for thread re-directing....  :D

Leader falls, lowering the second, football and truck tires aside for a second....  I guess I should have mentioned that I am well equipped for toproping and reasonably equipped for sport.  Between regular quickdraws and alpines, I've got around a dozen.  Rope, yes.  Webbing, more than I care to think about at the moment (though there's about 8' less since I left some on top of the Carpet Slab last weekend....).  Lockers- way more than the 2-3 you guys mention. 

Nuts/stoppers have been at the top of my mental list to buy for quite a while (probably because they are about the cheapest from what I've seen).  It's the quantities and all the other stuff that I was unsure of. 

Oh, and FWIW, I usually have a knife on me at all times- even when I'm climbing.  It does not typically get used near the climbing rope, and when I do use it I make sure to cut away from the rope.  Case in point- I cut off an old piece of cord from anchors on the Carpet Slab last weekend simply to have room to clip myself into the anchors while I set up a belay.  If I hadn't had the knife, clipping in would have been difficult at best.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: DWT on September 11, 2012, 08:52:42 PM
  If I hadn't had the knife, clipping in would have been difficult at best.

Viola! :P

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 12, 2012, 12:08:04 AM
There had been times at The Gunks in the past and once on Mechanics Route when I wished I had a knife to cut away some of the scary tat.  Not so much at Whitehorse/Cathedral if I recall correctly.  The fixed slings there appeared 'better maintained'.
Unless the slings are around a big tree, I think two beefy glue-in grey eye-bolts for anchor is so much cleaner and easy on the eye; no more bright-colored tat to attract unwanted attention.

Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: Admin Al on September 12, 2012, 06:50:49 AM
Wow, out of all the various forums I'm on, I think you guys take the cake for thread re-directing....  :D

ain't it the truth...
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on September 12, 2012, 06:51:35 AM
Last time we were up on the last unicorn the belays were horrid! so much grey tat through the bolt hangers that you couldn't clip in the bolts...   they should be rigged with quick links or short sections of chain if they are not even enough for links. sometimes you can even them out by putting two links on one bolt and one quick link w/ 3 links of logging chain on the other. Bolts should never Ever be rigged with nylon as a permanent anchor.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: sneoh on September 12, 2012, 07:17:10 AM
To the OP, yes, a nut tool is good thing to get along with the Stoppers, Wall Nuts, etc.  Small knife?  Sure, if it is not expensive.
About "Bolts should never Ever be rigged with nylon as a permanent anchor.", I feel the same way as well.  Hopefully more and more climbers will come around too! :)
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: strandman on September 12, 2012, 09:13:29 AM
So, should you carry a knife when watching football ?

I have one of those Petzl folding knives but it lives in my van.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: JBro on September 12, 2012, 09:16:38 AM
So, should you carry a knife when watching football ?

Probably, and most certainly if you ever go watch football games in Oakland.
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: Davewalks on September 14, 2012, 09:14:12 PM
Especially in Northern NE, rocks and tri-cams are very cool...tri-cams can be tricky, but good ones are as good as it gets....bad ones suck.

I am not dogmatic about how to set up/equalize anchors, as long as they are equalized or distributed. And--well--cams have their place and their limits. They aren't automatically solid:) And...if you started climbing recently, you probably haven't seen a bolt that looks scarier than a nice #1 stopper.....:)
Title: Re: "Typical" rack?
Post by: danf on December 10, 2012, 09:43:24 PM
And...if you started climbing recently, you probably haven't seen a bolt that looks scarier than a nice #1 stopper.....:)
I posted a pic/link to some pretty sketchy looking bolts on the Carpet Slab, those were bad enough.  Fortunately it's a pretty mild slab, my 6 and 9 year old kids had no issues with that climb so the sketchy-ness of the bolts didn't bother me too much.

Just updating this...  Thanks mostly to Mountain Project classifieds, eBay, Gear Express, and excellent deals I got through EMS (thanks goes to DMan for heads-up on some of it!).... I now have a complete (1-10) set of WC Rocks, some odds and ends of some other nuts, tri-cams .25-2, and essentially all of the C4 sizes covered up to a 3 with a double or 2 thrown in for at least one size (not all are BD's- got a Trango and a couple WC Heliums in the mix on the smaller end).  A couple of nut tools, plenty of slings, draws and 'biners.

What sucks is I'm trying to keep my girlfriend's gear needs in mind too since she is who I primarily climb with.  Talk about doubling the cost!

Most importantly, my kids will have their own climbing helmets under the tree this year! No more adjusting my Ecrin Roc down all the way and trying to adjust the straps to keep it on their heads. :)