Best Hexes for Climbing

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Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the best hexes for climbing helpful.


The Vail Valley is home to world-famous ice-climbing, mixed climbing and trad rock climbing. These routes usually boast wet, icy or muddy conditions that lend themselves to passive protection that won’t slip like cams and other active protection can do in these demanding conditions.

Nuts, stoppers and hexes (hexcentrics) are all examples of passive protection, meaning they do not have any moving parts. Generally, these terms are interchangeable however, each has its own unique size, shape and purpose but there can be a lot of overlap.

The best thing about passive pro is, it works where cams just don’t. Passive pro is wedged (not hammered) into a crack or other any opening in the rock. They are attached to the rope through the use of a carabiner and then to a loop of webbing, sling, cord or a cable which is attached to the pro.

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Hexes (hextronics) are a type of nut that is hollow with a hexagonal shape and tapered ends, it is threaded with a sling or wired. Sides may be straight or curved although curved models are usually easier to remove from the rock.


Nuts are a basic passive pro with some variety of a tapered metal wedge attached to a wire cable that has a loop on the end.


Stoppers – are a type of nut (or chock) that is ideal for constricting cracks. They are like a bolt, but will not permanently damage the rock.


Here are 9 suggestions for “must-have” passive pro that deserves a place on your trad rack.

Rock climbing is considered a dangerous activity, if you are new to the sport, seek out experts for more advice and experience using these types of protection.

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See Also: Ice & Mixed Climbing in the Vail valley


Best Hexes for Climbing


DMM Offset Alloy Nut Set

Since 1981, DMM’s driving mission has been to make the best possible recreational climbing and mountaineering equipment at the best price. They show this beautifully with these incredibly popular offset alloy climbing nuts. These are the gold standard of passive protection.

  • Heads are made of aluminum alloy with steel cables
  • Labels are positioned upside down to easily read the size when hanging on your harness
  • Bright anodized color coding makes it easy to tell them apart
  • Asymmetrical taper offers stable protection in offset cracks, pin scars and small flaring pots.
  • Unique shape offers two placement orientations; one that is offset and one that’s less tapered and more traditionally shaped.
  • Grooved face for additional grip
  • Hollowed out sides and holes in larger sized nuts reduces weight
  • Great protection for wet and icy conditions
  • Recessed wires reduce wear
  • Pair with Wallnuts for complete all season crack protection.
  • 5 nuts (size 7-11) covers a ton of size placements
  • Weight: (#7) 27g, (#8) 30g, (#9) 37g, (#10) 45g, (#11) 56g
  • Strength: 12kN

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Black Diamond Wired Hexentrics Set – 4-10

Since 1957, Black Diamond has been creating innovative gear designs and making the best gear possible for climbers and skiers. Their products are durable, dependable and of the highest-quality.

  • Heads are made of aluminum with swaged galvanized steel cables
  • Hexes come racked on an oval wire carabiner
  • Size 4-10
  • Classic, simple, lightweight, functional and strong passive pro
  • Subtle asymmetrical cross-section, flat sides and slight end-wise taper
  • Offering three different widths when turned on their axes and another when placed end-wise for tons of options.
  • Easy to rack and place in bottlenecks
  • Claimed weight (#4) 51 g (1.8 oz) / (#5) 53 g (1.9 oz) / (#6) 64 g (2.3 oz) / (#7) 86 g (3 oz) / (#8) 94 g (3.3 oz) / (#9) 124 g (4.4 oz) / 164 g (5.8 oz)
  • Strength: size 1-3: 6 kN / size 4-11: 10 kN

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Wild Country Rockcentric Set

Wild Country has a long and distinguished history of producing the world’s finest climbing gear, and this Rockcentric hex set is no exception. This hextronic set will help you take your climbing to the next level.

  • Heads are made of anodized aluminum with Dyneema slings
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Color coded hexes match with color coordinated 14kn Dyneema sling
  • Shape offers 4 placement options per hex
  • Set includes sizes #5-9
  • Claimed weight: ((#5)1.89 oz / (#6) 2.42 oz / (#7) 3.19 oz / (#8) 4.13 oz / (#9) 5.46 oz
  • Strength 14 kN

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Metolius Ultralight Curve Hex w/Sling

Named after the headwaters of the Metolius River, this iconic climbing company has been innovating for more than 35 years to make the strongest, safest, most bomb-proof gear in the world. They always seem to get it right.

  • Heads are made of anodized aluminum
  • Cable is directly attached to the hex for lightweight
  • 13 mm Monster slings for better extension and less rope drag
  • Color-coded collars makes for easy size identification
  • Sold individually sizes available: #5-#10
  • Claimed weight: (#5) 1.7 oz / (#6) 1.9 oz / (#7) 2.5 oz / (#8) 3.3 oz / (#9) 4.7 oz / (#10) 5.5 oz

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Camp Pro Nuts Set #1-7

Founded in 1889, C.A.M.P. sets the bar for technical mountaineering and safety equipment for workers at height. They make the lightest piece of gear in nearly every climbing category that they sell. When you want to shed weight, look no farther!

  • Set includes sizes #1 – #7
  • Curved design provides secure placements and easy removal
  • Grooves help with setting and extraction in hard stone
  • Color-coded heads for faster identification and easy selection
  • Wire steel cable
  • Cover a similar range with seven sizes as nine sizes take in other brands
  • Less nuts means reduced rack weight
  • Claimed weight (#1) 0.4 oz / (#2) 0.7 oz / (#3) 1.1 oz / (#4) 1.3 oz / (#5) 1.4 oz / (#6) 1.7 oz / (#7)1.9 oz

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Black Diamond Micro Stopper

Black Diamond is a leader in the climbing industry and these innovative nuts are no exception. Descendants of the original chocks that started the clean climbing revolution, these stoppers are essential for every trad rack.

  • Heads are made from a Copper/Iron mix to provide maximum bite in thin placements
  • Galvanized swaged cable is durable, stronger, more flexible and less prone to fraying
  • Versatile, traditional passive trapezoidal shaped pro for thin cracks and hairline seams.
  • Subtle curve on their longest face for maintaining utility in near-parallel cracks while still catching on crystals and irregularities.
  • Sizes #1 and #2 are for direct aid only
  • Less prone to shearing, but provide the bite found in brass nuts
  • Claimed weight (g): 4 (#1) 4 grams / (#2) 7 grams / (#3) 10 grams / (#4) 13 grams / (#5) 15 grams / (#6) 21 grams
  • Strength (kN): (#1) kN:2 / (#2) kN:3 / (#3) kN:5 / 6 (#4) kN:6 / (#5) kN:6 / (#6) kN:8
  • Will be an indispensable component to your trad rack and virtually weightless.

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DMM Peenut Set No. 1-5

Like their cousins the DMM Offset Alloy Nuts and the DMM torque nuts, these micro-nuts are the industry standard and ensure your tiny seam and pin scar prowess when climbing more fragile rock.

  • Heads are made of aluminum with steel cables
  • Set of five micro-sized stoppers for trad climbing #1- #5
  • Offset shape fits tiny cracks, pin scars, flared and irregular-shaped cracks
  • Large surface area dissipates forces in fragile rock better
  • Color-coded heads are easy to identify
  • Claimed weight: (#1) 0.28oz / (#2) 0.31oz / (#3) 0.35oz / (#4) 0.56oz / (#5) 0.63oz
  • Strength: (#1) 4 kN / (#2) 5 kN / (#3) 5 kN / (#4) 8 kN / (#5) 8 kN

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Metolius Astro Nuts

Metolius Astro Nuts are silicon-bronze micro climbing nuts that are lighter and less bulky than many other micro-nuts. Metolious boasts gear made by climbers for climbers and this passive pro is an excellent example of that motto.

  • Heads are made of silicon-bronze alloy
  • Color coded anodized collars for easy identification and selection
  • Sold individually or as sets, Aid Set (#1 – 5) or Free Set (#6 – 10)
  • Similar concept as Curve Nuts but in micro-sizing.
  • Ideal for flares and pin scars.
  • Claimed weight: (#1) 5.7g/0.20 oz / (#2) 6.0g/0.21 oz / (#3) 6.2g/0.22 oz / (#4) 6.5g/0.23 oz / (#5) 7.0g/0.25 oz / (#6) 11.0g/0.39 oz / (#7) 13.9g/0.49 oz / (#8) 16.2g/0.56 oz / (#9) 21.8g/0.77 oz / (#10) 26.9g/0.95 oz
  • Strength: (#1) 1.4kN / (#2) 1.4kN / (#3) 2.5kN / (#4) 2.5kN / (#5) 2.5kN / (#6) 6kN / (#7) 6kN / (#8) 6kN / (#9) 8kN / (#10) 8kN

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DMM Torque Nut Set with Sling

The DMM Torque Nuts are perfect protection for parallel sided cracks and other difficult rock crevices. Their unique shape allows for multiple orientations, giving you a wide range of placement with only four sizes. This is a true game changer.

  • Heads are made from lightweight aluminum alloy
  • Torque nut set includes 4 sizes: #1- #4
  • Double Dyneema slings but are available in a wired version too.
  • Extendable sling reduces rope drag without extra quickdraws, and can be replaced with DMM’s in-house re-slinging service.
  • Softer edges and a double reverse taper resists rotating and rocking
  • Anodized color-coded for easy identification and size selection
  • Offers multiple orientations, allowing each piece to fit several sizes and shapes of crack
  • Ideal protection for parallel sided cracks
  • Suitable for use in all conditions including wet and icy conditions and where friction is reduced. .
  • Claimed weight: (#1) 54 grams /1.9oz / (#2)70 grams/2.5oz / (#3) 104 grams 3.7 oz / (#4) 146 grams/5.2oz
  • Load strength: 14 kN

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See Also: Best Ice Climbing Gear


Comments

We hope you found this article about the best hexes for climbing helpful. What is your favorite type of passive pro? When do you find yourself reaching for a nut, hex or stopper? Do you prefer slings or wired cables and why? What are your favorite routes for passive pro? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories about using hexes or any other types of pro. Thanks for reading.




Related Articles: Rock Climbing near Vail, CO


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