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Rock Protection (Trad Gear)


Chocks (also known as Rocks, Nuts or Stoppers)

"Chocks" is a generic term used to describe the various types of artificial protection other than bolts or pitons.




Chocks are essentially a tapered metal wedge constructed in various sizes to fit different sized openings in the rock. The design of a chock will determine whether it fits into one of two categories—wedges or cams. A wedge holds by wedging into a constricting crack in the rock. A cam holds by slightly rotating in a crack, creating a camming action that lodges the chock in the crack or pocket. Some chocks are manufactured to perform either in the wedging mode or the camming mode. One of the chocks that falls into the category of both a wedge and cam is the hexagonal-shaped or "hex" chock. This type of chock is versatile and comes with either a cable loop or is tied with cord or webbing. All chocks come in different sizes to fit varying widths of cracks. Most chocks come with a wired loop that is stronger than cord and allows for easier placement. Bigger chocks can be threaded with cord or webbing if the user ties the chock himself. Care should be taken to place tubing in the chock before threading the cord. The cord used with chocks is designed to be stiffer and stronger than regular cord and is typically made of Kevlar. The advantage of using a chock rather than a piton is that a climber can carry many different sizes and use them repeatedly.

Chocks

Chocks, Rocks, Nuts or Stoppers

Three-Point Camming Devices (Tri-cams)

The three-point camming device's unique design allows it to be used both as a camming piece and a wedging piece. Because of this design it is extremely versatile and, when used in the camming mode, will fit a wide range of cracks. The three-point camming device comes in several different sizes with the smaller sizes working in pockets that no other piece of gear would fit in.

Tri-Cams

Tri-Cams

Spring-Loaded Camming Devices

Spring-loaded camming devices (SLCDs) provide convenient, reliable placement in cracks where standard chocks are not practical (parallel or flaring cracks or cracks under roofs). SLCDs have three or four cams rotating around a single or double axis with a rigid or semi-rigid point of attachment. These are placed quickly and easily, saving time and effort. SLCDs are available in many sizes to accommodate different size cracks. Each fits a wide range of crack widths due to the rotating cam heads. The shafts may be rigid metal or semi-rigid cable loops. The flexible cable reduces the risk of stem breakage over an edge in horizontal placements.

Spring-Loaded Camming Devices

Spring-Loaded Camming Devices

Cleaning Tools

Cleaning tools are primarily used to extract chocks from rock when the they become severely wedged. They are also handy to clean cracks with. Made from thin metal, they can be purchased or homemade. When using a cleaning tool to extract a chock be sure no force is applied directly to the cable juncture. One end of the cleaning tool should have a hook to use on jammed SLCDs.

Cleaning tools

Cleaning tools

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