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Trad Climbing Starter Lead Rack

By 26th October 2018June 18th, 2023Kit Lists, Resources, Rock Climbing, Summer

Trad Climbing Starter Lead Rack

This is a suggested list for a ‘trad’ starter lead rack to get someone started lead climbing. This, and much more, is discussed in detail on one of our learn-to-lead rock climbing courses. This list assumes that you already have the basics for indoor climbing, including a harness.

  • General:
    • 1 x helmet (eg Petzl Boreo)
    • 1 x belay device
    • 1 x screw gate karabiner for the belay device (Recommend DMM Phantom HMS)
    • 1 x nut key
    • 2 x prusik loops
    • 1 x wiregate karabiner (Recommend DMM Spectre) to keep prusiks on
  • Passive protection
  • Quickdraws
  • Sling-draws (for longer and/or more complex routes)
    • 2 x 60cm x 8mm Dyneema slings
    • 2 x wiregate karabiner in ‘gear end’ colour (Recommend DMM Spectre in Silver)
    • 2 x wiregate karabiner in ‘rope end’ colour (Recommend DMM Spectre in Red)
  • Slings
  • Screwgate karabiners
    • 1 x large locking HMS karabiner for multiple clove hitches at belays (such as DMM Shadow HMS or the earlier DMM BOA)
    • 4-6 x DMM Phantom HMS karabiners for use at belays, on slings etc
  • Rope
    • Choosing a first climbing rope can be tricky. The variables at play are length (30, 40, 50 or 60 metres); diameter (anything from 8.5mm to 11mm); type of rope (Single, Half, Twin); and ‘dry-treated’ or not. It will all depend on what sort of climbing you will do most often – indoor, outdoor, sports, trad, mountaineering (scrambling and winter), single or multi-pitch, and what length of routes.
    • However, since this list is for a Trad Climbing Starter Rack, my recommendation would be a 50 metre, 10mm, Single rope with some dry-treatment (manufacturers have their own techniques and treatment names, so read about these.)

To add later, depending on your preferred climbing venues, rock-type etc:

  • Passive protection
    • 1 x set DMM Alloy Offsets 7-11
    • 4 x colour-coded karabiners for racking Torque Nuts individually
  • Active protection
    • 1 x set DMM Dragon Cams Size 0 (Silver) to 5 (Blue) (or equivalent cam set from another manufacturer
    • Colour-coded wire gate karabiners for racking cams on individually
  • Other gear:
    • 1 x lanyard or sling to use as cow’s tail such as for abseils (Recommend Beal Dynaloop or else a length of dynamic rope cut to size)
    • 2-4 more Sling-Draws (see above)
    • 2 x 120cm x 11mm Dyneema slings (to add flexibility over longer slings)