Climb safely with nuts
Nuts are an essential piece of climbing equipment for sport climbers and mountaineers who don’t want to move from bolt to bolt. Using nuts is a good way to secure a route that has many cracks. Whether you want to create an additional anchor point on a sport climbing route between widely spaced bolts or you want to completely secure your own route, you should always carry a set of nuts on your harness.
Nuts – what are they and where does the name come from?
Nuts, sometimes called stoppers, have long been used by climbers. In the past, actual nuts (as in nuts and bolts) or wooden wedges were attached to a piece of cord and placed into cracks. Along with classic pitons, they were often the only devices available for securing climbing routes.
Fortunately, modern nuts ensure that climbers no longer have to resort to these makeshift solutions. Nuts consist of a wedge-shaped metal head and a wire loop for a carabiner. The head is usually made of aluminium and holds in the rock under load.
Unlike pitons, nuts leave no traces in the rock, which is why climbing with nuts and camming devices is often referred to as "clean climbing".
The advantage of using nuts
In addition to their practicality, nuts have a number of other advantages. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, durable, easy to care for, and they hardly take up space on the harness, so you can always take them with you on your climb. Plus, nuts are colour-coded, making it easy to find the right size.
You can supplement your nut set with a selection of camming devices, hexes and other portable securing devices. With enough practice, nuts can be used to climb all sorts of routes, even bolted routes.