Wires, Nuts and Hexes
Passive protection in the form of ‘nuts on wire’ or just ‘wires’ are at the core of any traditional climber’s rack . For most, a set of wires is the foundation for a system of protection in a range of shape and size options. The beauty of these is undoubtably in their simplicity which makes them lightweight, cheap and reliable when compared with other protection.
As a climber’s interest and ability grow their range of protection can also be expanded to cope with larger cracks using hexes or bigger nuts, tiny cracks with microwires and even irregular placements with offsets; longer routes and multiple pitches can require more equipment but this only provides another opportunity to add variety and so alternate designs of similar size can be included when doubling up.
Camming devices and active protection have now given climbers the ability to protect parrallel cracks and go beyond passive gear, however these can be heavier and more expensive - placing wires at the belay and on crucial placements is not only more reliable but frees up camming devices for harder crux sections.