Freshman Outdoor Product Design student Baylee Vogler recommends using stoppers over cams when climbing.
“My favorite gear is probably my stoppers. Cams are great but when you get a solid nut placement in a crack you just know that thing could hold a truck. My uncle gave me his old set and I’ve taken it with me on every climb since.”
The stoppers—original Chouinard’s from the 70’s—are still going strong. Chouinard Equipment (started by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard) eventually became what we know today as Black Diamond. Black Diamond’s nuts and stoppers are considered one of the most durable on the market, so if you’re getting into climbing or just looking for new gear, Black Diamond is a great brand to check out.
“[Columbian Crack] on the side of the Elephant in City of Rocks [starts] off as a chimney and puts you on top of a massive boulder where you can start the hand crack leading to the top. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how far the boulder was from the hand crack and I wasn’t about to do the splits over the chimney without any gear placements to catch me, so I sat on the boulder and got out one of my bigger stoppers, hooked it to a sling, and swung it into the crack. It took me two tries but on the second try, I tossed the stopper perfectly into a pocket in the crack. Not gonna lie, that was probably one of the most solid nut placements I’ve ever made.”
Check out next week’s Aggie Gear Guide for another recommendation.
By Summer Vaughn