Staying safe on scrambling terrain – the scrambling rack
Here in our second article, on scrambling. Here we will explain what to carry on your scrambling rack.
As described in our previous article, grade I scrambling terrain, consists of the occasional difficult and steep step, and generally no rope work is needed. However on grade 2 and 3 scrambles, the terrain can come with serious consequences, and using ropes and protection is helpful in keeping the leader and second safe.
So what do you need? Firstly, a guidebook, map and compass, would be helpful in getting you to the start of the route, and will also help with route finding, most of the time.
Assuming you like the outdoors and have waterproof clothing, and a rucksack, I would suggest carrying a first aid kit, a bothy bag, and a head torch.
Before I talk about the rack, a good pair of lightweight walking/mountaineering boots will give you ankle support, grip in most conditions, and comfort for the long days out. I could suggest what boots I wear, but you need to do your own research. These depend on the shape of your feet.
In terms of a grade 2 and 3 scrambling rack, I would suggest the following:
A 40m single rope (10-10.2mm should be sufficient. If you go thinner, it will likely wear quicker, but then save on weight)
4 x 120cm slings – plus a screwgate on each sling
1 x 240cm sling – plus screwgate
DMM torque nuts (or hexes) sizes 1,2,3 and 4 with light weight carabiners on each one (or the equivalent in another brand)
Or instead of the torque nuts you can go for cams/friends in equivalent sizes, i.e. Black Diamond C4 size 0.5, 0.75, 1 and 2 or DMM Dragons sizes 1,2,3,and 4
DMM wallnuts size 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
3 x 60cm slings coupled with 2 carabiners on each sling
ATC guide plate plus 2 locking carabiners
A nutkey on a carabiner and possibly extension cord if you are likely to drop it – DMM nutbuster is very good
3 x large HMS carabiners suitable for Italian hitches
Some tat in case you need to ab
2 prussiks (5 – 6mm cord)
Note: Please note that you can use cams instead of the hexes. The hexes are cheaper, and can be placed width ways both vertical and horizontal, whereas the cams can only be placed with the 4 lobes touching the rock, in the camming position (please refer manufacturers suggestions).
Scrambling will take you to some fantastic places in the mountains. As with any aspect of mountaineering, if you don’t have the knowledge then consider finding a competent instructor. We provide scrambling courses from beginners to advanced level. Please see the link below: