To Hex or not to Hex
I have been in the market for a set of hexes for some time now. What I’ve found is that even when I have cams and nuts, I quite often feel that I need a nut that’s just a little bit bigger – to slot into a gaping hole and protect me from a fall.
So when I saw someone selling their hexes for £20 I jumped at the offer. When I arrived to collect them I realised with much consternation that they all looked like this:
‘What do I do with those?’, I thought, and the person I bought them off must have seen my brain ticking away, as he piped in at just the right time ‘7mm cord (cordelette) with a double fisherman’s’.
Thankfully I have done my homework on knots and dutifully bought 4 metres of 7mm cord from the nearest shop. The smaller hexes seemed to be a bit small for the 7mm, so I made a judgment that 6mm would also be sufficient and proved to be right when I looked on the instructions inside the packet:
The next question was – ‘How long does the cord need to be on a hex?’. At first, the answer evaded me – I had a good look around a few websites and eventually Andy Kirkpatrick gave me the answers I needed with just the right amount of technical information to make me feel happy with my decision… www.andy-kirkpatrick.com
So…How long did I make my cord? 2 metres long for alpine and mountaineering or 20cm for general climbing? I was put off having 2 metre long cord hanging around my ankles, as I’m only 5 ft tall!! Still, I decided to go longer than I had initially intended, but also decided to store them on my rack at half height by pulling the cord through the centre-holes.
This seems to work. Once it’s in use, I can pull down the cord and clip the rope directly into a carabiner – saving on quickdraws too.
What to use a hex for..
I love using hexes for setting up belays. As long as the rock sounds good when I give it a good tap and I’m confident in my placement of the hex, I feel that a hex is a really secure method of creating a belay. The downsides of these hexes is that they are old school and therefore very heavy. I call it winter practice/additional exercise to make myself feel good though.
What do you use your hexes for and what do you think of them… Let us know in the comments box below.
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Happy hexing everyone.