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In rock climbing, a nut (or chock or chockstone) is a metal wedge threaded on a wire that climbers use for protection by wedging it into a crack in the rock. Quickdraws are clipped to the nut wire by the ascending climber and the rope threads through the quickdraw. Nuts come in a variety of sizes and styles, and several different brands are made by competing manufacturers. Most nuts are made of aluminum. Larger nuts may be threaded on Dyneema cord instead of wire, but this has become unusual. 
The very smallest nuts are known as micronuts and may be made of brass or other metal, and typically have their wires soldered into them, instead of looped through drilled holes. They are mostly used in aid climbing, and their value as protection, arresting a climber's fall, is marginal because of both their low breaking strength and their tiny surface area (the HB 0 measures about 4 x 7 x 2.5 mm) in contact with the rock, though this can be offset if several are placed at a time. Other names used include RPs (the brand name of the first commercially available micronuts) and brassies. They are available from several manufacturers in a variety of styles.
British climbers in the 1950s and 1960s were the first to use nuts as climbing protection. In addition to using pitons, they picked up machine nuts from the side of railway tracks, climbed with them in their pockets, and used them as artificial chocks. This developed to the point where they drilled the thread from the middle, threaded them with slings, and used them in cracks.
Nuts or chockstones are named after natural stones occasionally found wedged into cracks. Climbers eventually realized they could insert their own found pebble into a suitable crack. In an article called "Artificial Aids in Mountaineering" dated Oct-Dec 1956, G Sutton wrote about jammed knots for direct aid. He also compared the use of slings, chocks (rocks) and jammed knots to artificial climbing (aid climbing) and that "there should be no illusion that the use of a chockstone is in any way more admirable than that of a piton."
By 1967 Royal Robbins saw the need for clean climbing and put up Nutcracker, an all nut protected 6 pitch climb, on the Manure Pile(Ranger Rock),Yosemite. In 1972, when clean climbing became an issue in the US, Yvon Chouinard began manufacturing chocks made specifically for rock climbing, with the familiar wedge shape still in use today. With Tom Frost, Chouinard invented a larger, six-sided nut called a Hexentric or hex. Prominent climbers like Henry Barber and John Stannard helped popularize the use of nuts, especially after it was discovered that a nut was lighter and easier to place and remove while climbing, as well as being at least as secure as a well-placed piton, and less damaging to the rock.
Nuts are available in different shapes to help the climber find the best fit for a given crack. Curved nuts have a concave face on one side and a convex face on the other. Larger nuts can be placed in either of two aspects (hexes in three aspects) to suit different-width cracks, with either the main faces or the sides in contact with the rock.
Nuts may be generically referred to as wires or stoppers, though "Stopper" is a brand name of a nut made by Black Diamond Equipment.
Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.
Climbing protection is any of a variety of devices employed to reduce risk and protect others while climbing rock and ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.
Traditional climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which the climber places all the necessary protection gear required to arrest any falls as they are climbing, and then removes it when the pitch is complete. Traditional bolted aid climbing means the bolts were placed while on lead and/or with hand drills. Traditional climbing carries a higher level of risk than bolted sport climbing, as the climber may not have placed the safety equipment correctly while trying to ascend the route; for some of the world's hardest climbs, there may not be sufficient cracks or features in the rock that can accept protection gear, and the climb can only be safely attempted by bolting as a sport climb.
This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.
Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water.
A wide range of equipment is used during rock or any other type of climbing that includes equipment commonly used to protect a climber against the consequences of a fall.
Free climbing is a form of rock climbing in which the climber may use climbing equipment such as ropes and other means of climbing protection, but only to protect against injury during falls and not to assist progress. The climber makes progress by using physical ability to move over the rock via handholds and footholds. Free climbing more specifically may include traditional climbing, sport climbing, bouldering and most forms of solo climbing. Free climbing a multi-pitch route means free-climbing each of its pitches in a single session. At the end of each pitch, climbers anchor themselves to belay stations where they can rest.
Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which standing on or pulling oneself up via devices attached to fixed or placed protection is used to make upward progress.
In rock climbing, a bolt is a permanent anchor fixed into a hole drilled in the rock as a form of protection. Most bolts are either self-anchoring expansion bolts or fixed in place with liquid resin.
Clean climbing is rock climbing techniques and equipment which climbers use in order to avoid damage to the rock. These techniques date at least in part from the 1920s and earlier in England, but the term itself may have emerged in about 1970 during the widespread and rapid adoption in the United States and Canada of nuts, and the very similar but often larger hexes, in preference to pitons, which damage rock and are more difficult and time-consuming to install. Pitons were thus eliminated in North America as a primary means of climbing protection in a period of less than three years.
In climbing, a piton is a metal spike that is driven into a crack or seam in the climbing surface with a climbing hammer, and which acts as an anchor to either protect the climber against the consequences of a fall or to assist progress in aid climbing. Pitons are equipped with an eye hole or a ring to which a carabiner is attached; the carabiner can then be directly or indirectly attached to a climbing rope.
Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.
Yvon Chouinard is an American rock climber, environmentalist, and outdoor industry billionaire businessman. His company, Patagonia, is known for its environmental focus.
In rock climbing, an anchor can be any device or method for attaching a climber, a rope, or a load above or onto a climbing surface—typically rock, ice, steep dirt, or a building—either permanently or temporarily. The intention of an anchor is case-specific but is usually for fall protection, primarily fall arrest and fall restraint. Climbing anchors are also used for hoisting, holding static loads, or redirecting a rope.
The following is an overview of the history of rock climbing including its origins in Europe, and a compilation of notable events in the development of the sport.
Thomas John Higgins was an American rock climber with many first and first free ascents primarily in the western United States. He was noted for pushing standards using a purist, free climbing style.
A hex is an item of rock-climbing equipment used to protect climbers from falls. They are intended to be wedged into a crack or other opening in the rock, and do not require a hammer to place. They were developed as an alternative to pitons, which are hammered into cracks, damaging the rock. Most commonly, a carabiner will be used to join the hex to the climbing rope by means of a loop of webbing, cord or a cable which is part of the hex.
Thomas "Tom" M. Frost was an American rock climber known for big wall climbing first ascents in Yosemite Valley. He was also a photographer and climbing equipment manufacturer. Frost was born in Hollywood, California, and died in Oakdale, California.
Crack climbing is a type of rock climbing in which the climber follows a crack in the rock and uses specialized climbing techniques. The sizes of cracks vary from those that are just barely wide enough for the fingers to fit inside, to those that are so wide that the entire body can fit inside with all limbs outstretched. Many traditional climbing routes follow crack systems, as they provide natural opportunities for placing protective equipment.