The guidebook had only mentioned one section of offwidth on the pitch, but here I was staring at another fifteen feet of wide crack, and my 5 Camalot was far below in the first one. The climbing didn’t look too bad, but I was on sandstone, and tend to be cautious when I know a foothold could snap without warning. I looked around at my options, and they were bleak. Then I noticed a small crack in the face out right. Hmm, that might be perfect for one of these new Black Diamond Offset Nuts I was carrying …
If you don’t have offset nuts on your rack, you haven’t really lived. I was converted several years ago when I checked out the new-at-the-time DMM Offsets, which were a reinvention of the popular, but out of production, HB’s. Instantly I was hooked, as they offered myriad opportunities for placement, and regular nuts just seemed so bland and limiting after that. Those first DMM’s were only offered in the larger sizes, however, and I only picked up a couple of the smaller ones when they were released, so I was psyched to check out the new offering from Black Diamond.
The shape is a little different than the DMM’s, and they’ve used bronze, instead of brass, which reportedly helps with durability. I haven’t abused them enough to comment on this, but I trust those smart engineer guys when they tell me this is true. These nuts are being touted as the pro of choice for things like flaring cracks and pin scars, but I’ve found them to be versatile for just about any kind of rock where you’re carrying a set of nuts.
From granite cracks, to basalt and sandstone seams, they tend to work where nothing else will. The smallest sizes are recommended for aid climbing only, but I like to think of them as my “it’s OK, just put them in and keep climbing till you find something better” pieces. Also, the folks who frequent the big walls of Zion and their copious flaring pin scars will likely find them an indispensable part of their rack.
Reaching out right, I was able to slot one of the BD offsets in a perfect section of dark, varnished sandstone. It wasn’t the trucker number 5 that could have been staring me in the face, but it was enough for me to move upward with confidence, and finish off the stellar pitch.
For tech specs or to purchase, head on over to the Black Diamond website.
Disclaimer: This product was provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!