Why I hate hexes
Ok…. So this will be a heated post.
I’m going to talk about why I like cams, and more importantly why I hate hexes. So crack a can and strap on/in.
Hexes are cheaper and lighter. Less worrying to place than cams for new climbers and this means less to worry about in terms of maintenance or what can go wrong, all these things are why hexes are a good way for people to get into trad easily, which I’m all for, the more people trad climbing the better. Hexes fall short in all other areas of climbing. They are slower to place when on lead, they often involve rotating the hex in a specific way to get it to sneak into the crack. They also usually require a good tug to seat, something that just isn’t possible on some routes. When placing a cam, you can look at the crack, judge the size and bang it into the crack nice and quick. I’ve been able to place cams slightly blind before, placing a cam around a corner or arete, or at the very edge of my reach and only checking it as I move past or over it. You can also easily bump cams up a crack when the crack is super splitter. ( just don’t get your size 6 stuck …cough martin cough )
One of the reasons that hexes are better that seems to get touted about is that cams can walk, yeah so does my dog if left completely unattended. So if you think a cam might walk then extend it so it wont. I have never had a cam walk out of a crack on me leaving me unprotected.
I catch a lot of heat for this, but hexes just aren’t better, how many pro climbers do you see dragging hexes up a wall? Every time I’ve been pumped or scared on a wall I’ve never looked down at my harness and thought thank fuck for that hex I have.
But the one massive advantage cams have over hexes other than the speed at which they can be placed and cleaned is the fact that cams don’t sound like a pair of cowbells fucking in a bush.