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Nuts, Chocks, and Wired Nuts

Definition of Climbing Equipment Word


Wired nuts are useful, strong, and inexpensive climbing tools.

A wired nut securely wedges in a sandstone crack; then a quickdraw with carabiners is attached to the nut and the rope clipped into the bottom carabiner to attach a climber to a cliff.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green

What are Nuts

Nuts, essential pieces of climbing equipment, are wedge- or hexentric-shaped pieces of metal, generally made of lightweight aluminum, that are snugly placed or slotted in cracks. Nuts provide protection for a lead climber, who clips into the nut with a carabiner or quickdraw, and as a belay anchor.

Nuts Come in Different Shapes and Sizes

Nuts, made in various sizes and shapes to accommodate many crack sizes and widths, are an important climbing tool since they do not damage the rock with repeated insertion and removal as pitons, which are hammered into and out of cracks, damage the rock surface, leaving unsightly piton scars.

First Nuts Used in England

The first climbing nuts used were actual machine nuts for bolts that were picked up along railroad tracks in England beginning in the 1950s and then threaded with a thin cord to clip a carabiner to the nut. Some types of nuts are Hexentrics and Stoppers, both made by Black Diamond, a climbing equipment manufacturer in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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