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Skyhooks, Pegs & Aid Gear

 

Pitons (or pegs as they are often known in Britain) are, since the advent of modern wires, nuts and camming devices, seldom used in the UK for summer rock-climbing any more. However they are an important tool in winter and alpine climbing where narrow cracks may be choked with ice and other protection hard to find. They are also used in big wall aid climbing, though increasingly the emphasis is on "clean aid", ie aid using cams, wires, and other devices that don't scar the rock.
 
Pitons are either Chrome-Molybdenum Hard Steel (made for repeated use) or Mild Steel that deforms to the rock (made for permanent placements). All the pegs we sell are Hard Steel except where clearly indicated otherwise.


Pegs: the four major types
Knifeblades
Thin blade pegs for fine cracks (1 - 3mm) and are the most useful and lightest to carry.
Kingpins
Also known as Lost Arrows. Fat blades made for wider cracks (4 - 7mm). They are rather heavy.
Leepers
Designed and made by American climber Ed Leeper. The term has become generic. They are like channels but with a double U shape, making them suitable for crack sizes in between Kingpins and Channels ( 8 - 15mm).
Channels
Also known as Angles. U or V-shaped pitons made from formed steel sheet for wide cracks (15mm - 25mm).


Knowing what pitons (and indeed what gear in general) to carry for aid climbing is something that comes with experience, or perhaps from the list of gear required in your Supertopo or similar guidebook.

Also listed here is a good selection of other aid gear ranging from skyhooks to copperheads, and rivet hangers to cam hooks.

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