Great climbing gear / The Moac Nut ! Wooden Wedges.

Who remembers the classic MOAC nut. I loved them I remember on a classic route Nordwand in winter on Ben Nevis retreating from a battered in Moac and abseiling off into a storm. It will still be there!

Also using one on a wild lower in Skye at night a few years later, I bet they are still there I saw many stuck in cracks over the years .

Have you got any tales of great gear from years ago? .

Nowadays the gear for protection is incredible how far have we come on since these early days. I remember climbing on nuts made by the engineers in the RAF with a number 2 line threaded through. Classic gear.

Before that some climbed with wooden wedges on Beinn Eighe and early ascents on the sea stacks made again made in RAF workshops and with rope threaded through. The Old Man of Hoy still has some of the remains of these wedges.

The MOAC Nut photo Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection.

Moac – Created by Sheffield blacksmith, John Brailsford, the M.O.A.C. was one of the first ever purpose designed nuts for rock climbing,(the first being the Acorn – also invented by Brailsford.) Chockstones and machined nuts were the norm up to the point when MOAC’s first appeared in 1962.

The first batch were cast in Manchester and finished by Peter Gentil. At the time a guy called Ellis Brigham owned a chain of outdoor shops in the UK which had an import section called Mountain Activities and the first two letters of each word were used to create the name of this new nut – the MOAC – as Brigham had backed the first production run as a financial gamble which seemed to have paid off because millions must have been sold and fifty years later

Some of the older climbers are still using them. Remember to change the rope in the very early Moacs. The first versions were more rounded at the four corners and there were smaller production versions later on. They could also be filed down to fit smaller cracks.

Comments welcome.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Enviroment, Equipment, Gear, History, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Great climbing gear / The Moac Nut ! Wooden Wedges.

  1. Matt Neale says:

    JB must have squirrelled some away. There were boxes of them (in the 80’s) under a prefab class room at Bangor Normal College where John was boss of the OE course. Many of the department axes had been modified, I guess by him as well. Blasted picks were too soft and bent if you gave them some welly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judi says:

    I bet you still have clinkers on your boots and a hemp waistlength!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.