Traditional climbing is a type of rock climbing in which a climber places all protective gear and removes it when a section is completed. The protection placed while climbing is not permanent and after a climb is completed no trace is left behind. Since protection is placed while climbing, it can be argued that traditional climbing is more dangerous than sport climbing which has permanent protection already present before climbing.
A climber's set of protective gear as a whole is referred to as a "rack". The typical climbing rack can vary from one climbing area to the next due to differences in the rock. For instance, due to the high number of horizontal cracks on routes in the Gunks , tricams can be a good choice for a rack. What a standard rack should consist of is a matter of personal opinion and can become a heated debate between climbers.
Some examples of protective gear that would be found in a climbing rack.
- Aluminum, steel or brass nuts and stoppers
- Hexagonal shaped chocks
- Spring loaded camming devices
Gear placement is an important skill necessary for safety. Knowing how each piece of gear works, when to place a piece, and how to place said piece can be the difference between life and death. Taking a fall onto a misplaced piece gear can be tragic. There are some great resources online regarding gear placement but nothing is better than real life gear placement under the supervision of a guide or more experienced friend. When starting out traditional climbing, always climb with somebody more experienced who can teach you all the ins and outs of this sport. Don't think you know what you're doing because you watched a couple youtube videos on the subject.