In 1979 Mark Vallance created the first curved nut with three points of contact instead of the usual two points typical of other nut designs. Nearly all other nuts would follow this lead. Wild Country Rocks on a Wire, descendants of that original curved nut, are said by Wild Country to be "probably the best selling piece of pro ever." Rocks have the largest size run of any nut set we tested, making them an excellent base of anyone's rack. Their taller nature helps them excel in softer rock. Their placement versatility is about the same as Black Diamond Stoppers but Rocks have a slightly more aggressive taper, which we liked. Rocks on a Wire are also among the toughest nuts available yet are also among the lightest. We do wish that Wild Country produced one more small size in their regular set, but they do offer Wild Country Mini Rocks, which cover this end of things.
Wild Country Rocks Review
Cons: Not as useful in flaring cracks
Manufacturer: Wild Country
Our Analysis and Test Results
Wild Country Rocks on a Wire are similar in design to many other nuts on the market. What sets this climbing nut apart is a little more taper front to back (the most typical placement orientation) than Stoppers, Wedgies or Huevos, a useful quality in many situations. I also like Rocks on a Wire in larger sizes better than Stoppers, Huevos or Wedgies because Rocks have less tendency to slide up and down the cable while being placed or adjusted in the rock. I also like that Rocks were the lightest nut with a classic curve we tested and have the greatest number of sizes. They have the largest actual size range in this review, although most people won't find the largest (#4 to #5) sizes that useful.
Their large size range makes them a good choice as the bread and butter of a rack. Rocks are one of the taller nuts. Rocks, like some other nuts, have rounded edges that make for easier cleaning. They cleaned about the same as the Black Diamond Stopper and Omega Pacific Wedgies. Identification is made easier with their colored anodized heads, a scheme shared with all styles of DMM and Wild Country nuts.
All this, combined with the fact that they are a simple design, makes them a great choice for beginners. They fit parallel cracks well. They work in less constricting cracks about the same as the Black Diamond Stoppers and a baby step below the Metolius Curve Nuts. The Rock is among the most durable climbing nut on the market their wire rarely kinks and the rock itself never seems to get to banged up.
Rocks fit an average range of crack types but are not as versatile as DMM Offset Nut. While many people might find Rocks' larger sizes useful, most will let them sit at home more often than not. Rocks aren't made in as small sizes as other nut sets, but Wild Country does offer Mini Rocks, excellent small aluminum nuts.
With the biggest size range of any nuts we tested, Wild Country Rocks are an awesome first set of nuts. Rocks also share the same color scheme as all other DMM and Wild Country models, allowing you easily to dial your passive protection selection. Their relativity simple shape makes it easy for beginners to assess the quality of their placements. As one of the lighter nuts on the market, they are a good option for alpine climbers or any climber looking to save a little weight. Their taller shaped design makes them more effective in softer rock, a great option for areas like Red Rocks where more surface area is desired. Rocks excel in smoother types of rock (the 'Dacks, Basalt areas, Yosemite, etc.) slightly more than in irregular rock locations.
Rocks are among the better priced nuts in this review, both independently and as a set. While they are similar in design to most other curve nuts, what sets them apart are their taller heads that offer more surface area, a more aggressive taper, more user friendly larger sizes, and a color scheme that matches all other Wild Country and DMM nuts. That said, the Cypher Huevo beat it out as our Best Buy. The current pricing is for a set sold for about $70, including eight various sizes.
— Ian Nicholson