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bedellympian

beginner aid climbing

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Robbins climbed El Cap in a matter of days with hand tied aiders and no proper seat harness, "a climber" the specific piece of gear does not make.

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can't argue w/ that - the Big Book done said a boy kilt a goliath w/ a simple stone n' his jock-strap too :)

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And with a big enough stone and a spectra jockstrap a beginner could aid City Park in maybe 21 placements

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aiding's like black magic - probably all bullshit, certainly none so true as the more obvious way of worshipping the Many Faced God :)

 

i haven't used them - are these slide steppers as good for simple jugging? for moving between free and aid situations? for existing in multi-day big wall environments?

 

definitely agree one of the best pieces of advice for the aspirant aid-clibmer is to learn a way to practice solo, either by tr'ing (seems kinda ghey) or lead climbing w/ a solo aid device (easy enough w/ a common gri-gri, including on smith routes like monkey west face)

 

agree with the solo.

 

if you ever tried sliders you wouldn't go back. Aid is somewhat tedious, anything that makes it quicker...

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I used to have the metolious foot slider and adj daisy. My no measure am I an expert on aiding. I don't count the number of placements on city park but the amount of time till I can get my summit tuna sandwich. :)

 

after a while, the webbing got fat (much like yours truly) and it got hard to extend the webbing back out. after lots of wasted energy, the advantage was gone. Yates makes one that I think would not have that issue.

Plus it felt like things were getting real sloppy with extra biners and tails all flapping around.

 

they do make a lot of sense for jugging though.

 

Chris Macnamara has similar thoughts.

"Metolius Easy Aider — Not great for leading. Good for following until you have to clean a horizontal traverse. If you bring them for following, it means you will probably end up managing multiple sets of Aiders. That goes against what I believe is the key to having fun and succeeding at walls: keeping the systems as simple as possible. There is a similar version of this Aider made by Yates called the Yates Speed Stirrup."

 

 

Edited by genepires

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The proof is in the performance. When I climbed with ladder aiders it took me 20 placements to climb City Park, when I switched to sliders that went down to 18 placements. That's an 8 to 12 ft. gain in 30M. And that's with custom made ladder aiders that I built to fit my height and step distance.

 

Any youtube link?

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Robbins climbed El Cap in a matter of days with hand tied aiders and no proper seat harness

 

That is just frankly unbelievable. Please come back to this thread when you can bring some substantiated truth with you, and not just wild claims.

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Robbins climbed El Cap in a matter of days with hand tied aiders and no proper seat harness

 

That is just frankly unbelievable. Please come back to this thread when you can bring some substantiated truth with you, and not just wild claims.

 

I believe TM Herbert had an unnatural love for goats, which has been passed down through the genes to most modern aid climbers through incest. However, I have it on good authority that some prefer sheep. Some such as myself prefer both sheep and goats, in addition to good old webbing ladders.

Edited by shapp

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Good lord!!!!!! Two pages and you're still talking about Ladders or Easy-Aiders????? Do you guys use any cam-hooks or other cool aiding tools????

 

Do you climb ANYTHING other than City Park???? That's great for a lap or two, than it's time to move on and do some REAL stuff, with traverses, sky-hook, beak, or any other exciting moves that make Aid climbing fun.

 

 

 

No one has offered any remotely important information to this thread!!!!!!

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Based on his initial post he would be over his head here to start talking about hooks etc. etc. He needs some basics before starting talking about beaks and hooks. He don't even know if he needs 2 aiders/daisies or 1? Before he goes to do a Grade V aid route this year (like he indicated was the goal in the initial post) he needs to figure a lot out, "simple?" stuff like how you organize gear on your person, how to high step, how to efficiency jug and clean a pitch, how to haul a bag. He will have a shit show on the first couple multi pitch aid climbs (even at A1). Before he goes off and tries liberty crack at least climb a few multi pitch easy aid routes at smith (which is in the OPs backyard). The best way to learn is to do and figure out your own basic system based on the general tried and true methods, such as described in any of the available big walls books.

 

Routes the OP should do at Smith: West Face of Monkey Face and North Face and East Face of Monkey Face. Obviously talking clean aid here and no cam hooks. You need some off-set nuts (regular and micro) in addition to your regular large selection of smaller trad gear (small to regular sized cams, and regular nut selections, and the few 4 or so smallest camp tri-cams). these will seam like grade V's for your first multi pitch aid. After you do those with a partner and get your shit figured out, do them solo. Then you should be pretty dialed in for easy aid. Then you can start fooling with pins, hooks, cam hooks etc and Grade V aid on popular routes like Liberty Crack.

 

Do the West Face first. With all the bolt ladders you can focus on how you move aiders and high step efficiently, how you set up your jugging system for cleaning on overhanging terrain, etc. Try hauling a small bag to get that system dialed in. On the other two, you can play around more with placing trad gear in small cracks/pin scars and organizing/efficiently finding/using that gear. If you do the West Face, North and East with a partner, then solo, that would be good goal for this summer. Then maybe hit up Steins Pillar for a step up on the shenanigan level.

Edited by shapp

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Good lord!!!!!! Two pages and you're still talking about Ladders or Easy-Aiders????? Do you guys use any cam-hooks or other cool aiding tools????

 

Do you climb ANYTHING other than City Park???? That's great for a lap or two, than it's time to move on and do some REAL stuff, with traverses, sky-hook, beak, or any other exciting moves that make Aid climbing fun.

 

 

 

No one has offered any remotely important information to this thread!!!!!!

 

Here's a traverse I did

84-1-22.jpg

And this had a spicy move or two, and two traverses

 

 

84-1-33.jpg

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The proof is in the performance. When I climbed with ladder aiders it took me 20 placements to climb City Park, when I switched to sliders that went down to 18 placements. That's an 8 to 12 ft. gain in 30M. And that's with custom made ladder aiders that I built to fit my height and step distance.

 

Any youtube link?

 

Sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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here's a smiff aid-traverse for you beyotch - just looking at it confuses me :)

plw11.jpg

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Disclaimer: This is not a page for aid haters, if you'd rather free climb get off your lazy butt and go do it.

 

I have been alpine and free climbing for a few years now but would really like to get some experience aid climbing and either do Liberty Crack or some other grade V this year. I have tried aiding a 5.9 crack with a friend's aid setup once. I have done plenty of french-free and random stand on a sling BS, just screwing around at the crag and in the alpine. Really I want this experience just so that I can have another tool to push my alpine climbing.

 

Questions I have for those who might know...

 

1. I know I need etriers and theoretically two daisies... is there any other MANDATORY gear I should get for C1? I have plenty of gear for trad climbing, lockers, etc.

 

2. Smith is my local crag so I have done plenty of A0 and avoided the A4 shit shows that seem to be everything else. If I was going to go do an intro multi-pitch aid climb, where should I go? Index? Anywhere closer to Central Oregon?

 

3. Anyone want to do a little mentoring in late June or July weekends?

 

Thanks in advance...

 

You could get ready for Liberty Crack by climbing single aid pitches. If you can do a couple moves of 5.11a french free (the rest of the pitch is 10a) the first pitch of Liberty goes that way, then you have 2 pitches of easy C1 after that. The roof (Lithuanian Lip) is C1 but you have to practice aiding and cleaning a roof beforehand, it's a little tricky until you learn.

 

Aid gear (team) for Liberty crack would be one set of aiders (2 single ladders if using step aiders), 1 set jumars. The follower jumars with regular slings that are used conventionally on the rest of the climb. Then when you get past the aid each climber carries one jumar and one aider. There's really no other aid specific gear on Liberty.

 

On the typical C1 pitch try to get your time under 1 hour, that's led and cleaned (followed), either solo or a team. That's the time you need to hit to get Liberty done in a day. The biggest piece of beta on Liberty is take only one 60M rope. You can rappel with that from anywhere on the route, the fixed belays are all <30M apart.

 

1. Other than aiders and jumars the only mandatory gear for C1 would probably be a 2nd set of nuts. And on a pitch like City Park you want triples of the smaller nuts. If you have a bunch of worn gear that you replaced with new, that's the best for aid, because aiding is really hard on gear. Typically if possible you usually want to carry and use more nuts than cams, an aid rack is heavy because you are placing gear every body length and nuts are lighter than cams.

 

You may find yourself bounce testing placements and getting nuts jammed. You may want to carry a small hammer, like a little tack hammer to hammer on your cleaning tool. With experience you will be able to trust a good nut without bounce testing. You may find also that different brands of nuts stick differently when aiding. I have some that always clean easy and some that usually stick.

 

2. At Index, after City Park there's Stern Farmer and Narrow Arrow Direct. A really fun multi-pitch is Town Crier on the upper wall, it has a couple C2 moves. Then to get ready for something like the Nose or Salathe (if you climb 10b to 11a) you could do Green DragOn, lots of C2.

 

Rope solo with a clove hitch or GriGri is good for C1. The typical motion is, after stepping high on your existing piece, with the piece at waist or lower, rope taut, place next piece as high as possible. Before stepping higher extend rope and clip upper piece. Step up to upper piece, now the rope will have enough slack to get to the next piece above that and then again the rope will be taut. So placing and stepping up two pieces for every time you fiddle with extending the rope.

 

A really fast way to clean nuts is to jug right through them, ripping them upward to clean them. you can jug through about 5 nut placements then stop and re-rack them all at once. This is pretty hard on the cables, you will have to straighten them at the end of the day, but it's really fast.

 

My best aid climb was a rope solo of Town Crier. Did it on the summer solstice and summited right at sundown. At the time the upper bolt ladder was the original Becky stuff. It had these homemade aluminum hangers with rusted 3/16" bolts, not kidding. It was like clip, pray, don't breathe, step up. Then the last pitch there's some mandatory free right at the top where you're most exposed. Sections of mandatory free in an aid pitch can be one of the harder mental aspects of aid climbing.

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Hey guys, thanks for all the input, I didn't expect all the responses.

 

Buckaroo, it sounds like you really like the sliders and they work great for you but I will be sticking with something more simplistic since I'm really just looking to transfer these skills to the alpine where they will only be used for a couple pitches per route. Light and simple with easy transitions between free and aid.

 

The videos Gene directed me to were great. And the ideas for Smith Aid have me psyched. I think I will begin doing some solo aid practice soon on single pitch and I heard it enough times that West Face of Monkey is now on my to do list.

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Based on his initial post he would be over his head here to start talking about hooks etc. etc. He needs some basics before starting talking about beaks and hooks. ... and the few 4 or so smallest camp tri-cams). these will seam like grade V's for your first multi pitch aid. After you do those with a partner and get your shit figured out, do them solo. Then you should be pretty dialed in for easy aid. Then you can start fooling with pins, hooks, cam hooks etc and Grade V aid on popular routes like Liberty Crack.

 

 

Maybe tri-cams are in the beaks and hooks category. I've carried them on things like the Salathe and never used them. They are def in the C2 category. Sure you could use them on C1 but if there's a placement where that's the only thing that works you are probably climbing C2.

 

Liberty is C1, maybe you want some offset nuts but pins, beaks, hooks, camhooks, tri-cams are not necessary.

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I use camp tri cams all the time for aid and free, in Many cases they are easily C1, where other gear would be way more sketchy. They are super great for horizontal aid placements in shallow cracks where a regular cam would be bent to hell going over the edge of the crack when weighted. But from all your responses to this thread, your opinions are best. Having climbed liberty crack, I would say definitely you want some off-set nuts.

 

 

Edited by shapp

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don't see why anyone would ever carry anything OTHER than off-set nuts :)

 

tri-cams, to my experience, are key in pin-scarred terrain, especially sandstone - try doing the relatively easy "prodigal sun" in zion w/o them to your peril :)

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Also, since the OP is by Smith Rock, tri-cams are particularly relevant as here and there you run into weird pocket features that are hard to protect with anything else. Also way cheaper and lighter than off-set spring loaded cams, and are good extra backups for building anchors once you've exhausted the rest of your gear on lead cause they not only work like cams, but also like stoppers.

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Good point on the tri-cams, I have a set but rarely use them. Might have to start bringing them out to practice aid, would probably make me more comfortable using them free-climbing. And yes I have some off-set nuts. After reading several reviews I think I'm going to go with some Metolius 4-step aiders. Sounds like they are comfy but light and should be fine for everything I'm interested in.

 

Regarding solo-aid... I was thinking about just using a clove hitch system. Is this significantly more dangerous than a modified gri-gri? Any general advice on this?

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I've used a clove hitch quite a bit, up to around C3, and I would say it is no more dangerous than a grigri (although i am unsure what would happen if I fell while adjusting the knot). It's mostly just a pain - extremely slow and difficult.

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aid climbing is for you n' you alone - you don't want to get in a dick-measuring contest w/ them old timers, 'cuz you can't win :)

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don't see why anyone would ever carry anything OTHER than off-set nuts :)

 

tri-cams, to my experience, are key in pin-scarred terrain, especially sandstone - try doing the relatively easy "prodigal sun" in zion w/o them to your peril :)

 

Prodigal Sun..... 5.8 C2

 

There's a reason I said "maybe" and "probably" because there's always someone that swears by them. But you don't need them for Liberty,

 

 

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