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Free-Solo Aid Climbing
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beyond_gravity


Jul 16, 2002, 4:37 PM
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Well, it guess if it's aid climbing it can't really be free, eh?

Has anyone ever done Aid climbing without a rope and just back clean every placement???


atg200


Jul 16, 2002, 4:46 PM
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Why on earth would you? The whole point of free soloing in the first place is to not need gear at all.

Sounds like a good way to get killed if you want to try it.


woodse


Jul 16, 2002, 4:54 PM
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Isn't this what Dean Potter does on Masters of Stone 5? He free's much of El Cap but also aids part of it, bolt ladders and such. I guess you would call it free-solo aid

woodsE


beyond_gravity


Jul 16, 2002, 5:30 PM
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I dont know why you would want do. I thought the whole point of A5 is that it's scary?


hangdoggypound


Jul 16, 2002, 5:44 PM
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And I thought the whole point of A5 was to go do something else instead...


peas


Jul 16, 2002, 5:49 PM
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Have you ever bouldered around or soloed while ice climbing? Isn't that kind of like aiding with no rope since you're using your ice tools as aid placements?

I heard of a guy doing the Sheriff's Badge(A3-A4?) on the Chief with no rope.

[ This Message was edited by: peas on 2002-07-16 17:50 ]


beyond_gravity


Jul 16, 2002, 6:00 PM
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I've soloed a WI3 when Ice climbing. And lots of times your runing out Ice climbs where you could hit the deck if you fell. You learn to feel with your tools when Ice climbing. I've hardly done any aid, so I dont know if aid climbers can "feel the rock" with there nuts


apollodorus


Jul 16, 2002, 6:25 PM
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I crack-walked up some of big OW on El Cap, daisied in to my pieces, and leaving almost no pro. I was thinking the same thing: if I have three or four cams at all times, and moved them one at a time, what do I need the rope for? I don't think you'd want to solo aid up anything harder than A2, but the concept seems pretty sound. The key, I think, would be to make sure that you always have at least three bomber pieces in at all times. C1 up a good crack with four pieces, moved one at a time, isn't so different from having a belay that moves along with you. After all, if you have three bomber pieces in, that pretty much qualifies as a belay.


smithclimber


Jul 16, 2002, 6:32 PM
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I'd call it "Ropeless Aid Soloing" rather than "Free Solo Aid Climbing".

The "Crazy Man Bob" method of aid soloing is exactly this. No rope, just 3 daisies. You have two daisies on two pieces while you are moving the third daisy onto the new piece.

You have 3 daisies/pieces in MOST of the time. Just pray the two pieces you're on don't blow while you are moving that third daisy!!!!

This is what Russ Mitrovich did when he set that ridiculous record on Zodiac (pretty sure it was Zodiac).

Regardless, it sounds WAY scary to me, unless you used for daisies and had BOMBER placements as Appolodorus mentioned.


atg200


Jul 16, 2002, 6:33 PM
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soloing ice and aid climbing have absolutely nothing in common with each other. with ice, you have at least two points of contact with your axes and you are not trusting often very ratty fixed gear. soloing a WI3 would be the equivalent of "free solo aiding" a brand new bolt ladder, which doesn't really happen in the real world. i quite happily solo WI3+/4- and 5.6ish rock, but i can't think of any aid climb i'd really like to free solo.

in practice, i don't fall often while aid climbing so i suppose i could "free solo aid". why? a small mistake would surely kill you. even on an A5, you have a big safety cushion using the rope - bounce testing would be psycho "free soloing", and it is conceivable though certainly not assured to survive A5 falls.


peas


Jul 16, 2002, 6:36 PM
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My reference to ice climbing was just a little jab about ice/mixed climbing essentially being aid climbing since you have two nice big hooks in your hands... Oh yeah, and another two nice hooks on your feet.


beyond_gravity


Jul 16, 2002, 7:21 PM
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I guess you could compare it to dry tooling. I can't say I would want to ever drytool without a rope.


manacubus


Jul 16, 2002, 7:54 PM
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Yep, it was Zodiac.

It's been done here in Oz as well on the Beerwah Bolt Route (four pitch A1 - 99% bolts) in the Glasshouse Mountains.

What I don't understand is that typically, each placement is a full stretch from each other, even on Zodiac. If you have your daisy on the bottom piece near your feet, you're hanging out of the top pocket of your daisy on a piece at your waist, and then place a piece at the limit of your reach and clip it with your third daisy (daisy fully extended), there's no way you can get back down to clean the bottom piece.

Therefore, because in many cases you don't have an option for three pieces close together, I must assume that for a significant portion of the route, you are only safe to one piece (as you unclip and go for the next high piece).

Any ideas from those in the know?


bigdan


Jul 16, 2002, 11:02 PM
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i was wondering that too. i tried it once, but i was on shitty sandstone and wasn't sure how to keep from being isolated on one piece at a time. when i weighted the top piece, i couldn't reach the bottom one. anybody?


apollodorus


Jul 17, 2002, 12:11 AM
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Unless you are crack-walking, you have to extend the daisies. And you have to also down-aid to clean the lower pieces as you go up. I led 10 pitches of the Excalibur (9 @ C1, 1 @ C2) by crack-walking, with two, three or four pieces in motion. On one pitch, I duct-taped my aiders to my feet so I could just slide the big cams up the crack. I used the same two cams the whole way. I left a couple of others for pro, but never had to stand on anything else. Until a wide section that took a 12" cam for two moves. And right after that it was so awkward I actually had to free the OW monster for about two or three moves.

That pitch would be pretty spooky to climb unroped on aid. A short piece of climbing rope would let you tie in to some good pieces, move up, and then go back and get them.

The whole idea of an six-legged spider clawing its way up a vertical crack is pretty cool, though. One leg moves at a time, feeling for the best possible purchase on the hostile terrain; leg #1 feels a good spot, slams in a #3 Camalot. That sort of thing.


passthepitonspete


Jul 17, 2002, 11:53 AM
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Ropeless Aid Soloing is very much catching on. When I was staying at Hans' place in Yosemite, I talked to a guy who soloed the Leaning Tower this way.

Natec can tell us who he is, and how he did it - I don't recall his name.

At any rate, this is an extraordinarily dangerous way to climb!

The fall factors are severe, and the potential for disaster is always close at hand.

Make no mistake about it:

Ropeless Aid Soloing is for

EXPERTS ONLY!

Do not even think of trying this one at home, kids! This is a great way to die.


natec


Jul 17, 2002, 12:05 PM
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The guy whom Pete is refering to is my roommate Nick Fowler. He set the solo speed record on the West Face of Leaning Tower with a time of 3:3something (7 I think, but he'll be whining if I get it wrong). Much of his ascent was done using ropeless aid.

Make no mistake folks, Nick is every bit as bitchin as our beloved Pete. He climbs 3-4 walls a week and is VERY at home on A4+. This is not a technique for the faint of heart or those who value safety in all circumstances.

Basically, on the bolt ladders he worked point to point aid (only connected to one bolt at a time), in other sections he was moving on an anchor of three pieces continuously.

You can read the account of his record ascent on Hans website. http://www.speedclimb.com/yosemite/details.htm#nick

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMT TO TRY THIS METHOD OF CLIMBING. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU GO OUT AND PRACTICE "JUST IN CASE". IT IS A TECHNIQUE ON PAR WITH FREE SOLOING AND WILL NEVER BE NECESSARY.


manacubus


Jul 17, 2002, 7:34 PM
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Thanks for the clarification guys. Extending the top daisy would be the key. Of course, I'm not going to do it


karlbaba


Jul 17, 2002, 11:20 PM
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Years ago I had a real job (almost real anyway, it was in Yosemite) and If I didn't have a partner I'd go soloing. Once I did most of the easy stuff, I started pushing it a bit more but resorted to protecting the harder moves with a daisy-screamer combination. (Hell, as far as I know, the whole trick was my idea!)

Anyway, I soloed the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral that way using the daisies to stay clipped into two bolts at a time on the bolt ladder. I got tired of bringing a rope just to belay myself on the 50 crowded variation and rap the chimney. The trick became less dicey when sombody rebolted the pitch.

Now I have way more people to climb with so I don't solo too much. I could have been killed a million times.(except earlier this week)

On two separate solos of Middle, I came within 6 inches to 3 feet from getting clocked by rocks or dropped waterbottles while unroped

Peace

karl


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