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noob starting with the russian system
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score_one


Aug 14, 2006, 10:46 PM
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noob starting with the russian system
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I've never done any aid but I've spent a number of evenings trying to follow peton petes posts and reading john long, etc (doesnt make that much sense without actually trying it). So I finally got my hands on some russian aiders and went to my local gym who were kind enough to let me try them on their overhanging wall (the only one bolted) 30 minutes later I reached the ~6th bolt, the knee cuffs starting to draw blood, my arms pumped out and my hopes of el cap squashed. I had one regular sewn daisy and one runner w/ biner on my harness. I had only 2 "aid-trees" which meant I clipped one in above and only had one ring down low for one knee, but my biggest problem was I couldnt stand up without holding onto my daisy that was clipped into the bolt above, then I would try to strenuously hold myself with one arm on the daisy and one hand putting the ring onto my knee clip. dang, I suck. Ok so from the basic sequence I think I'm missing the fifi hook and second daisy chain and thats my problem? Is the fifi hook thrown into each successive loop on the daisy so that one doesnt have to hold themselves up? I think my next step will be to buy 4 of the 5 step aiders and 2 adjustable daisys. Anyone care to make fun of... er I mean offer advice? Thanks for the help!
Ben


teth


Aug 15, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Re: noob starting with the russian system [In reply to]
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Score_one, I think I have been having a bit more luck than you with the Russian Aiders by the sounds of it. On a nearly vertical wall I can brace my foot against the wall and stand without any attachment other than the hooks at my knees. (Position the hooks slightly to the inside of your knees so their not digging into your kneecap. If your knees are bleeding, I am guessing you hooks are positioned on the front of your knee.) On the one 5.8 trad route I have aid climbed so far I only used a chest attachment (daisies) three or for times when resting or dealing with my belay knot etc. When aid climbing a tree (I was desperate to climb something!) I could not get my toe wedged against the tree in most cases, so I was mostly bracing with the side of my foot which made it like climbing an overhanging wall. In this case I had to use my daisies continuously. I did not have a chest harness so I clipped a piece of webbing around my chest. I would stand up (holding the daisy to keep myself in) and clip myself high on the daisy (using a biner in the way you described using a fifi hook), then I could rest my weight on the daisy while hooking up higher on the aid tree or moving to the other aid tree. I was using standard daisies, but adjustable would make the process easier. I did strain my biceps a couple of times practising with the Russian Aiders before I got the hang of it.

Ideally we should be able to hook into the aid tree without using our hands, but the technology could use some more tweaking to make this easier. I had to make my own Russian Aiders and started with aid trees I had made by tying loops in 6mm cord. Ironically it may have actually been easer to do no hands hooking into the home made aid trees than with the ones I just got from Fish, but some modifications to the hooks could change this.

I would be happy to compar notes on leaning to aid Russian style any time.

Teth


score_one


Aug 15, 2006, 10:31 PM
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Thanks for the response Teth, sounds like your confirming what I was thinking that its not the aiders, but my lack of appropriate daisy set up. I just wonder how folks used to aid climb without these fancy sewn and adjustable runners? Did they hold themselves up with an arm on overhanging stuff until they could clip in shorter on the peice? The other scary thing was I was working those bolts with all of my pulling and tensioning, man I'd be scared to do that on anything but a solid bolt, which makes me think I'm still missing something.


teth


Aug 16, 2006, 5:29 AM
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Bolts in plywood do a lot of flexing when weighted. But yeah, on delicate placements you will probably want to flow like water and be very aware of what directional forces you are applying to the piece. I expect that just comes with experience.

Do what I did and find a nice vertical (or less) 5.8 trad route with lots of places to put gear (easy C1) and give it a go. You will find it much easier. Once you get your system ironed out, then try the overhang stuff again.

If you canít get outdoors and have to try it in the gym again, get another daisy, and rig a chest harness of some sort. I had both a free biner and a quick draw clipped to my chest biner. I would be clipped high on one daisy with the free biner, and would pull myself up and clip to the daisy on my new piece with the quick-draw (more reach). I would then unclip the free biner from my first daisy, hook a higher loop in the aid tree, stand up, while pulling myself in, and clip the free biner high on the daisy. Sometimes I would use the quick-draw biner clipped to my chest biner like a free biner. Basically whatever your setup, you want to make it so that you can move up while always being clipped at the chest so that you can lean back in your chest harness most of the time rather than popping your biceps trying to hold yourself in. On a vertical face this is not as much of an issue as you can stand up unassisted in the aiders.

I expect that before daisies people used tied loops of webbing in varying lengths, but that is only a guess. There is at least one guy on these forums who has never used daisies of any kind, so maybe he can fill us in on what he does?

Teth


stymingersfink


Aug 16, 2006, 1:17 PM
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Re: noob starting with the russian system [In reply to]
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my first (and last) wall partner has, uses, and loves his russian aiders. He has done some modification to the trees which makes sense to me.

Rather than a single piece of spectra with pairs of titanium loops stitched opposite one another, he has set them up as a more traditional two-aider tree. By this i mean he has sewn the Ti-rings into their own strand of spectra, which means for one aid tree (he uses two) he has two strands of spectra with a titanium ring sewn in at the same spacing, such that his knees are not always locked together. This will allow him to put some "body english" into reaching that next piece.

I would recommend using an adjustable fifi hook instead of an adjustable daisy.

Sequence: standing in highest rung (or Ti ring) necessary, place next piece, clip w/ oval. Clip daisy/aid-ladder (d/a) to piece. Hold self in to piece you're on with one hand, while simultaneously unhooking fifi, extending it out, fifi'ing the spine of the d/a biner on the new piece and pulling the slack out of the fifi. You may now test the placement for body-weight simply by slumping down till the fifi holds your entire weight (do not look directly at the piece!!). Some light bounce testing may also be performed.

Step onto the piece with one leg, giving it more bounce. Move completely onto it, bounce the hell out of it, then move up while simultaneously pulling the slack out of the adjustable fifi. When your waist is even with the piece you've just moved off of, clean your lower d/a setup and clip the rope to the oval you've left there for such purposes. Continue moving up to the third step and begin looking for the next placement. On bolt ladders the bounce test can and should be omitted.


teth


Aug 17, 2006, 4:29 AM
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Re: noob starting with the russian system [In reply to]
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Do you know where we could order the Kong adjustable fifi hook online? I heard I could special order a (Petzel?) adjustable fifi through MEC (even though it is not in their catalogue) but I understand that the Kong would be better.

Teth


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