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beyond_gravity


Oct 27, 2002, 9:32 AM
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If leading A5 is so crazy...why doesnt anyone die doing it?


addiroids


Oct 27, 2002, 2:21 PM
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They do. Read the story on Fish's sight (www.fishproducts.com) about Articulo Mortis. It's just that so few people climb A5 and those who do are so far beyond being the "top" in this sport that they just know what to do to not fall.

Kind of like old trad climbers back in the 40's and 50's. The leader does not fall.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


Partner camhead


Oct 27, 2002, 3:01 PM
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Paul, that is a burley ass story!


johnhenry


Oct 28, 2002, 10:35 AM
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Sorry Boys,that story is a fiction .


stevematthys


Oct 28, 2002, 11:19 AM
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i hope it is fiction, if it was not that would really suck


passthepitonspete


Oct 28, 2002, 7:24 PM
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This is an interesting question, and after pondering it for a few days, I really have no clue!

Certainly I have stared the Grim Reaper in the face a few times, and somehow managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Wasn't there a similar question posed in a recent edition of Climbing Magazine?

I believe there may be a few reasons not that many people die on hard aid. First of all, there is the experience factor to consider. Real A4 or A5 is the realm of the expert and the psychotic - I've only been there a couple times myself - but I'd like to think that I have paid my dues and have the requisite experience. Generally speaking, the people who climb hard aid belong there.

Hard aid is a thinking man's game - it's not like free climbing where you have to move quickly before your strength evaporates. You can take your time, really think, and make sure you don't blow it.

I've never taken a really big whipper while climbing hard aid, mostly because I really do take my time. However some of the twenty-five footers I've taken would have hurt had a ledge happened to be in the way. But it's not the sort of thing you want to rush.

While climbing hard aid takes big balls, like any type of dangerous climbing, your testosterone is more likely to get you into, rather than out of, trouble. What keeps you alive is your ability to remain cool and solve problems. Hard aid is no coward's game!

Conversely I believe many, if not most, climbing accidents occur due to carelessness, stupidity, or lapse of concentration. When you are on hard aid, you are focused. You are not worried about your money or your relationships, which apart from your health are the things people worry about most.

[Note: If you are climbing hard aid, you should be worried about your health.]

Indeed, many climbing accidents in the mountains are caused by uncontrollable objective danger - altitude sickness, storm, avalanche and rockfall. Most hard aid tends to take place in a more controlled environment.

Though this is not to say that hard aid does not take place in the great ranges. Warren Hollinger's The Great and Secret Show on Baffin Island has a crux pitch of real A4, and Jean-Christophe Lafaille has made a solo winter first ascent of a new A5 on the P'tit Dru. But I would have to say that hard and remote mountaineering altitude is far riskier than hard aid.

Hey, at least on hard aid the route is usually so steep you don't have to worry about getting hit by falling rock or avalanche!

There is another possibility, and that "hard aid" isn't really all that hard after all! Perhaps it is overrated.

If you believe this to be the case, may I suggest you give it a try? I would be happy to offer you a few recommendations, and would look forward to your trip report if you return.


yossarian


Oct 28, 2002, 7:45 PM
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Most hard aid climbers are not worried about their money or their relationships because they have little of both.


copperhead


Jan 3, 2003, 1:56 AM
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Because A5 doesn’t exist. A5 is somewhat of a hypothetical rating. With a closed system, the system must adjust as time progresses and technology advances. This means that as harder routes are established, those that lie below must be downgraded. Climbs are rated A5 by first ascentionists because the route is the hardest route at that time. As techniques and technology progress, more difficult routes are climbed. In my opinion, A5 has never been achieved. Why else would Beyer develop an A5 rating system with sub-lettering? If new methods and technology are to progress and harder climbs are established, then the rating system must extend beyond the closed A1-5 system. A few decades back, 5.10 was thought to be the hardest climb possible. The sickest sport and trad routes of today aren't still rated 5.10, are they? How about ice and mixed climbing... they keep adding new levels too, right?

[ This Message was edited by: copperhead on 2003-01-03 19:24 ]


apollodorus


Jan 3, 2003, 2:07 AM
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Injury is not directly related to laziness. I am totally lazy, and have never suffered a significant injury, climbing or otherwise.

Injury may be related to inattention to the task at hand. At the wrong time.

Or maybe, bad juju at the wrong time.

But, laziness is wholly uncorrelated with injury. Warren Harding was lazy. He said it himself.

"People who are lazy don't have the energy to hurt themselves." - Dr. Johnson



climbhigher


Jan 3, 2003, 12:50 PM
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FEAR leads the HATE. and HATE leads to the DARK SIDE!!! I am staying on A3!!!!


iamthewallress


Jan 3, 2003, 2:21 PM
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Sorry to trot out this dead horse again, but I still don't understand something...well, I guess I don't understand lots of things.

How much deader can you get than dead? I though the definition of A5 was basically that if you fall, you die? Or at least that you take the whole pitch factor 2 to the anchor?

So, if it's positive, solid hooks up flakes that follows a plumbline up a slightly less than vertical wall for the entire pitch, by this definition, it's still "A5", but not necessarily 'tricky' if you can master your fear. Is this what the sub grading is about? I've only heard people speculate about what it means. Is it the subjective difficulty or the objective danger?

I though stuff got down graded more because of fixed placements and pin scars than because of an advancement of the standard? Aren't a lot of the old, obscure A4's still A4?

Wheew. That's a lot of questions...if someone doesn't mind enlightening this gumby.


[ This Message was edited by: iamthewallress on 2003-01-03 14:29 ]


bigwalling


Jan 3, 2003, 4:41 PM
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Quote:So, if it's positive, solid hooks up flakes that follows a plumbline up a slightly less than vertical wall for the entire pitch, by this definition, it's still "A5", but not necessarily 'tricky' if you can master your fear.

Solid hooks can be left as protection. I have placed hooks on stuff and left it as pro. I know the would have held in a fall.

Personally I don't think A5 exists. But then I don't think my opinion is of much value because I haven't done enough.


iamthewallress


Jan 3, 2003, 4:55 PM
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I guess I meant 'solid hooks' as in..the rock isn't going to crumble away, not that hooks would stay put for lead pro.

Or to make an easier question out of my last opus...How do you differentiate between the trickiness factor and the deathfall potential factor w/ an aid rating?


copperhead


Jan 3, 2003, 5:06 PM
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You don't. That is the problem with the system.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=22823&forum=19&11


iamthewallress


Jan 3, 2003, 5:10 PM
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OK, so why don't 'death pitches' exist then? Or why would a string of hooks in 1970 be less deadly than one today?


milesdesbrie


Jan 3, 2003, 5:14 PM
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Bigwalling, I'm curious, if you don't believe that A5 exists, what would you rate a pitch on which a fall at any point would zipper the entire thing right to the belay? Not being argumentive, just trying to get a handle on this.


bigwalling


Jan 3, 2003, 6:13 PM
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Miles, I personally hate ratings. I find them worthless. Why do I hate it? Well I have climbed stuff that is rated A3. It was not that hard. Everything I have done felt like A1.

I did one really small F.A. the thing was all tied off blades that I pulled out with my hands. I rated it A1. Why? I was laughing the whole way talking to my mom and dog. If I would have fallen I would have hit the ground(the route tranverses and is on a sloping hill so it's 15' to the ground max).

Now I have several lines that I want to try this spring that will be multi pitch F.A.'s. I know that they will be fairly hard and dangerous. One of the routes there fell off the wall shortly after being climbed!

If I rated something that you could break a bunch of bones on A1, I wouldn't be a very nice guy. Instead I would perfer not to rate it. That way you won't go on it unless you are ready for tough climbing.







flamer


Jan 5, 2003, 6:51 PM
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There is very little difference between leading Extremely hard aid and doing a lot of acid. Both will fry your brain in the long run!!
josh


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