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Starting in Aid climbing
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Lilallan


Dec 19, 2008, 2:44 PM
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Starting in Aid climbing
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Ok, so basicly, this is my first post but i've been reading around for more than a year.

Since winter kicked in here and i dont ice climb, i decided to start aid climbing, witch is possible even -20 degres. Anyway, heres what i started doing.

I went to my local crag (30 meters high), set up a fixed rope on top. At the bottom, i build a nice anchor and tie myself in with a clove hitch (self belay) and i set up a prussik tie to my harness on the fix rope also as a backup. So basicly,i feed up slack with the clove hitch as i progress and i pull the prussik up also as i go up...

Ok, tested and approved, i took aid falls and my fixed line keeps my alive :P lol...

The question is, i find it REALLY hard to progress sometimes. Ive been trying around on a 5.4 free route that doesnt offer constant protection.... so i often have to use my talon hook (yes i only have one) The talon hook helps alot in the progress, but ive been wondering, how much hooking as to go? :P

Anyways, im quite mixed up lately! lol, its all fun but i guess i should maybe start on a easier route... i could maybe try on a crack that goes all way up? easier free routes are not necessarily easy aid routes i guess!?!?.... what do you look for when starting a aid rout? a full system crack? lots of hooking spots?


(This post was edited by Lilallan on Dec 19, 2008, 2:47 PM)


dingus


Dec 19, 2008, 3:06 PM
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Re: [Lilallan] Starting in Aid climbing [In reply to]
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For early practice I recommend using a single aider for each foot. Forget about two for each, especially on slabby bullshit. At the most use 3, with the 3rd on its own biner hanging off the back of the harness and only used if you have to stand in one spot for along time.

But you shouldn't - stand still in one spot, at all.

You place the piece. You clip the aider and as soon as your foot is in the first step, unclip the previous piece and IMMEDIATELY climb to the highest comfortable step, 1,2,3. Do not dawdle in the bottom step - that the Slow Noob Crawl of Death.

Don't be fooling with a fifi or what have you on less than vert terrain either - you have balance, use it.

As soon as you're in balance in the top step, place the next piece lickety split. Clip the next aider and GET UP THOSE STEPS.

Climb the aiders like you climb the rock. A lot of aid noobs (me included) get it into their heads that they have to USE the aiders, after all, its aid climbing.

Forget about all that. By using only one aider your mind willopen up to the broader opportunities. The aiders and the pro you place become hand holds and foot holds - but you still use the other features around you.

When you go to a 4-aider system, the mind shuts down and you get all halting and shit. All that crap is in the way. Get rid of it.

There is nothing wrong with placing a piece and yarding up immediately on it... no aider atall.

Lastly, always be looking ahead.

Cheers
DMT


dingus


Dec 19, 2008, 3:08 PM
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Re: [dingus] Starting in Aid climbing [In reply to]
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Oh, find a steep assed crack - forget about hooking for the time being. Or don't!

Cheers
DMT


tarsier


Dec 19, 2008, 3:25 PM
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Re: [Lilallan] Starting in Aid climbing [In reply to]
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steep is good


Lilallan


Dec 19, 2008, 3:39 PM
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Re: [tarsier] Starting in Aid climbing [In reply to]
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hey thanks for the hints!

Ya i was using the 2 aiders method so far with one adjustable daisy (the one with the belt clip) Seems faster than the old daisy.... i step in my aider, pull the slack so my waist is secured faster...

But i guess ill try something a little steeper with more features, before i pull a hook off my face :P


dingus


Dec 20, 2008, 7:54 AM
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Re: [Lilallan] Starting in Aid climbing [In reply to]
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It pays to wear sunglasses or something when hammering on steel or using hooks, Sooner or later you take one of them buggers in the face. Get in the habit of turning your face to the side when you test and step onto them.,

DMT


Partner xtrmecat


Dec 21, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Re: [dingus] Starting in Aid climbing [In reply to]
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  The best stuff I found to practice aid out here is steeper, continuous crack. The harder free the better, as it has no to little traffic. Then I focus on mileage(pitches). Dingus has some wisdom in his words. I just try to keep the motion going up, and try to climb about three placements ahead all the time, trying to pay attention to cluster in front of me at every move. The daisy will be mega important when getting up high in the ladders or slightly overhanging, other than that mine just serves as a way to not drop the top piece, should it blow before I get on the next one. I used to try to tend the daisy and now rarely use it to hold me(or rest on it). Much faster.
Now practice, practice, and practice. Mileage seems to be the best teacher. When I get on a marginal piece (hooks especially) I bounce the placement with my hand over the piece, and then keep the hand on it when getting on it and keep the face out of the way until the piece is below the neck. I generally am sweating like a mad man so I do not wear glasses, as I wouldn't be able to see through them. but they most certainly are a good idea. Did I mention that aid is work intensive, hence the sweating.
Then comes the practice. The more I do it the better(faster) I get. The placements do not all need to be anchor quality, so using a sketchy nut to just get you up to the next bomber gear should be routine in a short time. Also trying to get as much elevation as you can out of each piece makes a huge difference in time. If you climb a pitch with say 60 placements and it took you two hours. that is two minutes per placement, which is not unreasonable, but very slow for easy aid. Now look at 75 placements on the same pitch. That adds another thirty minutes to the pitch with just skipping a top step on one fourth of your placements. Multiply this over a day and wow, you benighted yourself. By a week and you may have caused your own epic by not having enough water or food as it took two days longer. You get where this is going.
Jeff and Ron's aid climbing video was a great source of tips for moving faster, and technique. I think it is titled "Clean Walls". Teeing off was a skill I picked up here but rarely use anymore, but is where I got off the daisy( as far as using it to rest). The techniques used here also help me get my rythm and develop some tricks of my own. And then practice will help you get faster, then some more mileage will eventually get you ready to go some where and climb aid just because you like to.
It is work but I cannot think of anything that helped me more than practice.
Bob


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