In reply to:
If someone could give me the basic solo aid system using the clove hitch method, that would help me out
Basically, the system is this:
1. Place an anchor at the base of the pitch to handle an upwards pull.
2. From the anchor, pull up a little slack & attach to your harness with a clove hitch on a large locking biner.
3. Pull up some more slack & attach to your harness with a figure eight and another locking biner (back-up knot).
4. Place a piece in the rock & aid up to waist level.
5. Clip rope to piece, making sure that the piece is between your clove hitch connection & the anchor.
6. Repeat steps 4 & 5, feeding out more rope from the clove hitch as you gain altitude. Tie back-up knots every 15 feet or so (or whatever makes you comfortable) to catch you just in case the clove hitch fails.
7. Once at the top, fix the lead line to the top anchor.
8. To clean the pitch, you can either do it on rappel or rap the haul line & clean it as you normally would if you were seconding the pitch.
If you are hauling, you'll probably have to do a mini-haul to release the bag from the bottom anchor (loop a bight of rope through a biner a little higher up, haul the weight of the bag off the anchor, unclip the bag from the anchor, and then slowly lower the weight of the bag back onto the haul line).
There are quicker methods for solo hauling (i.e. fifi hook & prussick method), but they are more dangerous...I would stick to the slower, safer way for now.
There's nothing wrong with using the clove hitch method, people have been doing it for years. Just remember the logic...the rope runs from a bottom anchor, through your protection, to your clove hitch tie-in (a clove hitch is used because it allows you to feed rope easily as you move up with out having to untie). Remember to ALWAYS USE A BACK-UP KNOT.