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Ask Dr. Piton....about how to move up on aid without blowing
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wigglestick


Nov 8, 2001, 10:09 AM
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Ask Dr. Piton....about how to move up on aid without blowing
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Doctor Doctor it hurts when I do this

Anyway, I am an aspiring aid climber and have led about three pitches in my illustrious career. I am planning on going to Zion this fall and attempt one of the trade routes. I was wondering what your preferred methodology is for moving onto pieces and making upward progress. I was reading on the Fish Products webpage (http://www.fishproducts.com/howto/htmoving.html) and the say to use one daisy and 2 sets of aiders and clip the daisy to the high piece and test it then clip in your aiders. I have been taught to use to daisies and with a set of aiders on each and use each as a unit. As usual is there a better way? Or is it just personal preference?

[ This Message was edited by: wigglestick on 2002-01-23 10:29 ]


passthepitonspete


Nov 8, 2001, 11:12 AM
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Dear Wigglestick,

As always, there is a right way of doing things, and a wrong way or doing things, and nowhere is doing it right more fundamental than here.

While you can get away with "personal preference" on on easy aid, when it comes to the A4 horror shows, it is fundamental that you do things the right way.

And by the way, "fans", when Dr. Piton uses the word "fundamental", what he is really saying is,

PAY ATTENTION OR YOU WILL END UP FRICKIN' DEAD!

Dr. Piton will be please to answer your question as soon as he has a bit more time.

To Hanschlorine I say, "please be patient! Your questions are hugely involved, but very much worth knowing, indeed they are fundamental."

Dr. Piton is going a bit buggy-eyed with all the things he "has" to do!.....

[Aside: it is a good thing Dr. Piton does not have a "real job".]

I have a very good series of drawings explaining the Continuous Loop System with Solo Tagging which I need to dig out. This is the very best way to aid solo big walls, and has never been published, even though it is used by Big Name Wall Soloists like Wally Barker, whom you have probably never heard about but is bitchin' and bad ass beyond belief, having soloed (I believe) Reticent Wall, Jolly Roger and Plastic Surgery Disaster. Of the latter I understand he found it more difficult than Reticent, which is saying a lot. I have not personally spoken with him for some time.

So have patience! I'll be back to answer these and other questions as soon as I can!.....





[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-01-23 10:01 ]


passthepitonspete


Jan 23, 2002, 9:51 AM
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Please note:

If you are going to best understand this post, please familiarize yourself with the post linked below.

Please read STUFF YOU NEED AND HOW TO RIG IT.


OK, so by now, you have acquired the requisite stuff.

You have joined the new Millennium and got yourself a pair of Metolius Adjustable Daisies and a Kong-Bonatti Adjustable Fifi hook which you have rigged on slippery 6mm cord.

It's time to climb!

Please note:

This post comes with the following caveat which reminds the reader I have not stood in aiders for about six months! But I think I remember how to do it, eh? I'll reread this in mid-June after I get back from Yosemite, then I know I'll have it right.


You're standing in your third steps. Get used to it - this is where you will spend most of your time. Your fifi is cinched in tight, and you have tied a slipknot in the free end of the slippery 6mm fifi cord so it doesn't suddenly slip on you
You're looking up, trying to find the next placement. This is hard aid, so the placement is neither obvious nor easy. It is also awkward to stand where you are. Relax - get comfortable. You are going to be here a long time, so try to be cool

In this example, you do not have to topstep. The placement is within reach from your third steps

Clip the piece or pieces you hope will fit onto on of your rack tethers which you have added to your big wall lead rack as described in the post linked here - this way you cannot drop your piece

Make the placement, then test it a bit by tugging on it. Do you think it will hold? Make sure! Get the best possible placement you can - your life depends on it!

Take your other pair of aiders, the pair you are not standing in and which you have conveniently clipped to the front subrack of your aid rack, and clip your lead carabiner (which is a keylock crab) on this pair of aiders DIRECTLY into the piece as high as possible. If this piece is a wire, clip directly into the wire. If this piece is a cam, then don't clip the crab on the cam, clip the sling on the cam. If this is a piton, clip the tie-off loop and the keeper. You want as much height as possible

Cinch down your adjustable daisy and get some weight on the piece

Do not under any circumstances clip your rope into the upper piece! At least, not yet. This is counter-intuitive to your free climbing instincts, but if you wish to live to tell the tale, you had best hone your aid climbing instincts, which tell you NOT to clip the rope yet!

If you are REALLY SCARED, remove your adjustable fifi from the lower piece on which you are standing (you have cinched the adjustable daisy as tight as possible - which is not really all that tight) and clip into it with the bungy cord on your harness - this will minimize the pull on it if the piece you just placed above, and are about to test, should blow. You should have a designated keylock crab preplaced through your bungy for this purpose

Stand in the lowest step of your upper aiders that you can, and get most of your weight onto the upper piece. Keep one hand on the upper piece, and one hand on the lower piece. You will have one foot in the third step of the lower piece, and one foot in the fifth step of the upper piece. Stand in balance - if the upper piece blows you are still in balance on the lower piece

With extreme caution, look upward at the piece as you gently weight it. Be aware that it can pop and hit you in the eye. Examine your placement carefully - how does it look? Pretty good? Is it the best you can get under the circumstances?

It's holding, eh? Damn! Looks like hell. Too bad - I guess you've gotta use it...

Time to bounce test the upper piece. Agressive bounce testing is FUNDAMENTAL to your survival on hard aid! You have to know that that piece is capable of holding at least a short fall, and the way you find this out is by bounce testing it

Make sure you are in balance on your bottom piece - keep in mind that the top piece can blow at any time, and you must be ready to get back on the lower piece should the upper one blow. It is critical that you remain in balance, especially if your lower piece happens to be a hook

How hard you bounce test depends on the piece, and its placement. Do not bounce test cams, especially if they are behind loose or expanding flakes! Just ease onto it and gently bounce it just a bit.

Do not bounce test heads too hard, or you will rip them! A small head needs just a gentle bounce, but a bigger head can do with some bouncing

Knifeblades or Lost Arrows in vertical cracks need a really good bounce - they can rotate down and out as you apply your weight to them. If you see them start to slip, stack in another blade, or funk out the pin and start again. You must bring your funkness device on lead for this very purpose! There will often be times you need to funk out pins and try again

With wires and pins especially, you should bounce test the livin' bejeepers out of them! Get on those motherf*ckers and bounce til you're blue in the face! Really frickin' bounce, mate! Give it all you've got! Generate as much shock load as you can! The more SCARED you are, the HARDER you need to bounce test!

Aggressive bounce testing will give you confidence that your piece will actually hold you!

Above all else, do not LOOK UP when you are bounce testing! Keep your helmet between you and your piece! If you look up when you are bounce testing you may get hit in the face, or end up blinding yourself!

If you are aid climbing and you are NOT wearing a helmet, then you have no business being where you are. Do us all a favour and go home.

When you are aid climbing, think of it as though you are building a chain. If you really slam on every piece, then you are building a chain of EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!! You know they will hold a lot more than just your body weight because your lard ass jumped up and down on them and bounced the hell out of them

However, if you hadn't tested your piece, and had just climbed up on it, then you wouldn't know how much more than body weight it would hold, would you? Would it hold a fall?

If you do not bounce test, then what you have done is built a chain of QUESTION MARKS???????? Are you prepared to trust your life to a question mark?

Finished bounce testing? The piece is holding? Damn! That means you actually have to get onto it.

What the hell you lookin' at? Quit wasting time and get on the damn thing!

Only now is it time to clip your rope into the lower piece. Make sure you clip the rope first, before you disconnect your daisy, in case the upper piece blows. If you are scared, this step will be painfully obvious

Unclip the bungy from your lower piece, or else you ain't goin' nowhere, dude. Right NOW, you must lengthen the adjustable daisy on your lower aider to full length in preparation for your next move, and clip it to the front subrack of your aid rack on the same side as which you are headed. In other words, if the route angles to the left, clip it to the left front subrack. You need to lengthen that daisy now, so it's ready - you might be standing in your top steps next, so do it while you're comfortable

Because you are climbing the better way, rest assured that you do not actually have to "climb" anything. You can merely pull yourself up with a 2:1 mechanical advantage using your adjustable daisy. Cool, eh? Can you believe you did it the traditional way for so long? Why doesn't everyone know the better way? you wonder. You will be particularly pleased to have those adjustable daisies if the piece onto which you are easing happens to be a hook - believe me

Get up into your third steps as quickly and as smoothly as you can - being smooth is important - you don't want to blow the piece by wobbling it. If you happen to be soloing, you may wish to gently squeeze your Gri-gri as you move up. If you are soloing, check the length of your backup knot. If you need more rope, then lengthen it. Now is the time to do it

Get your adjustable fifi onto the new piece, and cinch yourself in. Make sure you tie a slipknot in the free end of the slippery fifi cord. Those 6mm cords can and do slip from time to time

Perhaps your next placement is out of reach as you stand in your third steps - this means that you will have to TOP STEP

Top Stepping is tricky, strenuous, and scary - it requires practise, and the best place to practise is not on your first A4 lead! You should practise top-stepping on A1, or in a tree

The trick to top-stepping, is to precisely adjust your adjustable fifi to the nearest millimetre. You have to lengthen your fifi well beyond where you normally cinch it up tight. Then you have to get into your second steps and possibly even your top steps or hero loops! If you are top stepping very high, then you will have to lengthen your daisy as well

You must make darn sure that the waist belt of your harness is tight - you will be pushing up against the piece, and this will be pulling down on your harness. Unless you want your harness around your knees, make sure the waist belt is tight, much tighter than you would bother with when free climbing

Top stepping is a strange feeling which puts all sorts of weird stresses on your body - you are driving down with your feet, and you are pushing up against your waist loop. If you have your fifi too loose, you will fall backwards - not recommended! If you have your fifi too tight your kidneys will be crushed.

Top stepping is easy when the angle is less than vertical, and is desperate on overhanging ground. If you are climbing one of Steve Gerberding's rivet ladders, you had better be an expert top stepper!

BECOME an expert at top stepping - this is how things are done on the big wall

You can click here to read more about the Better Way to Topstep

Still can't make the move? The placement is still out of reach? [Perhaps you are on one of Steve's ladders!] Do you know how to cheat on the fly? Can you improvise? Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do?

Don't know how to cheat? Well then, you'd better Ask Dr. Piton




If you are interested, then you can click here to see a HOTTIE BLONDE demonstrating adjustable daisies.

Thanks to bshaftoe for the hottie link, and to addiroids for his very bitchin' exclamation point and question mark analogy.

The video is OK, but there are a few points with which I disagree:

Use a Petzl Spirit or equivalent keylock as your lead carabiner, not a frickin' oval. Wires will catch in the slot!

They suggest girth hitching the daisy through the whole harness like you would tie in a rope - I disagree. Girth hitch it through your "doughnut" only

What a stupid ascending system she uses! She needs to learn the Petzl Frog Ascending System!

Definitely a hottie...


OK, don't just stand there looking at it - get ON it, dude!













[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2002-07-02 00:03 ]


addiroids


Jan 25, 2002, 9:45 AM
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Then don't buy cams, climb with a hemp rope on a bowline, and drive pins on free routes. Technology keeps our asses alive. You don't become a hard man by climbing A2 with archaic gear. You become a hard man by climbing new wave A5 with up to date gear and having respect for the rock and being bold and not placing bolts and rivits where they don't need to be placed. I'm sure Pete will have a nice response to this too. Charlie Porter is truely a bad-ass, but as long as we don't do unnecessary damage to the route, we are free to use what ever gear we can afford and use it in bold style. We still must suffer, but now we can do it with style.

By the way, why are you an ex-climber?? Is it because you became disenfranchised with today's clip-n-go youth? If so, then come to The Valley this spring. There are plenty of old school hardmen to hang around with, drink beer with, and tell lies about climbing with. Who knows, maybe you might even do some climbing.

TRADitionally yours,

Addiroids (awaiting a shipment of NEW UP TO DATE gear to be here soon)


wigglestick


Jan 25, 2002, 11:47 AM
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But did you ever consider that 15 years later you were either smarter or more experienced? And those added years of experience and new technology made the route easier?

I would agree with you that new technology does make certain routes less technically difficult. But routes get down graded all the time due to such technological advances. In addition to technological advances subsequent ascents of a route can make routes less difficult. Fixed gear that is left, pins scars, and improved strategies and technicque can greatly reduce the difficulty of the route.

I don't think anybody would argue that being smart can make a route easier. Just like finding a new sequence or a double kneebar on the latest sport route in Rifle will make it easier. If you can use your noggin to make things easier than more power to you. I am sure Charlie Porter has done some innovating in his time to make routes possible/safer/easier.

I know you are just trying to play devil's advocate and question PTPPs self proclaimed big wall wizardy. But you have to admit that all of PTPPs rants, right or wrong, do make you think.

I would have more respect for a climber who can use their knowledge and know-how to make an A5 horror show into an A3 beach vacation. While I, on the other hand, can make any A1 route into an A3 horrow show. But that is entirely different issue.


addiroids


Jan 25, 2002, 12:00 PM
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I have no greatness, that's why I am here to learn. Much props for being old school and such.

Addiroids


krustyklimber


Mar 10, 2002, 11:04 PM
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If Charlie Porter was around the valley today, putting up new routes, he would be friends with guys like Pete, Miles, Chongo...et al. And he would undoutably be using modern methods.

The first tourists had to use horse and buggy to get to the Valley, I'm glad we don't have to do that anymore either.

Jeff


bigwalling


Dec 28, 2002, 10:06 PM
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Today I read Jim Beyer's account of his solo of his new route up Mt. Thor on Baffin Island. In his article he said he never used to fall on wall climbs. Now he said he falls on every wall. He stated that the climbs he is doing are so hard that even modern equipment can't keep up with them.

I bet you that many of the climbs done a while ago would require far less holes now a days.


climbhigher


Jan 2, 2003, 9:42 PM
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I would love to know what techniques Jim Beyer uses and what techniques he doesn't use. Have you ever read that interview (that i believe) Greg Childs did on him, It's SICK!!!


bigwalling


Jan 2, 2003, 9:59 PM
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I've never read it. Do you know where I can find it?


beyond_gravity


Feb 13, 2003, 3:17 PM
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Dr. Piton:

Iím taking a rescue course and we were doing some aid climbing. Of course I had read all the stuff here and I was bounce testing just like explained hereÖmy instructor told me that Iím doing it totally wrong and Iím wasting time. He said that I could clip the lead rope into the lower piece, and clip a daisy into the upper piece, then stand up and fall down with your harness. Oh ya, he also said that it is fundamental that I do not keep me feet in the aiders on the lower piece, and if the piece Iím testing rips, that I should take a fall on my lower piece with the lead rope.

What gives? It makes more sense to me to stay in balance on the lower piece while testing. Is it that he only climbing easy aid? Or his he doing things the traditional way?


rockmx


Feb 13, 2003, 3:37 PM
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TELL THAT INSTRUCTOR THAT IF HE DOES THAT IN A4, HE IS GOING TO KILL HIMSELF


milesdesbrie


Feb 13, 2003, 3:53 PM
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That is f*cked up. Your instructor must be hopped up on goofballs and cheap beer.


bigwalling


Feb 13, 2003, 6:05 PM
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I wouldn't trust this guy! If you do it as he says count on hurting yourself.

[ This Message was edited by: bigwalling on 2003-02-13 18:05 ]


copperhead


Feb 13, 2003, 9:34 PM
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Agreed, but it is better to whip onto the rope rather than a daisy. Dynamic vs. static.


flamer


Feb 14, 2003, 2:44 PM
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I second Bryan's comment. This is the reason PTPP is telling you to use a bungy cord on your harness. It changes a static daisy fall into something more...DYNAMIC(duh)! Besides, if it's truly easy aid you probably don't need to bounce test at all! Easy aid=time to haul ass=no bouncy!
josh

[ This Message was edited by: flamer on 2003-02-14 14:50 ]


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