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What do aid climbers feel when reaching the top?
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mauta


Jan 23, 2002, 11:20 AM
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What do aid climbers feel when reaching the top?
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Hi,

first of all i want to make it clear that:

1)I have never done aid climbing

2)I have read about it, seen people training it, looked lot of pictures and seen some videos

3)I recognize it requires a great technique,courage and could be VERY DANGEROUS, as many others climbing specialities

Said that, i have a question to those who love aid climbing:

At the very end, when you finally reach the top of the route, do you feel you HAVE REALLY ASCENDED THE WALL ??
I ask this because, mostly, what you ascend IS NOT THE ROCK ITSELF but your own artificial gear fixed to the wall, like ladders, rope, etc...

Please, do not think it is an attack to aid climbers, i just want to know their opinions and feelings...


JUAN


toobigtoclimb


Jan 23, 2002, 11:51 AM
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What do aid climbers feel when reaching the top? [In reply to]
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How do Aid Climbers feel at the top?

Tired, hungry, thirsty...


Partner polarwid


Jan 23, 2002, 11:57 AM
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I usually feel the top of the rock...

No seriously if it was a tough route and there was absolutely no way to free it and it was a summit or objective(such as EL CAP, Trango Tower, etc.) then I would feel the same sense of accomplishment as free TRAD climbing. I repeat, if it is the objective to reach the top and not to free-climb then why would one NOT feel the same sense of accomplishment upon reaching the top as if one had free climbed a one or two pitch sport route.

Now I can see you thinking why not take a helicopter...you do reach the top, but there is no effort or risk involved so that is completely different. Use of your OWN power is key.

I realize that this is a ramble, but when I have summitted using Aid or Free I felt the same sense of accomplishment. NEITHER ONE FELT LESS THAN THE OTHER!!!

Just my $0.02 from an occasional AIDER...
PM PTPP if you want a really good perspective.


wigglestick


Jan 23, 2002, 12:09 PM
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What do aid climbers feel when reaching the top? [In reply to]
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I am by no means the most experienced aid climber on this site but I will take a crack at this answer.
Quote:
Hi,

first of all i want to make it clear that:

1)I have never done aid climbing


I heard a quote once that seems appropriate here "If I have to explain it, you won't understand"

Quote:
At the very end, when you finally reach the top of the route, do you feel you HAVE REALLY ASCENDED THE WALL ??

Well, mostly I feel thirsty, hungry, and exhausted. My feet hurt, my hands hurt, my harness has left some deep purple bruises. I stink real bad and still have to carry 100+ pounds of gear down to the car. I feel like I just took the SAT, the ACT, the GRE, and the MCAT back to back. Yet even though I truly feel like crap I find myself looking around the valley/canyon/whatever looking at all the other formations and thinking "Wow look at that line over there. I wonder if that has been done?"

Quote:
I ask this because, mostly, what you ascend IS NOT THE ROCK ITSELF but your own artificial gear fixed to the wall, like ladders, rope, etc...


Tell that to Chouinard, Robbins, Frost, John Long, Greg Child, Alex Lowe, Conrad Anker, etc. etc.

Some of the greatest climbers of all time have been aid climbers. Now notice I didn't say strongest climbers. Chris Sharma and Dave Graham may be way stronger than anybody else but are they really better climbers? Does the rehearsal of difficult moves with very little physical risk involved make a better climber? Sounds more like gymnastics to me, or ballet. I got nothing against sport climbing (or ballet). I clip bolts with the best (worst?) of them but if you are suggesting that the only pure way to ascend a wall is to use your own strength and not rely on equipment than I would disagree with you. Aid climbers were the first to pioneer routes that are free test pieces today. The Joker on the Diamond, The Nose, Steck-Salathe, Moonlight Buttress, Sheer Lunacy, etc. etc. exist as free climbs because they were established by bold aid climbers. If everybdoy stops aid climbing, where will the next generation of hard free routes come from?


addiroids


Jan 23, 2002, 2:47 PM
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Well I sure feel a great sense of accomplishment, but mostly I think of how lucky I am to have gotten into a sport like this. I just got to play with gear all day(s) and climbed something that takes a ton of knowledge and drive to do. And I have the desire to get off it, drink water at the car, then consume very tasty beer. Guinness is good for this requirement. And besides I can only free climb 5.9 on a good day, so I don't care if I didn't free it because I don't try to free something that most people aid, because I am not that elite 0.5% that can free climb 5.13 above A3 placements.

TRADitionally yours,

Addiroids


passthepitonspete


Jan 24, 2002, 7:27 PM
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Oh, DUDE!

You DEFINITELY "get it!"

If you have ever danced across ten hook moves in a row...

If you have ever placed twenty-five consecutive #1 heads...

...and you can click here to see those very heads...

If you have ever heard the Voice of God Himself...

...then you will NEVER DOUBT that you have climbed the wall.


When I reach the summit, I feel like a HERO.

I may have nobody's hand to shake except the claw of my Big Wall Crab, but that's good enough for me.

Another great adventure has nearly come to an end - "it ain't over til you're in the parking lot" - and I'm already planning the next.

Nowhere is life sweeter than on the summit of a big wall.


kagunkie


Jan 24, 2002, 10:21 PM
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I usually think to myself, THANK GOD THATS OVER! Then in a little while i may remember how much of a challenge it was tinkering with those little do dads especially the ones you hit with the hammer. It was actually fun and challenging. Like a watchmaker or master mechanic it takes skill and patience to traverse blank rock. IT,S INCREDIBLE! seeing a thousand feet of nothing between you'r heels! and the experience of it is one you'll never forget.


slider


Jan 24, 2002, 11:30 PM
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What do aid climbers feel when reaching the top? [In reply to]
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The first thing I think about is how much I hate the taste of copper heads, and how much I like a good beer. If you don't know I don't think anyone can explain it to you! It's a completely saddistic feeling, you suffered, and you loved every minute of it.


apollodorus


Feb 18, 2002, 7:45 PM
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I've topped out on aid climbs (A0) thinking, "I wonder if my partner is going tell everyone in camp that I grabbed those pieces and hung 10 minutes for a four-limb shakeout on the ROYAL ARCHES."

I've topped out after doing aid climbs (VI 5.9 A3), "This final jumar to the rim is overhanging that chimney like crazy. The wind is blowing me around. The haulbag on my back is heavy. This is that rope that Steve didn't want to use for hauling, because it might break. GOD! It would really SUCK to fall into that chimney. Especially after climbing up some of the first bathook holes ever drilled by man. Man, that was some cool climbing down there...."

I'd say that usually, RELIEF is generally what an aid climber feels: relief that they don't have to deal with the monotonous, easy aid; or relief that they're off the really sketchy stuff that is so fatiguing mentally to deal with.

[ This Message was edited by: apollodorus on 2002-02-26 21:15 ]


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