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First encounters with expando aid
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slabbyd


Aug 18, 2003, 8:43 AM
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Registered: Nov 20, 2002
Posts: 40

First encounters with expando aid
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Straight off the 4th belay I top-step off the anchor bolt and can just reach up to the base of a thin overhanging corner system that breaks up and right. I place a baby angle straight up into the crack in the back and manage to pound it in a half-inch. Not wanting to take an anchor fall I place a lost arrow nearby and equalize the two pieces. Backing down to the belay I bounce test the hell out of it. No problems.

Moving up on the placements I reach over and right, looking for the next placement. The crack is thin but I find a pocket that fits a Z-ton perfectly. It’s awkward to place and difficult to hammer. As I drive it deeper one of the pins I’m on blows. Shit! I quickly clip my second aiders into the Z-ton and cinch the daisy tight. A few more taps and blam the second pin I’m on blows leaving me hanging off the Z-ton 10 feet above my portaledge. :shock: This is expanding aid. Scary!

On the rest of the pitch I try to place as many micronuts as possible alternating with pins when necessary. I clean out blow micronuts from some other climber’s long whipper. Twice higher up the pin I’m on blows as I place the next one above it. Interestingly it seems that the higher pin is always very secure by the time the one you’re on fails. After seventy feet and what seems like hours I clip a 3/8” bolt at the beginning of a blank section. Phew! Exciting stuff.

Clearly the technique for climbing expando is to place gear that limits expansion of the crack (nuts) or gear that can handle a certain amount of expansion (cams). Pitons seem like a secondary choice at best. Unfortunately expando cracks seem to generally be very thin.

To all wall masters out there what are the finer points of climbing thin expanding flakes? Any point in alternating cam hooks with pitons? Or will cam hooks apply far to much outward force on the rock? Z-tons vs LA’s vs baby angles? I tend to probably overdrive pins. Any guidelines on what will hold and what will not or do I just need to go take some big whippers and find out? Stories anyone? Stories?

Peace. Have a wonderful Monday whatever you might be doing! :D


copperhead


Aug 18, 2003, 9:42 AM
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Registered: Nov 25, 2002
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Re: First encounters with expando aid [In reply to]
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http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=22221


passthepitonspete


Aug 18, 2003, 10:24 AM
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Registered: Oct 9, 2001
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Re: First encounters with expando aid [In reply to]
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In the interests of minimizing the wank factor here in the aid forum, why don't you copy and paste your excellent post into the one Bryan linked. He and I have both written in it, and have answered a few of your questions.

After copying and reading the post linked above, perhaps you could amend your questions, and then we'll have a go at answering them. Some of your questions are already answered.

Excellent post.

If you agree to this, then Ed could delete this whole post, or move it to Archives or whatever he likes.

Cheers,

Pete


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