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apollodorus


Apr 1, 2002, 6:27 PM
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There are a number of articles and forums on the R.A.S. From what I've read, the system seems to be easier and better. The downside is taking falls and catching the hooks, or maintaining balance when you bounce test a piece and it pulls.

BTW, the last I heard, Trango only had the knee cuffs. No aid-triers left. And they were not going to do another run of them.

When Dr. Piton rises at dusk, he will provide even better information. He personally knows people who have used the system On The Rock, and is going to borrow a set for his upcoming Leaning Tower and Excalibur climbs.


beyond_gravity


Apr 1, 2002, 6:13 PM
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insane


crap


Apr 1, 2002, 6:33 PM
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Is Dr. Piton a vampire?


passthepitonspete


Apr 2, 2002, 8:04 AM
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Nah, just a caver.

And I don't DO mornings, eh?

Brutus has promised to mail me his Russian Aid Package, so I'll give you the lowdown from the Big Stone when I return in June.

Brutus absolutely raved about these things on his ascent of Tempest.

You can click here to read more about the Russian Aid Package. You'll find that bit right at the top of the blue box, which is the second post down.

Cheers,

Pete


spike


Apr 2, 2002, 8:31 AM
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Hi Crap,
I have been using the Trango Russian aiders for about 2 months. My top step O-rings are now oval shaped, maybe because of the pressure applied when top stepping. I did get an extra set of the O-ring aiders (probably the last set), because when you are doing diagonal stuff when high stepping and you want to flag a foot out you will need them. The quality of the cuffs are poor. The buckles are cheap metal and the elastic strap w/velcro that holds the webbing to the ankle doesn't hold. Usually I climb in Levi's so I just wrap duck tape around the ankle a couple times to keep things tight. I am going to keep on using them, but have the buckles modified and the straps at the ankle replaced and padded. I have been surfing the web and looking at Russian aid climber images, their aiders look more solid --- better padding at the knee and ankle.
Richard / SPIKE

[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-04-02 09:15 ]

[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-04-02 09:16 ]


passthepitonspete


May 6, 2002, 3:15 PM
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I have just returned from Uncle Stu's place in West Virginia, where I had the opportunity to test the Russian Aid Package for the first time. Brutus kindly loaned the stuff to me.

Preliminary testing suggests that the Russian Aid Package is

THE SHIT!!

Absolutely amazing.

With the "knee hook" of the Russian Aider on your knee, you get incredible knee-heel mechanical advantage, so much so that when you hook your "knee hook" directly onto the piece of gear on which you are aiding, you are actually top-stepping, even though it feels as though you are not.

It was raining when I tried them, and I hooked my way up a sport climb.

I have done a ton of hooking in the past, but these things absolutely sing on skyhooks!

OK - when you're hooking, you know that you generally like to stay pretty low. You don't like it much when the skyhook is much below your chest, and you start to feel really nervous when you're standing in your third step and you are cinched in tightly with your adjustable fifi, right? Generally speaking, it is scary to make big moves when you are hooking.

As for top-stepping on a hook - scary, eh?

Well, get this - when you've hooked your "knee hook" into your skyhook which is positioned perhaps two or three inches above your knee, and you are topstepping so high that if you were to hook your adjustable fifi into the skyhook - which you don't even need to bother doing, incidentally! - your adjustable fifi would have eight or twelve inches of cord out, yet you feel fully secure and in balance!

Top-stepping hooks never felt so easy!

Now, let me tell you that I was on a face that was rather less than vertical, but even on the steeper placements, these things worked beautifully! It was incredible how FAR I was able to reach! On average, I was reaching easily nearly a foot higher on each and every placement!

Think about it - your regular three-foot moves suddenly become four feet! You can end up making substantially fewer moves to get where you're going!

WOW!

I only got a half pitch to try the things, so ask me when I get back from Yosemite next month, but my take on the Russian Aid Package is that it is indeed the Better Way!


jhump


May 7, 2002, 11:26 AM
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I came to this site from links from Supertopo. I am very impressed. In two days I have learned more about aid than ever before. What I would really like to see is a picture or illustration of the Russian Aid system rigged and being deployed. I am also interested in seeing the Metolius daisies matched up with standard aiders and the adjustable fifi. I am not clear on what the daisies and fifi do. It seems like Pete describes them as being used interchangeably. I am new to this, and I could use a redundant explanation (or a picture) on how to rig this stuff up. Also, I looked on Barrabes for a Kong fifi, but the closest I could find was a Lucky. It has holes like the Kong, so Im guessing it is adjustable. Is this acceptable, Dr. Piton?

Thanks,
Jeremy H.


bigwalling


May 7, 2002, 3:28 PM
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Yeh, that Lucky Fifi looks like it would be the same thing as the kong just a different look.


jhump


May 7, 2002, 3:52 PM
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I just read a review (in the above link)of the Russian aiders that said they did not allow high reaches, yet Pete says they allow the most reach of any system. Was the reviewer not using the aiders right? He said the piece of gear will always be below your knees.


apollodorus


May 7, 2002, 4:15 PM
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jhump,

Look at the picture of the guy with "no reach".

Q: What's wrong with that picture?
A: The guy isn't as high up on his piece as he could be. He could use the knee hook to grab the piece itself, or at least the top carabiner.



bshaftoe


May 10, 2002, 12:39 AM
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It appears that Fish may start to make these soon.

[ This Message was edited by: bshaftoe on 2002-05-10 00:40 ]


apollodorus


May 10, 2002, 1:54 AM
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GO RUSS!!!

He is the perfect guy to bring the Russian Aider system to market.

Not quite mainstream, but definitely the schnitt. Better, but new enough to scare off the Big Name Companies. Works best for those guys who are already walling (like Russ Walling, himself...), and not so good for the corporate schnoozers who want to wait until it's a done deal.

GO RUSS!!!!


dsafanda


May 10, 2002, 9:17 AM
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Talked to Tom McMillan who climbed Tempest with them. He says he'll never go back to anything else. Here's a photo...

http://www.supertopo.com/photogallery/jdodrill/slide9.htm


passthepitonspete


May 10, 2002, 9:21 AM
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Hot diggity damn!

What a great photo!

Yosemite Soon Cum!!!!


johnhenry


May 12, 2002, 6:33 PM
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  Man I am really bumming now. I am completely sold on this system but they don`t make it any more.

Any further developements with Fish?

Anybody got an extra set???


madbolter


May 13, 2002, 10:24 PM
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Good luck finding a set JohnHenry. After months of begging & searching I got the last set in existance from Trango/dealers (it had been returned w/ sewing defects that they fixed). I still want/need a second set of aid-triers. But those I might have to get my local equestrian harness shop to custom sew. joy..

I really hope Fish makes them, but time will tell. Malcom from Trango posted to wreck.climbing that he'd give Russ the plans if he wanted them. The best way to get Fish Products to start *producing* is to bombard them with emails. Any good businessman prefers to see a healthy dose of demand for his supply.

So vote with your notes!

-Rex

p.s. I'm sorta new here (as this is my inaugural post) but some may know me from posing on rec.climbing and my website, bigwall.com. So, howdy, howdy. Incedentally, let me plug my site for a second. Send me updated beta on what you guys are climbing, photos, trip reports, anything. Like rockclimbing.com, our best content comes from readers. That's it for now! See ya.


passthepitonspete


May 14, 2002, 1:34 AM
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Jonathan Thesenga (Climbing Mag? Closet Dr. Piton fan? The REAL Master Beta?) emailed me this link of some Russian Aiders on sale at ebay.

Good luck! Tell me who gets 'em. I'm outa here!


mudjunkie


May 14, 2002, 7:40 AM
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Dr. Piton does not lie. I've got a set of BRAND NEW Russian Aiders on sale at eBay. I actually have two pairs, but of course I ain't selling both! The auction is on for only two more days so let the bidding war begin. These suckers retailed for $130 -- I'm selling mine for a measley $100. A bargain! Plus, free shipping.


crap


May 14, 2002, 9:34 AM
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So, these aiders arn't even availabe? Maybe Fish might make some, but mostly this entire thread is just a big tease. I want to try some now.


wigglestick


May 14, 2002, 9:57 AM
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Madbolter- Welcome to the site. I have been reading your stuff on rec.climbing for awhile and you really know your shit. I look forward to picking your brain. I enjoy your site as well. It has some of the most accurate topos & beta for routes in Zion that I have seen.

Can anybody point me to a place that explains the russian aider system better? It seems like you could accomplish the same thing by attaching a daisy chain to the piece and having some kind of a stirrup attached to each foot with a fifi hook attached so that you can walk up the daisy chain. Am I right or am I missing something?


madbolter


May 14, 2002, 1:12 PM
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Thanks for the warm welcome wigglestick.

For a photo of the Russian Aider System and some instructions on the setup try:
www.trango.com/showitem.cfm?catnum=36&itemnum=68
(follow links to see it in use).

I know that there are still some leg cuffs out there for sale if you're willing to make your own aid-triers.

If you were to try and replicate it, I'd use a 1/2" hook (Vermin, Metolius, Cassin) not a fifi, as you want something with a flat back that will ride against your calf just outside your shinbone. It'd have to be padded too. Daisy's *might* work for aidtriers in a pinch, but some sort of ring system is better. The rings are sewn onto "branches" off the main sling that form an inverted V and allow you use one aid-trier for both legs. A daisy won't let you do that.


jhump


May 15, 2002, 11:31 AM
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I am going to St. Petersburg, Russia for the month of June. Will I find the Trango, or a similar set-up there? How much, who do I contact?
Jeremy


glockaroo


May 15, 2002, 1:04 PM
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Is anyone else surprised at the short-shrift given to the Russian aider system by Middendorf and Long in their "Biwalls" book? M & L are no doubt worldclass bigwallers but why would they so flippantly diss a system that many are discovering to be quite useful?

Look on rec.climbing for the posts where Bruce Bindner says that after a certain point on "Tempest", his partners all wanted to use his Russian system. Bruce says he'll never go back to the old way.

How could M & L been so shortsighted? I'm truly curious.


dsafanda


May 15, 2002, 1:28 PM
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Look at the date on that book. It's old school beta all the way through. Much of the info is perfect but much of it is simply out of date. The Russian aid system may not be new but it is in this country.



freezerfrost


May 15, 2002, 2:07 PM
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Having equipment that has multi-uses saves weight. I don't know Middendorf's and Long's gripes about the russian aider system, but it strikes me that it isn't that versatile. The russian aider system works for aiding and following (i.e. jugging) steep lines. What else does it work for?
Can the specialized etriers be used to clip on something heavy at a belay? Or as a long runner mid-pitch? No.
Do short slab sections occur on even steep walls? Yes.
As for the usefulness of the knee-hook, it wouldn't be that hard to rig your own fifi, or cliffhanger so that you could step up on a conventional etrier and hook the piece directly for a height equivalent to the second step (Maybe up to top-step). What's the point? Buy some Ninja climbing hooks if you're into funkness (http://www.1stopweaponsshop.com/Foot%20Spikes.html).

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