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wildtrail


Apr 4, 2004, 10:43 PM
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I'm going to start aid climbing and I have a few questions for those experienced aiders out there, but first a little background info.

#1 I'm obviously not starting out on bigwalls, nor do I ever intend to go harder than A3.

#2 Where I live, everything will be A0 as there are a ton of crack systems. Worse I expect would be A1.

#3 No nailing (I believe that's "C" rating, right???).

Anyway, I've been climbing for close to a decade now and it's time for my fat butt to try something new. Since I will never climb over 5.9, nor care too and I've always had an interest in aiding, I've decided to take it up.

So here are a few questions.

#1 What few pieces of gear to you recommend (those must haves)? [remember, all routes here are short so I don't need an El Cap list]

--I have to get a couple of aiders and I have a set of 5-step etriers and two hooks. Not to mention about four and a half sets of nuts, 2 and a half sets of hexes, cams, yadda, yadda, yadda.--

#2 What type of things would you emphasize I practice a lot of (i.e. specific anchoring, certain moves, etc)?

I just need to be pointed in the general direction, a direction that will help simplify (as best can be) my new climbing task. I'm a safe and experienced climber and know the ins-n-outs, but this will be new for me to hang from gear, rather than just using it as a safety precaution.

Any and all suggestions and comments are welcome. I just want to have fun with climbing and I figured that my interest in aiding would add to an already wonderful world.

Thanks!

Steve


lambone


Apr 5, 2004, 12:12 AM
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In reply to:
Anyway, I've been climbing for close to a decade now and it's time for my fat butt to try something new. Since I will never climb over 5.9, nor care too and I've always had an interest in aiding, I've decided to take it up.

Aid is the fat mans climbing, welcome to the club!


In reply to:
#1 What few pieces of gear to you recommend (those must haves)? [remember, all routes here are short so I don't need an El Cap list]

--I have to get a couple of aiders and I have a set of 5-step etriers and two hooks. Not to mention about four and a half sets of nuts, 2 and a half sets of hexes, cams, yadda, yadda, yadda.--

#2 What type of things would you emphasize I practice a lot of (i.e. specific anchoring, certain moves, etc)?

I just need to be pointed in the general direction, a direction that will help simplify (as best can be) my new climbing task. I'm a safe and experienced climber and know the ins-n-outs, but this will be new for me to hang from gear, rather than just using it as a safety precaution.


Steve


Sounds like you have a good trad rack. That will ge you started. Small nuts are usually key. Anything with "offset" in the title is good to have, especialy if you are on routes with Piton scars. Exactly what you need it totaly route dependednt. Do some research on the crags and routes you will be on.

Get used to moving in the aiders first. It will be frustrating at first, well...it is for most begginers. Stick to climbs where your pro is bomber so that you have less to worry about.

Get 1 set of 6 steps and 1 set of 5 steps. You want a 6 step on each daisy.

Do you have a partner or are you planning to solo? Bring beer and a gri-gri for your partner.

Don't solo yet. Using a "fixed" rope to top-rope yourself is a good, relatively safe solo method. Leading is more indepth and is probly more than you want to deal with at first.

As allways when trying something new, be conservitive, tripple back everything up, and quadruple check everything you do. Have fun and be safe.


eazyclimb


Apr 5, 2004, 12:20 AM
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Aid Climbing is great but most people start with the intention of climbing a big wall. For Gear I would use your regular trad Rack. One to two sets of nuts should be sufficient along with a set of metolus tcu's, and maybe a set of Technical Friends or Camalots. Hexes are are useful but not many people use them any more for aid or free climbing. I have a set but I never use it because I find regular stoppers are much more useful for tapered cracks and cams are really good for parallel ones also easy to clean. Cams and nuts are the way to go for clean aid. For hooks I recommend a talon, a sky, and a grappling hook. Also Leeper cam hooks are great once you get over the initial fear of using them. For daisy chains go with the Yates adjustable for easily adjusting at the point needed. And for eiters I would get any wall ladder style because they just seem easier to get your feet into. Don't forget the fifi hook to get as close to your peace as possible. A0 is considered (French free) pulling on gear while free climbing not even using aiders real aid starts at A1.
I suggest finding a sport climb with the bolts about 5 feet apart and Aid it just to get the feel for the motion. Time your self from bottom to top and try to get faster. Work on top steeping, placing and weighting hooks then move on to clean gear. Keep in mind that aiding is a slow process and to a beleyer it is like watching paint dry. You might want to set up an upward anchor and solo off a GRI GRI because it might be hard to find someone to to belay a beginner aid climber. Aid Climbing can be fun the more efficient you can be the better Good luck.


wildtrail


Apr 5, 2004, 12:25 AM
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Great stuff, guys! Thanks.

I have a talon and a grappling hook.

I have a partner. No gri-gri. Won't use them/don't believe in them. Seen too many accidents (I do research and writing for a specific book about climbing accidents and the Gri-Gri has contributed to many accidents--but that's another story, isn't it?).

No big walls. Don't care for going that high. More like short walls. 5-7 pitches, tops. Just for fun, not for "accomplishment".


andypro


Apr 5, 2004, 5:59 AM
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I have a partner. No gri-gri. Won't use them/don't believe in them. Seen too many accidents (I do research and writing for a specific book about climbing accidents and the Gri-Gri has contributed to many accidents--but that's another story, isn't it?).

Hmm....better be a trustworthy belayer :wink: Mine almost walked off on me from boredom once belaying me. Ever since I've been doing most of my short aid on solo TR. There are multitudes of ways of doing this without a grigri (although tha'ts generally what I use most), find something that works for you and youll be set...partner or no partner.

Pretty much all I do for clean aid is use my normal rack (well..it's a big rack) and hooks. I've got a cliffhanger, skyhook, and two talons. Beyond that, stock up on brass and other micronuts, and the first few sizes of ballnuts or the like can be invaluable, though tough to clean soemtimes. Just takes practice.

God luck and welcome to turtle sex!! :lol:


atg200


Apr 5, 2004, 7:41 AM
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I have a partner. No gri-gri. Won't use them/don't believe in them. Seen too many accidents (I do research and writing for a specific book about climbing accidents and the Gri-Gri has contributed to many accidents--but that's another story, isn't it?).

you might want to rethink that theory. no way in hell would i let someone belay me on a longish aid pitch without a grigri, and they are also magic for cleaning pitches. if you are dogmatic about gear for no good reasons, you will likely not succeed as an aid climber.


Partner calamity_chk


Apr 5, 2004, 8:19 AM
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given my experience with aiding, i should probably be banned or tarpitted for posting in this forum. my advice certainly isnt anything overly insightful or unique, nor is it comprehensive by any means - but steve's a good friend and i dont want to see him hurt. ..

steve, my best recommendation is to go buy a copy of big walls and read through it, then find a local aid climber several years of aiding experience to climb with you and make sure that you have everything dialed. this next part, i say with due respect and affection, getting into aid means that you drop the ego. listen to what people have to say about your abilities and readiness, even if it means hearing that you need to work on this or that.

In reply to:
#1 What few pieces of gear to you recommend (those must haves)? [remember, all routes here are short so I don't need an El Cap list]
pick specific routes and look up the gear lists for them, then talk to people who've aided these routes and get solid beta. also, be honest with them about your abilities so that you dont end up over your head. the simplest mistakes can be the most fatal.

In reply to:
#2 What type of things would you emphasize I practice a lot of (i.e. specific anchoring, certain moves, etc)?
buy how to climb: big walls and read it several times through, possibly even the anchors book. who better to give advice than john long himself?

last but not least, listen to atg200. you guys might disagree about plenty of things, but he's a good guy to learn from, especially when it comes to climbing. he's not afraid to point out weaknesses, which can be a life-saving skill in the climbing world.


epic_ed


Apr 5, 2004, 8:52 AM
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Steve getting into aiding?! :shock:

YEEERRR GOOOONNNNNNNAAAAA DDIIIIIIIIIIIIEE!!!!!!

Hehehe. Excellent choice of vertical locomotion for the big man, my friend. I think you'll have a lot of fun.

I'll write more later, but just wanted to harass you right now (short on time). In brief:

- adjustable daisies are indespensible. I can't imagine trying to do a wall without them.
- Knee pads. For work and play.
- Not only do I use a gri gri for my solo belay system, but when climbing with a partner I wouldn't want to use anything less than an autolocking belay device. The gri gri is the only one I've used and it's certainly the most popular. If you climb with me, you will be belaying with a gri gri. Go belay your first three hour aid lead and then get back to me on your decision to use/not use one. :mrgreen:
- Ladder style aiders. Yates are my favorite.
- Comfy harness. Us big F'ers can't get by with a simple all-day trad harness. Trust me on this one.

More later.

Ed


wildtrail


Apr 5, 2004, 10:16 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I have a partner. No gri-gri. Won't use them/don't believe in them. Seen too many accidents (I do research and writing for a specific book about climbing accidents and the Gri-Gri has contributed to many accidents--but that's another story, isn't it?).

you might want to rethink that theory. no way in hell would i let someone belay me on a longish aid pitch without a grigri, and they are also magic for cleaning pitches. if you are dogmatic about gear for no good reasons, you will likely not succeed as an aid climber.

Andy,

I meant as used for soloing. Besides, the belay will be using a backup and there won't be any "long aid pitches" for quite some time. :)


atg200


Apr 5, 2004, 10:18 AM
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all aid pitches are long aid pitches when you don't know what you are doing.

the belay would be using a backup? sounds dumb to me. just use a gri-gri - its the correct tool for the job.


wildtrail


Apr 5, 2004, 10:22 AM
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- Knee pads. For work and play.


:wink: :wink: :lol: :wink: :wink: :lol: :wink: :wink: :lol: :wink: :wink: :lol: :wink: :wink:

Just so everyone knows, this will be a first (basically) in my area. No one really aids around here.

Also, I'm sorry I wasn't clear on the Gri-Gri thing. I would never use it for soloing. It's not meant for it and it's potentially unsafe using that way, but that's ANOTHER story. If I were to solo, I'd buy a Wren product (Silent Partner or Soloist). Any way...different story.


wildtrail


Apr 5, 2004, 10:36 AM
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In reply to:
all aid pitches are long aid pitches when you don't know what you are doing.

the belay would be using a backup? sounds dumb to me. just use a gri-gri - its the correct tool for the job.

I hear ya.

I will be getting one.

Also, one reason I'm not overly worried (I am concerned, don't get me wrong) is that my first 50 or more routes I'll just be practicing moving upward on gear placed in cracks. Said gear will be bomber.

Then, I have an experienced aider coming up to teach me 101.

I didn't start this thread as a "how to", but more as a thread in which you experienced aiders could make suggestions. Like I said to Amber in a PM, I'm extremely careful and never jump into anything. I wanted to touch base on the most important things to concentrate when begining in order to help improve effeciency. And, once again, Gri-Gri is not for soloing, but I will be buying one for my belay and a back up is not "dumb". No need to flame, Andy. I'm taking your advice in this matter because you are more experienced. Please set aside any animosity. I need your help, not your slack. Thanks. :)

Don't worry, I am getting a Gri-Gri. Sorry I wasn't clear earlier about what I was saying about it. My apologies to all of you. I would never SOLO on one.


Partner calamity_chk


Apr 5, 2004, 10:42 AM
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steve, andrew, i know that you two basically cant stand each other, but it would be ultra cool if you could try to let down the guard a little bit and play nicely on this one.

steve - please take my pm to heart. to quote a friend who's been doing serious aid for about a decade now, "You have to deal with more than just the climbing aspect. Hell that is the easy part."


atg200


Apr 5, 2004, 11:18 AM
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ok, cool. just be humble and stay away from absolute rules when you are starting out in this, and you'll be safer and have more fun.

good things to get right away:

1. aiders and adjustable daisys as mentioned by lambone and epic_ed
2. double gear sling.
3. lots of spare carabiners and locking carabiners.
4. a couple of screamers are nice when you start leading.
5. a bigass hook. i like the big hook from FISH. go russ! that and the two you have should be fine.
6. a leeper camhook or two.
7. helmet if you don't already have one.
8. fingerless leather gloves(cut off the finger tips and duct tape the seams so they don't unravel) and kneepads. i like soft volleyball kneepads, but others like kneepads with hard plastic shells on the knees.

a sizable free rack is good, but what kind depends completely on where you climb. you know devils lake better than we do, so use your judgement.


diesel___smoke


Apr 5, 2004, 11:27 AM
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I've found it helpful to throughly think through how you'll clip/unclip/move(each different type of piece usually has a slightly different sequence, mostly due to how they're racked) during each sequence. Use a simple system.... eliminate extra clips and steps in the process.


wildtrail


Apr 5, 2004, 8:38 PM
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Andy,

Thanks a bunch. I'll get what I don't have that you have recommeneded. Definitely need the daisy chains. I really appreciate the help!

Peace!

Steve


maculated


Apr 5, 2004, 8:55 PM
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Steve,

Try to get out with someone who knows what they're doing and can show you different methods. I've tried speed aid, traditional aid, adjustable daisy aid, etc . . . it helps you formulate your gear needs.

As for the Gri gri, I won't belay or be belayed on lead with a gri-gri, but I got one for aid soloing. While the gri gri can fail, that's why any safe soloer will tie a back-up knot below the gri-gri, too. Redundancy in this case is a great thing.


bigwallfun


Apr 5, 2004, 10:49 PM
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YOU SHOULD HIRE A GUIDE. :roll:


wildtrail


Apr 6, 2004, 7:03 AM
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YOU SHOULD HIRE A GUIDE. :roll:

That's just stupid.



Krisitn,

I've got a guy coming to give me the 411 the 101 and the OPP on the whole aid thing.

The gri-gri is safer than the method you talk of, but you should really get the proper tool (though very expensive, but it's worth it). A soloist or a silent partner. I know a guy that climbs solo aid all the time. He uses the silent partner. Says there is no better thing. The can't fail like a gri-gri could.

Any way, I appreciate everyone pointing me in such good directions. After 9 years of climbing, it's time to try something new! :) 8) :)


atg200


Apr 6, 2004, 7:10 AM
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be careful of dogma here too. i had a silent partner and sold it because i hated it. i prefer a grigri for soloing.


justsendingits


Apr 6, 2004, 7:20 AM
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Steve, I don't use a gri-gri for soloing neither, I use the S.P.

Different strokes for diff. folks!!!

You most likely will not be soloing right away. However if you do, I suggest you start out on a bolt ladder so you can sus your system out safely.
I started out soloing on a clove hitch on an easy sport route.

I also recommend a DMM belay master locking biner if you use a gri-gri. It also works on other device's, it helps stop the cross loading.


I use adj. daisy only on steep rock, or when I solo a real big wall(saves energy).

And use long nylon daisy the rest of the time.

Rich


k2exp2010


Apr 6, 2004, 7:20 AM
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Curious - why won't you climb above a 5.9?


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Apr 6, 2004, 7:43 AM
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I'm not trying to be a butthole, but do you understand what aiding is?

Aid climbing is putting in gear and standing on it. That's it.

If you've never aid climbed, why have you already said that you won't climb harder than A3? Do you even know what A3 feels like?

Here's the deal, man. Many long free climbs are 5.9 and under for the most part. Aid climbing knowledge will allow you to hop on routes that are 5.10 and above and still get up them. Isn't that cool?

Don't listen to all this pass-the-pitons-pete-dick-suckers because aid climbing isn't as hard as they make it all out to be. I fell victim to listening to pete one day (hell, i even bought one of those adjustable fifi's) and it got me no where. In fact, i climbed el cap without using daisy chains!

All you need for aid climbing is three aiders and whatever gear the route calls for. If you're aiding 5.10 free climbs, you may need more than what the rack calls for because since it is a free climb, there will be either mandatory free moves, or sketchy hook placements to get you to the next piece. 5.10 free climbs could involve more tricky aid placements than an A3 route, so be warned.

If you're not planning on doing specific big aid routes like el cap, and you just want to learn how to get up stuff, then here is the most important skill for you to work on:

Learn how to stand on pieces using etriers and then, how to come out of your aiders and back to the free climbing. This is what it sounds like you should be working on...


epic_ed


Apr 6, 2004, 7:53 AM
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Mandrew, that's actually the kindest, most throughtful post I've ever seen you write.

Ed


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Apr 6, 2004, 8:08 AM
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[quote:5b8e5979ec="epic_ed"]Mandrew, that's actually the kindest, most throughtful post I've ever seen you write.

Ed[/quote:5b8e5979ec]

i know, i know. listen, i'm going through some stuff right now...it's hard to explain...just bear with me until you have to bear with me.

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