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Who gets priority, aid or free?
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Partner cracklover


Aug 2, 2004, 2:01 PM
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Who gets priority, aid or free?
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Recent discussion I had with some folk who are interested in learning aid climbing. These are not fast and efficient aid leaders. Some of them are of the opinion that if they want to aid (even aid-solo) a classic climb that goes free at a moderate rating (say 5.8), at a popular crag, on a weekend, it's nobody's business. A sort of first-come, first-served principle. The other school of thought is that common courtesy would direct them to keep to those lines (just ten feet away) that either haven't been freed yet or are difficult enough that few free-climbers would be likely to want to lead it on a given Sunday afternoon.

My feeling is that someone who will be tying up a classic free line for several hours in prime climbing time is not being very nice, because they are hogging a resource when there are other resources they could be using to the same ends.

What's your take?

Thanks!

GO


pk


Aug 2, 2004, 2:07 PM
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Re: Who gets priority, aid or free? [In reply to]
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Learn your aid off the beaten path away from people. You will not only look stupid trying to hone your systems but it'll take you a long time to get up your first few routes. Definately do not learn on high traffic routes.

P.K.


sbclimber


Aug 2, 2004, 2:08 PM
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Re: Who gets priority, aid or free? [In reply to]
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I think they should just be free climbing it.

5.8, right? Yup, that sounds like free climbing territory.

Anyways, it is a first come first serve kinda thing, but I still agree with you. perhaps they should aid a less popular route to the left or right.

If it is a common aid AND free line, then they have every right to hop on it in the middle of the day. First come...


vegastradguy


Aug 2, 2004, 2:10 PM
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Re: Who gets priority, aid or free? [In reply to]
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while i usually subscribe to the first come, first served school, when it comes to aid climbing...it seems that taking up a moderate route (5.10 and under) is uncalled for, seeing as even a 5.11-5.12 can go C1 (if it's the right climb)...

when i learned to aid, i went out to a crag and climbed a 5.9 splitter on aid, and then a dual crack climb on aid (another 5.9), luckily no one was out when i did this. if there had been, i wouldnt have dreamed of getting on those climbs.

seems rude....i'm not saying aid isnt important, it is, but it also is really slow and can be learned just as easily on a 5.11-5.12 splitter as it can a 5.8.


timpanogos


Aug 2, 2004, 2:12 PM
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In Utah - those high volume routes are perfect for aid practice - say from mid November till the first of April.

If you live in a place where the seasons change (i.e. there is an off season for free climbing - too darn cold) learn your aid in the off season and enjoy/free those popular trad/sport routes yourself in season.

Chad


robmcc


Aug 2, 2004, 2:15 PM
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I'd say first come first serve...but you'd still be an ass to tie up a popular route for hours when an unpopular one would serve equally well.

Sounds like an issue not of right, but of consideration.

Rob


dgkula


Aug 2, 2004, 2:16 PM
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Those guys should wait until it rains to learn how to clean aid on a 5.8. Anything else seems like a community disservice on a classic climb during peak climbing hours.


mbg


Aug 2, 2004, 2:17 PM
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If a route is even a remotely popular free climb then parties should do their best to make quick work of it on weekends. Your friends should wait for bad weather or a weekday or just find an obscure line to practice aiding.

For example, Country Club Crack in Boulder Canyon is a classic free climb AND one of the best places to dial in your aid skills. It's common to see folks sitting on portaledges at the first belay which is about 50 feet up! People just have sense enough not to show up at 9:30am on a Saturday in July with the intent to snail up it in aiders.

This reminds me, though, of the old debate over whether topropers or leaders have priority. I've seen some high tension at the crags over that one!


Partner euroford


Aug 2, 2004, 2:17 PM
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a 5.8 probobly wouldn't be intresting on aid. to low angle on average. it might have some intresting aiding at an overhanging crux, but you would probobly have more fun, and have less free climbers biteing at your heals getting your practice on something way steep that would go free at a higher grade.

i've done most if not all of my aid practice on stuff 5.10+, a steep nasty thin seam that would go way above my free level is allot more fun and makes much better practice.


iamthewallress


Aug 2, 2004, 2:19 PM
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First come first served to a point...If you can aid it in the same time that the next guy will free it, aid away. If you will clog it up and be on the route during a time in which 10 others would have enjoyed it as a free climb, you could probably find a better place to practice. 5.12 thin cracks are probably better for aid practice anyway in terms of what you run into on aid climbs. They rarely have lines forming to climb them too.


mandrake


Aug 2, 2004, 2:25 PM
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Ditto. Formally, the first party on the route has the route, but I agree it's poor form to clog up a popular moderate on a weekend working out the thrash and dangle.

I don't know the routes in consideration, but it may be worth pointing out that practicing aid on more overhanging routes (pref in the 5.hard range) helps build overhanging aid skills and is safer if a piece pops and you go for a ride.


lambone


Aug 2, 2004, 2:49 PM
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Free climbers should allways get first dibs in my opinon. Unless the aid climber is allready halfway up the route...then just let him/her finish.


popol


Aug 2, 2004, 3:06 PM
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First come, first serve. But a reasonable person picks out a less popular climb for aiding. However, as long he's in that route, he's not occupating other routes, right? So you shouldn't make a drama of it, certainly not if there are other free routes of the same difficulty on that crag.


Partner coylec


Aug 2, 2004, 3:48 PM
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Re: Who gets priority, aid or free? [In reply to]
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To answer the question, it's first-come, first-served. You show up first, you get priority. I've spent time waiting for a climber to crawl up a 5.7 trad route putting gear in every 4 feet and hanging on it, but they got there first. They're still an ass, but they got there first. I'd be cool with it if, the entire pitch, they were singing "I'm an asshole."

I'm what you'd call an aspiring aid climber. I'd rather be in my aiders than my Sportivas. I've done moderate stuff on aid, but I ain't no pro, yet. So, I go to free-climbing areas and climb the free lines clean.

Blocking up a "classic" (overused word, for certain) line is just bad karma. And, like others have mentioned, if its a 5.8, its going to be a boring aid climb. You'll get better practice on a .12 or .13 job ... there's a different feel from sitting on a well placed cam in a hand crack and a micronut in a tiny little crack.

It's really a question of asking yourself, "Am I a selfish prick?" If you are, get in line and jump on in. If you aren't, find a better line, with better options, have more fun and don't piss anyone off.

coylec

ps - besides, who wants crowds competing when some nice free-climbing women ask you what all that gear is for ... trust me, you want their full attention and you won't get it with those free climbers dancing around in lycra. :wink:


davidji


Aug 2, 2004, 4:46 PM
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I'd expect it to be acceptable for aid if they're dialing in a fast technique like crack-jumaring. The speed is similar to free climbing. If they're making every move from aiders, they'd probably inconvenience others--although even then, if they move efficiently, they'll take less time than many top-ropers. The problem with the last part is most of us don't move efficiently when we're learning aid: that's why we practice.


davidji


Aug 2, 2004, 4:53 PM
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In reply to:
I'm what you'd call an aspiring aid climber. I'd rather be in my aiders than my Sportivas.
Why not both? There's a lot to be said for aid climbing in your rock shoes. Makes you much more likely to free what you can, and move faster. Keeps you from getting lazy in your aiders. Of course there's also something to be said for not aid climbing in your rock shoes...


dredsovrn


Aug 2, 2004, 4:56 PM
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Last time I checked no one owns most of the rock I see, so I suppose they can climb it however and whenever they like. I don't aid climb, but if they get there first, I should either see if I can pass them on the route, or find somewhere else.


tradmanclimbs


Aug 2, 2004, 5:09 PM
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The first come first serve rule simply can not apply for somthing as totaly freaking ridiculous as learning to aid on the most populer 5.8 free climb at a crag. totaly lame move that deserves a serious dressing down. If a climb is commonly aided then it is a diferent story. for instance the prow on cathedral NH goes free at 11d but is described in several guide books as an aid climb. the aid climber that gets there first has the right to be slow. If the same person decided to learn aid on fun house or bombardment (5.7 and 8 with constant lines) they should be politely removed from the rock and educated on what is and is not good form. this is comon sense and anyone who can't see the reason for this basic concept has their head up their butt.


elron


Aug 2, 2004, 6:48 PM
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I usually subscribe to the "use common sense and common courtesy" way of doing things... ie, don't hog a climb for hours, whether you're aiding, TR'ing, trad, or sport.

In the case of this thread though, the climb that started the whole thing was originally done as an aid climb. Several years later it was freed at 5.10. It is a popular climb, one that many people enjoy on the weekends. I think to spend a long time (1 hour+) aiding it on a nice saturday afternoon would be a bit rude. However... does first ascent style come into play? If it was originally done as an aid climb, does that give an aid climber trying it more right to be there than if it is a route put up free?

Either way, you won't see me aiding it on a popular weekend... just wondering what people's take is

Kevin


Partner oldsalt


Aug 2, 2004, 7:14 PM
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In reply to:
This reminds me, though, of the old debate over whether topropers or leaders have priority. I've seen some high tension at the crags over that one!
If I yell "Rope" and hang it on a route, I don't plan to pull it back up for a sportster that comes along after. I won't toss a rope if there is someone setting up below. This sounds like common sense.

I have cleared out after only a single ascent when I wanted to do some laps, but I was on the only 5.6 at the crag. The next group couldn't handle the next grade route (5.8) any better than I could. This, too, sounds like common sense.

I don't plan to try to run someone off who is TRing so I can lead a route, either. I do both, but does that make me special?

My vote is first come, first serve, regardless of your technique. But, be considerate. "Love your neighbor" works in most situations.


Partner cracklover


Aug 2, 2004, 8:21 PM
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In reply to:
My vote is first come, first serve, regardless of your technique. But, be considerate. "Love your neighbor" works in most situations.

Well which one is it? You can't play both sides of the fence - it just doesn't work that way.

First come first served = you race ahead of the guy on the trail with you because you hear him mentioning the 5.8 climb you want to aid solo. Love your neighbor = at the very least, you do the 5.11+ three climbs over that's an overhung finger crack and unlikely to have anyone on it.

And yes, Elron, of the two climbs mentioned, one was a 5.10, and the other was a 5.8. Also, around here, most everything was aided fifty years ago - at least everything rated 5.9 and up. Just because the FA party used aid doesn't give the modern aid climber any more, or any less right to be there.

GO


the_pirate


Aug 2, 2004, 9:39 PM
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In reply to:
In the case of this thread though, the climb that started the whole thing was originally done as an aid climb. Several years later it was freed at 5.10. It is a popular climb, one that many people enjoy on the weekends.

I bet you could get up Cro-Mag by aiding in less time than a lot of people spend throwing themselves at it on top rope.


flamer


Aug 2, 2004, 9:56 PM
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In reply to:
I usually subscribe to the "use common sense and common courtesy" way of doing things... ie, don't hog a climb for hours, whether you're aiding, TR'ing, trad, or sport.

This is the real problem. I don't know How many times I've walked by the base of the Bastille crack and seen some Boy scout group TRing the first pitch...then walked back by a couple of hours later and they're still there!!!

However, I'm still of the first come first served mentality. If I'm in the way I'll try and let you pass, provided your not a rude prick. If you are then There is no way you're going anywhere, and I expect the same from others.

josh


mbg


Aug 2, 2004, 10:32 PM
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Josh has hit it on the head. If someone has started up a route, leeading, aiding, comando, whatever, they obviously should finish. This issue is all about having the foresight and ethics to not cause a traffic jam when it can easily be avoided.


tradmanclimbs


Aug 2, 2004, 10:42 PM
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According to the origional post, the climb in question was a 5.8. there is absolutely NO excuse for practiceing aid on a 5.8. End of story. as for schools or camps tr ing the first pitch of a multi pitch climb, there is no excuse for that either. pull their licence and send em back to the gym.

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