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mandrake


Apr 30, 2004, 5:46 PM
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Suggestions for improved efficiency
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So, this year a friend and I have got a goal of getting up a couple of walls. I've been trad climbing for about ten years and am a fairly solid 5.9 leader, and we're reasonably efficient at multipitch trad. My partner and I went to Zion a few weeks ago with the obvious goal of getting up a trade route. We got on Touchstone with the goal of doing it in a day. So, we're on the route at 6:30 am and finish pitch 4 at like 3:30. Waaay too slow.

Thing is, we thought we were moving fairly efficiently. For gear, we were using the old standards: pocket daisies and step aiders, along with non-adjustable fifi hooks. We were getting as high in the aiders as we could (efficiently), trying to move fast, and not really bounce-testing on the C1 beyond a quick tug. We tried to free what we could (which was less than I expected!). Plus, we were belaying palms down! :lol: Seriously, even though we weren't hauling, we were still taking like 2.5 hours a pitch.

We're going back in the near future to do Prodigal Son and I just wanted to see what people suggest for moving faster. Thanks in advance for your help!


sspssp


Apr 30, 2004, 7:26 PM
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Don't clip your aiders to your daisys. Seriously, when I was first aid climbing, the thing that slowed me down most was the ClusterF___. Having everything clipped in guarentees this state of affairs, especially for newbies.

If you go the "don't clip the aiders in" route. Carry a spare for when you drop them.


adamtd


Apr 30, 2004, 8:13 PM
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My experience has been that if you have to aid it, it's not going to be quick. You said it yourself, there was more aiding on the route than you expected, and therefore you weren't moving as fast as you expected to be. Most walls you'll find some sort of aid, but really try to research the walls that have the least. Secondly, and i know a lot of people will argue with me on this but it comes from an Alpine Climbs mindset, which is, do the climb with teh bare minimum rack. If you can climb the route with 4-6 bomber pieces, than fore-go the other 6 not so bomber, but make you feel good pieces. Just know that you can send teh route, and be prepared for a longggg fall if you come off. As I said it comes from an alpine climbers metality, and I usually apply this to routes that are sub 5.8.


fredrogers


Apr 30, 2004, 8:26 PM
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Had you practiced aid much on other routes? You'll get faster just by doing it. Pick a 5.10-5.12 crack route in your area and aid it. (Note: don't try this on some popular route.) You don't have to travel all the way to Zion to polish your aid skills.


mandrake


Apr 30, 2004, 10:09 PM
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Cool, cool, thanks for the replies. Alright, so backclean aggressively, try a two aider method (moving the two from piece to piece as a pair, I assume), practice locally.

Keep 'em coming.

What are people's experiences with backcleaning in Zion? I'm a bit concerned, my partner took a pretty good whipper when a brass HB offset pulled through (we think) on what looked like a good placement.

Do you all see a significant speed improvement with adjustable daisies over traditional daisies?

btw, can anyone suggest a good aid practice crack in the Phoenix metro area? (closer than Paradise Forks or Oak Creek Overlook, anyway) Thanks.


davidji


Apr 30, 2004, 10:19 PM
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In reply to:
Cool, cool, thanks for the replies. Alright, so backclean aggressively, try a two aider method (moving the two from piece to piece as a pair, I assume), practice locally.
I wonder about this two aider stuff. I've used 2, 3, & 4 (which is my usual choice). I've even been told of the benefits of using just one (never tried that). And of course I've read about the Russian Aider system. Anyway I'm certainly open to switch my style if I find something I can do faster/easier. I'll think about it a little before my next time.

What helped me the most to speed up was just a little practice (focusing on moving efficiently). Although I'm sure I'm again in need of the same practice.


epic_ed


Apr 30, 2004, 10:36 PM
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I'll post more later, but it sounds like you're just going through the regular growing pains of learning to aid efficiently. Log laps. Lots of 'em. And then log multipitch laps. You'll find that you lose a lot of time simply at the change over trying to figure out the most efficient way to set up your anchor. Until setting up an clean, well organized anchor becomes second nature you're going to lose time on each pitch.

As for practice aid around PHX -- not in this heat, bro. If the temps cool down, head up to Tom's Thumb and clean aid Hot Line. Other than that there is NOTHING worth aiding in the PHX area. Head up to the Overlook or Paradise Forks. I'll be in Sedona this weekend, but finding stuff up there that doesn't take a 2 hour approach isn't easy, either. It's not that
I mind a long approach, but I only have one afternoon to get some practice in. I'll let you know what I find.

Ed


brutusofwyde


Apr 30, 2004, 10:47 PM
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Always be doing something towards reaching the top.

Make Big moves.

Move fast. (not just in general concept... fast hand movements. fast foot movements... As soon as the piece is holding, get to the top step, etc.)

Cleaning should be a sprint to the next belay.

Don't fall. falling wastes time. If you need two placements to move safely through a section rather than make one dicey stretchy placement, do it, and do it quick.

Don't try to do things perfect. As they say in heart surgery, "Perfect is the enemy of good enough".

Stay organized. Organized on lead, so you can reach behind you with the opposite hand and locate the piece you want by feel without looking. Know your gear and placements well enough that that piece you just grabbed by feel fits, first time.

Stay organized. If during your sprint up the pitch to clean the pieces, you have to stop because you're out of breath, use that time you spend panting to organize your gear.

Always be doing something toward reaching the top. Daydreaming while belaying? Is everything organized and ready to go? What is the next step when the leader reaches the belay? What can you do to speed that along? Can the belay be made easier to break down? Any stuff that, now that the hauling and jugging is done, is no longer needed in the anchor system? Take it off, organize it, get it ready to go. Eveerything all done and ready to go? Take care of your self then. Food, water. Ready to cast off the haul bag and hit the jugs the moment rope is fixed, ready to haul? and you're fed and hydrated? OK. If you're sure, NOW you can daydream.

Brutus


sspssp


May 1, 2004, 7:07 PM
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In reply to:
try a two aider method (moving the two from piece to piece as a pair, I assume), practice locally.


Do you all see a significant speed improvement with adjustable daisies over traditional daisies?

I take only two aiders clipped to the same biner. Place a high piece, clip the daisy. Hang full weight on daisy (this is all the "testing" I do for most placements). Move aiders and clip aiders into the high piece (actually, clip the aider into the daisy biner that is on the high piece). Climb up aiders, place high piece. Clip other daisy, hang repeat.

The aiders are free. I drop them, then they are gone. I use adjustable daisies and I think they are much faster, once you get used to them. No fiddling with fifi. Just yard down as you stand up. Try to get as high in your aiders as possible. Do finger or hand jams to get higher if possible. If I can do it quickly, sometimes I will place a piece just above my "top piece". I don't clip into this piece (clipping and moving things is what takes time). I use this piece as a "hand hold" to top step and place my "high piece" that I will clip into. If the crack has some uniformity, I will leave several appropriate pieces on the daisy biner at all times (small aliens for instance). This is the "cam jugging" system. For more speed yet, use cam hooks (although this is Not recommended for soft desert sandstone).


zetedog


May 2, 2004, 2:27 AM
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I can't claim a ton of wall experience, and all of the above advice is great when it comes to effeciency in moving up in your aiders, there is also the belay management aspect. Even for one or two pitch aid climbs, the belay changover, hauling, re-racking thing tends to take 10xs as long. (Florence's book on effecient climbing mentions the eye opening statistic that an extra five minutes at each station on the nose equates to an extra 2.5hours on the wall) My main trad partner, who sets up the most organized belays you have ever seen (ex military person, EVERYTHING has a specific place and function . . I swear he polishes the biners to make it look even cleaner before having me follow), manages to make a mess out of the same station if he aids it up.

As an engineer, he wanted to solve this problem, so we found a couple of good long crack lines, and started leading mini aid pitches. We'd place everypiece of gear that we had in a 30 to 50 foot span, then build an anchor. The worst looking station, the better (convienience wise, not safety wise). We were able to work out a lot of our "down time" being within eyeshot and earshot of each other. Figured out the system that worked for us, and what we should be doing at everymoment. We were able to cut 30 to 40% of our time off of a standard route that we do (3 pitches, c2, but the 2nd pitch is pure traverse, we were still hauling for practice), and I know that I have not dramatically increased moving up in nylon.

After we did this a couple of times, my partner (again, ex-military/engineer type, deals with ISO 9000 certification stuff) came up with check list of what to do, and in what order to do it when arriving or leaving a station. I am a type "a" personality, but that seemed even too much for me, until I read through it and and began to analyze the order that I do stuff. I now bring that list with me: on a long, hot, sun-baked day, there is nothing better than coming to a belay and not having the standard brain fart about what I was going to do next. Look at the list, helps keep me on track. Note that I use the list as a suggestion, it doesn't work perfectly in every situation, but it helps in most.

Just a suggestion, Todd


bsmoot


May 2, 2004, 3:29 AM
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Mandrake,

A few suggestions:

Practice on 1 & 2 pitch aid climbs A LOT!!! I have 2 friends who climb 5.11 but had no aid experience. They spent 2 full days climbing the first 2 pitches fo Touchstone.

Don't use daisys. You don't need them on C1....Just clip your aider & go! The piece will hold. Using daisys adds 4 more clips ( in & out) per placement...that adds up. Don't waste time low down in your aiders. I don't use daisys on easy aid & neither do any of my fastest wall partners.

Aid climbing can go fast...the Shield got done in less than 11 hours! You'll get faster.


Partner tim


May 2, 2004, 4:05 AM
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Two words:

Short fixing

Even a slowpoke like me can get up things a lot faster when there is less BS going on. Each time I go up on a wall I get faster, whether from better placements, top stepping everything, freeing more, short fixing, using the tag line to zip things up when I run out, or whatever.

Short fixing, freeing everything you can (without breaking your pace), and ditching the haulbag are the three things I started doing recently that have made a lot of difference.

Also, the nice thing about having a pair of Russians is that they radically cut down on the amount of cluster going on. I have been using a pair of the Petzl Quickfix daisies, which are smaller, lighter, and have less things to catch on stuff than the equivalents from Fish and Yates (be warned, though, that there is no way they are going to last as long, and they WILL snap if you take a static daisy fall onto them -- rated to 180 DaN's or some such). I do keep the aid-trees clipped on the same biner as the daisy, so for me it's clip, step step step, place, clip, step step step, unclip, place, step step step...

Once I get on a piece, zip the aider tight (or sometimes I don't even bother anymore, only adjusting if I need to top step out of balance), step step step onto the piece, top it up, place the next one, does it suck? Place another, otherwise get going. Oh look, a free section. Cool, at the anchor. Tug up the slack, ROPE IS FIXED, set up the clove hitch and start climbing the next pitch. If it gets hairy or I want to do a long free section, wait for the cleaner to get there, otherwise go until I run out of rope... and until my block is finished.

Works good on easy/trade routes, allegedly works on hairy stuff too but I wouldn't know. I have heard that bsmoot has been doing this for decades, I've only been aiding for a couple years, so I'd pay attention to him (and Ammon, and copperhead, etc.) if I were you :-)


skywalker


May 6, 2004, 6:23 AM
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I haven't read all the replies, but I experienced the same disappointments and one person told me that on easy aid (C1-2), hit the belay "out of breath." With that in mind, I went from 2 days on Spaceshot to Lunar Ecstacy in a day hauling 3 days gear including a double ledge. Back cleaning is very helpful, minimize fifi hooking to once per placement and climb like a madman/ woman. Enjoy your surroundings but work hard to go fast. Ultimately you need to find your down time, which can be anything . As mentioned in a previous thread; tired too bad! Fix before sleep even if it cramps your style, sleep is secondary, take only what you need which is usually less than you think; just cover your bases. Move, move, move!!! It becomes mechanical on C1-2.

Cheers!!!

Good Luck!


apollodorus


May 6, 2004, 7:21 AM
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First of all, for best efficiency on aid, go for the Russian Aiders. They allow you to top-step as high as possible. Because they are strapped to both your feet and also to you legs right below the knee, you can get get good leverage and get that top-step feeling without clipping the harness and OOMPHING to get up there high.

The ostensible awkwardness of the ring aiders that require setting the hooks is offset by the inherent mechanical advantage of the setup. Nub Sed.

On C!: depending on the crack, pull the pieces and stick them above. Crack jug. Leapf frog pieces. If your pieces are bomber, treat the line like a trad pitch: leave pro at 10 or 20 or 30 feet, and pull the rest. If the C1 pieces are good (by definition), you are better off not leaving pieces. Just pull the ones below, and stick them above. This strategy also makes it faster for the cleaner, because it's more like a straight jug.

And you don't have to carry as much gear when leading. You're French Faking the pitch, which is halfway between aid and freeing. Tale five Camalots, and call me in the morning.


The most important thing on The Wall is the changeover. The second cleaning the gear should sort and arrange it as he comes up. The optimum is that a sling of pieces and a sling of slings can be put onto the lead rack in about fifty-five seconds.


danl


May 6, 2004, 1:06 PM
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I'll re state that on nice ling cracks french free is the way to go. I remember one pitch I had a couple cams each the same size on the ends of each daisy and I booked a full rope length probably faster than I could have freed it.

To make your life easier I found that its rarely neccessary to carry your full rack thats what you have a tag line for.


fern


May 6, 2004, 6:07 PM
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zetedog I am curious to learn what is on your checklist.

some people have mentioned backcleaning and leapfrogging. I'm sure it's been covered in other threads, but if the pitch traverses or overhangs you might need to think about what gear to leave behind to make things faster and less awkward for the cleaner - for example setting them up for clean lower outs etc. When cleaning gets awkward it wastes a lot of time.


galf


May 7, 2004, 11:00 PM
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Hey Zetedog,

Do you mind posting your list here??

It would most likely be useful to some.


Cheers,

Guillaume


climbingcowboy


May 8, 2004, 1:05 AM
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I'm still learning too but one thing that has helped ALOT is using cam hooks and trusting them, instead of leapfroging cams I leap frog cam hooks. You said you were climbing Zion you guys dont cam hooks on sandstone right? but if you ever get on granite they are the stuff.
Ditto on the cleaner being well organized when he gets to the belay.


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