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Aid or Bail? Which one?
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Aug 20, 2012
What do you do when you (and your partner) expect to free a route but cannot?

Do you aid through the crux or bail / find a free way to send?

I'm focusing on freeclimbers in over their heads where no aid-specific gear would be available.

Cheers!
Peteoria
Joined Jun 6, 2010
62 points
Aug 20, 2012
Cold day at Smug's
Depends on the consequences of bailing and how easy it is to aid through. Am I going to lose some gear? Is it 10 pitches back down or am I 1-pitch cragging? Is there a storm coming in? Is it aidable with the gear I have? Lots of factors...

...and most important of all, can my partner see me?
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
218 points
Aug 20, 2012
Batman Pinnacle
csproul wrote:
Depends on the consequences of bailing and how easy it is to aid through. Am I going to lose some gear? Is it 10 pitches back down or am I 1-pitch cragging? Is there a storm coming in? Is it aidable with the gear I have? Lots of factors... ...and most important of all, can my partner see me?


It's not aid if your partner doesn't see it.
Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
26 points
Aug 20, 2012
no
I think you need to figure this one out on your own. Sir Spanxalot
Joined Aug 7, 2012
5 points
Aug 20, 2012
Batman Pinnacle
Anyway, to give a more serious answer, I almost always have a hook on my rack if I'm climbing a long multi-pitch route - especially a remote one. I'd rather climb in poor style than spend a forced night out. Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
26 points
Aug 20, 2012
Sunrise in Stevens gulch
Sounds like someone read this month's issue of Climbing. Coppolo
From Denver, CO
Joined Jun 4, 2010
51 points
Aug 21, 2012
mountainlion
This is where you practice downclimbing while on the lead it is a necessary skill. You dont leave gear and you save the route for yourself to do in the future when you are more skilled. If you aid it you most likely will realize you could have done it and dissappoint yourself. IOM Eric Coffman
Joined Jun 22, 2009
817 points
Aug 21, 2012
Da Bugs
That's pretty easy. Weigh the amount of time you have, and consequences of each decision, and pick the one with the highest odds of getting you safely down, losing the least amount of gear. There's no way I'd bail over french freeing something if it meant leaving gear.

In either case, you blew the onsight. So if sending the route in style matters to you, you can come back and do it just the same either way. But if you're on pitch 6 of a 7 pitch route, and you get shut down...are you really going to rap all the way down to avoid pulling on a few pieces, rather than top out and just walk off?
Sean H
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Dec 11, 2008
93 points
Aug 21, 2012
At the BRC
Sometimes I just hang in place for eons while the process of erosion levels the cliff. Then I can just walk away. Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
200 points
Aug 21, 2012
Hey there!
Single pitch i'm going to bail and try it again in a few minutes. Multi Pitch i'm aiding. Seth Derr
From harrisburg, pa
Joined Apr 19, 2010
2,012 points
Aug 21, 2012
Mark E Dixon wrote:
Sometimes I just hang in place for eons while the process of erosion levels the cliff. Then I can just walk away.


Mark, that is a clever approach! :) Do you ever get hungry or have to go to the bathroom while you are waiting?

I do something similar on glacier travel - I let the glacier's natural movement take me downhill. It takes a while to get to the toe of the glacier, but expends less energy.
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
130 points
Aug 21, 2012
black nasty
if you can't free it, call SAR! yer gonna die! Cor
Joined Mar 6, 2006
1,175 points
Aug 21, 2012
Eric Coffman wrote:
This is where you practice downclimbing while on the lead it is a necessary skill. You dont leave gear and you save the route for yourself to do in the future when you are more skilled. If you aid it you most likely will realize you could have done it and dissappoint yourself. IOM


I guess when you spend all your time at a short multi pitch crag like joshua tree that is the answer. Multi pitch stuff I am french freeing to finish the route!
RockyMtnTed
Joined Jul 24, 2012
7 points
Aug 21, 2012
Ben"Cut the rope!" Jonothan"You're limping,Ben." Rogerlarock
From Nedsterdam, Colorado
Joined Sep 22, 2008
23 points
Aug 21, 2012
slopey
Cor wrote:
if you can't free it, call SAR! yer gonna die!



I thought that was first action everyone took under these circumstances...?
Jeremy Hand
Joined Feb 24, 2012
109 points
Aug 21, 2012
Bocan
Unless I missing something in your question, what everyone else said. Who would bail on a multipitch because of a move or two that you had to aid through? Heck, historically that's how routes got done.

Single pitch, I'd pull then go down and do it again correctly.
Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
952 points


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