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Aid or Bail? Which one?
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By Peteoria
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!


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Aug 20, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

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?


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By Scott O
From California
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.


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By Sir Spanxalot
Aug 20, 2012
no

I think you need to figure this one out on your own.


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By Scott O
From California
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.


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By Coppolo
From Denver, CO
Aug 20, 2012
Sunrise in Stevens gulch

Sounds like someone read this month's issue of Climbing.


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By Eric Coffman
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


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By Sean H
From Salt Lake City, UT
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?


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Aug 21, 2012
Sure, I can belay

Sometimes I just hang in place for eons while the process of erosion levels the cliff. Then I can just walk away.


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By Seth Derr
From harrisburg, pa
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.


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
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.


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By Cor
Aug 21, 2012
black nasty

if you can't free it, call SAR! yer gonna die!


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By RockyMtnTed
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!


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By Rick Mix
Aug 21, 2012

Ben"Cut the rope!" Jonothan"You're limping,Ben."


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By Jeremy Hand
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...?


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
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.


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