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First set of Aid Ladders (homemade) with pictures
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By photocodo
From Hendersonville, NC
Jun 16, 2013
The "crack"

OK,
So I have been interested in aid climbing for quite a while and have thought about making a set of aid ladders for a while as well. I finally got around to pulling out some webbing and getting out the sewing machine to give it a try. I think they look pretty good but I am wanting any feedback from people who have used aiders (not people who have read about them on MP or in a book somewhere). They are about 70in in total length and made from 1in tubular. I used polyester coated polyester thread that was advertised as "outdoor" thread. I put three tacks on each side and from what I can tell so far its holding up. I havent gotten them on rock yet but I hung and bounced in them for a while and there were no signs of stress or wear. The top section (spreader bar/grab loop) are different on each on to see what works best. The first one I tacked everything together and the second I used water knots. The reason for the water knots is I wanted to see how it would hold up compared to the stitching. Although the knots are bulkier and use a bit more webbing I think they will be stronger in the end, but I guess Ill find out sooner or later. Any thoughts, suggestions or critique is welcome as this is a first run/attempt. Thanks for looking

Photocodo

Both ladders

First attempt at a pair of aid ladders
First attempt at a pair of aid ladders


steps and stitching
close up of the steps
close up of the steps


top sections
close up of top section
close up of top section


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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Jun 16, 2013
RJN

Sweet! I figured when I saw this post it would be a set of those funky "tied out of one piece of webbing types". Good job. Though with all the effort you might have been better off buying a set.


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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Jun 16, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.

Photocodo......I've seen a lot of homemade aiders and yours definitely look well built, but time and use will see how they hold up. Many of today's big names in climbing gear started out just like you. Try contacting Russ Walling at FISH products with these questions, as he has the experience and technical expertise to advise you.


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By James Arnold
From Chattanooga
Jun 16, 2013
Chew toyed

Yes I was with Ryan initially, but surprised... these look sharp, maybe plasti-dip on the top couple steps?


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By Danger-Russ Gordon
From Tempe, AZ
Jun 16, 2013
Slope on a rope

I hope you return and report on the difference between the knots and bar tacks on the upper section. These look rad, and I'm curious too hear more about your real world experience.


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By Bob Dobalina
Jun 16, 2013

Looking good. Yates Wall Ladders have nothing on those!


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By Rob Dillon
Jun 16, 2013

The knot on top looks nice and easy to grab. These things look great...make this stuff too user-friendly and you'll never free-climb again, better watch it!


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Jun 16, 2013

Years ago I made a set of aiders. My only comment is that bar tacking is an art to get right and not something to take lightly. As such, when I made mine they I utilized a knot for the connecting the loop (your left aider) rather bar tacking (your right aided). The steps were all bar tacks.

The reason for this was simple - if something went wrong a knotted aider would basically be a big sling. That is every bar tack could blow and it would still be a sling. That is not the case with with the one that is bar tacked into a loop. A while one can say the chances are slim of some like than happening I would rather hedge my bets. Especially given that aiders are going to be in contact (i.e. rubbing against) the rock.

As such, I would not be comfortable with the right aider especially given that there is are only three bar tacks which are of questionable quality/strength.


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Jun 16, 2013

Did the same thing. Found out tubular sucks balls for aiders, since it is way more flexible than flat webbing. But mine did turn out pretty light since I used 1/2" for the verticals and 1" for the steps. Also "doubled" the top loop with 1" over 1/2"


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By photocodo
From Hendersonville, NC
Jun 19, 2013
The "crack"

So I got my aid ladders out today and am pleased so far. It was my first aid climb as well so there was definitely a learning curve but had a blast. The ladders seem to hold up great. They went up 2 pitches and all the stitching, knots etc seem to be holding up fine. I will probably plasti-dip the top few steps and maybe around the stitching too. Pleased so far though.

photocodo

Not a great picture but here are the ladders in action

First pitch in the new aid ladders
First pitch in the new aid ladders


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By Nathan Scherneck
From Portland, OR
Jun 19, 2013
He took the whipper while trying to place his #1 Stopper.  So sad.

Looking good!


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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Jun 19, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

photocodo wrote:
So I got my aid ladders out today and am pleased so far. It was my first aid climb as well so there was definitely a learning curve but had a blast. The ladders seem to hold up great. They went up 2 pitches and all the stitching, knots etc seem to be holding up fine. I will probably plasti-dip the top few steps and maybe around the stitching too. Pleased so far though. photocodo Not a great picture but here are the ladders in action

Are you aiding Shredded Wheat?


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By Kaylee Catmull
From Riverside, CA
Jun 19, 2013

Your homemade aiders are looking great, photocodo. What's that crack that you're aiding up?


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By photocodo
From Hendersonville, NC
Jun 19, 2013
The "crack"

Yeah its shredded wheat. Im sure people are cringing that I'm aiding such a great free line but it takes such nice gear i thought it would be a good place to climb my first aid pitch.


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By ian watson
From Albuquerque, NM
Jul 23, 2013

Those things are 10 times better then the ones I built and started out on. They kinda look like the misty mountain ones I am using now.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Jul 23, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Ryan N wrote:
Sweet! I figured when I saw this post it would be a set of those funky "tied out of one piece of webbing types". Good job. Though with all the effort you might have been better off buying a set.


Yup..I figured the same. Made mine from old guidebook directions back in 70's from one inch webbing. The steps never stayed open for easy use. These look sweet!


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