Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
how to get into aid?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
By Jaysen Henderson
From White Plains, New York
Apr 8, 2011
on p13 or so of zodiac

so ive been free climbing for a few years and recently decided i wanted to dabble in some aid climbing to possibly link routes or whatever needed for i just want the skill. Ive read alot about it and think i would have my sequence down but i wanted to get a second look from you guys. What kindof route should i look for to start off on. and any other tips? especially the DO NOT's haha


FLAG
By Yarp
Apr 8, 2011

More specific questions will get you better and more accurate information.

You say you think you've got your sequence down. Have you tried it? Having the sequence "DIALED" and staying consistent with it is the biggest hurdle when starting to aid. This only comes with mileage so start easy and place lots of gear.

If you Trad climb then gear placement will not be your problem. Unless you actually don't know if you gear placements are solid and you've just been kidding yourself about your gear. I see this alot. When it comes time to actually hang your ass on that nut are you sure it's bomber or do you just think it might be?

What kind of system are you using? Ladders, etriers, russian aiders? Whatever system you use it's got to be second nature. Where do you clip them off? Everytime? What kind of daisies? How many?

If you don't own a grigri you should buy one. Your belayer will need it and when you become an aid addict you can use it to solo. Poof! No more need for a climbing partner.

People have written long books attempting to answer your question so perhaps defining the scope of the things you are unclear about will help.


FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Apr 8, 2011

Aid "climbing" is dead, may I suggest rock climbing instead?


FLAG
By Moof
From Portland, OR
Apr 8, 2011

1. Borrow some aiders and daisies.

2. Find a vertical'ish crack system. Set it up for TR.

3. Using whatever trad rack you have aid up the thing, ideally setting it up as a bolt ladder.

4. Run timed laps on this until you think you have it dialed in and feel good on TR.

5. Repeat timed laps to try out different aider setups (2 aiders, 4 aiders, russian aiders, adjustable daisies, standard daisies, etc).

6. Practice getting high on your aiders (top step for vertical or less, second step on somewhat overhung terrain).

7. Practice things like cam hooks and aid hooks. It is easier to get confident with on on TR than on lead.

8. Buy a case of Old English. If you've gotten this far without realizing how god awful, yet addictive aiding is, you are toast. Sell off your high end edging shoes and buy a fat harness and wall boots. Welcome to my hell.

9. Congratulations, expect to spend a few thousand on portaledges, quadruplicate cams, specialty nuts, burly ropes, ascenders, etc. Before you know it the commercial gear will look lame, necessitating ordering of custom machined parts, a bar tacker, and an industrial sewing machine so you can "do it right".

10. Hire a good divorce attorney, as once you've crapped on a well next to your bud the little things like putting the toilet seat down just will fail to enter your mind. Your wife will scream at you that a can opener is not a utensil, and that cold cans of glop don't count as "cooking dinner".


FLAG
By Cory
From Boise, ID
Apr 8, 2011
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills

www.supertopo.com/a/How-To-Big-Wall-Climb-Table-of-Contents/>>>


FLAG
By Bryan Gilmore
From Your Mama
Apr 8, 2011
Beagle

just try things that are too hard for you to free climb.


FLAG
By Yarp
Apr 8, 2011

What's with all the hating on aid?


FLAG
By eric harvey
Apr 9, 2011

Aid climbing sucks.


FLAG
By JJNS
Apr 9, 2011

Ok. Free climbers hate Aid climbers and Trad climbers hate boulderers. What else we got?

Lets give this kid some credit. How many 16yr olds do you know that are interested in learning Aid? Most kids are only psyched on crushing plastic. I think Aid climbing is an essential skill when it comes to big walling. You go up there with the intentions of climbing free but it can't hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

A lot of desert towers require a pitch or two of Aid. Amazing routes that would be 5.13+ if they were done free. Should we not even attempt them because we can't free climb at that level?


FLAG
By Evan1984
Apr 9, 2011

Two tips that are not already mentioined:

1. Get a job- you're about to find out you need 3x's as much gear as you've got.

2. Instead of setting up a toprope, setup a fixed single line, clip in with a grigri, and self-belay (with backup knocks every 10 feet). You'll lose friends really fast if you make them belay while learning aid.

  • **Edit- I support your interest in aid. It is fun in a completely new way that emphasizes systems and mechanical ability over physicality. I find it somewhat medatative in pace (what others would call boring).***


FLAG
By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Apr 9, 2011

JJNS wrote:
Ok. Free climbers hate Aid climbers and Trad climbers hate boulderers. What else we got? Lets give this kid some credit. How many 16yr olds do you know that are interested in learning Aid? Most kids are only psyched on crushing plastic. I think Aid climbing is an essential skill when it comes to big walling. You go up there with the intentions of climbing free but it can't hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve. A lot of desert towers require a pitch or two of Aid. Amazing routes that would be 5.13+ if they were done free. Should we not even attempt them because we can't free climb at that level?

Well, I guess I am 17 now, but I am interested in aid as well. End goal is to start hitting up walls.


FLAG
By eric harvey
Apr 9, 2011

Being young is awesome. My first wall was The Hallucinogen Wall (Luckly I didnt have to lead the hooking pitch though!)in the Black when I was 16, followed by Lurking Fear that summer.

Aiding is super simple, just remember this: once you know how to bounce test well and top step you can climb any wall. It may take a while because you are slow, but if you can place and stand up on gear you can get up a wall.

It took us 5 days on Lurking Fear, but who cares. Just dont get freaked and keep standing up on a new piece.


FLAG
By Ryan Huetter
From Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 9, 2011
From Mountain Magazine (Bruce Carson's first clean ascent of Sentinal Rock's West Face)

Once you start down this road, it is a hard one to reverse! You will soon learn to despise free climbing, and will shudder at the thought of 5.9. You will develop a nasty habit of drinking warm Olde English 800s and King Cobras. You will become far more familiar with your partner's bowel movements than you ever hoped for. You will own 15 or more beaks, because soloing Sunkist seems like it would be a fun vacation. You will eat more Dennison's Chili than you could imagine.

But regardless of what aid-haters have to say, it is the most badass way to visit some pretty cool locations.


FLAG
By Yarp
Apr 9, 2011

Moof wrote:
Before you know it the commercial gear will look lame, necessitating ordering of custom machined parts, a bar tacker, and an industrial sewing machine so you can "do it right".


Moof I really got a good laugh out of your post. I just purchased a sewing machine because hand sewing my own gear slings and adjustable daisies was a pain in the ass. Portaledge is next on the project list.

I try to stay away from the chili because my partners really don't like it when I live off chili for 3 days. A cold can of glop is the best thing in the world sometimes.

And since nobody has mentioned it yet...stay away from
The Black Art of Piton Craft and keep it clean until you know what your doing. Pounding iron has a place but you can really screw up the rock if you don't know what your doing (like me) Anything that "requires" pins at this point is going to make you soil yourself anyway or many times it's been retrobolted or it's got other fixed gear on it.


FLAG
By Chuck Manburger
From Denver,CO
Apr 11, 2011
Manburger!!

+1 on what Moof and Evan said!!! ←-----Listen up!

+2 on the amount of cash you need…


Add:

---Be prepared to work Hard! Once you think you got that concept…..accept the fact that it is going to be 5X harder. Once it is ALL dialed…. the comfort and speed will come.

--- Read some stuff in books and on all the forums. Lots of smart, intelligent, creative and supportive aid-climbers out there, with lots of good info (PTPP, Chris Mac, and TONS OF OTHERS like Moof and Evan for example). I have found that some, if not all of us, are weird….or eccentric…or drinkers….or whatever. Common thread I found is everyone is out for fun! So have a blast! Lots of ways to enjoy climbing!

Also a friendly and gentle reminder…..You’re GUNNA DIE!

Peace!


FLAG
By Steve Murphy
From Fort Collins, CO
Apr 11, 2011
Never taunt a goat

Check out the Gunks Online Aid Climbing Guide for a list of potential routes.

Only a couple of "don'ts": Don't mar the rock. Hooking and cam hooking are the best parts of clean aid, and also the most likely to blow out pieces of rock. Be careful of what you hook. The Guide states this on the front page, but it bears repeating.

Don't practice on a busy route on the weekend. There are many routes you can choose from that would give you a great experience; choose from the less popular ones.

And "do" practice solo aid, either on a toprope as Evan suggested or leading (more advanced). Aiding is rather boring for the belayer. Though if you've got a motivated and/or experienced partner, by all means use their energy/knowledge.

And "do" take your time and have fun. Aiding is simply a different experience than free climbing.

Steve


FLAG
By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Apr 11, 2011
Lone goat..

Chuck Manburger wrote:
+1 on what Moof and Evan said!!! ©-----Listen up! +2 on the amount of cash you needc Add: ---Be prepared to work Hard! Once you think you got that conceptc..accept the fact that it is going to be 5X harder. Once it is ALL dialedc. the comfort and speed will come. --- Read some stuff in books and on all the forums. Lots of smart, intelligent, creative and supportive aid-climbers out there, with lots of good info (PTPP, Chris Mac, and TONS OF OTHERS like Moof and Evan for example). I have found that some, if not all of us, are weirdc.or eccentriccor drinkersc.or whatever. Common thread I found is everyone is out for fun! So have a blast! Lots of ways to enjoy climbing! Also a friendly and gentle reminderc..Youfre GUNNA DIE! Peace!


Chuck Manburger=Locker?


FLAG
By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 11, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Hank Caylor wrote:
Chuck Manburger=Locker?


With a name like Manburger, I would say you are correct, sir.


FLAG
By Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Apr 11, 2011

Evan Horvath aka Evan1984 wrote:
2. Instead of setting up a toprope, setup a fixed single line, clip in with a grigri, and self-belay (with backup knocks every 10 feet). You'll lose friends really fast if you make them belay while learning aid.


This!

I spent two hours with an ATC belaying a buddy on a 5.9 hand crack as he sorted through gear and worked on high-stepping. We haven't climbed since then.

Aid looks rad. I'd love to get into it, but too many free climbing projects around here to really start into another sport. Someday I'll get over myself and start learning the skills.


FLAG
By Chuck Manburger
From Denver,CO
Apr 11, 2011
Manburger!!

Hank Caylor wrote:
Chuck Manburger=Locker?


Locker from ST and Here??? Ummm....no....Sorry Hank!


FLAG
By Bill Duncan
From Jamestown, CO
Apr 11, 2011
Leading the 3rd pitch of West Side Story.

Ryan Huetter wrote:
But regardless of what aid-haters have to say, it is the most badass way to visit some pretty cool locations.


Oh, the wild places you can go...


FLAG
By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Apr 11, 2011
Lone goat..

Chuck Manburger wrote:
Locker from ST and Here??? Ummm....no....Sorry Hank!


Sorry Chuck. Cool name and pic!


FLAG
By Mike
From Phoenix
Apr 11, 2011
Doing the jump-across off The Mace.  I never get tired of this climb.  Photo by Wednesday Hugus.

You could always prepare by doing the following:

-Practice sleeping while lead belaying.
-Gain some weight. If you are skinny you may have to gain a lot.
-Learn to appreciate the taste & buzz of warm OE & King Kobra.
-Start enjoying the simplicity of eating Dinty Moore & Beefaroni right out of the can.
-Lead as many r/x routes as you can to prepare your lead head for hard aid.
-Practice hauling. A lot.
-Start accepting the ethic that jugging a pitch = climbing it.
-Slowly start pooping nearer & nearer to your friends, so that you eventually can drop trou & shit mid-conversation. Bonus points for maintaining eye contact.


These practices should start you on your way. There are certainly many others. Good luck.


FLAG
By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Apr 11, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!

2 things:
C1 is easy, you can do it already. Just aid solo a few pitches. If you can't figure out a safe system, aid might not be for you.

For anything harder the best way to prepare might be as follows. Tell your roommate, friends, girlfriends, whatever to punch you in the face. But tell them to just do it randomly making it a surprise. You'll be feeling that everything is normal and fine but you know in the back of your mind eventually something is going to happen. The more people you can tell to hit you and then don't go crazy, the better chance you have of leading A5/C4.

Hahahahahahaha.


FLAG
By Dustin B
From Steamboat
Apr 11, 2011
It's always a party.

Listen to some black sabbath, then, go aid climbing.

Also, disarm a few bombs.


FLAG
By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Apr 11, 2011
Artist Tears P3

AId climbing is a blast. It will take you to some pretty amazing places on this earth. Spend the time to get fast and efficient and don't be discouraged by how slow or how long it takes to build up a rack. For many years I built up my aid rack by buying one cam a month, now I've got over 60 cams and I still want to an extra cam or two. Buy a good set of Yates ladders. They will last your many years..

Set up a top rope and use a couple of mini traxs as a self belay. Pick a nice thin crack that takes lots of wires and plug away. Climb this many times and work of becoming slow. Reduce any unnecessary movement. Learn to T off your aiders. Set Ron and Jeff DVD Clean Walls to learn about clean climbing. Don't buy a hammer. Lean to climb clean really well for several years before you even think about swinging a hammer and when you do, only do it as an absolutely last option.

Once you have your systems dialed, learn to self belay, or if you really lucky find another partner than wants to aid as well. Bribe theme with stories about in a couple of years you're being climbing the big walls around the world...

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet, people make it out that it is much more difficult that it actually is. Think of learning to aid just as another form of climbing. It will take time and commitment but at the end of the day it's not any better or worse than any other form of climbing, it's just different.

Keep things really simple and don't get caught up into all the hogwash. Anyone can learn to be a really good big wall climber. Follow your dreams and I'll see you in Yosemite in a couple years...

If you have any specific questions about gear or technique shoot me an email.

John


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>