Reaing PPTP's aid info is a good idea, with the following caveate:
There's usually a better/dirtier way to get the job done that makes more sense (efficiency-wise) for most trade routes. You'll figure these things out as you go. PPTP's concepts are def more complex and tend to make more sense when on harder routes and when dealing with larger loads than an average climber would use on a normal trade route.
Consider PPTP's info as theory. It's good to know because often you'll find yourself in situations when things go wrong or are unexpected; this is where knowing alternate (aka "the better way") will help you get out of a sticky situation without having to grunt/cry/sweat your way out of it.
Johns info is pretty much right on except for the hammer. While clean aiding the follower SHOULD carry a hammer, it allows the cleaning of tiny aid trinkets much easier and less destructive on both the wires, and if your climbing on sandstone, the placements. We got stuck behind a party attempting lunar x without a hammer, and the follower couldn't clean many many pieces, they ended up bailing and we got almost a full set of HBs. Just take one hammer per party, and in the event of emergency the leader can tag it up :)
Dustin B From Steamboat Joined Jan 29, 2006 1,531 points