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Today's Project: Homemade 5-Step Aiders


Original Post
Zach Wahrer · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 4,440

I've been wanting to get into aid climbing so I can practice my trad placements, but I don't want to spend a ton doing it. Figured I could make aiders myself, and after hunting around on the internet, I managed to find that Climbing had some instructions on how to do it. Rounded up some old webbing that I had laying around, and this is what I came up with!

Homemade aiders!

I think they turned out pretty good, and definitely cheap! Can't wait to try them out! I patterned them after the Metolius 5 step aider with 14" steps. I also managed to add a grab loop that wasn't in the original plan.
fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,957

Nice, report back after you try them out.

Zach Wahrer · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 4,440

Roger roger. Will do!

Kevin Cossel · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 35

Nice. What did you use for making the steps stay formed? I've heard of people using old garden hose, but it didn't really look like that from the picture.

Zach Wahrer · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 4,440

I used a couple wraps of duct tape. We'll see how it holds up. It may end up just degrading into a sticky mess. I might have to try the garden hose idea if the tape doesn't work out.

SW Marlatt · · Arvada, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 50

Looks like the aider method which Robbins described in Basic Rockcraft. While I don't climb a huge amount of aid, mine - tied many, many years ago - are still holding up.

swm

Josh Olson · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 255

I just made some of these suckers to play with in the gym and I took them outside once, they seemed to work pretty damn well. I'm sure something actually made for the job would work better, but for living in Wisconsin, these will get the trick done.

Bud Martin · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 380

Been wanting to do some aiding in prep for bigger routes next spring. Made a pair today, put grab loops in, doubled up the webbing at the clip points and used some clear hose from ACE hardware for rigidity under feet. Psyched to get out and use them. Just under $20 all said and done.

Aiders

Close-up
Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,110
SW Marlatt wrote:Looks like the aider method which Robbins described in Basic Rockcraft. While I don't climb a huge amount of aid, mine - tied many, many years ago - are still holding up. swm
Exacto. I made a pair of these in similar Robbins method back in 76' for my first aid routes. Nice job.
Zach Wahrer · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 4,440

Finally got a chance to use mine yesterday! TR'd a pretty sketchy C3+ (Purina) and they worked well. I've never used manufactured aiders before, so I can't really compare them, but these got the job done for a single pitch route.

T.L. Kushner · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 5

how nessecary are the grab loops? i've made myself a pair of these and messed around with them but was never aware that some aiders/ladders had a grab loop. truth to be told, i'm not even sure what the advantage of the grab loop is. i LOVE the idea of putting something on the foot loops to keep them rigid.

Zach Wahrer · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 4,440

I didn't really use the grab loops much, mostly just held onto the biner. They did come in handy when the biner was pushed in tight on the wall though.

Bob Dobalina · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 140

Those look pretty sweet. Have you thought of using 'Plasti-Dip' on the steps to give them some stiffness? I have found that it works great to perk up old saggy foot loops on aiders.

Zach Wahrer · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 4,440

Thats a great idea! Never thought of it. The duct tape did ok, but I have a feeling its going to wear out pretty fast. When it does, I'll have to look into the Dip! :-)

rock-fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265

those look good. id suggest trying to do a home made ladder style though. much more comfortable to use

Larry S · · Easton, Pennsylvania · Joined May 2010 · Points: 840

If you're feeling crafty and have a sewing machine around, it's not too hard to make your own. I recycled my tied etriers into these ladders. I haven't put them thru any real walls, but they've survived me practicing and learning on them and still look fine, nothing falling apart. This pic's from the first one i made about a year and a half ago. The step stiffeners on all but the bottom were overkill.

Homemade aid ladder.
Gaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 5
Webbing Etrier

Finished the step of by whipping with 550 paracord.
Gaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 5
Gaz wrote: Finished the step off by whipping with 550 paracord.
BTW, I started with the middle bend at the top and not the bottom as is provided on some internet DIY video. This allows for extending/shrinking the size/# of steps easily. It also means that you don't have to cut up your standard size webbing (30ft in my case). Which also means you can use the webbing elsewhere if need be (assuming you can get the overhand knots undone!!). Ofr instance if going light, use DIY Etriers and then undo at the top and re-use for your Rap anchor.

The whipping was pretty easy. Fold the step part in half and put your whipping bend in it. Whip and pull tight when done.
jason Wisniewski95 · · Salt Lake City · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

Anyone have a link to some kind of design. I tried it and mine turned out super clunky. I'm pretty sure I'm not using the right kind of knots but it would be nice to have a design lay out to look at or video to watch.

limbo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

why nobody use cordelette for aiders?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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