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Taking an aid class tomorrow - what to ask for?


Original Post
wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 84

After badly breaking my leg this winter, I have decided to learn some new skills and become more effective at hauling myself up climbs that I may not be able to do freely right now.  Eventually I would like to do a big wall.  My husband and I will be taking an aid climbing class tomorrow, and since it is just he and I, we can pretty much cater the class to what we need.  What would you experienced folks recommend as 'must learn' scenarios?

Here is some background on us:

1. We are regular trad climbers who prefer multipitch.  Grand Wall in Squamish is our longest climb together.

2.  We have both aided single pitch.  But I have only aided 1 single pitch climb, and that was awhile ago.

3.  I think I have taken self-rescue about 3 times now.  We both know the ins and outs of trad and are pretty experienced

Any advice for a n00b is appreciated.

dindolino32 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 25

make sure you learn how to follow a pendulum in a quick and efficient manner.  

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

Best practices for switching between aid and free mid-pitch, leading/cleaning roofs

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10

You don't know what you don't know.  Instead of going in with an agenda, I would pick a route or couple routes that you would like to do at some point and then ask the instructor what techniques you would need for those and go from there.

wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 84
Stagg54 Taggart wrote:

You don't know what you don't know.  Instead of going in with an agenda, I would pick a route or couple routes that you would like to do at some point and then ask the instructor what techniques you would need for those and go from there.

Yes - we plan on doing that, too.  We already talked with the person who hooked us up with the instructor about local 'big wall' potential spots.

Ryan7crew · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 65

Definitely practice a pendulum, and cleaning one.  Little ones with a lower out line and big ones with the tail of the rope.  And practice a real top step.  Not a half ass one, but a lengthy the fifi, lock the knees, and really engage the lower back one.  You'll need a dead vertical or even slightly slabby wall for that the first time.

Cameron Saul · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 10

I like what others have said.  Two other thoughts - get a haul system dialed in, and know how to jug with either (a) two jugs, or (b) one jug and a grigri (frogging).  

Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

An aid class is good in that it might give you a good framework to build on, but practice, practice, practice is the key. 

Get the systems TOTALLY wired. Cleaning, setting up anchors, hauling, setting up a ledge, moving from piece to piece, communication with your partner, all need to be TOTALLY WIRED!

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10
Mark Hudon wrote:

An aid class is good in that it might give you a good framework to build on, but practice, practice, practice is the key. 

Get the systems TOTALLY wired. Cleaning, setting up anchors, hauling, setting up a ledge, moving from piece to piece, communication with your partner, all need to be TOTALLY WIRED!

^^ Listen to Mark ^^

wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 84

Thank you for all your help, folks!

The class was awesome.  I took it through IMCS in North Conway, and Craig Taylor was our instructor - he was excellent!

In one short day we covered:

  • Aiding
  • Fixing lines
  • Hauling
  • Jugging
  • Following a pendulum
  • A tick list of small routes to start on, and then larger stuff
  • A shopping list

We immediately bought fifi hooks and set out the next day to practice.  We broke a very short crack into 3 pitches so that both of us to lead / jug.  I'm sure it looked pretty silly, but it sure was fun!

Thanks for your recommendations.  I have a hunger for more experiences and will being doing lots of reading / practicing.

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10
wonderwoman wrote:

Thank you for all your help, folks!

The class was awesome.  I took it through IMCS in North Conway, and Craig Taylor was our instructor - he was excellent!

In one short day we covered:

  • Aiding
  • Fixing lines
  • Hauling
  • Jugging
  • Following a pendulum
  • A tick list of small routes to start on, and then larger stuff
  • A shopping list

We immediately bought fifi hooks and set out the next day to practice.  We broke a very short crack into 3 pitches so that both of us to lead / jug.  I'm sure it looked pretty silly, but it sure was fun!

Thanks for your recommendations.  I have a hunger for more experiences and will being doing lots of reading / practicing.

sounds like a good plan.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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