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Russian Aiders


Original Post
Daniel McCormick · · San Jose, CA > Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 45

Could someone explain Russian aiders to me? Im having trouble finding them or information on them. I dont quite understand the benefits or how they function.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

We call 'em крюконоги - hooked legs.

The idea is you have two hooks attached to each leg somewhat below your knees. Aiders are webbings with small metal rings. You hook those rings with hooks to progress upwards.

Thus your feet are off of aiding so you can wear any shoes you like (e.g. your favorite climbing shoes) - your feet are resting while you aiding. Thus there is no hassle to transit in between free and aid climbing.

Examples:

* Aiders: http://vento.ru/sport/catalog/48/1688 or http://krukonogi.com/en/ladders-smart-2-4-5-aluminium-nylon.html

* Крюконоги: http://krukonogi.com/en/aiders-superfast.html

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,675

Thanks Pavel. Those look interesting. 

I suppose that another advantage is that, properly attached to the leg strap, one's foot never slips out of a step. 

Outside of Russia, are they popular? 

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

This system is kinda standard across ex-USSR countries. Have no idea whether it is used anywhere else.

There's an obvious disadvantage - no high stepping is possible. Thus for hard aid we often carry an alpine aider or a short one or two steps ladder.

Daniel McCormick · · San Jose, CA > Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 45

Thanks Pavel! 

Thats the best explanation I've seen anywhere.

Are they more comfortable than regular aiders for extended stances? 

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,989

Ask PTPP, he's got a pair.

Other good points to Russian aiders is that the line of rings don't catch in the wind as much as regular webbing ladders (especially if you clip some weight in the bottom), they attach closer to your center of gravity which is nice for working on roofs, more compact when not in use.

Problems: Can be painful if not fitted/padded properly, probably hard to use without using your hand to attach the rings?

Daniel McCormick · · San Jose, CA > Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 45

I imagine it takes some precision to hook the rings?

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Russian aiders can't flip inside out like etriers

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Daniel McCormick wrote:

Are they more comfortable than regular aiders for extended stances? 

It depends. Personally I find huge Fish ladders to be more comfortable to aid been waaay bulkier vs rings'n'hooks setup. Also one has to fit those legs hook with a great precision, otherwise they wouldn't be comfortable at all.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

One more hint - been attached to harness with daisy chains or cords and binners those straps and rings are comfortable to carry over shoulder. It really saves time and decreases the mess.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Daniel McCormick wrote:

I imagine it takes some precision to hook the rings?

Not that much. Half a day of training is enough.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 350

I used a pair for a bit, wasn't too impressed. Main issue was that they're more difficult to step back down to rest when in a stressed position (like drilling rivets) due to the need to be more exactling than you have to with ladders 

Will S · · Joshua Tree · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,053

I did Zodiac and the Trip using Russians. They are cool on steep terrain, since your contact point is just below your knee, you can sort of brace with the bottom part of your leg, and that makes top-stepping easier on overhanging stuff (the lever-arm effect of your body is shorter). You can also hook them straight into the pro if you need to get as high as possible. Top stepping in a regular set of ladders, your contact is the sole of your foot, and it always feels more precarious to me than the russians.

Another nice thing, you can clip a biner from the leg/foot cuff piece to a ring on the aider tree, and that way your foot can't disconnect from the aider when jugging. I know for me, when jugging less-than-vertical terrain, a lot of times keeping your foot in the step of a regular ladder type aider is a PITA.

On slabby terrain, the advantage when leading kind of disappears, you can't get quite as high in the russians as using the sub-step of a top step on a regular ladder style aider. 

If you get a set, the bottom ring or two is usually spaced a lot further apart than the upper ones. I had a friend re-sew mine to shorten up the lowest one to fit my body size so I didn't have an unnatural distance between them. I have the old Trango ones and needed to shorten the distance to the bottom ring by about 3", otherwise it was like trying to bring my knee to my nose to make that step from the bottom ring to the next ring.

Here's an old writeup Pass the Penis Pete did on them a decade ago when Trango was still making them, coincidentally also about the time I stopped doing aid walls (that shit can wait until you're too old and fat to free climb anymore) , just skip to the last page for a summary of advantages/disadvantages: http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/495312/Dr-Pitons-Ultimate-Russian-Aider-Thread

Daniel McCormick · · San Jose, CA > Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 45

Will S wrote: 

You can also hook them straight into the pro if you need to get as high as possible. Top stepping in a regular set of ladders, your contact is the sole of your foot, and it always feels more precarious to me than the Russians.

Whoa that sounds awesome, I'm sure in certain scenarios it could be pretty stable.

Will S wrote: 

Pass the Penis Pete

BAHAHAHAHAHA

John Shultz · · Osaka, Japan · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 45

The Krukonogi leg cuffs are much better than the old Trango ones. But I am happy to have the old titanium ringed aiders. 

Cheers from Osaka,

john 

Kristoffer · · North Bend, Wa · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 50

I found they work well if you are doing aid climbing while wearing crampons. hooking off your knee gives you the ability to spread your feet apart so you don't snag your calf with your crampons as you do when using a webbing ladder. I also found it easier to transition back to climbing with my crampons when using Russians than it is with standard ladders. 

that being said, on a dry route you would never catch me wearing my Russians. 

I also second the statement that Krukonogi make a really nice set. 

  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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