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Silent partner vs aiders for soloing


Original Post
Walter Edly · · Thomasville NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

I have a silent partner, been experimenting, but got some etriers also.  Anyone tried both to solo?  I don't have vast experience with either, but see advantages both ways.  The aiders keep rope management down and give more insurance on harder routes, but looking for some real world insight (translation, experience, not textbook).

Embarrassed to say · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 5

"Insert head scratch emoji"

Kevin Mcbride · · Canmore AB · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160

Yer gonna die??
Walter Edly · · Thomasville NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

Yeah, someday.  But partners are sparse when you work too much.

Auden Alsop · · Baltimore, MD · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 5

I am confuse. Explain a little more what exactly you are trying to do?

Walter Edly · · Thomasville NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

Trying to climb, tired of "can't go" excuses.  The whole silent partner thing is a cluster, wondering if taking it slow with aiders might be worthwhile, and curious if anyone has done that.

Ben Williams · · van · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

What? Please explain...

Are you trying to aid solo?

Russ Walling · · www.FishProducts.com · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,271

You are correct.  The aiders are more than that in the long run.  Silent Partner is something that when working without a 1099 could be a savior but will in the end really depend on what you have to eat that day.  In the pack is the best of both worlds though and best of luck on your quest, a quest that is followed by many, but with less overtime and safer alternatives.

Walter Edly · · Thomasville NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

Not sure what it might be interpreted as, namewise.  But aid solo might be right.  The solo aspect with the silent partner, back up knots, etc is complicated, at best.  So with the aiders you can place gear close enough to always be backed up, but not hauling and setting so much rope.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
Russ Walling wrote:

You are correct.  The aiders are more than that in the long run.  Silent Partner is something that when working without a 1099 could be a savior but will in the end really depend on what you have to eat that day.  In the pack is the best of both worlds though and best of luck on your quest, a quest that is followed by many, but with less overtime and safer alternatives.

Nailed it.

Matt Kuehl · · Las Vegas · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,570

So you're asking if its better to use a rope, or not use a rope while aid soloing? I am going to have to vote use the rope...

Aid climbing, especially solo, is very technical with little room for lack of experience based mistakes.  You're going to need to know the systems if you want to enjoy it, so yer gonna have to start with the basics. 

"Soloing" with just daisies and ladders isn't really much of a technique as it is something done very infrequently by very few people and in very specific scenarios going for speed or link ups. (IE Dean, Alex, Hans, on solo enchainment's in the Valley). Your proposal for not using a rope/silent partner sounds more like just not taking the time to learn the rope systems and rather just skipping it all together. Reminds me of the kid who soloed with just daisies and ladders on Moonlight because he couldn't figure out how to jug a rope and likely just barely pulled off not dying. 

Walter Edly · · Thomasville NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

I can see where you might think I don't like the rope, but that's not it.  With the silent partner you are climbing and not relying on a belayer, while also taking the belayers duties.  I'm wondering if the added assistance of the steps in the aiders for pushing your limits are better for developing skills than managing all that extra rope.

trailridge · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 20

Why are offset nuts a thing?

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 420

My advice is to look into this dudes method of soloing. It’s almost as complicatedly simple as your description of whatever the hell you’re trying to do out there 

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/113602967/near-miss-on-cathedral-peak


Rprops · · North Las Vegas · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 865

kevin don't try and start an argument here about whether or not you need rated webbing to drag your backpack up a mountain. I bet you soil yourself on 3rd class terrain.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 420
Rprops wrote:

kevin don't try and start an argument here about whether or not you need rated webbing to drag your backpack up a mountain. I bet you soil yourself on 3rd class terrain.

We both know that unrated webbing can contribute to LEOs banning dry tooling in climbing areas with nesting falcons. So don’t piss down my back and call it your partner’s.

Michael T. · · Bothell, WA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 191

Okay, I have a few questions.

1.) are you trying to aid or free climb? 

2.) are you considering getting rid of the rope?

3.) is your idea that if you use the ladders, you're not going to fall, therefore you don't need to worry about the rope?

4.) are you a troll?

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I'm currently using a Mad Rock Lifeguard combined with a single progress capture pulley (I'm personally using a rollnlock) for rope solo stuff.  Much less bulk than using a SP although the system is probably a tad more complicated to keep it feeding properly.  The progress capture pulley is basically just used for managing the weight on the brake side of the Lifeguard to keep it self feeding properly.  I use overhands on bights below the rollnlock for backup.  So far the system has worked out pretty well for me on both lead solo and aid solo.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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