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Ladder, regular aider, or ????
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Nov 10, 2010
After making a huge cluster on a simple bolt ladder over the weekend, I decided I need to work on my aiding system a bit.

I have traditionally used regular aiders when aiding. (2, connected to me with adjustable daisies.) Anyone have an opinion on the ladder style instead? Or home made russian aiders?

I doubt I will ever aid beyond C3, and have aspirations of mostly just C2 in the desert.

Any suggestions? The ladders look like they MAY be a little less prone to tangle, but I don't know....

From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Dec 11, 2005
40 points
Nov 10, 2010
You are doomed, for sure. eric harvey
Joined Sep 15, 2006
30 points
Nov 10, 2010
I like my ladders but i'm pretty sure not creating a cluster is about how you do things, not the type of gear. Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2007
245 points
Nov 10, 2010
You think your weekend bolt ladder experience was should've seen mine...(note to self, don't jump right on a 50 degree overhanging route when you've never practiced aiding before). Fortunately I just got back from toprope soloing the same route and have learned A LOT.

I used two ladders the first time. The second time I used one ladder and three aiders tied from 20' sections of 1" webbing(one ladder was still on the route...).

Basically, like Chris said, I don't think it matters. My home-tied ones weren't a problem. Just keep everything else systematic and orgainized.
Joined Aug 23, 2008
70 points
Nov 17, 2010
Well considering your experience with ladders might I suggest you skip the Russian aiders and get your systems dialed first ..

I find most people who like Ruskies have several years of aid under there belt and than they ether love em or hate em and go back to ladders ....

Ladders are the Easy Way no ifs ands or buts..... period ...
most people not doing overhangs pref 3 full length ladders to leap frog always having one at the ready (the frogger )on your harness as you move up.

Depending on the wind everything is prone to tangle some more so than others and Ruskies are the worst if yer shits not wired tight.You end up adding weight to the bottom of the aider to keep it vertical and not flapping around yer head beating the livin shit out of you.

Walls have nasty wind that blowes up-sidways- and down and changes direction in the blink of an eye .

I would say 1st get your system dialed with regards to your ladders
and practice in small steps. You are USEING KEYLOCK CARABINERS ON YOUR DAISIES ??????? RIGHT!!!!! I pref Petzl Owalls on mine .

Use one type of aider and dial it in untill you can do it blindfolded in your sleep/ drunk /with a hangover from the day before and your well on your way to having some fun.
From the farside
Joined Jun 18, 2009
0 points
Dec 14, 2010
I would generally agree with bigwallrog's above comments.

I have personally used both standard aiders and the ladder type and tried both two and four aider setups. Much of what you end up with is preference and what type of aid you end up climbing more. If I am on easy aid I use two ladders. If I'm on delicate harder aid A3 or harder I sometimes like to stand in two aider so use the 4 aider setup sometimes but have also climbed with just two successfully.

In short start with whatever you have and get efficient with those first. As you climb more you will naturally drift to what you like.

Despite all the buzz about Russian aiders I never see the el cap big wall veterans doing the hardest aid or speed ascents using them. Good luck and have fun.
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 22, 2006
2,145 points

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