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richardvg03


May 6, 2008, 9:58 PM
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I want to do a big wall...
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So I want to do a big wall. Obviously not lead it or anything but just to experience it to see if I want to get into big wall climbing. I know nobody who big wall climbs. How do I find somebody who will haul me up a big wall?


salamanizer


May 6, 2008, 10:37 PM
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I know several monkeys who will drag your ass up El Cap.

The going rate is about $1000.


epic_ed


May 6, 2008, 11:06 PM
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If you're serious, and I assume you are, it's best to get a good understanding of what doing a wall involves. Looks like you're a Marine -- good, because that means you already have a penchant for suffering, if not a down right comfortable relationship with it. That and stubborn persistence will get you up a wall much sooner than pure talent alone. But the one variable you can't teach someone is experience. You'll find very few people (unless they are paid guides) who are willing to rope up for a multi-day climb with a n00b to do a wall. And it's not like "aid climbing" is a starting point in and of itself. The systems required for surviving several days on the wall are not learnable from a book, a video, or a class. You can find a lot of "how to" info and I encourage you to absorb as much of that as possible, but it's one thing to show you how to set up an efficient and functional anchor station for a ledge and two pigs, but it's quite another for you to know how to unclusterfeck the anchor 600 ft off the ground after you screwed it up the first time. Because your ass is on the line, and you really need to know how to improvise and problem-solve on the fly, it's going to be tough to find someone with experience who is willing to take you up a long, committing route.

Most climbers make a progression from gym/sport climbing, to trad -- and then spend several years getting the hang of placing gear, building anchors, learning rope management on multi-pitch route, etc. before moving into the aid game. I don't know how long you've been climbing, but if nothing else, you'll find the transition into aid climbing is easier the more years you have spent doing multi-pitch trad and learning those systems. I think it's also safer to do it this way, but none of us really play in this sport because it's safe. We each find our own level of acceptable risk and move forward. You'll do the same.

Another obstacle to over come is the gear needed to put an aid rack together. I don't know how much gear you have, but it often takes two or three guys combined gear to pool enough resources for a give climb when you first start doing aid. If you stick with it, you can eventually buy all the stuff you need, but unless you have a deep bank account it usually takes several years to have the right tools to go it alone if you want to go solo.

Your best bet is to find someone who is willing to do a couple of multi-pitch trad routes with you and then see how the chemistry works between you on the climb. Finding someone with aid experience would be nice, but more important is finding someone who you can tolerate under challenging circumstances. The day after day toil on a wall brings out the worst in the best of people and it's better to find out how they handle stress while doing something less committing than it is to find they go into fetal position and start slinging their poop after a bad lead when you're a thousand feet off the deck.

After a few long trad routes pick a single pitch aid route and practice your systems. Make the progression to an easy two or three pitch route, and do a few of these before moving to the big stage.

Or, you may just say feck it and head to the Valley tomorrow and live the dirt bag lifestyle for a few months this summer. It's an immersion experience, really. That's the crash course way of doing it, and if you have the chance to take a couple of months off I imagine it's well worth the toil of the steep learning curve forced on you. I wish I had done it.

Ed


(This post was edited by epic_ed on May 7, 2008, 7:53 AM)


majid_sabet


May 6, 2008, 11:22 PM
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sounds great Ed but where are you planning to stay as a dirtbag?

Hope you are not thinking of C4 or sleeping in your car.


quiteatingmysteak


May 6, 2008, 11:57 PM
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richardvg03 wrote:
So I want to do a big wall. Obviously not lead it or anything but just to experience it to see if I want to get into big wall climbing. I know nobody who big wall climbs. How do I find somebody who will haul me up a big wall?

If your serious, buy and read Chongos ground prep book.

Also read numerous posts by Dr. Piton.


The idiot moderators perma banned one of the best aid teachers the planet has to offer, so hopefully there is enough already out on the web to offer insight. If you are looking for future guidance and information not already available, i hope it can be answered by the one asset readily available on RC.com - a myriad of useless indoor bouldering home videos.

The Best Bigwall Info On the Web - Conveniently a Link Off-Site


epic_ed


May 7, 2008, 7:43 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
sounds great Ed but where are you planning to stay as a dirtbag?

Hope you are not thinking of C4 or sleeping in your car.

Figuring it out is part of the experience, ain't it? Tongue

Ed


skiclimb


May 7, 2008, 8:08 AM
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epic_ed wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
sounds great Ed but where are you planning to stay as a dirtbag?

Hope you are not thinking of C4 or sleeping in your car.

Figuring it out is part of the experience, ain't it? Tongue

Ed

Poaching Yos is one of the prerequiste experiences..Wink


salamanizer


May 7, 2008, 8:41 AM
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quiteatingmysteak wrote:
If your serious, buy and read Chongos ground prep book.

Dont bother, Chongos book is an over technical random conglomeration of long winded B.S.

Your money ($100) and time would be much better spent on gas and on the wall.

If you have questions.... google it.


summerprophet


May 7, 2008, 9:00 AM
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Richard,

I would suggest concentrating on getting the basics down before considering a big wall. You are incredibly keen on climbing and that is most honorable, but big wall climbing is really more about suffering than about climbing.

There is a natural progression to building skills before big walls come into the picture and without these skills, dealing with the cluster f*#k that is a big wall becomes at best, far more work than necessary, and at worst, a life threatening situation.

Right now, concentrate on getting your lead skills down, building fast strong anchor systems and learning where time is being wasted when you climb multi-pitch routes. These are very important skills on a wall.

As far as education, I would recommend a general book on big wall climbing (Jared Ogden has a good one) as well as a book on self rescue and anchors.

I second the advice to ignore Chongos book.

And you really don't want to be guided up a big wall. The big wall experience is all about suffering, and the culmination of combining all the hard earned skills you develop over the years. Save the experience for when you are ready, rather than rob yourself of it now.


tolman_paul


May 7, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Being drug up a big wall to clean gear and haul gear isn't climbing a wall, and might just sour you on the experience.

What is the longest route you've climbed? I'd say progress on longer and longer free routes, 3 pitch, 5 pitch, 10 pitch et al. Once you have your head and techniques around being far above the ground and moving efficiently, then you can gear up for the big routes.

If it takes you all day to set up and tear down anchors on a 3 pitch route, and you're sketchin, you have no business even thinking about grade V's with the added work of hauling.

Just climbing a 5 pitch route dragging a small bag with water, clothing and some food is a huge step up from hitting the crags.


stymingersfink


May 7, 2008, 3:47 PM
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richardvg03 wrote:
So I want to do a big wall. Obviously not lead it or anything but just to experience it to see if I want to get into big wall climbing. I know nobody who big wall climbs. How do I find somebody who will haul me up a big wall?
come to zion in two weeks, we could see what happens.

but I sure as FUCK ain't haulin your ass up, you'll have to jug it just like anyone else would. Probably twice.Tongue


kevinhansen


May 7, 2008, 4:47 PM
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stymingersfink wrote:
richardvg03 wrote:
So I want to do a big wall. Obviously not lead it or anything but just to experience it to see if I want to get into big wall climbing. I know nobody who big wall climbs. How do I find somebody who will haul me up a big wall?
come to zion in two weeks, we could see what happens.
Tongue
I'd second that. I've been looking for a partner for quite some time. I live an hour from Zions Touchstone wall and I'd do that with just about anyone. Naturaly there would be a homemoon climbing day or two before the climb to see what shape your skills and knowledge are in. (ground schoolish) I think Epic Ed summed it up rather well. I think Jared Ogden's book is well written, detaled, and organized. There are 1/2 dozen other books out there that can help. Clean Walls by Jeff Lowe and Ron Olevsky is a great Video along with one other that was filmed in the Big Ditch. Keep searching the web too. Pleanty of good reading on line.
Hay stymingersfink, need a partner?

I heard on NPR(National Public Radio) from a Navy Recruter that the number of Navy Seals is on the decline. He mentioned that most navy seals are former/current big wallers, ice climbers, mountaineers, and wrestlers.
Something about people attracted to suffering makes them good soldiers?
Just what I heard.


Partner xtrmecat


May 7, 2008, 4:50 PM
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  Richard, If you are serious and want to work hard I know the perfect teacher. I will not post him here but message or better e-mail me and I'll let you in on a good guys info. He is guiding on the grey market and is the most patient person I know that climbs, good soul too.
Bob


richardvg03


May 7, 2008, 10:02 PM
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kevinhansen wrote:
the number of Navy Seals is on the decline. He mentioned that most navy seals are former/current big wallers, ice climbers, mountaineers, and wrestlers.
Something about people attracted to suffering makes them good soldiers?
Just what I heard.

I actually go deep sea fishing the the Master Cheif of SEAL Team 7 and I was talking to him about climbing. The military teaches them how to climb! Those lucky bastards! I had a chance (if I would have re-enlisted) to go up North and to be taught how to climb and become an instructor but I turned it down.

I have the book on big wall climbing by Jared Ogden already. It's pretty good from what I can tell.


summerprophet


May 7, 2008, 10:06 PM
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Yeah, the late great Dan Osman used to be the seal team climbing trainer.

Made a pretty penny there if I do recall.


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