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sungam


Jul 22, 2008, 9:06 AM
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Best Tips, hints, and must read books.
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Okay, I'm going to be trying my hand at a bit of aid climbing.
I know it's going to be expensive, I know I'll have to be patient, read lots, experiment lots, and practice a lot before I get on anything big.
But does anyone have any little pointers that they learned from experiance along the way? like when I started mountain biking my friend just gave the simple hint he had learnzed from experiance "going up the seat gos high, going down the seat goes as low as possible."
Little hints and tips, plus the low down on gear I might not of thought of needing that could be handy on the wall.
The lowdown on any really good books would be rad, as well.
(P.S. the aim is to climb St Johns head either next summer or the summer after, or whenever it seems possible. Hopefully by a new route. Anyone wanna come along?)
:P


fenderfour


Jul 22, 2008, 11:05 AM
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Find a bolt ladder to souse out your movement system. Buy two aiders, tie two aiders so you can try the 3/4 aider system without spending too much money.

Throw a rope over a tree limb and figure out jugging before you get to the wall.


sungam


Jul 22, 2008, 11:22 AM
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fenderfour wrote:
Find a bolt ladder to souse out your movement system. Buy two aiders, tie two aiders so you can try the 3/4 aider system without spending too much money.

Throw a rope over a tree limb and figure out jugging before you get to the wall.
Jugging's not a problem, but good luck finding any bolts in my area (other than one wall) that last for more then 3-4 days. There are some crack lines that I could practise on, though.
what do you mean by "buy two aider, tie two aiders so you can try the 3/4 aider system"
by 3/4 you mean 3 or 4, and by tie two you mean DIY 2, and buy two premades, right?
Good call @ saving money.


petsfed


Jul 22, 2008, 12:24 PM
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sungam wrote:
by 3/4 you mean 3 or 4, and by tie two you mean DIY 2, and buy two premades, right?

Precisely. Some even get by with 2 aiders, although I'm not one of them.

Its worthwhile to have somebody teach you some roped-solo techniques as well. Your first few aid leads will take hours, and its hard to find a belayer with that kind of patience.

A good, steep crack line is what you really need to practice the basic aid sequence.

You'll find that stitched ladder-type aiders work better on slabs than the triangle aiders (for want of a better term).

Tied aiders require a lot of fine tuning before they're really good for climbing on.

If you can, borrow different types of aiders so you can find out what type you prefer, without blowing money unnecessarily.


sungam


Jul 22, 2008, 12:32 PM
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petsfed wrote:
sungam wrote:
by 3/4 you mean 3 or 4, and by tie two you mean DIY 2, and buy two premades, right?

Precisely. Some even get by with 2 aiders, although I'm not one of them.

Its worthwhile to have somebody teach you some roped-solo techniques as well. Your first few aid leads will take hours, and its hard to find a belayer with that kind of patience.

A good, steep crack line is what you really need to practice the basic aid sequence.

You'll find that stitched ladder-type aiders work better on slabs than the triangle aiders (for want of a better term).

Tied aiders require a lot of fine tuning before they're really good for climbing on.

If you can, borrow different types of aiders so you can find out what type you prefer, without blowing money unnecessarily.
Already done lead soloing, but as far as the aiders go... is there like a a basic and versatile and fairly cheap model out (you know, like most people use WC rocks on wire etc.) that I should go for?
Can I explain, I know NO-ONE in my area, or indeed the country, who aid climbs.


the_climber


Jul 22, 2008, 1:10 PM
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Haggis-donny there are two basic styles of aiders to look at. One is the teardrop (triangular step) type, and the other is the ladder type. I used hand tied teardrop style aiders for years, they work. I have since switched to using mostly the ladder style aiders. I hind they are much more comfortable to use and a hellofalot less hassle.
I still have my tied aiders and they still get use for caving and for those days we are short on aiders for the group/team.

I typically use a 3 aider system now, one on each daisy chain and one floater. For ME this system is working well. I used to use 4 aiders on 2 biners, but the 3 aider system is less of a clusterfuck. Try both, find what works best for you.

As for Brand, cost... they're all just about the same. Personally I like Yates and Onsight (though the Onsight aiders seem to be hard to find these days).

Since you're on that side of the pond, check into the cost of Troll aiders. I used them years ago, and I'd have to say they were pretty sweet for a teardrop aider.


Partner holdplease2


Jul 26, 2008, 9:49 AM
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The only must-read book I know of: Jared Ogden's Elite Technique. Its from that series of red books which are awesome. I still read this book...it has all kinds of one-off scenarios, great illustrations of stuff like pin/nut stacking, solo techniques, speed techniques. No matter how many walls you've climbed, you'll prolly learn something great from this book...or at least enjoy trying!

Aiders: If you're not making your own (and even if you are) be sure to get some with elastic loops under a couple of the steps. When jugging/cleaning this elastic can be pulled over your toe when your foot is in the step, meaning you don't have to focus on keeping your foot in the step, which can be a pain. Get them long enough that you can drop your center of gravity below the piece you are on when you bounce test your high peice to protect from outward pull if the piece being tested blows. Yates ladders are great. I use one six and one seven step per daisy, or sometimes just two six and a seven step floater.

Daisies: If you get traditional daisies, get the longest ones you can find. I recommend FISH products really long daisies. When they twist around one another (occasionally happens) or you have to reach high with your daisy biner on your nut tool or hammer, you will not be caught short.

Harness: When it is time to haul or belay from a hanging stance, you'll want a posh harness. Two buckles for closure is a good idea, as it will keep your belay loop/tie in centered no matter how much you're wearing or how fat you get.. This is key, as it is weighted much of the time when you are fifi'd in and you want your gear loops in the right place, not shifted 3 inches in what will invariably be the wrong direction. Also have dropable/removable leg loops for multi-day adventures, as sleeping and personal business will be more pleasant. I like my yates shield for all of the above, though I hear BD makes a nice wall harness as well.

Daisy Biners: The biner on the end of your daisy will be clipped and unclipped from thousands of things during the course of a wall, and will frequently be a (redundant) attachment point from you to the anchor. Consider a keylock style biner with a big basket (enough for your piece, your daisy, your aiders, your fif and your hand). A locker is nice if you will be using this as an anchor attachment. The Petzl Williams absolutely rock at this job.

Link Cams: To move when aiding, you need the right size piece of gear. Period. Getting to a #1 camalot spot and not having one can be a real problem. With 1 link cam on the back of your harness, you can virtually eliminate ths "I can't move!" problem from rattly fingers to almost cupped hands. Very very nice. Two link cams and youre flying up finger to hand sized aiding without even having to switch out the pro on your aiders.

Offset Nuts: If you aren't dealing with a lot of piton scars because there isn't a lot of aid climbing at your home crag, then don't worry about them. If you plan on going to Yosemite and climbing walls, where pin scars are the majority of moves you will make on some pitches, DMMs new aluminum offsets and the brass HB-style offsets available at the Yosemite Mountain Shop will be indispensable.

Backup Locker: While its nice to backup your jumars with a grigri or something when cleaning, you may still wish to control your rope. A giant loop in on a big wall can blow behind a flake before you know it. You will probably want one giant locker to do the job, one which can hold 8-9 bights of rope and still open and close with ease. The Omega Pacific Jake is an autolocker (less of a pain to deal with ) with a gate which swings to the side, allowing you to cram way more rope in this biner than most others on the market.

Ascenders: Black Diamond's new ascenders are the shit for more reasons than I can name. There's a review of them somewhere on here. Petzl may be more intuitive, but after getting used to the BD, my three sets of Petzl hang in the garage or get integrated into haul systems.

Hauling Devices: Consider getting a 2-3 inch pully with sealed bearings and having an extra ascender or a Petzl Basic or Croll. The separate systems have more wiggle room and are less likely to bind and are more versatile. Plus, you can use the Basic or the Croll as part of the Frog system for ascending free hanging ropes after fixing.

Rope: Consider the Mammut Supersafe. This rope barely fuzzes, and at 10.2 is probably the optimal diameter for soloing with a grigri. It will self feed when you stand up, but hold its own and not feed slack until you are 70-90 feet up on a straight-up pitch. Plus, you want something bombproof because you will be jugging this rope. Regardless of the rope you choose, it is your key responsibility to protect the edges. The sawing action of jugging a rope over an edge sucks.

Hope this helps,

-Kate.

Edited to add something about Jared Ogdens excellent book.


(This post was edited by holdplease2 on Jul 26, 2008, 9:56 AM)


sungam


Jul 26, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Woo!
JUST what I was looking for.
Thanks!


Partner holdplease2


Jul 26, 2008, 10:47 AM
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MKay, then, here's some more...

Big haul bag - Metolius half dome or el cap (prolly too big unless you climb with me and pete). The material is bombproof (unlike BD, less bombproof) and the suspension is damn good. You'll be glad you have the shoulder tension straps and the padded hip belt.

Smaller Haul Bag - FISH atom smasher. Get the de-luxe and you have an absolutely killer crag pack...either one would be killer, actually. You'll want one of these if you start climbing walls. It can be your rack bag. It can be your personal bag. It can be the sub-bag for when you and your partner share the big bag. They last forever and look good too.

Chest Harness - Get one that cinches tight so that you can integrate it into your haul (chest and sit harness in one biner on the haul ascender) so you don't blow out your kidneys or get diaper rash. The Yates is better designed, but the Misty Mountain goes smaller. I have to climb in a Misty Mountain. FISH would invariably be good and likely the least expensive. You do not want to share one between leader and follower on nailing pitches, this would leave the cleaner with 30 pounds of iron hanging from a sling around the shoulders, which (ask Dan Oppenheim) sucks!)

Cordalette: For a big big big wall or Pete and Kate size loads, you'll prolly want 2 of these per anchor. Get them extra long, as bolts on walls are frequently spread out to accomodate bivies, rather than just a foot or two apart like on a sport climb. Plus, get extra burly ones, 7 mil from Sterling is very durable. Get them 6 feet longer than a regular cordalette. They can take a lot of wear if there are rock irregularities and you are hauling.

Shoes: Highly recommend the La Sportiva Cirque Pro. Stiff enough that your feet don't go numb, but still with climbing rubber. Consider having Locker at Joshua Tree Resoles put an extra rand on for you, as the toe rubber will wear through from repeated rubbing on the rock during bounce testing, jugging, and hauling.

Helmet: Consider a helmet which can take more than one impact, one of the plastic shelled ones like the Ecrin Rock or the Elios from Petzl. Its not like you can go home after you bang your head, you may still need to climb or rappel for a day or two, depending on the size of your balls and the size of your new head injury.

Gloves: THE NEW PMI 3/4 FINGER GLOVES ABSILUTELY KICK ASS!!!! Gloves are a necessity for most folks on a wall, though I used to do without them due to the bulk of the leather in the Metolius ones. The PMI ones use slightly thinner leather so they are less of a pain and have a rubber logo thing across the knuckles that protects from wear. Gloves are essential because your hands can get pinched and what are minor knuckle scuffs on practice pitches become open festering wounds on longer walls. Your local shop may not carry these, but REI has them on their web site.

Kneepads: Consider getting some of the ACE elastic knee supports and cutting the corners off of one of your blue foamy sleeping pads (now called "pig liners"). Use duct tape to secure these pads to the inside of the knee supports, wrapping the tape all the way around. When the tape starts to wear where they touch the rock, PUT ON MORE TAPE! You might not be happy with the plastic roller-blade type kneepads because they skate around, which sucks, and catch on stuff more often. Some folks, like my partner Pete, swear by them, though. Others, like my partner Dan Oppenheim, don't wear kneepads or gloves, but he's a master!

Knife: Always have a knife on lead. You may need to cut tat off of a head or rivit before you can use it or cut whatever else. Get one that locks open AND keep a rubber band around the blade so it doesn't catch on the million things on your harness and open up on you when you least expect it. Get a serrated blade, as you'll likely be cutting nylon and its sooooo much easier with a serrated blade. My mom gave me a national geographic knife "Designed for climbers by a climber" I laughed when I saw it, but it kicks ass. Its shaped like a locking biner.

RTFN Bag: (Right The F*** Now Bag, for stuff you need Right the F*** Now) Bolt Bags, with their little slots and pockets, work great for this. Aid leads take a long time, you might need some stuff. Mine contains chapstick, topo, headlamp, Cliff Shot Blocks, usually a Red Bull, and a shotgun for when my partner starts chattering on the radio

FISH Beef Bags: So...how do you have your partner send up your water, jacket, food, "Joy Materials", spare batteries, and personal stuff when you're at the top of the pitch and they're at the bottom? You don't just tie all this valuable stuff to the rope or put it in a motheaten bag. You put it in a FISH bag and call it your Personal Pleasure Bag, and your partner knows its where he/she can find all your personal essentials at the anchor. FISH beef bags come in three sizes, i recommend one medium and one large. The small one is a great sheath for your hooks and beaks, to prevent tangling when you're sending the sickness.

Rivit Hangers: See my review of Yates Screamers to learn what happens when you buy your loop rivit hangers from anonymous idiots. Buy your rivit hangers from the idiots you know, like FISH products.

Personal Pleasure Pully: Consider getting one of the silver black diamond pullys with the white sheave. It has bearings. With all of the rope stacking, tag-rack hauling, and stuff you'll be doing, having a personal pleasure pully will make life a lot easier. Plus, if you drop your hauling pully (do not drop your hauling pully) this can do in a pinch. Plus, you can use it to rig a 2:1 if need be. If you're friend wants to "Borrow" it (your friend WILL want to borrow it) say "No." If they ask why, tell them because "Its Personal. And its for Pleasure. That's Why." They'll understand. Don't get the fixed-sided petzl pully for this, it sucks for more reasons I can count, including the wide stance of the clip loops, it requires an oval biner to work properly.

Pin Racking Biners: You want to keep several pins on a biner, but most biners have weirdly-shaped baskets and are too darn small these days. You can have a great pin racking biner without the weight of an oval, if you get the Omega Pacific 5.0 biners. They are blue (pretty) lightweight and inexpensive (cold-forged and wiregate) and will hold 4 angle pitons or whatever. Very nice biners.

Rope Bags: Get big ones, big enough for fat 70 meter lines. the FISH snake charmer has two sides to it. I don't like this for two ropes, but for one rope, with an easy "restack bucket" on the other side or a place for your junk (I said you'd need a big bag ;) its great. You may wish to avoid the FISH chum bucket, as its narrow and long, meaning in that idiotic case where you start having to feed the rope off the bottom of the stack because you're a moron (and all wall climbers are morons) you will be hating life, its nearly impossible. A large FISH wall bag is a good option, though not as burly.

The above is just opinion, of course. There are a million folks doing this and a million options. I have yet to meet two wall climbers who do things the exact same way or prefer the exact same gear.

:)

-Kate.


sungam


Jul 26, 2008, 3:11 PM
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:)
My first thought was "fuck. it's all USA gear, it'll be sooo expensive!"
But then I remembered my USA trip, and the ROCKIN' exchange rate.
Woohoooo!


jeremy11


Jul 26, 2008, 7:08 PM
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http://books.google.com/...lVU2BKCVn1Nw#PPA7,M1
thanks for the recommend


the_climber


Jul 26, 2008, 11:01 PM
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Kate, your rock!

Can I marry you?Blush
Oh, wait, You can't be married to more than one woman at a time in either of our countries.... ummm.... Tongue


sungam


Jul 27, 2008, 1:12 AM
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I'll marry you, T_C!
But you'll need to find someone to marry...
(woohooo! I finally used the ONLY half decent minister joke I know!!!!)


the_climber


Jul 27, 2008, 9:28 AM
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Haggis-Donny, HELL NOEZ!
I hear klownjaya's looking though.


stymingersfink


Jul 27, 2008, 4:56 PM
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the_climber wrote:
Kate, your rock!

Can I marry you?Blush
Oh, wait, You can't be married to more than one woman at a time in either of our countries.... ummm.... Tongue
get in line t_c...

i think i still have an appointment in her schedule for some wallin' time, soons my effin legal thing is over with (497days and counting).

yes, Kate?

good to see you posting again, BTW... han't seen you in these parts in some time... hope the stone's been goodt'ya Smile





an' listen to that girl there HaggisDonny... she been up more big stone than I'll probably ever get at the rate Ib'n go'n lately.


Partner holdplease2


Jul 27, 2008, 10:52 PM
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Thanks, SF!

Yeah, stones been good. Climbed 3 pitches of a route, had to bail (beyond my skillz and reach) only to watch those first three pitches fall off two weeks later from the top of another route...dust cloud 1000 feet high. Prayed thanx to God.

C U in the valley!

-Kate.


sungam


Jul 28, 2008, 1:08 AM
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holdplease2 wrote:
Climbed 3 pitches of a route, had to bail (beyond my skillz and reach) only to watch those first three pitches fall off two weeks later from the top of another route...dust cloud 1000 feet high.
right then... Maybe I'll sick to pulling plastic O_o


Partner holdplease2


Jul 28, 2008, 9:00 AM
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Hi Guys! There is someone on Supertopo selling a TNF/A5 haul bag, prolly the best suspension around, great durability, and a bit wider than the metolius so it fits a zero degree bag nicely! I climb with these bags and they are the best!

-Kate.


the_climber


Jul 28, 2008, 9:47 AM
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If only I had money right now.Unsure



I'll continue to use the Metolius that I have on long term loan right now. At least untill my budy decides to sell it to me for sure... always changing his mind.Smile


sungam


Aug 3, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Hey guys, just wondering if you reckon the petzl spatha (or the other one... trango something?) knife is a good one- the one with the biner clippy bit (can't fall out of it's bag etc.).
Boith are faily short-bladed and serrated, but niether seem to lock open or shut.


Partner holdplease2


Aug 4, 2008, 8:47 AM
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Hi Sungam:

With cold or tired hands, and the problems that can occur with an open wound on a long climb, there's next to no reason to chose a knife that will not lock open.

Additionally, the Petzl Spatha looks cool, like it will clip right on a biner right on your harness. Fact of the matter is its stiff, so it can just as easily un-clip itself from a biner if you are in a chimney or just thrashing around with your gear. A bad idea for your knife on a wall. Of course, you could loop some cord through the clip in hole, but this defeats the purpose of the feature that resulted in a fairly bulky knife.

Most knives seem to have a spot where some cord could be slipped through a hole or even a designated tab of metal on the knife. You then clip this cord into a biner on your harness. This soft point of attachment to the biner makes it far less likely to unclip itself.

You can make a knife lock closed by simply wrapping a rubber band around it a few times and sliding it up over the blade when you don't want it to open.

I don't know the Trango piece, but I think you may be referring to the knife/nut tool combo. This is nice if you don't plan on using the knife very often or in awkward positions. Unfortunately, it makes a situation where every time you use your nut tool, you risk dropping your knife and v.v. unless you don't mind Yet Another tether in your system. I'd say carry a good knife on walls, not a dinky less-than-optimal compromise that results in a looong handle for such a tiny blade.

Edited to add that I think the trango knife/nut tool combo is a great idea for free climbing, where more often than not, people don't need or carry a knife, but it can make a big difference to have one along. It doesn't take any thought or space when its on your nut tool, and could be hugely valuable in the event that you need it.

Hope this helps.

-Kate.


(This post was edited by holdplease2 on Aug 4, 2008, 9:11 AM)


sungam


Aug 4, 2008, 9:08 AM
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It helped.


currupt4130


Aug 4, 2008, 9:55 AM
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On the subject of knives, I can recommend a couple that lock down tight, and lock open tight. One is what I carry everyday and wouldn't trade it for any other knife.

Right now I have a Benchmade 5500 SBK. It has a 3" partially serrated edge and is auto opening. It has a safety on it to prevent it from opening period. It's big brother has a little longer blade (3.42") and is the 5000. They look identical except for blade length.



The non auto versions are so smooth you can release the lock and they fall open. The way the lock is, you really have to release it yourself, I can't imagine it working open easily. They are the 520 and 525.

Mine has a little hole on the end of the handle where I could run some small cordalette through. They're pricey, but worth every penny. The steel is great, the edge's hold very well, and the action of the knives themselves is flawless. You're supposed to military or LEO to get the auto's, but you can find them online easily enough.

http://benchmade.com/products/product_list.aspx?page=1&class=Black


(This post was edited by currupt4130 on Aug 4, 2008, 9:59 AM)


hersheygear88


Aug 4, 2008, 10:13 AM
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trango makes another knife with the same blade as the nut tool combo called the piranha. it does lock open and has a neat feature where it can't open when on a biner (unless the biner is ultralight- mine worked it's way open on an Oz- since then it was relegated to a BD Oval). It is a really small blade which could be problematic on day 3 when your hands are all marred to hell but otherwise it's got pretty easy one hand opening and mine slides right through ratted webbing and cord left on walls.

I wouldn't recommend the spatha as I have yet to hear anything good about them. Apparently they lose their edge really easily and I couldn't get the thing opened without two hands.

All of this said- definitely shop around. Get what works for you.


fenderfour


Aug 4, 2008, 10:16 AM
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currupt4130 wrote:
On the subject of knives, I can recommend a couple that lock down tight, and lock open tight. One is what I carry everyday and wouldn't trade it for any other knife.

Right now I have a Benchmade 5500 SBK. It has a 3" partially serrated edge and is auto opening. It has a safety on it to prevent it from opening period. It's big brother has a little longer blade (3.42") and is the 5000. They look identical except for blade length.

[image]http://benchmade.com/images/products/model_main/5000.jpg[/image]

The non auto versions are so smooth you can release the lock and they fall open. The way the lock is, you really have to release it yourself, I can't imagine it working open easily. They are the 520 and 525.

Mine has a little hole on the end of the handle where I could run some small cordalette through. They're pricey, but worth every penny. The steel is great, the edge's hold very well, and the action of the knives themselves is flawless. You're supposed to military or LEO to get the auto's, but you can find them online easily enough.

http://benchmade.com/products/product_list.aspx?page=1&class=Black

a fin knofe to be sure, BUT:

Benchmade = expensive, climbing = thrashed/lost knife.

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