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Where/how did you learn
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jamesellis


Sep 10, 2008, 6:04 PM
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Where/how did you learn
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aid climbing and big wall techniques? Not many people have the balls or cash to buy all their own gear and set out on a wall, so how did you learn? Anyone just camp out in the valley and find someone willing to drag their ass up a wall? Or did you start out with guided excursions?


coastal_climber


Sep 10, 2008, 9:41 PM
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I found an experienced climbing willing to teach me. If you want to learn, get a set of jugs and aiders, and buy a nice thick Mammut rope, and ask around.


>Cam


majid_sabet


Sep 10, 2008, 9:59 PM
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I learned it off reading few books


fenderfour


Sep 11, 2008, 10:41 AM
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books, balls, and time


tomtom


Sep 11, 2008, 1:17 PM
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I took a class with a local climbing club.

Some climbing gyms also teach aid classes.


sungam


Sep 11, 2008, 3:40 PM
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I think "areyoumydude" is looking for a subbie...


Partner xtrmecat


Sep 11, 2008, 4:32 PM
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I live in an area that has so few people interested in anything aid that it left me to figure it out. Freedom Of The Hills wasn't bad for some technique, order of doing things, etc. John Long and John Middendorfs Big Walls helped tremendously.
What helped the most was amassing as much gear as I could and doing the biggest stuff I could find for several years. Mileage pure and simple. Mind you I have less than ten pitches with a partner and over a hundred without. Once I did this many pitches alone the sequence of almost everything just is not an issue. You might say stuff gets wired.
Solo is not a bad way to learn, but it is a different head space than with a partner, and that is a fact. Not for everyone, but the systems seem to come faster as the question of "How the hell did that happen?", read cluster, is easy to answer. I did it by not thinking this move through. Way fast to learn about your mistakes.
Another reason solo is tougher is logistics in popular areas, like Yosemite. Too much gear to take all in one trip, what do you take first and leave while you haul your next, etc., etc., if this goes up first then will it get stolen while hauling the pig tomorrow?
I would say finding a mentor would be optimum. Finding a like minded partner would be second in my book but may be hard as belay duty on an aid pitch of any difficulty is like watching paint dry. Probably why so many big wallers consider alcohol or other distractions essential gear.
Third best way in my opinion is to get as much together as you can and get some mileage. Easy at first, short one pitch stuff can teach you a lot. Bigger and more involved will open your eyes to potential issues, belay clusters, hauling, and then with most problems encountered and figured out go on a trip to something bigger. Keeping goals attainable will probably keep the juices flowing and getting in over ones head can be a horrible space and even teach you what snail eye is.
No matter what, keep it fun. I train every week for stuff, find the work to be a sick form of relaxation, and if it ever became not fun, then what is the point.
Where do you climb,regionally speaking. Speak up. I may want a belay slave, or so may someone else. Believe it or not there are some pretty damn good aid climbers cruising this site daily. Get some practice and find out if it is even your bag, or if you are like the other thousands that tried it, and found it to be too much work. Good luck and enjoy.
Bob


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