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Beginner Aid in New England
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AntinJ


Mar 2, 2009, 8:29 PM
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Beginner Aid in New England
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I am looking to try my hand at Aid. This will most likely be a solo effort due to my non-standard work schedule. I did a little searching - and will continue to spend plenty of time playing in cracks for a bit prior to this undertaking; however could anyone suggest some good multi-pitch routes in the MA/NH area good for beginner solo-aid?

I can only assume that White Horse and Cathedral will be among recommendations - any routes in particular? Boston Rocks shows an A2 route at Crow Hill and a bolted route at the Quincy Quarries which I have yet to check out.

Also if anyone else is at this stage of the learning curve, I'd be more than happy to get together.

Thanks for the help.

J


altelis


Mar 3, 2009, 8:50 AM
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Re: [AntinJ] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Yea, I would make the trip to Cathedral. Modor Wall has the classic multi-pitch aid climbs. That said, on a not too busy day check out The North End- a lot of aidable cracks there. I've certainly seen my fair share of people aid soloing on Birdsnest. You can try the overhanging crack to the right of Birdsnest too. I would also suggest exploring the stuff far left of the North End. Cool stuff to be explored there as well.

And you can, if you want, easily get to the top of the North End to practice some stuff on TR. Though most of it is pretty straight forward to aid solo....


pmyche


Mar 4, 2009, 9:02 AM
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AntinJ


Mar 5, 2009, 4:38 PM
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Re: [pmyche] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Pmyche and Altelis -

Thanks for the great suggestions so far! I've asked around a bit since I first posted this question and I have had similar responses. I will surly get organized and head up that way. I'll let you know how it goes.

-Jason


DFCLIMB


Mar 5, 2009, 6:13 PM
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Re: [AntinJ] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Catheral Ledge NH - Mordor wall is a great solo, except for the last pitch - slab. Rappelling off the "sidewalk" ledge makes for a fun day, but you miss the roof pitch. Bat hook are needed for the traverse. The Prow is also a good route on aid. Ragged Mt in CT has good single pitch routes to aid solo (Broadway, YMC, Subline, Unconquerable crack)


AntinJ


Mar 5, 2009, 6:16 PM
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great stuff - thanks


AntinJ


Mar 6, 2009, 3:08 AM
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I've done some research and read some great trip reports on both the Prow and the Mordor Wall - however I can't figure out if Bashies and hooks are a necessity for success on both climbs. Any feedback/beta out there?

Thanks,

J


dudemanbu


Mar 6, 2009, 5:43 AM
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Re: [AntinJ] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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AntinJ wrote:
I've done some research and read some great trip reports on both the Prow and the Mordor Wall - however I can't figure out if Bashies and hooks are a necessity for success on both climbs. Any feedback/beta out there?

Thanks,

J

The prow goes free, so you don't need bashies. Hooks you would be glad to have though.


altelis


Mar 6, 2009, 6:05 AM
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dudemanbu wrote:
AntinJ wrote:
I've done some research and read some great trip reports on both the Prow and the Mordor Wall - however I can't figure out if Bashies and hooks are a necessity for success on both climbs. Any feedback/beta out there?

Thanks,

J

The prow goes free, so you don't need bashies. Hooks you would be glad to have though.

Either you have some flawed logic or you mistyped.

If you meant "clean" instead of "free" you are absolutely right. At least in terms of IF they have gone "clean" that means you won't need bashies. Its quick common for A1 routes to have a hook move or two, though they will be bomber hooks above bomber gear looking at a clean fall.

If you truly meant "free", your logic is a little off. A free face climb, even a "g" rated one can easily have 10 feet of unprotected climbing. You can easily free climb 10 feet over 5.0 jugs on to the next available piece of gear on a free climb. However you are a freak of nature if you could complete these moves on aid without hooks! Just ain't no way! Unless its a continuous crack climb I wouldn't make any sort of assumptions of saying "it goes free therefore you won't need hooks, bashies, etc...". You could say, "it goes free so make sure to climb clean." But clean does not mean no hooks.

To the OP- sorry, I don't have first hand info on those two climbs....


AntinJ


Mar 6, 2009, 6:37 AM
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Thanks for the feedback - that's exactly what I was looking for.

Piecing together trips is the best - still have a ways to go, but so far its looking good.

-Jason


altelis


Mar 6, 2009, 6:48 AM
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Something to think about if you are going to go to Cathedral. In the town of North Conway, essentially across from the EMS, is the store IME (International Mountain Equipment).

They have some AMAZING deals on consignment items. Granted, they have some terrible deals as well. But it is certainly worth checking out. They have everything from climbing shoes to full on one-piece expedition suites down in the basement, but up front in 1/2 of the front counter they have their consignment hardware. Some of the stuff is a little older (though still great) and is a really easy and cheap way to build up an aid rack. They sometimes have aid-specific "pro" in there as well. If you are going to be in town anyways it would really behoove you to check out. I added a bunch of great small metolius cams to my rack for around $25 bucks each (plus some screws, carabiners, etc., etc., etc.) over the course of a few visits.

They also have brand new aid specific gear (bashies, pins, ?ball-nuts?) there as well, and the dudes in the store are super knowledgeable. I'd say if you are questionable about whether you need some gear but are maybe willing to buy it, wait till you get to Conway. Pop into IME, and ask the staff if they think you'll need that piece. If yes, you can look into consignment first then at the new stuff. If no, you haven't wasted your money on something you didn't need at that time. Lets you build your aid rack a little slower that way and therefore sink less cash in a small amount of time.


AntinJ


Mar 6, 2009, 7:13 AM
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Ah good ol' IME - i'll be there tomorrow renting ice tools. I'll make sure to check out some aid gear as well. What might you suggest as a good start when it comes to adding basic Aid gear to a rack. I have a pretty solid TRAD rack, but no real HARDWARE. Any suggestions at least as far as climbing some of the basic aid routes on Cathedral might require?


jrathfon


Mar 6, 2009, 7:33 AM
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Re: [altelis] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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From all the accounts and books I've heard and read the prow goes hammerless and clean, you might be shot if caught hammering on that route. You can do it at 5.7 to 5.9 C1+ or 11+. Most peoples racks are double set o' nuts, one set micro nuts, double pink and red tricam, and a double rack o' cams to #3 BD (includes double aliens). I haven't seen anyone with a hook in their rack, but you could bring one just in case. It pretty much looks like continous crack except for the first free pitch.

Mordor wall has fixed bashies and you definitely need hooks. I've heard it's a good idea to take a few replacement bashies and RURPS, but it should go hammerless unless you need to replace something.

I'm looking at doing the Prow as soon as the snow/ice dies down a touch. If you are getting into aid, just pick out a few regular cracks and have at it. Do a number of these and figure out if you actually like it before investing in the gear. Go with ladders! My next piece of gear (outside of the free rack, which should probably be augmented with micro nuts, and would have micro cams and a double set of regular cams) would be two hooks or pick an interesting route and grab what's specific for that route and start from there.


altelis


Mar 6, 2009, 7:38 AM
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Re: [jrathfon] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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i pretty much agree with everything you said.

I was just commenting on the fact that you said the Prow goes free, but this really doesn't tell the aspiring aid climber any information about what to put on their rack. It does suggest that you should not bring a pin-rack and hammer, but it really only suggests this point.

I was just clarify your post is all..


jrathfon


Mar 6, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Re: [altelis] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Wasn't my post.

I was supporting you, noting the difference on that route between clean and free.

As I understand it clean and hammerless are also different:

Hammerless: been done without a hammer (edit to add: i.e. not yet done entirely clean), yet there is fixed hammered gear, so it may need to be replaced and you should take the hammer with you.

Clean: if it's C1 or C2 you would be sicked if you used a hammer. this route takes all clean gear

Free: immortals have attacked this route sticking their tiny fingers in the peg scars and it has a 5.** rating


(This post was edited by jrathfon on Mar 6, 2009, 7:44 AM)


altelis


Mar 6, 2009, 7:46 AM
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Re: [jrathfon] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Heh. Good call, sorry.

Thats what I get for trying to study and have a "conversation" online.....
Support awayAngelic


And I think your hammerless/clean def is spot on...


tallnik


Mar 6, 2009, 1:25 PM
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Re: [jrathfon] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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jrathfon wrote:
From all the accounts and books I've heard and read the prow goes hammerless and clean, you might be shot if caught hammering on that route. You can do it at 5.7 to 5.9 C1+ or 11+. Most peoples racks are double set o' nuts, one set micro nuts, double pink and red tricam, and a double rack o' cams to #3 BD (includes double aliens). I haven't seen anyone with a hook in their rack, but you could bring one just in case. It pretty much looks like continous crack except for the first free pitch.

Mordor wall has fixed bashies and you definitely need hooks. I've heard it's a good idea to take a few replacement bashies and RURPS, but it should go hammerless unless you need to replace something.

I'm looking at doing the Prow as soon as the snow/ice dies down a touch. If you are getting into aid, just pick out a few regular cracks and have at it. Do a number of these and figure out if you actually like it before investing in the gear. Go with ladders! My next piece of gear (outside of the free rack, which should probably be augmented with micro nuts, and would have micro cams and a double set of regular cams) would be two hooks or pick an interesting route and grab what's specific for that route and start from there.

RURPs are not needed for the mordor wall. Bringing replacement bashies is a good idea - however when I climbed it, they were in good shape and we didn't need to replace any. Bat hooks are good, Talons are better. There's some hooking up higher as well.

Good place to do some vertical camping as well. People occasionally bust out a porta ledge or bivy on the 5th (?) pitch. For fun - you shouldn't need more than a day, especially if you don't have to haul.

Nik


pmyche


Mar 6, 2009, 1:31 PM
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Re: [tallnik] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Since we're in post dissecting mode, let's examine this statement:

Bat hooks are good, Talons are better.

Hmmm...

Cheers, tn.


(This post was edited by pmyche on Mar 6, 2009, 1:32 PM)


tallnik


Mar 17, 2009, 2:55 PM
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Re: [pmyche] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Whatever, it's my opinion. Dissect away.

on that route there's the bat-hook traverse....

however, I used the other hooks on a Talon a few times on that route, and appreciated the additional stability offered by the tripod configuration....


Alpine07


Mar 17, 2009, 3:35 PM
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Re: [AntinJ] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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What device do you use? I'm considering investing in some sort of solo device. I've used clove hitches, stopper knots, and some things that I shouldn't have. I figure it is time to get something that will speed things up a bit, and simplify the whole process.

I think I am about at the same place as you, not done a whole lot of aid, but i'm thinking about trying something a bit bigger this summer after I get some more miles in.


altelis


Mar 17, 2009, 3:55 PM
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Re: [Alpine07] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Get a grigri. It works super well for aid soloing, plus it has 100+1 other uses. As opposed to dedicated solo belay devices which only have 1 use. And are way heavier. And bulkier. And more expensive.

Read up on rebelays, etc. There are TONS of great posts in this forum on the topic, and these are issues that as a newb aider, esp a newb solo leader, you prob won't have in mind and you really NEED to know!


Alpine07


Mar 17, 2009, 5:00 PM
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Re: [altelis] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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Yeah, Gri Gri sounds like the way to go. I feel like I have everything else worked out with the rebelays and such. A year or two ago Stymingersfink, through PM, taught me almost everything that I didn't already know about solo aiding. Such as rebelays, and rope management, etc.

Edit: My current rope is a 9.7, how does the grigri work with a thinner rope? My last one was a 10.2, next one is looking to be a 9.2. It seems there is a trend here towards thinner ropes. I have a "Matt's Rope Bag Climate" forecaster that told me that. Sly


(This post was edited by Alpine07 on Mar 17, 2009, 10:11 PM)


tallnik


Mar 18, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Re: [Alpine07] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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If I was solo-aiding with a gri-gri I'd prefer a cord at least 9.7mm thick. I've found that it seems to catch well with that diameter up. Perhaps someone will have solo-aided on a skinnier rope before. However, when I'm belaying friends on skinny cords, I've always felt like I've needed to pay extra attention with cords skinnier than 9.7mm.

Nik


(This post was edited by tallnik on Mar 18, 2009, 10:10 AM)


Partner cracklover


Mar 30, 2009, 1:41 PM
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Re: [AntinJ] Beginner Aid in New England [In reply to]
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AntinJ wrote:
I am looking to try my hand at Aid. This will most likely be a solo effort due to my non-standard work schedule. I did a little searching - and will continue to spend plenty of time playing in cracks for a bit prior to this undertaking; however could anyone suggest some good multi-pitch routes in the MA/NH area good for beginner solo-aid?

I can only assume that White Horse and Cathedral will be among recommendations - any routes in particular? Boston Rocks shows an A2 route at Crow Hill and a bolted route at the Quincy Quarries which I have yet to check out.

Also if anyone else is at this stage of the learning curve, I'd be more than happy to get together.

Thanks for the help.

J

Where are you in your learning curve? I learned to aid, based in Boston. Would be happy to give suggestions, but want to know where you're at first, so I don't waste time on info that's useless (too beginner or too advanced) for you.

GO


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