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What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb?
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UpToTheOzone


Apr 22, 2013, 9:11 PM
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What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb?
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I've been climbing for 14 years, leading for 6, placing gear for almost 1 year. I had the pleasure of spending a month in Camp 4 last summer, focusing exclusively on free climbing. There are 2 routes that stick out to me as "must do" classics: the Regular NW Face of Half Dome, and as cliche as ever, The Nose.

Now I want to do these routes for the exposure, and sense of accomplishment, and amazing free climbing that is offered. I have no experience aiding, other than the unplanned french free at my limit. Aside from the approach, Regular NW Face sounds perfect. I've done 3 grade IV climbs, and several grade III climbs, but never a V or VI.

At this point, I'm not stoked on a bivy aside from 1 night in a (semi) comfortable spot. For either of the two above mentioned climbs I'd want to wait until I could do them in two days or less, preferably under 18 hours car to car. I currently lead .10d trad, but would say my onsight limit is more in the .10b range.

How much preparing would I have to do (aside from learning to jug a fixed line and the fundamentals of c1 and c2) to accomplish my goal. I'd be selective to chose a partner that would not hold me back, and would have more experience aiding that I do.

Ultimately my question is: what drives you to aid climb? The views? Sense of accomplishment? The free climbing on these routes? The sense of adventure? etc


potreroed


Apr 23, 2013, 8:09 AM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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All the aid climbing I do is to establish new routes so for me it's the adventure of going where no man has gone before.


desertdude420


Apr 23, 2013, 12:28 PM
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Re: [potreroed] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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What I get most out of aid climbing is the problem solving, commitment, and the exposure.


edge


Apr 23, 2013, 1:59 PM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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Because I can't climb 5.13.


Partner xtrmecat


Apr 29, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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  You say you wish to wait until you can do these climbs in under 18 hours car to car. My opinion is you will never set off on either if you hold true to this criteria.

Aid climbing is one subject. Bigwalls is another with many parallels. These are both bigwalls, with some moderate to hard free sections. Neither are short in elevation or difficulty.

To answer your title question as to why I climb walls/aid? I do it because it is the hardest thing I can set out to try to accomplish, and with enough perseverance, diligence, grit, determination, training, and of course skill, and get it done.

To further explain, I can free upper moderate and improving my grades comes slow from here on out, especially at my age. I can go to the realm of aid, and can take it to any level I wish at any age, so long as I remain in "alligator wrestling shape" as another fellow my age would put it.

Grade VI can be done sub 24 hours, and has many times. I find the grade is quite accurate though for us mortals. If you desire to be of the quality of climber to do a sub 18 hour car to car of either of these, and have progressed to the 10D trad range in fourteen years, it's not looking real good for you. At least at the current rate of progress.

At 53 years young, I must run, climb, hike, work out constantly to maintain. I find I can do grade six about average in time with most other wallers with like skills. It takes about three to six months of really working it hard, just to get ready for a season.

What inspires me? I find the challenge of the climb, the hard work and perseverance that must be exerted to accomplish the line to be rewarding in a sick, but healthy sort of way. I only set out on a climb I feel inspires me, is well within my abilities, and can be accomplished with reasonable chance of not going to the great beyond. So no A5 or even much in the A4 realm here.

After years of work, gathering gear, topo and information on climbs, hauling it all to the base, and doing the dirty deed in the best style I can, all at much expense and sacrifice, working at or just beyond my perceived limit for too many hours/days, am I allowed to top out on some of these glorious adventures.

The feeling is not indescribable. I just am not willing to sit and type for an hour or two try to describe it to you. I will say however, topping out on El Cap has brought tears to my eyes, and an emotional rush that has yet to be bested in my life.

I do not want to be a stick in your mud to try to set reality into motion, but these feats are not small. These walls are not small. Heck, I've found the average hot dog egomaniac that really applies himself couldn't get his kit to the base of RNWF and get back to his car in much less time than this. To pull off a grade VI also, well, back to my mortal comment.

Good luck, but start at the beginning please, and be true to the climbs. Work hard and the rewards you seek may come.

Burly Bob


shimanilami


Apr 29, 2013, 5:32 PM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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The views. The sense of accomplishment. Free climbing way, way up on a wall. Adventure. All these things.

On top of all this is the opportunity to spend 3-5 nights in some of the most incredible terrain on earth. It's a very different world up there, and just "hanging out" for a few days .... well, it's hard to explain how much fun it can be.

Regarding your goal of climbing HD or El Cap in a push, I think you've got a ways to go. Even very strong trad climbers get shut down on these routes regularly. It's not simply a matter of how hard you can climb. You've got to have your systems down pat, plus be able to climb 30+ pitches with little rest. You can bail on these routes, to be sure, but even that is something of an undertaking, especially if you've climbed 20+ hours and are physically and mentally spent.

My advice would be to spend a bit of time learning how to aid climb and become familiar with the big wall environment. These are skills you'll need if you're serious about your stated goals and, who knows, you might end up having an incredible time while you're at it.


UpToTheOzone


Apr 29, 2013, 6:12 PM
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Re: [shimanilami] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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I agree I'm sure it's something that I'd like, but from what I've heard about hauling, I don't want any part in that. And the thought of buying even MORE gear is something I'm not sure about at this point. I'd love to sleep on a portaledge, but it sounds like there's a lot of Type 2 fun involved in aiding


altelis


May 15, 2013, 1:55 PM
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Re: [UpToTheOzone] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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UpToTheOzone wrote:
I agree I'm sure it's something that I'd like, but from what I've heard about hauling, I don't want any part in that. And the thought of buying even MORE gear is something I'm not sure about at this point. I'd love to sleep on a portaledge, but it sounds like there's a lot of Type 2 fun involved in aiding


And no Type 2 fun involved in climbing one of your suggested routes in 18 hrs car-to-car?

This is obviously either a troll given the amount of time you've purportedly spent climbing, or you have only climbed in a very sheltered community and location.

If you are serious about your inquiry, and are seriously against trying some aid climbing, well then I can only imagine that doing some smaller moderate alpine climbs as training would be your only hope...


madbolter1


May 27, 2013, 1:29 PM
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Re: [xtrmecat] What inspires you to Aid/Wall climb? [In reply to]
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Wow, xtrmecat, really well summed up! I'm in about your physical place myself, at 54 as of last month. But, you know, I think that the continual "keeping in shape" bit pays long-term dividends. While others our age are enjoying diabetes and coronary disorders, we'll still be climbing strong 20 years from now (my plan, anyway). It feels good to be our age and still have that core toughness.

I would only add to your superb post that there is a "head game" to hard aid that cannot be found in any other aspect of climbing. I've free-soloed up to 5.11 (back in the day), trad-led (run out) mid-5.12, huge run-outs on slabs, bouldered, gym-climbed, and, of course, aided. To my mind there is nothing approaching the mental game involved in hard aid climbing. And, yes, summiting on a route that took everything you had is a deeply emotional experience indeed!

It's not everybody's cup of tea, for sure. So much the better, imho.

I'll second your cautions to the OP.


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