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The Climbing Club • View topic - Learning to aid at Index, Feb. 7

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 9:27 pm 
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An Old Geezer
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Jon, Gary, and I went to Index to teach ourselves how to aid climb. I led a 25m pitch in an hour and a half (thanks to Jon and Gary for the belay)! After trying a few moves, Jon cleaned the gear, ascending on prusiks. Gary TRed Godzilla with Chuck from cascadeclimbers.com and then led the aid pitch much more quickly than I. We left close to sunset. I set a new personal record that day for Least Vertical Distance Climbed in the Most Time.

Fun! :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 10:24 pm 
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Another good place to practice aid climbing is exit 32. Mambo Jambo, the 10a handcrack on the repo rocks is an especially nice one: slightly overhung, smooth upper wall with splitter crack, maybe 60 ft? It has an interesting arching finish on a ramp with some mixed free, but it is also possible to rig a line from the anchors on top such that you get to the top of the crack, rap down and go at it again..


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 2:21 am 
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That goat computes better than me!
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We made a few discoveries:

regular aiders suck on less than vertical terrain, while the metolius adjustables rock
(because you don't have to play games getting your foot in the rung)

brass nuts rule

aliens are the bomb, and may support body weight even with only two lobes touching the rock

a fifi hook is sweet!

A #9 hex combined with a nut tool makes cleaning aided-on nuts piece of cake.

I also had some bizarre mountain karma... I couldn't free Chuck's red Camalot (he had to rap down and clean it, which took him about 15 seconds of violent wiggling and thrashing), but I also aided off a blue tricam in the camming position yet lifted it out no problem.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 12:40 am 
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That goat computes better than me!
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Stebbi and I went back to Index today. We both led the first pitc of Thin Fingers, and then, alas, Stebbi's bicep started acting up (aggravated climbing gym strain). Stebbi was quite the man and graciously belayed me as I bamboozled my way up the second pitch of Thin Fingers (close to twice as long as the first pitch).

Stuff learned:

Clusterfucks are easy to get into, and need to be avoided (they waste a ton of time)

Cam hooks rock, though I don't have the guts yet to do two cam hooks in a row

Logan/sky/grapple hooks are weirdo. I was on one, and unweighted the hook for a split
second while transferring my weight from one leg to another while stepping up. It slipped off the edge, and I had a nice fall onto a small stopper that was officially a pain to clean. Stebbi agrees, because my hammer (#9 hex) wasn't tethered during the cleaning, and it took aim towards his helmet.

Don't look up while bounce-testing a piece. That's just plain stupid, unless you like getting your forehead all banged up.

Leapfrogging cams is pretty cool.

It's now obvious to us why bigwallers wear knee pads and wall gloves.

Aiding takes a helluva lot of time, and we need a helluva lot of practice to do it faster.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 12:41 pm 
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The Fleb
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Aid lesson #1: Aid takes forever.

Aid lesson #2: Aid belays are boring. Did I say boring? I meant b o r i n g.

Aid lesson #3: (Comes from #3.) Not snoring is good for the belayer, because then the leader won't find out if the belayer falls asleep. Unless of course the leader attempts to use a skyhook, in which case he'll find out fast.

Aid lesson #4: Don't come anywhere close to Gary when he's swinging that hex. It hit me smack in the head from 40' up. Clip it Gary...

Aid lesson #5: Those Metolius tie-em-up aiders lead to frequent hilarity, at least for the belayer, who gets to chuckle at the leader figuring out that, yes, the piece was clipped between the leg and the aider, so, one-two-tie-em-up you're stuck - again. Teeheehee.

Aid lesson #6: Unhitch that fifi before moving up. I think I yanked out three stoppers in a row because I forgot...

Aid lesson #7: Testing is fun. Boing-boing-boing, heeheehee.

Aid lesson #8: Testing on lightweight (alpine - thin webbing) aiders is even more fun. BOING-BOING-BOING-biggestgrin.

Aid lesson #9: Unexpected sounds during testing are not fun. Boing-boing-scrape-clonk-crapyourpants.

Aid lesson #10: If you really have to stare at the piece you're testing, wear some eye protection. Boing-boing-spwoing-thunk-ouch-bloodallover.

Bonus aid lesson: When aiding with three aiders, after clipping the third aider to the harness, don't (I mean d o n ' t) test the third aider. Boing-ugh.


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That goat computes better than me!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 2:53 pm 
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To know that you know what you know, and that you do not know what you do not know, that is true knowledge. - Confucius


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 9:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:32 pm 
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Eric and I went to Index on Monday. We got a late start, thanks to me being a moron and setting my alarm an hour late. I was ready only fifteen minutes late, but we spent another half hour playing cat and mouse before we both materialized at the same time and place.

We had light rain throughout the morning, but it cleared up in the afternoon, and the sunlit aspects of the rock started to dry. The peaks of Index, Merchant, Gunn, etc., looked magnificent with the recent snowfall. We did the first pitch of Thin Fingers *again*...
It seemed spookier to me to do aid moves on slimy, wet rock, and I was hesitant and nervous for the first few moves. But after that, things flowed, and I had very little clusterfuckage -- though one of my aiders got a twist in it, which became annoying when the twist would near the buckle. Eric aided up the pitch on toprope, with the other end of the rope trailing from him, as a faux-lead rope. With a rope above him and a rope below him, things became hilarious at times, though he managed to get things straightened out pretty quickly. He did an awesome job for his first aid lead. The wetness of everything turned out to be a good thing though... while Eric was futzing around with one of the aiders, an alien magically unclipped itself from the rack and took a 25 foot fall. But it landed on soft, mushy ground and seems to be just fine.

After that, on top rope, I freed the bottom third of the pitch and cam-hooked the rest. Eric then freed half the pitch before things got just too difficult and wet. I was sore from skiing the day before and he was sore from rugby a few days before, so we left early and stopped at Sultan for some yummy baked goodies.


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