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Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: Baltoro on March 25, 2008, 03:32:56 pm

Title: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Baltoro on March 25, 2008, 03:32:56 pm
They just arrived from Russ. My first impression was that he didn't ship me everything I was hoping to get as surely it couldn't fit in that small box? It was in fact everything I was expecting and there was room to spare. These things are very compact compared to traditional ladders, even considering you're replacing one ladder with a ring tree and the cuffs. Here's some of my other thoughts:

These are not super beefy. It seems that everything wall-oriented is overbuillt but these seem underbuilt if anything. I'll probably do a little modification here and there to beef them up, particularly the webbing underfoot and maybe the padding behind the knee area.

I'm going to need a longer fifi, or actually invest in an adjustable fifi as these are so much easier to get up well above your gear that I'll be doing it more often and can't always be frigging something as needed like I've been doing.

The clip in points at the end of the ring trees are too big/long. It seems you're losing some crucial height as well as increasing the chance of something slipping out of the biner. My initial hope is that my adjustable daisy will go on first in the basket of my lead biner and the ring tree will go between the daisy and the gate's hinge using a Petzl string thingy like you have on your sport draws. This should keep things oriented as well as keep from losing the whole works. We'll see if it works.

As for jugging, I like the idea of a deidicated tether that goes from the loop on the shin to your ascender. No more feet slipping out of ladders.

So far so good though they haven't seen any action other than on my hangboard but I gotta say it's way easier getting and staying chin level with these than it is using my arms so I can definitely recommend them for aiding your hangboard testpiece. In fairness to my hangboard testing I should point out that the landing was quite dicey with our home gym and vacuum serving as my spotter and I was technically soloing as there was no rope.

I've got a short wall planned for the weekend after next so I'll have leading, hauling and jugging input after that. I'll try and get some pictures as well.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: johnmac on March 25, 2008, 06:25:59 pm
Thanks for the input.

I'm still sitting on the fence regarding Russian aiders so I'll be looking forward to hearing your experience on a wall.




Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Rags on March 25, 2008, 09:01:02 pm
Awesome. I was under the impression that Russ only had the trees. His website still says hooks unavailable, or did you sew your own also?

I think I would like a pair. My "online" impression is, they are superior. But hey, you can test them for us!

Do you really think the clip in points will be an issue considering how much your gonna gain?

Quote
In fairness to my hangboard testing I should point out that the landing was quite dicey with our home gym and vacuum serving as my spotter and I was technically soloing as there was no rope.

Unroped aid-solo? No need to get crazy, you've had them less than a day.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Baltoro on March 25, 2008, 10:17:10 pm
Rags
Russ is not currently doing the cuffs nor ir Russ currently doing much of anything as I guess they had two bartack machines go down, thus I'm still waiting for my Big Wall rope bucket and some other trinkets. The cuffs were a pair he had left over that look exactly like the ones Pete has in his Ultimate Blah blah thread on ST.com. They are original, authentic, actual Russian Aiders, not a Fish makeup version. Why Russ still had them I don't know, but I'm psyched they are now in my possesion. The trick was hooking his wife up with a prodeal on a brand I rep for and in return he was nice enough to sell these cuffs. The trees he does have from the sound of it. Russ is a good guy by all indications I've ever heard and it was a pleasure doing business with him.

I'll keep you all posted on the aiders.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Raaf on March 26, 2008, 05:27:56 pm
Are they the Ural Sport version with Titanium hooks? If so---I agree. . . . the original webbing is barely there. I had a re-fit done by Garbonzo which looks primo. (haven't given them the full test ride yet).
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Rags on April 02, 2008, 10:36:41 pm
Well, what's the verdict?
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Baltoro on April 07, 2008, 12:46:07 pm
They do appear to be the Ural Sport version. I'm exploring options for beefing them up a bit.

So far I've used them for jugging and hauling, no leading yet other than a psuedo stick clipping bolt ladder adventure. It was on an overhanging face though.

They are very easy to stand tall in on steep rock. I didn't really bother to get that high in them as I couldn't reach the next bolt even if I top-stepped or top-ringed I guess.

When jugging they were a little wierd but I think once I'm used to them and get a sling length dialed in that works for me they'll be awesome. Nice not having your foot come out at all.

Hauling was where they really shined as there's so much mroe going on for your hands when hauling as compared to just jugging so it was nice to not worry about a foot slipping out of steps. Granted I was practicing my hauling ratchet setup so it was a bit more complicated than your regular pulley/ascender haul but they worked great nonetheless.

Never had my hook come out a ring when I didn't want it to.

One other huge convenience of the Ruskie setup was the lack of clutter when not leading, hauling or jugging. There's just so much less to get in the way.

A couple of things I changed and one alternative idea:

First I took a Petzl String to keep the ring-tree from moving around and this worked really well. Much less cluster in the basket of my lead oval than with my Yates BW ladders and adjustable daisys. Less likely to have the adjustables work their way off the oval and as a result lose the ring-trees.

Secondly I took a big step for me and put the two middle size cam hooks on a short piece of webbing that runs through the top of the ring-tree. I kept the length pretty short and no height is lost with a biner. It also keeps them very convenient and hopefully will force me to make more cam hook moves. We'll see as they may just get in the way but I think the sling is long enough to keep them out of the way until I need them.

The alternative idea I had still requires having the cuffs and eliminates some of the benefits of reduced cluster and what not but if you have the cuffs you can girth hitch a rap ring onto the hero loop of standard ladders. Now you have the top step benefits of traditional ladders but the ring convenience of the Ruskies for steep terrain. Probably a crappy combination of the two systems but might be nice for routes that change from slab to steep and back again.

So far so good.

The other new gear try out was my new Kong Block Roll or Roll Block I forget which. This is essentially a 3" uber-pulley mated to a camming toothed ascender. The front plate swivels nicely out of the way so you can clip the Kong in before loading the rope to prevent from dropping anything. This worked well as we practiced transitioning from hauling the bags to lowering the bags and passing knots. Dramatic difference between this and a ProCraption and less hassle than a pulley/ascender combo even though I ws only hauling 80-90lbs. or so.

The weather looks better towards the end of the week so hopefully I'll have some reports on leading with the Ruskies later.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Rags on April 07, 2008, 02:29:01 pm
Quote
I took a big step for me and put the two middle size cam hooks on a short piece of webbing that runs through the top of the ring-tree. I kept the length pretty short and no height is lost with a biner. It also keeps them very convenient and hopefully will force me to make more cam hook moves.

Sweet, your gonna love those!

Kong Roll Block, that's the shit. I need one if I start doin walls in lounge mode (double porta, coffee maker, boom box, bar-b-que). Hell, I need one anyway.

Thanx for the update
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: johnmac on April 08, 2008, 09:15:16 am
Thanks for the update on the Russian Aiders. I think I'll try get some later this year. I just brought a pr of 7 step Yates ladders for 45 bucks so I've got to try them out first.

Where did you get the Kong Roll Block from, price and what does it actually weigh?

Thanks.

John
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Baltoro on April 08, 2008, 01:13:16 pm
John
I started a new thread for the Kong so folks could find any info when searching. Here's a link: http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/index.php?topic=364.0
Enjoy!
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: johnmac on April 08, 2008, 04:06:50 pm
Thanks.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: mungeclimber on January 25, 2010, 12:30:06 am
Thanks for the update on the Russian Aiders. I think I'll try get some later this year. I just brought a pr of 7 step Yates ladders for 45 bucks so I've got to try them out first.

Where did you get the Kong Roll Block from, price and what does it actually weigh?

Thanks.

John

johnmac,

how did the Yates ladders work out?

I'm thinking of switching to ladders.
my arches get worked in 1" tube over several days and the yates seem bulky but comfy.

anyone else want to chime in and speak to the benefits of the yates ladders?  jugging with? using as as belay seat, cuz 1" triangles isn't really cutting it.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Strider on January 25, 2010, 07:30:01 pm
Munge, I use the Yates and I love them. 

I started out using normal alpine style aiders but I hated trying to get my foot in the steps and they love to twist up something wicked!  I remember sitting at the belay on Solaris multiple times watching Crazy T struggle to get his feet in the steps, major pain in the ass for him.  I was glad I had my yates!

I moved over to the Metolious Adj. aiders next.  To be honest, these were great.  So easy to use when moving from piece to piece, infinitely adjustable so they are super comfy for jugging and easy to get a top step.  The main problem with them was the clusterf*ck they produced since they were attached to your feet.  Wicked easy to get tangled up like a fly in a spider web if you were doing traverses and stuff like that.   Served me well enough to get me up WFLT, the Prow and the first 5 pitches of Muir though.

So after being tired of getting tangled up I finally sunk the $ into the yates ladders.  Money well spent and the best of the three styles I have used.  Easy to get your feet into, no pain in the arches, plastic grab handle on the top is nice for steadying yourself.  Overall a great product that crossed the bridge between the other two styles of aiders.  Only downside I can think of is that your feet can slip out of the step more easily than with the other styles of aiders which is a pain for jugging.  But Yates solved this problem by putting a stretchy strap on the steps that are most used for jugging (middle three steps, IIRC).  You put your foot on the jugging step then grab the strap and stretch it over your foot to hold it into place.  Makes jugging easy. 

Still haven't tried the Ruskie style aiders and probably never will.  Too much work to buy, maintain and re-learn.

G Luck
-n
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Slakkey on January 25, 2010, 08:31:59 pm
I recently bought the Metolius 8 step aid ladders however I have also used the Yates ones as well. Having used traditional aiders I agree that the ladders are more comfortable and easier to step into. The reason I went with the Metolius for now is that they have a more a narrow profile, little less bulky and just a little lighter. No real complaints about the Yates. I just wanted to try something a little different.   Plan to give them their first run once the weather becomes a little more stable.

 By far what ever you decide to use Ladders are a lot more comfy. Never could get the hang of Russian Aiders
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: mungeclimber on January 25, 2010, 10:13:32 pm
good stuff, thx for replying guys

I'm just a little hesitant to buy a whole new get up.  My BDs aren't that old really and they mostly stay open, but they do twisty a bit.  For the most part it seems that the pressure distribution would be different and consequently slightly more comfy.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: YetAnotherDave on January 26, 2010, 10:05:40 am
one more vote for the yates, tho a bit late to the party  :)

they're bulky, but the weight difference is maybe one beer - way more than one beer work of enjoyment in not having sore feet for a week on the wall...

--Dave
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Mike. on January 26, 2010, 03:45:22 pm
One cool thing about the Fish ladders is you can use them in lieu of the Russian trees. Minimizes the specialized investment and reduces physical repetition.

Munge, you still sporting the Boral Wall Boots? I'm thinking footwear makes as much difference as aider choice. Since I've been wearing approach-style shoes I don't have any real issue with the aiders. Toes jamming into the wall, yes. The Boreals make that a non-issue (as you know).

The elastic jugging straps on the Yates are nice. The only better jugging aider IMO is a Pika Peck Aider (the old style) with the single adj strap to the foot and one to the swami. If all you're doing is cleaning, there's nothing as quickly/easily adjustable, light and efficient (micro-adjustable). If you can get your partner on board with them, you can swap aider systems for leading/following. Haven't been very successful there since so few use them and know how well they clean.

Great input, Strider and Slakkey. Nice to see the monkeys here.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: mungeclimber on January 26, 2010, 04:51:13 pm
One cool thing about the Fish ladders is you can use them in lieu of the Russian trees. Minimizes the specialized investment and reduces physical repetition.

Munge, you still sporting the Boral Wall Boots? I'm thinking footwear makes as much difference as aider choice. Since I've been wearing approach-style shoes I don't have any real issue with the aiders. Toes jamming into the wall, yes. The Boreals make that a non-issue (as you know).

The elastic jugging straps on the Yates are nice. The only better jugging aider IMO is a Pika Peck Aider (the old style) with the single adj strap to the foot and one to the swami. If all you're doing is cleaning, there's nothing as quickly/easily adjustable, light and efficient (micro-adjustable). If you can get your partner on board with them, you can swap aider systems for leading/following. Haven't been very successful there since so few use them and know how well they clean.

Great input, Strider and Slakkey. Nice to see the monkeys here.

good point. I've got the Boreal Big Wall boot, but it may make a difference to stiffen it up with an insole as much as switching ladders. I would need to test. 

After 3 days in the aiders, the feet start to feel it in the Boreal Boots.  The old la sportiva wall boots were much stiffer, but don't free climb as well when laced tight.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: skully on January 26, 2010, 05:02:55 pm

Dude, tell me about it. I climbed Tribal in freakin' EB's.
My feet hurt for days afterwards.
I like my ladders. No brand. Made by a bro from Flag.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Mike. on January 26, 2010, 05:13:15 pm
Gotcha, munge. I'm surprised you have foot issues with those boots since they have a rigid shank built into the sole. My only issue with them is the heat (oh yea, slab moves). Beyond that, they're the most comfy boot I've worn on aid, and I have bunyons. If you have room, the Superfeet footbeds might work. They have a pretty stiff mid-rear plastic component. I imagine there are other options. I'll bet you could fab up something (out of thin alum sheet?) that would work.

A thought...The Wall Boots are pretty narrow (as you know). Maybe some hiking or approach shoe with a very wide, spongy sole to push the stirrups away from the sides of the feet to reduce the pinch? The times I've used my GTX hiking boots were dreamy. Zero discomfort; 5.3 no problem. FWIW!

I tried to lead a C1 pitch in Mocasyms. Tried...

Skully, were they sized up? I've run the old Megas a time or three and liked em a lot--just great for stepping out.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: skully on January 26, 2010, 07:28:57 pm
Oh, it was all my fault.....should've sized up.
Just a pair I got in the lodge lot. Should've worn my reeboks.
Ah well, live & learn. oh, Dude....C1 in slippers? Yeouch!
So hey, couldn't I cobble together a pair of Russkies, ghetto style?
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Mike. on January 26, 2010, 07:46:11 pm
"So hey, couldn't I cobble together a pair of Russkies, ghetto style?"

If I can do it... I used stuff I had aging in the shed almost totally. I spent like ten bucks on some HW and about eight thousand man hours.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Strider on January 26, 2010, 08:21:16 pm
Mike, aid in Moc slippers?? Brutal!

The last wall I did, I spent most of the time in my Megas and it started to kill me after the second day.  Since it was FA I had no clue if I would need to free climb or not so I thought it best be prepared with free shoes on, rather than change shoes in the middle of my lead.  In the end it was a good decision because I had to do some free moves I would NOT have wanted to do in my wall shoes but it still sucked!  I was glad I had my Yates ladders though, they helped. 

-n
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: *Mucci* on January 26, 2010, 08:46:21 pm
Strider= Nick?

Glad to hear about you guys finishing up Solaris!  We met at the "Green" on the trip just before your final push.

You guys were stoked that weekend...you know gettin to jug thousands of feet of fixed pain!

Nothing was cooler than when we walked down to the falls from the bivy and saw your light on at your bivy waaaay up the wall.

Nobody around, no light except yours, badass indeed!


Tell timmy I said waz up.

Mucci
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Strider on January 26, 2010, 10:21:49 pm
Whats up Mucci!  Yeah, it me, Nick.  I wish I could have seen what we looked like from below.  The portaledge fly must have been lit up like a beacon for the whole area at night!

Actually just found out today that our route may have just fallen off the wall.  Huge rockslide there a little while ago, even took out the trail which is currently closed.  I am waiting for confirmation pics, if I can get them.  Otherwise I am going down there soon to survey the damage myself.  Would truly be depressing to have our route fall of the rock less than a year after it was finished!

Oh well, c'est la vie.

I'll let T know you said hi when I see him next

-n
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: *Mucci* on January 26, 2010, 10:53:20 pm
Man I hope it's not, Very nice looking line.

Be sure to post up when you find out what, where and when.

You may need to set up a "Solaris Rebirth" ascent.  Nice new cracks, ledges, and choss to make your way through.
Peace,

Mucci




Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: mungeclimber on January 26, 2010, 11:00:27 pm
Mucci does choss.



yeah, whole new line might have just opened up. You guys may have gotten the one and ONLY ascent of Solaris!  that's something to think about.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Strider on January 27, 2010, 06:06:48 pm
Whew!  Well I got some pictures today and it wasn't our route that fell off but the rockfall did affect the first route done on the wall back in the 70's about 200 yards to the West of us.  The fourth pitch of that one is gone!  And the runout of the debris did some major hurt on the approach and some other areas of interest at the base.  Looks like a recon will have to be done soon.

-n
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: *Mucci* on January 27, 2010, 06:53:50 pm
Thanks for the word on the MAMA!

Whew, all is okay! Maybe this year somebody........ will get up there. 

I take it the little bridge/walk way west of the falls bridge is gonner huh?

Solaris lives!
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Strider on January 27, 2010, 07:25:18 pm
Naw, bridge should be fine, sounds like some trail work removing boulders, stuff like that.  Not really sure till I make it down there. 

Before:
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_hhEEBk01tfo/S2D1HyCVTOI/AAAAAAAACfQ/W-NGLUq_Idk/s800/before%20crop.jpg)


After:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_hhEEBk01tfo/S2D1IwZWJMI/AAAAAAAACfY/T95IFXC5ASk/s800/IMG_8237.JPG)

-n
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: *Mucci* on January 27, 2010, 07:38:09 pm
I see an A2 arrow corner!!!

That musta been big.
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: mungeclimber on January 27, 2010, 11:29:07 pm
bivi ledge now
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Caz on February 02, 2010, 10:01:06 am
I love my Yates ladders, I have a 7 step set and a 6 step set. The 7 step set are great or bounce testing low on your last piece. The steps are huge so they don't hurt after being on for 2 plus hours.

I think my next wall I'm going to use my Ruskies for the first time...


ZAc
Title: Re: My Russian Aiders came yesterday
Post by: Mike. on February 02, 2010, 11:50:05 am
Caz, ya going to run those Russians with your ladders or trees? I'd think the Speed Aider step width might be too wide to work well with the Garbonzo hooks. If I had the Yates I would consider adding a dedicated rung just under the grab bar, maybe some 4mm perlon thru some stiffer plastic tubing. To my mind and experience, walking up isn't where the Russians are key, but they shine for the high placement reaches. Just thinking here...caution...