Author Topic: 3 days of aid in the last week!  (Read 1209 times)

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Offline Baltoro

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3 days of aid in the last week!
« on: February 18, 2007, 06:21:21 pm »
I've managed to get out with some regularity lately and the weather has cooperated. Here's a quick TR of each day.

Day 1 -City Park- C1 35m? Solo

This is the PNW classic. Bolt ladder to thin, steep crack. Could probably be done on nothing but 4,5,6 stoppers. Offsets are nice as are cam hooks. Many climbers first aid experience.

I spent a leisurely hour getting geared up and building my anchor. Took a few minutes over an hour from bottom to top. Used BD C3s quite frequently as they were faster in and out than nuts. Played around some more with cam hooks trying to test their limits a little more.

Day 2 -Return to City Park w/partner

This time around Brian came. This would be his first aid lead. I figured it would take somewhere around forever and sure enough it did. He's pretty new to the whole experience but we were both pleased with his efforts. I got the second pitch. Thin crack that becomes a flake of sorts. Weird placements in the crack within the crack, but it's big cams so you feel good about them. Leave an aider at this bolt before a mantle and be sure you're not daisied to the bolt. Here's where things got more interesting. I always seems to forget about the parts of things that I don't like. The second half of the pitch is partially free, at least for me at about 5.6 or 7. The problem is that since it's February, it is completely wet. Very slimy and mossy arm bars and stemming get me up to a glorious mantle. At least it would be glorious if the big flake that I overcammed a #4 into didn't flex so far when I pulled down on it. In hind sight, I probably should have just not bothered as it would probably just break off the flake if I fell on it, sending the flake down after me, or my belayer. Anyways, after much swearing, the slimy, wet, mossy mantle was over and I was clipping the chains. A couple of rappels and we were back to the ground and the car just as the rain began. Brian was pretty worked and we discussed why aid climbing seems to kick your ass so badly. Trad climbing for me tends to be a notch or two below my limit so the strain is mostly mental with gear and such. Sport climbing or TR'ing seems to be mostly physical as you can push yourself a little harder. Aid climibng seems to drain you mentally with dubious gear and sleeping belayers and physically as well just due to the workload of so many movements and hauling, etc. This was a good wakeup call for future plans for Brian and I think he'll do more to prepare himself for next time.

Day 3- Iron Horse to the "Ringing Flake", a giant pancake thin flake next to the anchor the rings when you tap it. C2

This was another friends first aid adventure but he would be on toprope. I told him he had to do at least one hook move and get into the upper steps on the ladders. He proceeded to make a very nice hook more off a very small edge and to topstep three consecutive times, including off of the hook. Granted this was all  on TR, but he was actually pretty smooth getting into the top steps. He was of course horridly slow, but made a good showing for his first time out.

All in all, a great three days with great to good enough weather. Hopefully I'll be out once or twice between now and next week. I hope others are getting out as well and if not hopefully you can live vicariously through these adventures. Enjoy!

Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am too lazy to do either.
M. Twight