Author Topic: Two Aider Experience  (Read 1109 times)

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Offline johnmac

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Two Aider Experience
« on: May 03, 2009, 10:26:40 am »
Last weekend on a wall I committed to the route without my usual aider setup and found it pretty enlightening so I thought I should share. Usually I take the following:

* 2 pr of Aiders (4 in total)
* Set of speed slings for cleaning
* Yes an old heavy system, but very comfortable.

The aiders are free floating. I don't connect them with daisy's until I start hooking etc.

On this wall I only took 2 Yates wall ladders and after the first couple of pitches I was really wondering why I had changed my tried and true methods but my the top of the route I knew I wasn't going to go back to the old system. I had used ladders in the past but hadn't liked them so I knew what I was getting into.

To make the transition easier try this:

1. Wear sticky shoes, such as five tennies. You want to be able to smear and be able to create a stable platform for your other foot. Try placing the heel of your free foot against the heel of the foot in the aider. It works surprisingly well. I wear stiff ski boot inserts in my wall shoes for extra support.

2. Teeing off helps a lot in keeping your body in position. If you don't know what I'm talking about buy Jeff Lowes, clean walls DVD. Toes got a little tender but not too bad.

3. The edges on the Yates aiders are sharp (new) and this caused my shins to get cut up and tender. Usually I wear knee pads but in this case having them slip down and cover my shins worked pretty well. Hopefully with use this issue will go away.

4. Jugging with the ladders were fine and as long as I keep my toes pointed slightly down my feet didn't come out. No need to carry my jugging system anymore.

5. A third ladder would be helpful in some situations such as going through roofs, etc.  I'm going to buy a Yates speed ladder for this.

6. Top stepping is pretty easy in ladders since the distance between steps is less than some of my aiders. Just have a fifi set up with the right length prior to stepping up. In my garage on my climbing wall I have a series of anchors set up as a bolt ladder and over the years have practiced top stepping. With some practice you will be amazed at how big a step you can take.

For example, Prodigal Sun is a very popular route in zion and the first pitch is often a horror show for people due the distance between bolts. The first time I climbed that pitch I was cursing the person who put it up the entire way and I had to make a stick clip to reach the fixed pro.  It took like 3 hours to climb the first 2 pitches.

The next time I climbed it I was able to top step easily and kept waiting for the long reaches that never came. I can't over emphasize how important this is.... It saves time  (1 hour lead compared to 3 hrs) and allows you to make better placements.

7. The aiders show more wear and tear than I thought they would after one wall. I'm going to have to apply some edge protector to the edges of the aiders and all the joins. Note: The wear and tear is cosmetic only.

8. Less clutter to worry about. 2 aiders is less work than 4.

There is probably other things I can add but can't remember right now and the sun is coming out so its time to head outside...

For hard aid I'm going to stick with my 2 pr for aiders but for routes up to C2 + I'm going to be using my new system from now on.



« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 10:47:03 am by johnmac »

skully

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Re: Two Aider Experience
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 12:00:01 pm »
Nice!.....Yeah, I'll use two on easier ground & break out my third if it gets tougher, as I'm apt to hang out longer.
WooHoo!

Offline KevinW

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Re: Two Aider Experience
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 06:18:36 pm »
Great post john, especially like the shoe insert idea.
I'm with skully on this one, "two on easier ground & break out my third if it gets tougher"
I started out using one of the Onsight (Squamish B.C.) aiders as my third, because of the way it packed up into a nice little bundle
I could hang off the back of my harness and easily drop it down to full length with one hand when I needed it



I ended up liking it so much that I picked up two more and ditched my old ladders with a substantial weight/bulk saving
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 07:59:59 pm by KevinW »

skully

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Re: Two Aider Experience
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 09:07:04 pm »
Dude.......that's a handy lookin' unit.
And I don't go 'round saying that to all the boys......... Haha.
Who makes those? I'm still runnin' homemade ladders.

Offline KevinW

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Re: Two Aider Experience
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 11:07:04 pm »
They're made by OnSight out of Squamish B.C., they're sort of a different kinda company, they don't sell retail, they don't have a website, but they do make some very well thought out gear, pretty much only soft goods from what I've seen.
But if you, or anyone else here is interested in a them, I'll post some better photo's (that was the ONLY photo I could find on the web), and if it turns out you want them, I'll make it so.

[Updated]





« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 11:58:14 pm by KevinW »