Whats an aid route

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Viruk
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Whats an aid route

Postby Viruk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:57 pm

Ya, so let me have it hey...
I refer to this http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes ... e-climbed/
I have seen the term a few times before and wondered what it meant...

Could someone also direct me to the post explaining flash, onsight etc...
thnx

shorti
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby shorti » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:18 pm

"How to climb big walls" by John Long and John Middendorf explains it well. You will unfortunately have to endure a lot of "my willy is bigger than yours" stuff. Basically stuff that's too hard to free climb i.e. you hang on gear (cams, nuts, hexes, pitons, bashies, hooks ect.) I usually resort to aid tactics when when I go exploring and end up in a place where I can't free climb in any direction (invariably happens on Wilgepoort's main face).

onsight is free climbing something you've never tried before without beta from other people on lead without resting/falling on gear
flash is when you do as above but with beta (i.e. you've seen someone else do it or someone told you how to do a move)

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Viruk
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Viruk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:44 pm

thanx

Guy
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:25 pm

Aid climbing is something for people to do who do not have the talent to climb something properly. The most fasmous place to aid climb is Yosemite Valley in California, where most of the aid routes are done by dirt bag locals who have taken too much of some or other mind altering substance.

It is not a real sport, but it is pretty entertaining (as seen in the movie Sharp End).
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

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Justin
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Justin » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:36 pm

Aid climbing is: finding your way to the top by 'almost' any means possible

This is includes hooking, pitons, siege tactics, rivets, bolts, bribery, sandbagging, knee pads... it also involves a lot of gear (i.e. a very heavy pack - see pic below of the 'pig' being hauled up behind Douard.

Best check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aid_climbing for more on Aid Climbing -
As per Guys recommendation, definitely check out the Sharp End

Aid climbing isn't something you do for fun :pirat:
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Douard Le Roux on Mediocrity, Milner amphitheatre (A3)
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nosmo
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby nosmo » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:50 pm

Guy wrote:Aid climbing is something for people to do who do not have the talent to climb something properly


I beg to differ. Find pics of the Streaked Wall in Zion National Park. No human can fit fingers in that crack.
Chris McNamara and Ammon McNeely making the first one-day ascent of Rodeo Queen A3/A4
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=162982

BIG photo:
http://www.climbing.com/leadingoff/zion-ericdraper-250.jpg
Last edited by nosmo on Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Guy
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:56 pm

I meant that aid climbing is an activity for people who do not have the talent to climb properly - not that every aid route could be free climbed.

Ironically, many aid routes in Yosemite have now been free climbed because the tiny thin crack now resemble lines of pockets because of all the people aiding them with pegs.
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pillick
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby pillick » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:51 am

@Guy - I think you are off the mark here. Why do you say that? Granted, it is only YOUR opinion.

I think it takes a lot of talent to aid difficult Aid routes. The "talent to climb properly" on aid is just as great a talent as leading a serious trad pitch or to clip strenuous bolts.
Allard Hufner et all have done some serious aid routes and they have talent (@multiple disciplines) to spare.

What do you think of Ice Climbing, then?

I am tired of people saying this form of climbing is better, or takes more effort than the next. To each his own....

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby oOdball » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:09 am

@pillick - No need to get your blood boiling ;-) I'm pretty sure Guy's tongue was firmly in his cheek.

In any case, he's quite correct when suggesting that Aid climbers *do not* have any climbing talent. It's a well known fact....
You have an opinion, so do I. When these differ, please don't confuse your opinion with the truth, nothing is absolute.

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:10 am

In my opinion, what Alard does is “mountaineering” and not “aid climbing”. Mountaineers may use aid climbing as part of their climbs – in addition to rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, camping, suffering, supply management etc.

Any "sport" where the hardest / best efforts are done while pissed or tripping on acid is not a real sport. I’m not saying that aid climbing is easy or unfrightening etc – but neither is driving at 200km/h while drunk. Although it is interesting to note that very few people have died aid climbing – where A5 is meant to mean death and A5+ is death for climber and belayer.

Whilst I’m on my hobby horse, let me give my views on ice climbing. I have no problem with actual ice climbing - what I do laugh at are these mixed sport routes. This style of climbing has so many stupid rules that it is as important to the climbing world as the problems on the wall in my garage. I also think it is disgusting to use ice axes to climb (destroy) rock.
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby nosmo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:37 am

What about all those stoned boulderers?

Please enlighten me on all these acid-tripping wino aid climbers...or is that a valley thing only?

Leave the "real sport" this "real sport" that crap. Who cares what you define as a real sport. It's all climbing. :?

tali0n
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby tali0n » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:46 am

What a ridiculous statement. Aid climbing is and always has been a part of the ascension process. How many routes, on Yosemite for eg., do you think would exist if it wasn't for aid climbing? Maybe some people have endless time to try free an unclimbed line with potentially 35 pitches, but most would aid it 1st. Of course, in some cases it may be true, that aid equipment has been used on what others have freed or could free, but, in terms of discovering possibilities on massive lines, aid climbing has... er ... aided climbing.

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Strider » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:52 am

BIG photo:
http://www.climbing.com/leadingoff/zion-ericdraper-250.jpg[/quote]


OMG - that is freakin beautiful...
:afro:

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:11 pm

That's a very pretty picture - but it looks free climbable (and if it isn't now, it will be once the aid climbers have finished chipping pockets into the crack with their pitons).

TaliOn - I agree that aiding is part of the ascention procress (read my post above re mountaineering), but since the days of Bridwell and Co aiding whilst drunk/gaffed has become quite normal. Obviously not everyone does it, but watch Sharp Edge and have a look at Aamon MacNeely downing a beer and then taking a huge swing off the top of El Cap. He's currently the "king" of aid climbing - now that's a real role model of high performance athletic endevour.
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby nosmo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:14 pm

Strider, that pic is of Brody Greer and Dave Littman climbing Tales of the Scorpion (VI 5.10 A3+) - the VI meaning multi-day climbing with mandatory free moves of 5.10 (approx SA grade 20), hard aid (A3+), many tenuous placements in a row with dangerous (ledge) fall potential of 15m plus no talent required.

Stick your fingers in this:
Image

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:25 pm

Obviously one cannot stick fingers in that, but wait for 100 ascents when those knife blade placements have turned into stonking channel placements. If it happens on hard granite in Yosemite, it will surely happen on soft Utah sandstone.

If you want a great laugh, go to YouTube and search on "Chris Kalous aid climbing rant". I haven't seen it myself yet (becasue YouTube is blocked at work) but, apparently, I'm guilty of plagerising some of his ideas...

Here's a quote:

"Even a fairly incompitant aid climber could do A5."
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

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The Aid Climbing Rant

Postby Justin » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:06 pm

Thanks Guy :D
Also quoted "Its not really a rant... because, it's logical"

--------------
Chris Kalous gives us the low down on hard aid ... The Aid Climbing Rant

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David Vallet
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby David Vallet » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:47 pm

Guy- Have you climbed A5 ?
Sounds like you are implying that there are no skills required in the art of Aid Climbing.
I believe the point being made in your quote, is that A5 is a reference to the dangerous nature of the route, and not neccessarily the technical difficulty.
Therefore "even a fairly incompitant aid climber could do A5".

On the subject of "mixed climbing", craging with axes... well, there's a reason for it.
Mixed climbing has been going on for a long time in the mountains.
and alot of mountaineers choose to improve their skills, and movements, whilst in a more controlled environment, clipping bolts, at a crag they can drive to in the afternoon.
It has grown in popularity and has now become a focus for some.
Although, it may seem ridiculous to you, that someone would climb a rock route with tools, in the mountains you seldom have a choice, and it's alot easier to climb a little rock with tools, than climb a little ice with rubber slippers and chalk.

Google "Clucking", if you want a laugh...

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby nosmo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:35 pm

Well you won't be able to free it without those 100+ aid ascents first. For this puppy, only 97 odd to go. I say make them all fingers, take a grinder.

Image

Hey, is that SNORT in that ledge?... the one with the workshop bench and toolbox?

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby willemeulen » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:39 pm

Aid climbing refers to Aidrian!
Aid is a hard core climber which pops out of now where claiming routes nobody could climb before, when climbing he wears a pink tights and purple pully with red hearts all over! Aid is very low profile and has never given an intervieuw etc. Rumours are he's living in cape town, but who knows!? Aid prefers climbing at dusk and dawn. Recently I have posted an impossible climb just around the courner and I've been shadowing the area every morning at sunrise and evening at sunset. I'm telling you, one day I will catch AID doning the impossible jungle gym traverse!

Inspector Clouseau :alien: .
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Hawkman » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:05 pm

Oceans of Fear is only up the road. Go aid that if it's so easy.

It's an evolution. Yes a lot of aid lines on el cap have been freed, but most people still aid the nose - to date only a handful of climbers have managed a free ascent. Also most of the Yosemite aid routes have developed a "clean" i.e hamerless ethic to stop damage to the rock. The park authorities also clamped down on tat left on the walls as well as banning bolting (the current ones stay, but no more allowed).
\"When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you\". - Oom Nietzsche

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby SNORT » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:47 pm

Aid climbing had it's golden age in the past and fortunately A5 has not turned out to be quite as deadly as it has been portrayed.

I have aided Zodiac (now done free) and a few other big wall routes and I swore never to do another aid route other than my own since then. So in 1995 I embarked on an "Aid route" at Blouberg up the seemingly impossible expanses of rock to the left of Wall of White Light (which still has an A3 pitch). The route was aided in various places and morphed into a completely free route "Dog Day in Heavan" 25 without a single hold resulting from engineering the rock. Since then two other free routes have been climbed in the same area - free. Although Dog Day of Thunder still awaits a continuous free ascent.

That's one aspect and make of that what you will.

The other thing about about aid climbing is that it takes a lot of skill and art to do it efficiently with minimal damage to the rock. It can be extremely creative. It has many more dimensions to cycling than, say, cycling the Argus, the single largest cycling and (also sporting?- I think) event in the world.

In the greater scheme of things Aid Climbing has as much a place as anything else too. This is just as much "maximum effort to achieve (even less than) f-all".....Aiding is really hard work and extremely tedious - even more so than supervising my kids with home work.

Dissing it makes people feel better about themselves and what they are doing. And that's OK too

If it wasn't for aid climbing, free (rock) climbing would not be what it is today.

And then this is what Reinhold Messner had to say about it - or at least some aspects of it - in 1971.

http://www.upwardtrail.bravehost.com/messner.html

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby emile » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:32 pm

SNORT wrote:In the greater scheme of things Aid Climbing has as much a place as anything else too


Interesting. So does bolts have a place too?

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby SNORT » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:59 am

Everything has its place in climbing. I have placed around bolts 100 in my climbing career, most of them at Blouberg and only one by hand. Some are for abseiling and stances and most if not all have redundancy built into their placements. In other words if any fail then you are not likely to fall all the way to the ground although there is one fully bolted stance on Dog of Thunder.

I have bolted one Sport route in my life too at Karbonaaitjies Kraal. I won't do another.

I am not considering ever placing another bolt in my life as the problem with bolts are endless. And that is a different debate already thrashed to death on climb.co.za. I prefer the concept of sustainable removable but this is clearly not acceptable to many people.

Aid climbing as discussed in this post and that perhaps results in the placement of an occasional bolt especially if hand drilled is a what this thread should stick to. There is nothing particularly creative about drilling a bolt ladder and then aiding it. As Messner says - it murders the Impossible! And you carry your courage in your Ruck Sack.

I maintain as I have done before: Go do the thing, go do an Aid Route like Zodiac and inform yourself. And you will see the value in it! It is a great experience - one that I won't repeat again. Been there, done that! I took a 3m fall onto a static daisy chain on Zodiac when the swage (sp?) on the rivet hanger I was using broke! Now that's an experience you don't forget. All good stuff!

In Yosemite in Sep, Clinton and I went to do the Nose in the day. He dropped his shoe @ pitch 9 so we came down. But let me assure you that at least 1/3 of that climbing is Aid with some exciting swings. At least a 1/3 of the gear is fixed and a lot of bolts up to that point!. There was a young dude climbing solo with us. He was very slick and efficient. Faster than us and he had to back clean everything and then jug up again!. He was a pleasure to watch - it is always good to see someone do anything well! If you want to do the Nose in a day on-sight you gotta be very used to Yosemite or you gotta be slick at aiding....We did not really qualify on either count...

So yes, bolts do have a place but the problem with our society is "more is better" and where do you draw the line now?.

I repeat what I said before: climbing would not be what it is today without metal engineering and most free routes in Yosemite and The Dolomites and many other places would not free. But do we need more and more and more engineered routes? No one person can climb all the routes in California in several life times.....Never mind around the globe.

SA is developing so there is room for everything still but we must learn from the developed climbing areas round the world before we lose our access by over-bolting our crags which is completely separate to the thread of Aid climbing. Already there are serious access problems and mostly at fully bolted crags...

Let's stick to the debate of aiding.....

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:03 am

Snort - before you write another novelette please consider people like me who have attention spans of 30 seconds max!

I believe that Mark Twain once wrote a letter to a colleague that started "sorry about the long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one".
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

SNORT
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby SNORT » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:14 am

Hey Guy, you don't have to read it. The dude digressed to bolts....

Lying flat on my back with Sciatica. So I have time you see.....

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:33 am

My neck has been stuffed for 2 months and I haven't been able to do any exercise during that time - hence the pent-up frustration and having a rant here...

This getting old crap is hugely overrated.
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby nosmo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:40 am

I knew it SNORT, that dude flat on his back in the portaledge is you!

SNORT wrote:Already there are serious access problems and mostly at fully bolted crags...

Hex, Truitjieskraal.... how long is this list?

Charles, do you charge your medical aid if you fix yourself?
Last edited by nosmo on Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby XMod » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:36 pm

SNORT wrote:Lying flat on my back with Sciatica. So I have time you see

Guy wrote:This getting old crap is hugely overrated.

I feel you, or it rather (the pain of aging).
SNORT wrote:Charles, do you charge your medical aid if you fix yourself?

LOL! :D
Just a note Nosmo please leave the M-word out of it, maybe say Hex instead? -shot!

SNORT
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Re: Whats an aid route

Postby SNORT » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:14 pm

Don't start me on Medical Aids Nosmo!!!

Hey I don't even claim from my provident fund PPS. I want to get better (so don't want to affect the process by claiming compensation) so you dudes can all have a breather from my ranting! Go read the latest post about the fatal accident thing from Clive Curzon bout the bolts he placed all over SA

The Sciatica I have is from exercising and there is a little muscle in my butt called Piriformis. It grows too strong and then it cramps and clamps my sciatic nerve.

Treatment, believe it or not, is Botox to shrink the little *ucker. Going this afternoon. But it takes two weeks to work so no respite for you'all!!!!

The other treatment that works is Whisky and absolute rest but then .......


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