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C2 Aiding What are the huge hooks used for?
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By randy88fj62
Apr 8, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
I am still new to the world of big wall and aiding. I have no idea why such large hooks like the Pika Iribis, BD bat Hook, or Fish Hooks are required on hooking routes.

The smaller hooks, cam hooks, beaks, and rurps make sense to me but I cannot understand the need for such large heavy hooks.

What am I missing? Got any good stories where it was a critical piece?

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By Kirk B.
From Boise, ID
Apr 8, 2013
belay slaving on some route I forgot the name of way right of Bloody Fingers.
Top edge of a flake or a funky ledge.

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By Calvino
From Bellingham, WA
Apr 8, 2013
getting ready for the final roof series
Little hook are for little edges bigger hooks are for bigger edges. If the lip of a flake is rounded the smaller hook may not be able to reach a place to get purchase, thus a bigger hook is needed. Plus they inspire a bit more confidence. No matter what size hook I am using it always feels sketchy.

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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Apr 8, 2013
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber
We're aid climbers. We couldn't possibly wrap our hands over the top of a flake and use it as a free climbing handhold. ;)

You don't use big hooks a lot, but when you need them, they are very handy. There is a rightwards traversing pitch on South Seas/P.O. where they come in pretty handy, hooking along the top of a big flake. I suppose you could free climb it, though, not sure.

They can also work for pro occasionally when nothing else will.

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By Scott Stoveken
Apr 9, 2013
Classic PTPP short story:

At the base of New Dawn, PTPP asks Jon if he saw the bag of hooks needed for the first pitch, which he hadn't... they were in the truck... and at this point Stan chimes in something like: "I seem to remember the PTPP big wall checklist, blah blah blah" that was good for a great laugh! but no worries, they got it done

Scott

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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Apr 11, 2013
"Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok wrote:
There is a rightwards traversing pitch on South Seas/P.O. where they come in pretty handy, hooking along the top of a big flake.

Are you thinking of the Central Latitudes? That goes left to right, ending where the PO and South Seas join up. Two big hooks were definitely handy there.

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By mucci
From sf ca
Apr 11, 2013
Big hooks catch big falls.

Mark Hudon took a 50 footer on Native son last year, A big pika ibis caught his fall.

I have used mostly the fish large throw hooks. They shine on loose flakes you CANNOT free climb.

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By randy88fj62
May 6, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Used a giant Vermin V4 hook this weekend on the end of the first pitch of El Cap Tree Route. Glad I had the big one as it was super secure. The deflection it was interesting as it would slide the back end of the hook down a bit and seat well on the flake.

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By Mark Hudon
May 7, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
They aren't really that heavy and they are very useful for hooking large, rounded flakes and ledges. I haven't led an aid pitch on El Cap in the last four years where I haven't had my Pika "Meat hook" with me.

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By climbingsolo
May 16, 2013
home
the traversing pitch on New Dawn, 11 or 12. they are very handy there. again, the top of a large flake where smaller hooks may or may not be as bomber.

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By Mark Hudon
May 17, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
A perfect fit!
A perfect fit!

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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
May 17, 2013
Mark's picture really sums it up. It's not so much the size of the edge (you could hook that same edge with a tiny hook), as it is the radius required to get the tip of the hook to seat into any crack/indentation/etc at the joint of the edge/wall or wherever you find something to seat the tip...which is often a shallow, drilled divot on the edge (an "enhanced" hook placement...more common that you'd think on El Cap routes..at least IME)

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By Mark Hudon
May 17, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
Another example
Another example

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By Scott O
From California
Jun 19, 2013
Batman Pinnacle
Mark, why the sling/biner taped to the arch of the hook?

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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Jun 19, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.
Scott....for orientation on the rack....otherwise that big hook catches and snags on EVERYTHING including you. Also, falling with the hook oriented the other way is a good way to get evicerated.

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By Mark Hudon
Jun 19, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.
Benjamin has it exactly right.

Run a sling like that through the hole at the top of your beaks and Tomahawks for the same reason. Color code them according to size also.

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By Scott O
From California
Jun 19, 2013
Batman Pinnacle
Will do. Thanks guys.

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