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How much aid stresses your gear?
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By Wilson On The Drums
From Woodbury, MN
Mar 9, 2013
best in the hills

I've been milking an injury and couldn't completely stop climbing so I took up solo TR aid climbing (kinda). I've been doing one route over and over again and am just figuring everything out using various sources, ie. mountainproject.com and supertopo.com. I have two questions: 1-how much stress is placed on your gear when aiding? I've never fallen on any of my trad gear and as I've been using various pieces I've started to wonder if they'll still be good to use once I start free climbing again. 2-Is it o.k. to aid on cams (bd c4 and metolius ultralight) in horizontal pockets? I've been doing a limestone route and doesn't have much for gear besides bolts and hooks, so I've been putting cams in sideways.

Thanks for any advice.


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By Robbie Brown
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 9, 2013
Jumping across the mace gap with a PBR

Just check you'r cams. If they look good they most likely are.


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By Mark Hudon
Mar 10, 2013
On the North America Wall in 1977.

As far as bending it and mangling it, yes it does do a fair bit of that. As far as weaken it? If something get's pretty dang mangled, sure, it may be weaker but placing a cam or a nut, standing on it, removing it and on and on and on? I wouldn't spend two seconds worrying about that.


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Mar 10, 2013

Wilson On The Drums wrote:
I've been milking an injury and couldn't completely stop climbing so I took up solo TR aid climbing (kinda). I've been doing one route over and over again and am just figuring everything out using various sources, ie. mountainproject.com and supertopo.com. I have two questions: 1-how much stress is placed on your gear when aiding? I've never fallen on any of my trad gear and as I've been using various pieces I've started to wonder if they'll still be good to use once I start free climbing again. 2-Is it o.k. to aid on cams (bd c4 and metolius ultralight) in horizontal pockets? I've been doing a limestone route and doesn't have much for gear besides bolts and hooks, so I've been putting cams in sideways. Thanks for any advice.

Well, if you want to know how much of a load bounce testing produces, an article I wrote may help: www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2588374;s>>>

Otherwise, aid climbing is generally the most severe type of climbing in terms of gear wear and usage. I have cams that have been used aid climbing for two years that look worse than cams that have been used for free climbing for five years. The main issue is that constant bounce testing wears the lobes. But none the less, gear is pretty robust and it will last a long time regardless of you aid climb on it or not.


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