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Ladder, regular aider, or ????
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By RoadTripRyan
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 10, 2010

After making a huge cluster on a simple bolt ladder over the weekend, I decided I need to work on my aiding system a bit.

I have traditionally used regular aiders when aiding. (2, connected to me with adjustable daisies.) Anyone have an opinion on the ladder style instead? Or home made russian aiders?

I doubt I will ever aid beyond C3, and have aspirations of mostly just C2 in the desert.

Any suggestions? The ladders look like they MAY be a little less prone to tangle, but I don't know....

-Ryan


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By eric harvey
Nov 10, 2010

You are doomed, for sure.


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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Nov 10, 2010
OMG, I winz!!!

I like my ladders but i'm pretty sure not creating a cluster is about how you do things, not the type of gear.


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By J.J
Nov 10, 2010

You think your weekend bolt ladder experience was bad...you should've seen mine...(note to self, don't jump right on a 50 degree overhanging route when you've never practiced aiding before). Fortunately I just got back from toprope soloing the same route and have learned A LOT.

I used two ladders the first time. The second time I used one ladder and three aiders tied from 20' sections of 1" webbing(one ladder was still on the route...).

Basically, like Chris said, I don't think it matters. My home-tied ones weren't a problem. Just keep everything else systematic and orgainized.


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By bigwallrog
From the farside
Nov 17, 2010

Well considering your experience with ladders might I suggest you skip the Russian aiders and get your systems dialed first ..

I find most people who like Ruskies have several years of aid under there belt and than they ether love em or hate em and go back to ladders ....

Ladders are the Easy Way no ifs ands or buts..... period ...
most people not doing overhangs pref 3 full length ladders to leap frog always having one at the ready (the frogger )on your harness as you move up.

Depending on the wind everything is prone to tangle some more so than others and Ruskies are the worst if yer shits not wired tight.You end up adding weight to the bottom of the aider to keep it vertical and not flapping around yer head beating the livin shit out of you.

Walls have nasty wind that blowes up-sidways- and down and changes direction in the blink of an eye .

I would say 1st get your system dialed with regards to your ladders
and practice in small steps. You are USEING KEYLOCK CARABINERS ON YOUR DAISIES ??????? RIGHT!!!!! I pref Petzl Owalls on mine .

Use one type of aider and dial it in untill you can do it blindfolded in your sleep/ drunk /with a hangover from the day before and your well on your way to having some fun.


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By Karsten
From Sacramento, CA
Dec 14, 2010
FA's can be scary.  Photo by DeAngelo

I would generally agree with bigwallrog's above comments.

I have personally used both standard aiders and the ladder type and tried both two and four aider setups. Much of what you end up with is preference and what type of aid you end up climbing more. If I am on easy aid I use two ladders. If I'm on delicate harder aid A3 or harder I sometimes like to stand in two aider so use the 4 aider setup sometimes but have also climbed with just two successfully.

In short start with whatever you have and get efficient with those first. As you climb more you will naturally drift to what you like.

Despite all the buzz about Russian aiders I never see the el cap big wall veterans doing the hardest aid or speed ascents using them. Good luck and have fun.


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