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Which aiders should I get?
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By Royal
From Henderson, NV
Feb 27, 2011
Free Willy (Salt Point)
I've never done any aid climbing. I'm looking to buy aiders and start practicing with the goal of doing a few classic big walls. Before I drop the coin for aiders I want to make sure I'm getting the right thing.

I've read a ton of stuff but I'm still a little unsure. I'm liking the idea of using two aiders (less snag factor, lighter weight, force me to move fast, cheaper) but I haven't made up my mind what kind of aiders to get. The two aider technique makes sense to me, but then again I've never done it before.

I've heard the BD aiders aren't that good. I'm intrigued by the Fish aiders. Metolius aiders get good reviews. Yates look nice but kinda pricy. And then there's the etrier vs ladder thing. I'd assumed that an etrier style was the way to go since the walls I'm interested in are primarily free climbs. But, I've from what I've read people suggest ladders . . . which I would think would get in the way and be annoying while free climbing. As of now I'm thinking of getting the either Metolious alpine aiders or the Fish ones.

I've also considered getting 'alpine' aiders built with 3/4 inch webbing. If I'm going to build up to doing a classic (NW Half Dome, the Nose) big wall is that a bad idea?

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By DFrench
From Cape Ann
Feb 27, 2011
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.
The Fish ones are pretty sweet, I like how the steps are all stitched off of the same side because I think it makes it hang cleaner and it's easier to get your feet into.

Also Russ will hook you up with some snazzy colors to round out your style factor.

The only snag in Fish aiders in my opinion is if you are in a hurry to get them made/sent. My recommendation would be to order them as soon as possible, then when you start getting ancy because you haven't gotten them in the mail yet you can buy Russ a beer via paypal and get him moving again.

When it comes down to it you will probably do just fine with any standard aider for your first pair, the things definitely don't last forever so don't buy thinking its the only pair you'll ever own.

Good luck and have fun vertical camping!

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Feb 27, 2011
Artist Tears P3
For most aid all you need is two aiders. Therefore, buy Yates or Fish ladders.

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By Bill M
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 27, 2011
I think Chris McNamara's content is pretty good. I have used Fish before, but when I need something quick I mail order somewhere else. Just bought Metolius Aiders, they are good. I also buy made in the USA when I can. Makes me feel good.

supertopo.com/a/How-To-Big-Wal...

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By Dustin B
From Steamboat
Feb 27, 2011
Shucka Bra.
the metolius are just ok. due to their design they get snagged on each other when you are pulling them through and they twist up a fair bit, especially if your using 4.

if you have the coin, 2 yates ladders should suffice. and those are definatly the best i have used so far.

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By john strand
From southern colo
Feb 27, 2011
Fish, no doubt and Russ may even be back from Holidays by now.

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By Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Feb 27, 2011
There's only one FISH!!!!!

fishproducts.com/

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By Moof
From Portland, OR
Feb 27, 2011
Once you go Spreader bar, you'll never go back. So either get Yates, or Fish with the spreader bar.

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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 27, 2011
Andrew Gram
I used etriers for years before i figured out they were crap and switched to the ladder style. if you go the 2 aider method ladders are the only way to go. i'm partial to the yates.

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By Highlander
From Ouray, CO
Feb 27, 2011
For climbs like the Nose and NW Face of Half Dome, the metolius pocket aiders are great. The clip on your harness and out of the way when free climbing and easy to deploy if you need to go into full on aid mode. They are not very comfy which encourages you to move fast.

If your going to be doing alot of standing in the aiders, I think the Yates ladders are the best. Once you used ladder style aiders you will never want to use etrier style again.

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By Royal
From Henderson, NV
Feb 28, 2011
Free Willy (Salt Point)
Thanks for weighing in, folks! I think I'll try to get a pair of fish aiders. We'll see how that goes. I'm not sure if his order form on the site works.

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By kevin deweese
From Oakland, Ca
Feb 28, 2011
Birds and Beards
Have to put a belated support for Yates Big Wall Ladders. They take a beating without blinking.

I try to aid every weekend in Yosemite and Pinnacles every weekend for the last 6 months. Single-pitch climbs and multi-pitch climbs as well as some of the smaller walls. Minimum of 3 hours a day up to 12 hours a day on the wall. (I've been working on A3-A4 nailing so my pitch-time is SAF.) The combination of cheesegrater granite and sharp chickenhead Pinnacles "rock" has done a number to all of my gear but the yates big wall are still running strong

I've destroyed a pair of Bdel aiders as well as my partner has crucified her Metolius easy aiders on cleanup duty. Yates gear is Emphatically The Shit.

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By Robbie Flick
From Denver, CO
Jun 3, 2011
Why specifically are the BD aiders not so great?

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By D Condit
From Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 1, 2011
North Maroon
The BD aiders don't collapse well, the fabric it too stiff and gets fuzzy quickly. These issues combine to make them snag easily on gear/rock/etc. Good aiders like the Yates ladders are silky smooth, hang open when you need them to and collapse easily as you yank them up.

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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Sep 12, 2011
The route in it's entirety.
Robbie Flick wrote:
Why specifically are the BD aiders not so great?


They're decent if all your going to do is jug, but for leading where you want some "maneuverability" they aren't nearly as nice as the open rung Metolius, Fish, or Luke's new stuff. You want something with open rungs because contrary to popular belief aiding can be strenuous at times, and the last thing you want is to be struggling just to but your foot in the ladder.

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By Mike Watson
Dec 29, 2011
get a pair with the spreader in them. I have the yates and love them.

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By NateSkains
From Anchorage, Ak
Apr 18, 2012
Mix climbing in Nome (King Mountain)
Yates big wall ladders.. love them would never go back to non-spreader bar style.

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