/ VIDEO: Touchstone Wall, Zion National Park

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UKC Videos - on 27 Mar 2012
[Touchstone Wall, Zion National Park]
Two friends attempt their first climb in Zion - Touchstone Wall.

Touchstone Wall topo from Zion Climbing by Bryan Bird, published by Supertopo, Chris McNamara.

Watch the video: http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=1025

Enty - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos:

Magnificent!!! Touchstone was my first ever wall so needless to say I enjoyed that very much.
Thanks.

E
In reply to Enty: I thought this was a cool short film too.

Nice work.

J
jon on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to Enty:

Are you no longer allowed to drive into the canyon?
lummox - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos: Great stuff !
Mark Reeves - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos: Really great little video.
ChrisJD on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos:

Cheers for that.

Brings back some faded memories from 1995 (or was it 1998!?) when we did this as our first big wall.

Remember standing at bottom with a pile of aid gear and John Long's 'How to Climb Big Walls' trying to figure out this aiding malarkey. Happy days.
cem on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Enty)
>


It hasn't been allowed since at least 2008 when I first went there
JH74 - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos:

What great great scenery and a charming wee film. Really enjoyed it.
Fraser on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos:

Nice work guys, that's a great wee video. Very well done.
Enty - on 27 Mar 2012
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to UKC Videos)
>
> Cheers for that.
>
> Brings back some faded memories from 1995 (or was it 1998!?) when we did this as our first big wall.
>
> Happy days.


It was 98 when I was there. We did Touchstone at Easter then it snowed so we bailed to Redrocks. Back a week later and we did Moonlight. Then it rained so we bailed to Redrocks and did The Rainbow Wall.
Back a week later to do Spaceshot.

Happy days indeed!!

E


Dr Avid - on 28 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos: Enjoyed it a lot. Desert Canyons and Ry Cuder is a total winner as an extended intro........What song is it exactly, I always forget the names?
EddieBauer - on 28 Mar 2012
In reply to Dr Avid:

Theme from Southern Comfort
Ian Bentley - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos: i know i'll probably get accused of Trolling, but i geniunely am interested in what the appeal is of aid climbing?

Is it just a way to get up the climb, experience the outdoors and the nice views?

Or is it that it lets you get past some pitches that would be too hard for you in order to climb others that are challenging?

Or is it just time constraints as mentioned in the clip?

I don't want this to descend into an arguement of aid vs free and want to make it clear that i am not slating aid climbing, i'd just genuinely like to hear some positive answers from aid climbers on what they love about it and potentially what i may be missing out on!
johncoxmysteriously - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Ian Bentley:

I don't think it's very complicated - it enables you to do Moonlight Buttress without being Alex Honnold. That's pretty much it.

jcm
Ian Bentley - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: So am i right in saying it's more about experiencing the scenery and the exposure than the challenge of the actual climbing?
ChrisJD on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Ian Bentley:

> I don't want this to descend into an arguement of aid vs free

Then stop asking silly questions then.

Ian Bentley - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Ian Bentley)
>
> [...]
>
> Then stop asking silly questions then.

How are they silly? I have literally zero experience or knowledge about aid climbing. It is completely foreign to me and thought that some aid climbers may wish to share their experience and give me a glimpse into why it is enjoyable / challenging.

Maybe mutual understanding and knowledge sharing is too much to ask from the UKC forums?!
johncoxmysteriously - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Ian Bentley:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) So am i right in saying it's more about experiencing the scenery and the exposure than the challenge of the actual climbing?

I'd say more about that, yes. Though the actual climbing is also terrifying if you go in for proper hard aid routes, of course. Whether that's part of the fun I couldn't say.

jcm
Ian Bentley - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Thanks jcm
ads.ukclimbing.com
Al Randall on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Videos: Nice film and soundtrack. No ego, no advertising. I'm not really into aid climbing but I now want to go and climb that route. That's exactly what articles and films like this should achieve. Very well done.

Out of interest, could you have done it in a day without preparing the early pitches?

All
ChrisJD on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Ian Bentley:

> How are they silly? I have literally zero experience or knowledge about aid climbing. It is completely foreign to me and thought that some aid climbers may wish to share their experience and give me a glimpse into why it is enjoyable / challenging

So actually you have no frame of reference then, by which to say they are or are not silly

If you have zero knowledge, at least look into it a bit and then ask.
beardy mike - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Ian Bentley: It gets you to pretty extreme places (I don't mean as in knarly - I mean as in pretty damn scary/cool depending on your head at the precise time of arrival at said section of rock), the climbing is a bit like a giant jigsaw puzzle, much like free climbing, with the difference being that you use gear to solve it. It takes nouse and skill to engineer placements that you wouldn't normally entrust an overweight flea to, and then use, and it can be utterly draining both physically and mentally. If you practice clean aid, i.e. avoiding using hammered gear and rely on standard trad gear plus hooks, it is just as clean as free climbing. Yes, it's a totally different experience to free climbing, one with a different feel, ethics and rewards, but its still a fantastic way to get up a cliff...
alpinebisou - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

Thanks Al and everyone for the compliments. With hindsight it would have been easily possible in a day and in a way it would have been better to go for it. But the sustained aid pitches (for us anyway) are at the start so it seemed logical to fix a couple.
SteveSBlake - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to Ian Bentley:

It's simply another form of climbing. It can still be physically demanding, and as it gets more difficult you need to understand better what your gear's capable of, what it will and will not do. It can be very scary, etc, etc.

I'm a believer that because you body weight all of your placements when aiding, your use of gear in trad routes improves - you have a much better sense of what is, and isn't, marginal, what will and won't hold.

Lots of folks go years without that knowledge, they give their gear a tug, don't fall off, belays are never weighted etc.

Best way in the world to understand your gear.

Oh, and whilst it can be hard graft, it's also a lot of fun!

Steve


biscuit - on 30 Mar 2012
In reply to ChrisJD:
> (In reply to Ian Bentley)
>
> [...]
>
> So actually you have no frame of reference then, by which to say they are or are not silly
>
> If you have zero knowledge, at least look into it a bit and then ask.

He wasn't saying they were silly, you were. He was aksing why they were silly as he had no idea.

He was looking into it by asking on a thread about a film that featured aid climbing. Silly him for thinking he may just get an answer instead if snide remarks. He even went out of his way to say he wasn't sniping just asking so he could expand his knowledge then got shot down by you for doing just that.

Nice to see others helping out and what a great film. It must have taken some serious logistical effort to get the pics from opposite peaks and the summit etc.

Really enjoyed it, thanks.
ChrisJD on 31 Mar 2012
In reply to biscuit:

you also know how quickly it can degrade into a "its not proper climbing" flame war hijack . if they want to know about aid climbing, start a new thread on the starting out forum.
biscuit - on 31 Mar 2012
In reply to ChrisJD:

I also know how quickly people can get unnecessarily touchy about things for no good reason and be sharp with people asking reasonable questions.

It had not degenerated into a " its not proper climbing " thread hijack, was showing no signs of doing so and hasn't done so. As i pointed out the op had taken care to ensure no one felt aggrieved, yet you still did. You probably spent more time typing your un helpful reply than if you'd said: " i like aid climbing because....". Wouldn't that have been nicer ?

A thread about a video showing aid climbing would seem to be the perfect place to ask about aid climbing. Others who have aid climbed have spoken about what makes it different/special to them in a way that helps us understand that all types of climbing are different, but are all climbing at the end of the day.
jgordon75 on 31 Mar 2012
In reply to biscuit: I agree. Come on ChrisJD you're making an issue out of a perfectly reasonable question!
Ian Bentley - on 02 Apr 2012
In reply to UKC Videos: Thanks everyone for the posts, great to get an insight into a side of climbing i didn't know about. And great to get some personal accounts of why you love it that you can't get just from googling aid climbing and doing the obvious basic research (which i did before posting).

Great video too BTW. Loved the whole "mates out on an adventure having a good time" feel.

Looks like great fun and definitely inspired to look to some bigger walls!

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