/ Advice for aid practice/ European big walling

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jon_gill1 - on 15 Jan 2014

Hello all, myself and 2 friends are aiming to climb El Cap later this year but would like to try something smaller first. we have a porta ledge and have been on a big wall course and have practiced a small amount of aid climbing.

Does anyone know the best place to practice in Europe where we could free climb trad routes upto around 12ish pitches with free up to E1/E2 and some easy aid pitches? wanting to spend just one night on the route ideally as we have lots of other things to practice in the week.

Aiming for April/May time. have looked at verdon and croatia but its always hard to go on personal research so if anyone has experience in this please reply.

many thanks

Jon
Post edited at 11:53
HeMa on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Norway... numerous locations...

Kvaloya (next to Troms) comes to mind rather quickly. Blåmannen for Aid and then everything else for free climbing...
jon_gill1 - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to HeMa:

hi
is norway doable in the space of a week? any specific routes in mind?or links?cheers
HeMa on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:
Easily...

A day of flying from UK to Troms, taxi/bus what ever to Kvaloya (depending on where you plan on climbing, between 30mins to 1h).

All you need to know regarding routes and whotnot would be in the Kvaloya - Selected Climbs book...

Also, a bunch of info here in UCK forums and most likely the routes DB.
Post edited at 12:55
jon_gill1 - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to HeMa:

as daft as it sounds i cant track down anywhere that sells it.evry time i click on a link for the book it goes dead.most frustrating.
HeMa on 15 Jan 2014
jon_gill1 - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to HeMa:

thats great

thanks very much

jon_gill1 - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

any other ideas people?
David Coley - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

If you are limited by time/money, don't leave the county, give yourself 3 days at the Dewerstone in Devon. Granite cracks. 140ft tall. Aid as many routes as you can with a half height belay. Haul to the belay each time and set the ledge up on a few of them. You will then be faster at aiding, and know who many metres per hour you can achieve. Then do them all again.

If you are not limited by time and money, fly to Yosemite for a week and do the Prow or leaning tower. This will cost, but increase your chances on El Cap.
Baron Weasel - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Kilnsey main overhang or Stron Ulladale on Harris?
Enty - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Not really trad but if you want pure aid practice Paroi Rouge in The Verdon is great. It's easy to get to and there's a couple of good routes. I tried a route called "Pourquoi j'ai mangé mon père" It's A2 and felt hard compared to El Cap A2. I was soloing and bailed at the top of pitch 3.
Here's the Camp to camp info: http://www.camptocamp.org/routes/127166/fr/verdon-paroi-rouge-pourquoi-j-ai-mange-mon-pere

I have a friend who also climbed a route down there - the more popular "Castapaigne Rouge" He said that was good but the bolt ladders got a bit boring.

Cheers,

E
jon_gill1 - on 16 Jan 2014
In reply to Enty:

thanks for your advice E,always helpfull.

Anyone else any ideas?
Mick Ward - on 16 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

If it was me, I'd follow David Coley's advice, get down to the Dewerstone or somewhere like that and make a complete balls of everything. Then I'd repeat the process a few times. Only when things were starting to get slick would I go somewhere 'proper'.

Mick
jon_gill1 - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

planning to do UK practice first anyway! But there's only so much you can do before getting on a real little big wall!
Choss on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

Try this one:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=122306

Guidebook says its a showpiece on aid in a tremendous position.
jon_gill1 - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to Choss:

comment says a detached overhang!lol
David Coley - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

> planning to do UK practice first anyway! But there's only so much you can do before getting on a real little big wall!

Jon, in part what I was suggesting was that you didn't set the location for your Euro trip until you had a lot of UK stuff under your belt. This would allow a more logical choice as you would know your weaknesses and know what you need more experience with.

For example. The aid thing and the wall thing I would suggest are separate things. If you get fast at aid on two pitch routes you then might free climb a long bolted route in the alps hauling and camping on the face. You could pick a face for this with road-side access, or you could make it more realistic, with the whole pain and suffering thing with a face like this (2hr walk in): http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=3983. Descent from this face is either by walking off the top, or by rapping with all your shit.


Choss on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:
That Probably fell down years ago. Itll be fine. Maybe. Possibly. Who Knows? Only one way to find out ;-)
Post edited at 10:01
jon_gill1 - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to Choss:

do I hear sandbag anywhere?I think that your ukc name is a dead give away....
Choss on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

No, its VS A1. 30m. Mostly on in situ Gear. Has some big League exposure to boot.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tom V - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:

I don't know route details but the Qualido wall in Mello looks enormous and it's granite.
CurlyStevo - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to jon_gill1:
There is some walls in the Sella area that are around 500 metres tall. Although not sure if any climbs are graded for Aid.

Piz Ciavazes is one possibility.
Post edited at 13:20
adam06 - on 17 Jan 2014

what about Orco in Italy, some big granite routes there.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=13069
Post edited at 16:01
David Coley - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to Tom V:
> I don't know route details but the Qualido wall in Mello looks enormous and it's granite.

The OP wants to practice before getting to Yosemite. I'm no expert, but the issue is that Yosemite probably has the easiest, safest, quickest to access, best rescue serviced big aid walls on the planet. Hence finding a practice big aid wall before going there is difficult. People go to Yosemite to practice before they head elsewhere.

Hence my suggestion of aiding short routes and then free climbing something over a few days somewhere warm and sunny.
Post edited at 16:58
Neil - on 17 Jan 2014
Yosemite is a great place to learn. And learn quickly! I did as many uk granite routes as I could mainly focused on free stuff and learnt heaps of aid by reading up and the odd practice on trad routes (clean aid of course). Of the techniques anted about short fixing would be my favourite for moving quickly as a pair (or 3, one leads then pulls up all slack, ties off and begins self belaying, 2nd hauls after jugging haul line if possible, 3rd cleans).
Motörhead in Eldorado, Grimsel, 500m being one of the the best big routes to practice on without full on commitment. Top notch granite, have a look.


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