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/ Learning aid for big walls

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gazfellows on 14 Mar 2018

Hi me and my wife are thinking of climbing a big wall in the next year or 2 but have no experience in aiding for big walls, hauling and so on! I'm just really after advice on how and were to start the process? Is it a case of reading/watching everything i can or possibly hooking up with someone as well to start the ball rolling? All answers will be read and greatly appreciated. 

Thanks.... Garry.

Mark Eddy - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

I'm pretty sure Sam at: http://www.gaiaadventures.co.uk

was advertising this recently. Could be worth a call

The Jazz Butcher on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

Hi,

From your profile you are clearly an experienced climber already, perhaps with mainly single and some multi-pitch routes. I would suggest you already have a lot of the skills needed for big walls.

Start off by doing many more multi-pitch routes and get those skills really slick; building belays, belaying, ropework, swapping over at belays, leading through, one person leading multiple pitches in a row, not getting the rope(s) in a mess etc.

At the same time pick some short, quiet venues where you can learn some aid climbing and ascending / jumaring skills on well protected single pitch routes to keep it simple. Vary the routes from slabs to steeper faces, overs roofs and across traverses; all require different skills. Then add in learning how to haul a light bag up the same routes, that will add a totally new dimension. There are lots of books and on-line resources to help.

Practicing a lot will make the above much more automatic when on a big route and tired etc.

There's loads more I could say, but that is plenty to get going with.

Have fun.

99ster - on 14 Mar 2018
Mark Haward - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

You may find 'multipitch climbing' by Dave Coley extremely useful. 

    Finding a quiet local crag where you can learn, practice and practice even more is useful - as long as you don't get in anyone's way.

gazfellows on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to The Jazz Butcher:

Thanks JB really appreciate your input. If you don't mind! What would I need to get started? In terms of ladders/ jumars etc. I have already loads of gear and plenty of ropes both static/ dynamic ..

Thanks

Offwidth - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

We got the supertopo guide and some books (Andy K is also working on one to be published soon). We watched youtube clips. We practiced on quiet lines in grit quarries. For hauling, jugging, and portaledge stuff I'd recommend an indoor facility or avoiding rock climbs if forced outdoors... too much potential for rock damage. Find someone who knows the processes to help as it will save a lot of time (and hence money... aid climbing is slow so it takes a long time and a lot of short trips  to build experience).

3
edprince - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

http://www.supertopo.com/topos/htbw-free.pdf

Finding "How To Big Wall Climb" by Chris McNamara very useful - and considering its free, an awesome resource.

Post edited at 17:50
Rick Graham on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to edprince:

Also " Road to the Nose " on supertopo.

The Jazz Butcher on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

You're very welcome.

To start with, a pair of etriers and a couple of jumars. Even without those though, you can use slings and prussik loops to get started. Using prussiks makes you appreciate jumars when you do get some!

I think my first aid routes were Thors cave and another cave in Dovedave. Long time ago and can't fully remember, but I do know I only had slings and prussiks at that time.

As has also been suggested, the road to the nose is a great resource and supertopo has some awesome tutorials.

Cheers,

TJB.

timjones - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> We got the supertopo guide and some books (Andy K is also working on one to be published soon). We watched youtube clips. We practiced on quiet lines in grit quarries. For hauling, jugging, and portaledge stuff I'd recommend an indoor facility or avoiding rock climbs if forced outdoors... too much potential for rock damage. Find someone who knows the processes to help as it will save a lot of time (and hence money... aid climbing is slow so it takes a long time and a lot of short trips  to build experience).

As long as you are experienced at placing  gear all you really need is s a steep wall with 4 or 5 bolts and an anchor at top to get your systems really slick.

If you can set this up at home it means that you can put in loads of practice at very little expense.

gazfellows on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to The Jazz Butcher:

Brilliant! We're off to Dovedale Sunday to try the Bat route! I'll keep you posted..

Thanks again ;)

Gaz.

Bogwalloper - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

Chris Mac's supertopo Youtube tutorials are briliant.

Here's an absolute basic one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyVtbmuQ7bI

Managing the belay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qGE9c8KY1E

Lowering out. A little more complicated but indispensible on something like The Nose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-kcHabPFls

W

spenser - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

Enjoy, I climbed it with my old housemate in the pissing rain as my first route outdoors after breaking my ankle 2 months previously, it was an absolute giggle! Expect to get everything tangled at least once!

Kemics - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

Another vote for super topo from me. Chris McNamara videos are great and he's got a YouTube video for just about everything. I also bought his book. Do a bit of research and then get out there and start practicing. I think only essential items are jumars, pulley and etriers? Rest you can bodge or borrow. 

Enjoy the clusters  

David Coley - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to gazfellows:

> Brilliant! We're off to Dovedale Sunday to try the Bat route! I'll keep you posted..

You would be better off at millstone. Get things dialled on low angle stuff. Most aid pitches are not roofs 

 

gazfellows on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Bogwalloper:

Brilliant! Thanks 

gazfellows on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to David Coley

Yeah thanks! I've been thinking exactly the Same since I posted that. Millstone is only 20 minutes for me as well.

jagster - on 15 Mar 2018

I began by aiding bat route, ( awesome!) millstone and a local spot to practise the climbing. As for hauling and setting up my portaledge i went to a disused railway bridge. Also i went to my local climbing wall where they let me comandeer part of a wall to myself . Ive got most of the books listed all are great.

Link to my fist big wall below.

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/First-big-wall-and-first-solo-washington-column/t12378n.html


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