Stupid Questions about Aid Climbing

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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 26, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
Thread for asking/answering questions....


I have one to start:
At times when I encounter bolt ladders on routes, the bolts are not spaced very close to each other (for example the reachy bolt ladder on the Prow). I can't really see a way how someone would drill a hole for a bolt by hand that would be so far up (I am 6'2 and it wasn't that easy for me to reach and clip those bolts!). Were there some intermediate bolts taken out and the holes patched? Or was the guy so skilled and had a giant reach?
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:07pm PT
robbins is a tall f*#ker u should see the bolt ladder on the Tis-sa-sack!
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:07pm PT
maybe a hook was used? Or maybe the FA guys just taped the hammer to their huge dicks and swung that?
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:13pm PT
Wood platforms made of 2x4's, stand on the bottom bolt.

Skystairs there called....
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 26, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
Or maybe the FA guys just taped the hammer to their huge dicks and swung that?

So far this is the best answer.

But seriously though. Is there a video of someone putting up a bolt ladder? Would be interesting to see them doing it on the Leconte boulder (that thing is pretty steep!)..
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
Robbins is not really that tall, those guys simply knew how to get into their top-steps and SUFFER!

Most aid climbers climb far too often in their lower aid steps. Me, being short, am always in at least my second step and quite often the top step. I'm 5'2", have long arms, and have never come across a bolt ladder I couldn't climb (the Prow included).
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
I've always wondered that too. When I did Zodiac a gazillon years ago, I came away thinking that Charlie Porter must be tall, since I'm 5'7" and really had to reach like hell to clip bolts. I later learned he's only about my height.

The short answer is high stepping. If it's too steep to stand in your top or second to top aider, you can rig a daisy chain to your harness that will help you high step, even on slightly overhanging stuff. It still baffles me how someone could stand in that position for 20 to 30 minutes while they drilled a bolt. Hard work that.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 26, 2012 - 12:34pm PT
It still baffles me how someone could stand in that position for 20 to 30 minutes while they drilled a bolt.

Yes! That! Or did they use a power drill? I mean...that bolt ladder is pretty long.

What stuns me though is these bolts are so far apart, but the bashed out piton holes on Serenity crack are like a foot apart. So why aren't those further apart if guys could have top stepped (terrain there is less steep too)?

Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Seattle
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:46pm PT
We called them "hero loops".
Paul Gleason on FA of "Sickle".  Big Rock ca. 1968
Paul Gleason on FA of "Sickle". Big Rock ca. 1968
Credit: drawing by KL
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
Power drills....my, my Vitaliy, you know your Valley history better than that. As Mark said, they knew how to suffer......and endure.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 26, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
But world-class aid climbers like Pelut don't even get into their second steps.
Aid climbing is like politics: it's all about the spin.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:00pm PT
"Or was the guy so skilled and had a giant reach?"





He probably used a Cheater stick!
photo not found
Missing photo ID#140060




Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
Jeremy, yeah, on a good day... I'm starting to shrink already, I used to be 5'2.75" but now I'm really 5'1.875" at best!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
Ron ain't no giant either! I suspect he knows how to suffer though!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 26, 2012 - 01:06pm PT
Seriously, I don't get it. How were the guys able to drill in bolts so far apart from each other, and couldn't hammer in pitons further than a foot apart(like on serenity)? Dudes today suffer to clip those bolts with a cheater stick (I saw some people use those)! Did they seriously not have any removed that were closer?
I guess bolt ladders were also an art.
giegs

climber
Tardistan
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:06pm PT
Ropes for solos with approaches more than a couple miles:

I've got a pair of Accelerators that suck to carry. How can a lazy guy schlepp 2 ropes, gear, beer, and enough spare underwear and toilet paper for a 2-3 pitch tower? Anybody using a piece of string for their second?

Is this the future?
The future.
The future.
Credit: giegs
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Try a pair of these, Vitaliy!

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
Vitaliy,

You're thinking of it wrong. All those scars on Serenity aren't done by one person and aren't indicative of anyone's individual reach. Certainly, on Serenity, you could lie on the slab and maybe even stand on top of the actual pin (we used to do that) to reach as far as possible. Other people would nail from their third steps and still others from their fourth step. Eventually someone would place a pin, and start a scar, in between existing scars and eventually you'd have scars every six inches, just like on the Shield now.

Top stepping, and even Hero stepping, is hard work and just like everything else, people don't like hard work and start nailing from the comfortable position of their third steps. It's ridiculous but people do it.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
Top stepping, and even Hero stepping, is hard work and just like everything else, people don't like hard work and start nailing from the comfortable position of their third steps. It's ridiculous but people do it.
I've never really understood that approach to parking it low in your aiders. I always had hero loops and tried to use them whenever possible. Whether it's moving faster, placing less gear, conserving gear, or just being relatively short, I feel like I'm getting it done.
cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
Oct 26, 2012 - 01:35pm PT
Why limit yourself to just a flimsy fabric ladder (the aiders)? With a rigid aluminum ladder you could drill 20 - 40 feet above your last solid placement.
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