why are aid ratings so lame?


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The Larry

Moab, UT
Oct 11, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
Slack! Take!
The Larry

Moab, UT
Oct 11, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
When life gives you aids, make lemonaids.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 11, 2013 - 12:50pm PT


Grey Matter
Oct 11, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Clean aid.
Reusable adhesion pads without sticky glue


A pad the size of an index card can hold a maximum force of about 700 pounds while adhering to a smooth surface such as glass.



Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 11, 2013 - 02:03pm PT
Roper's Green Climber's Guide to Yosemite Valley had an interesting rating for the expanding flake traverse on the Sentinel West Face. The Red Roper Guide rated the pitch A5. He reasoned in the Green guide that it could be rated either A1 or A5, depending on whether the climber popped. I think he settled on A4, IIRR. If I carry that logic a little farther, every pitch should be rated either A3 or C3, depending on whether or not it's hammerless, since there's always the possibility that the leader falls.

That might add a bit of otherwise lost adventure.


Mountain climber
Oct 11, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
Aid climbing is a tradition, the classic way, it's done as a ceremony to those before, not like it's something new to push the limits. You guys are looking at it from the wrong perspective. If you want to talk ratings and pushing the limits then go talk about hard free, sport and trad climbing. Warren Harding pushed aid routes up forced lines, new aid climbers do the same thing. Who cares? If pushing lines up blank walls ain't your thing, go do something else. And trying to rate such a thing in the 1st place is an exercise in futility after such routes were free climbed. The lamest thing here is watching aid climbers talk about rating like they matter to their chosen means of ascent in the 1st place.

Aid climbing is climbing by any means possible, upward progress at the expensive of all ethics (save for siege tactics). So how can you rate it at all? One dude's technique with a cam hook may be another dude's pecker dream. Seriously? Just rate it as an aid climb and let those who follow figure it out on their own, in this way we fully embrace the ceremony it is and honor those we respect who came before and pioneered it to begin with.

It's not like the ratings tell me jack about what I need to bring these days, old A routes are now C and then there's all the suggestions of gear to take, some people still carrying hammers. Yeah, I can totally gather all that from an A3 rating. What happens these days is people show up in the valley, go to camp 4 and ask a ton of people, then they go over to the shop for the crap they need for the route. Do they care what it's rated? No, they care whether or not they have the specific tools for the specific route. Rate that.

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
(to the core)

and you already did

"There are no height problems, just strength problems" L.H.

doesn't apply to aid climbing. I find knowing who the first ascentist is, is far more useful than the rating-Walt urrrr...
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Oct 11, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
Aid ratings are just as subjective as free ratings. So what's the problem?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Oct 11, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
for the same reason why badass alpine ratings involve 70 degree ice and 5.10b in hiking boots, while spending 3 days underneath a 500 ton serac...

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Oct 11, 2013 - 04:45pm PT

"Aid climbing is climbing by any means possible"...

This is a photo of me practicing my aid technique just yesterday...



Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 11, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
Boy....I could go on about ratings both for aid and free. Bottom line....they should be considered discriptive rather than definitive. The climb offers rock architecture that you can deal with or not....the rating is a transitory number that only exists in the minds of climbers.

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
ratings are for hotels

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 11, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
I'm in one right now in Chengdu, China....i'll give it three stars. Shanghai for two days and then home to Ouray....getting real tired of Chinese food.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Oct 11, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
A reward for swimming around and not biting a troll line designed to catch a Donini:


Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Oct 11, 2013 - 05:43pm PT
some people still carrying hammers.

Time to get off the blown out beaten track. Then we'll see if "some" becomes "all."

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Oct 11, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
getting real tired of Chinese food.

Getting tired of the sweet and sour cashew chicken, Jim?


Yosemite Valley National Park
Oct 11, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
So Donini is in a "3 star hotel" but some might consider it a 1 or a 5. Whats the old saying "It's all A1 until you fall"? Didn't Kalous drill on a Klaus route on the SA? Interesting rant but it seems like he just wanted to hear himself talk.
5.15c??? A6+ (which just answer me this : was it or was it NOT a complete hook belay? Answer Rivet Hanger? NO!!!) Why it is a "theoretical grade" asshat (courtesy of Klaus)

Might as well have a VIIII M80 5.17f, A9r/x V21. Whatever.

The one thing I learned in Yosemite is who did the FA. A Bridewell FA route it stout compared to other FA's. Similar I've never done a Klaus route and I have a feeling it might wreck my brain.

Slabby D

Trad climber
B'ham WA
Oct 11, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Aid climbing happily defies the precise numerical categorization of a deeply personal experience. Amen!

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Oct 11, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
It's all A1 until you fall . . .
The Larry

Moab, UT
Oct 11, 2013 - 07:39pm PT
Yo yo.
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