What style etrier do you like to use?


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the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Mar 31, 2009 - 01:31pm PT
"Yates speed stirrups that slip, 'though the webbing isn't very worn, and I can't see any wear on the buckles. What's the fix?"

Put a knot on the other side of the buckle. Sucks cause you lose the easy adjustability, but better than slipping.

If you have the small buckles I'd check with Yates if they'll swap them out, or give you a discount on a new pair.

Yeah seems like there should be a better buckle than a motorcylcle tie-down buckle. I haven't used the Metolius Easy Aiders but their buckle seems like it may be better for this application.

I like the Yates buckle better for an easy daisy because it's much easier to lenghten when weighted vs. the Metolius.

On another note if you want to go cheap you can make foot loops (like speed stirrups) out of 1" webbing. Put a clove hith on the biner at the top for adjustability. I guess you could do the same to the Yates speed stirrups for a fix, keep the nice foot loop on the bottom and use a clove hitch instead of a buckle.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Upper Fupa, North Dakota
Mar 31, 2009 - 01:41pm PT
mike writes: It's a well-thought-out design. If I was to change it at all, I would make the ladder 1/2-3/4" more narrow and add some protection outside the spreader bar. Pipe dreams aside, they're Aider Nirvana for my coin.

There is now a protection pad of webbing on the outsides of where the handle rubs on the wall on the FISH Ladders. That area takes tons of wear and I'd probably PlastiDip the wear point as well.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 31, 2009 - 03:27pm PT

Is there any problem with the solvents in the plasti dip weakening webbing?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 31, 2009 - 03:27pm PT
Hey, go old skool:


Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 31, 2009 - 03:48pm PT
My fist set were old school over handed 1" tubular webbing.

What I found was, the loops don't want to stay open, so getting your foot in the aider can be a challenge. The knots jabbing into your ankles don't feel good. I don't recall how much the A5 aiders were, maybe $35 for the pair? Anyhow, money very well spent!
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Mar 31, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
I use a Yates speed stirrup on one leg (only because the other leg is toast). I had to replace one when it began to slip a bit after lots of pitches, but you will eventually have to replace anything if you use it long enough. I love the thing, and can't imagine climbing without it.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 31, 2009 - 04:20pm PT
To keep my old school etriers open, I cut hollow one-inch webbing into about five-inch lengths, and slipped those over the loop to form steps.

My next set, though, I just used solid, and thereby stiff, webbing.

Russ Walling

Social climber
Upper Fupa, North Dakota
Mar 31, 2009 - 05:07pm PT

Paul: not that I've ever seen. Of course since this is the internet, and I have no source, so you'll just have to take my word for it (yer gonna die)

But over the last 25yrs or so I've used it on just about everything, including a core shot in the middle of a big fat static line..... I would not advise coating your belay loop with the stuff though.

I'll dig through my aid bin and if I can find something with plastidip on it (I recall a daisy chain??) I'll pull test it along side a fresh and similar unit and report back.

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Mar 31, 2009 - 05:11pm PT
I am the black sheep here for sure. I started out with my home tied 1" webbing, and soon had to have something that would stay open and allow my foot in easier. So along came the pair of BD etriers, 5 and 6 step. Did a few pitches in them and they were better but following was a pain to stay in the right rung jugging and what not.
Bought a pair of Met easy aiders and daisies and have not looked back. Wore em out and got another pair. Bought a backup pair to take on solo trips and don't even take the BD's off the shelf anymore. I do not understand why they aren't used more by others, as they sped me up, solo or partnered, leading or following.
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Mar 31, 2009 - 07:50pm PT
Fish Smart Aiders. I really like them and don't understand why more people don't use them.
Nudge Nudge

Trad climber
WI, now CA
Apr 1, 2009 - 02:47pm PT

Mountain climber
Apr 1, 2009 - 04:28pm PT
I vote for Misty Mountain, and of course the home made aiders...

East Coast US
Apr 1, 2009 - 04:56pm PT
Mine are really fuzzed and I probably got them in 1989. I don't do as many walls as you guys, but these have gotten up a couple of grade Vs and VIs in the valley and bailed off many more.

I think mine are actually A5. Would they be considered collectors items now?

Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Apr 1, 2009 - 04:59pm PT
Damn, Ed beat me to it.

Frost Knot.....no pain, no gain! ;)

ssshhhh.......I use Yates Speed Aiders. Don't tell the old skoolers.

Trad climber
The High And Lonely
Apr 1, 2009 - 05:33pm PT
i have a pair of A5 aiders from '95 that i absolutely love. they are fuzzy, dirty and have tape on the steps, but they are my go to aiders for jugging. people tend to give them skeptical glances when they come out of the pack. any chance you will ever replicate them again deuce?

Trad climber
Apr 1, 2009 - 07:16pm PT
Anybody ever make aiders like this?

Kind of like two but with only one biner.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 1, 2009 - 07:29pm PT
The problem with that design is there are times where you want to put one foot back to push your hips into the wall, and one foot against the rock to keep from spinning.

And you can put two aiders on one biner, so no savings there.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 1, 2009 - 09:09pm PT
Before buying aiders , take off your shoes and "climb" up them starting with the lowest rung. Ideally the step spacing matches your comfortable climbing motion while standing in balance on either foot.

Make sure that you have enough length to be able to reach at full extension and still be able to step into the bottom loop. If you are top stepping you need to be able to transfer laterally without stepping down.

I use a single side-to-side 5 step in each hand with a third bundled. Keep it simple.

Trad climber
Apr 8, 2009 - 10:06pm PT
I learned to big wall climb with the Yates speed wall ladders and loved them. Before buying these I borrowed and tried a few different kinds of the traditional etrier styles. I much preferred the ladders since I didn't have to fish around to get my foot in the loop - the spreader bar and ladder design make it very easy to get your foot in place quickly and accurately. Also, the elastic strap to keep your foot in place when jugging is great.

I also tried out the regular Yates Big Wall ladders (with the fat 2" steps), but found them too bulky and heavy. The speed wall's 1" steps worked just fine for me with hiking boots or climbing shoes.

Trad climber
Novato, CA
Apr 10, 2012 - 01:18am PT
I led my first aid pitch this weekend, so I figure I'm the newest aider expert around here. I had practiced aiding up my homemade bolt ladder for the past few weeks in my partner's scetchy, old, misshapen, twisty, inside-out-half-the-time, etrier-style aiders and was looking forward to getting some aid practice in Yosemite this past weekend. I went to the mountain shop and tried out both the Metolius etrier-style and the Yates Big Wall Ladder. The Yates ladder put me off a bit with its over $50 price tag, but it seemed really bomber. I asked both the guys behind the counter which they prefer and they both seemed to think the ladder style was a weird trendy fad that never really made sense to them. The $37 etriers seemed really appealing. They let me hang them from a rope in the shop and my partner and I both thought the Yates ladder was superior. I dropped my credit card on the counter and got a pair, feeling like I never regret paying for the best, and often kick myself for saving money on second-best. After half a day of practice in them, my seasoned big wall partner went back to the shop and dropped over $100 of his own on a pair of Yates Big Wall Ladders. To a beginner, they seem superior in every way to etrier style aiders. I can climb them without looking at my feet, as opposed to spending seconds or minutes trying to get my toe into just the right spot. If I'm going to spend the better part of a couple days in them this summer, these are the only aiders I can imagine using.
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