While free climbers utilize their hands and feet to ascend the rock, aid climbers gain elevation by climbing short rope ladders, or “etriers” clipped to a myriad of tricky protection placements. For this reason, aid climbers have the ability to scale rock walls that no free climber will ever touch due to the lack of natural hand and foot holds. The goal of our Aid Climbing program is to provide the skills necessary to start tackling some straightforward “wall” climbs using basic aid techniques. Instructional topics on this program include:
- Hazards associated with aid and wall climbing.
- Aid placements and testing (introduction to specialized gear: pitons, hooks and copperheads).
- The aid climbing leading system (using fifi hooks and etriers).
- Fixing ropes.
- Cleaning systems (jumar use, pin removal, cleaning traverses).
- Setting up a basic hauling system and lower-outs.
- Retreat from a wall and rappelling with a haul bag.
Free climbers can also benefit from aid techniques when they encounter wet or physically demanding sections on a multi-pitch climb that can’t be surpassed with standard free climbing techniques. For this reason, we recommend this course to both the aspiring aid climber and the experienced multi-pitch free climber, both of whom should already have a background in traditional gear placement and anchor-building techniques.
Arrange this course through our private instruction program as an individual or a group.