How to A0 for Free Climbers

Gripped - - FEATURE - Drew Copeland is a Squamish-based climber

Aid climb­ing is not just for big wall climbers. A0 is for you free climbers who don’t carry etri­ers, ju­mars or fifi hooks. It’s a good skill to know when you’re try­ing to move fast on a big free climb has a few manda­tory A0 moves. Some routes are eas­ier mov­ing back and forth from free to aid, es­pe­cially long routes.

To make an A0 move, sim­ply grab the piece of gear in front of you and pull your­self up to the next hold. If it helps, clip a sling to the piece to stand up in, it will give you more reach. Be care­ful not to use a sling that is too short be­cause you’ll be step­ping high and if the piece pops out you might flip. This is a great tech­nique on bolted routes. Clip di­rectly into the bolt to give your­self a rest on steeper rock.

Keep your sec­ond in mind be­cause they’ll likely have to do the same moves. Maybe leave the sling(s) in place. If done cor­rectly, A0 can help you move quicker and do routes maybe a lit­tle too hard tech­ni­cally.

What is the fu­ture of Squamish aid?

I feel that wall climb­ing has al­ways been a cool thing to do, just not many peo­ple are into it here in Squamish these days. It’s easy to un­der­stand as the free climb­ing here is out­stand­ing and more ac­ces­si­ble. The Squamish wall stoke comes in waves, it’s noth­ing new. Ev­ery few years a group comes by that scans the walls, spots an un­doc­u­mented fea­ture and are in­spired to see if it goes.

Rigg and Trull can com­ment on Yosemite, but i n Squamish, I don’t think it’s get­ting any more pop­u­lar. And this blows my mind. The walls aren’t huge but there are some high-qual­ity multi-day aid climbs on The Chief with great po­si­tion. On top of that, the ap­proaches are short and there are no crowds.

I wouldn’t say there is a resur­gence of aid climb­ing in Squamish yet. I think peo­ple are in­ter­ested in it but it’s not the most glam­orous facet of the sport. We don’t look as sexy as boul­der­ers.

Jon Rigg

Chris Trull

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