How to A0 for Free Climbers
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.