Étriers are used in a type of climbing known as aid climbing. Aid climbing is commonly used in big wall climbing. The étrier attaches to a piece of gear on the wall and allows the climber to move up a section of rock quickly.
Étriers come in a variety of sizes, but typically have five to eight steps. Some have reinforced steps, which makes standing for long periods of time easier and more comfortable. Stiffer steps also make boot entry and exit easier.
While an étrier is the most common, two other types of aiders are used, known as alpine aiders and aid ladders. Alpine aiders are lightweight but more difficult to use, while aid ladders are the heaviest and bulkiest ladder.
Article Written By Michelle Kidd
Based in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Michelle Kidd has been writing advertorial and editorial content since 1999. Her articles have appeared in "Homestead" and "A Grand Wedding" magazines. Kidd holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.