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uasunflower


Jan 18, 2007, 2:48 AM
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Portaledge question
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This should probably go to the beginner forum, but as it's mainly an aid climbing question, i dare post it here among the big gurus Smile

so i'm a neophyte with aid (as in have done very little of it and mainly in french free Angelic) but i'd love to do more. That's especially true as i'm thinking of a possible yosemite trip for free and aid. My question concerns portaledges. In my profound naivety i thought these were not as rare and expensive as they are. But after having spent days asking around (ok, i'm in belgium and it's not exactly the most vertical country in the world), i so far know of one person here that has one...

So are there any not so expensive options to buy a portaledge (100 euros?..) or to rent one for like a month somewhere (close to Yos)? Or am i doomed to tweek the crash pad or sleep standing on one foot on a 2-inch ledge?..


socalclimber


Jan 18, 2007, 3:51 AM
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Re: [uasunflower] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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Fish makes real good ledges, http://www.fishproducts.com/

At one point there was a guy renting them in the valley, but I don't know if he still does or not.


uasunflower


Jan 18, 2007, 5:30 AM
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thx, that's a start as a friend of mine found some in europe...for a min. of 800 euros per ledge w/o tent on it!


socalclimber


Jan 18, 2007, 6:00 AM
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Re: [uasunflower] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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HOLY SHIT! That's $1034.88 USD according to my currency convertor.Shocked That's steep, especially without the fly. There's not point in buying the ledge without the fly. Definately give Fish prods. a shot. I know Russ, he's good egg. Email him, and give him your time table.


unreleasedenergy


Jan 18, 2007, 6:03 AM
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Re: [uasunflower] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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depending on the route(s), you could possibly use a hammock and bivy sack system.
i wouldn't recommend it for routes that are high commitment and have no natural bivy ledges.
but, if your only planning on one night in the hammock, its do-able. more than that and it becomes a serious pain to not have a ledge.


wzrdgandalf


Jan 18, 2007, 6:25 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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You may want to check out http://home.inreach.com/yorock1/
or
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...you_can_too__65.html
and then go to his profile to check out all the pictures that go with it.
Hope that helps.


(This post was edited by wzrdgandalf on Jan 18, 2007, 6:26 AM)


skinner


Jan 23, 2007, 5:55 AM
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Re: [uasunflower] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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I can't imagine renting ledges. They take a lot of abuse (and IMO need serious modification to prevent this), not to mention the liability.. just sounds like a bad business venture to me. If profiting from climbers is the objective, I think you'd better off selling cold beer out of a coolerTongue

Plywood? you haul plywood? that's gotta be fun.

I've done the hammock thing a few times, getting in and out of it could very well turn out to be the crux.
It's best if it's nice enough out that you can straddle it with your legs dangling on either side. For me, sleeping bent in half with my feet elevated and not being able to roll over or change positions was grueling. I ended up so sore and stiff (in all the wrong places) that getting out of it in the morning was like unfolding a jack-knife.


moof


Jan 23, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Re: [skinner] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I can't imagine renting ledges. They take a lot of abuse (and IMO need serious modification to prevent this), not to mention the liability..

You mind explaining what sort of abuse and modifications you are referring to?

Are we talking beefing up the bed fabric where it rubs on the wall, better wall number system, or making the fly wall grind proof? Something else?


skinner


Jan 23, 2007, 10:30 AM
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moof wrote:
You mind explaining what sort of abuse and modifications you are referring to?

Are we talking beefing up the bed fabric where it rubs on the wall, better wall number system, or making the fly wall grind proof? Something else?

Obviously you have hands on experience with this.
And yes you nailed it, although I gave up on "beefing up" the fabric, and have now incorporated bumpers that prevent direct contact between the bed fabric, (and/or fly) and the wall.

-Kevin


pmyche


Jan 23, 2007, 12:21 PM
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skinner


Jan 23, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Well.. I'm just not that gnarly anymore. The difference between a sheet of 3/4 plywood and a ledge is substantial..

3/4-in. approx 75 lbs
Bomb Shelter Double: w/Haul Sack approx 15 lbs

You'd have to do a hell of a lot of drilling, and I would question it's integrity afterwards, to get even close to 15lbs. So it would be like flagging a kite compared with flagging a concrete block I'm afraid.


moof


Jan 23, 2007, 1:08 PM
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skinner wrote:
moof wrote:
You mind explaining what sort of abuse and modifications you are referring to?

Are we talking beefing up the bed fabric where it rubs on the wall, better wall number system, or making the fly wall grind proof? Something else?

Obviously you have hands on experience with this.
And yes you nailed it, although I gave up on "beefing up" the fabric, and have now incorporated bumpers that prevent direct contact between the bed fabric, (and/or fly) and the wall.

-Kevin

Not as much experience as I wish, but yeah, I've had to set on patches on both ends of my ledge due to shredding. So far the fly has never been deployed (thank goodness). I've curious about the mods you did.

At the moment I'm working on cobbling together a double ledge out of single ledge parts, a home sewn bed, and some longer length end tubes from an aircraft supply place. I've incorporated a few of my own gripes, but my number of wall nights is pretty minimal.


shimanilami


Jan 23, 2007, 1:10 PM
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Re: [uasunflower] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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It sounds like you really haven't done much aid climbing, really. Before you go out and invest in a ledge, do some day aid "cragging" and figure out if that's really how you want to spend your time. If you have a whole month in the Valley, you can do this, make your decision, and still have time to use your new toy(s). And you might be able to hook up with someone who's got the gear and needs a belay. That way, you'll save $$$ and learn a lot more a lot faster.

But if you're only here for a short period, then free climb, dude. If you're into exposure, there's plenty of moderate, long routes you can do in just a day. You don't have to spend the night, unless you really want to.


skinner


Jan 23, 2007, 1:52 PM
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moof wrote:
Not as much experience as I wish, but yeah, I've had to set on patches on both ends of my ledge due to shredding. So far the fly has never been deployed (thank goodness). I've curious about the mods you did.

At the moment I'm working on cobbling together a double ledge out of single ledge parts, a home sewn bed, and some longer length end tubes from an aircraft supply place. I've incorporated a few of my own gripes, but my number of wall nights is pretty minimal.

In our list of gripes I forgot to mention the creeping buckles that allow your ledge to slowly tilt downward during the night.

But the big one that pissed me off more then anything was the damage to the bed fabric.

What I did, was create a set of (4) bumpers out of UHMW-PE. I bought a block of it on Ebay for $12 and had a machine shop line bore it out slightly larger then the dia. of the outer frame tubing, in order to accommodate the bed material and fly. Then I ran them through a band saw and split them in half. It looked sort of like this:

Then I drilled it out and epoxied in carriage bolts with washers and wing-nuts so that it looked like this:


They worked great keeping the ledge away from the wall, but the UHMW is slipperier the shit and the ledge flew around (more the normal even) when you moved about. So I chopped up some resole kits I had laying around and screwed and expoxied sticky rubber to the ends of the bumpers which worked great. It actually gave the ledge a degree of stability it never had originally. The sticky rubber also works as a hinge on the upper and lower clamp pieces so there is less to fumble with (drop).

I'm having a tent modified to fit my ledge and be able hang the fly, in the same manner as the Bomb Shelter Fly. I find the Bomb Shelter Fly just too heavy and hot in the summer, think I'll save it for the Arctic walls. As soon as I get my ledge back I'll get a photo of the bumpers on the ledge.. on a wall.


pmyche


Jan 24, 2007, 7:27 AM
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uasunflower


Jan 24, 2007, 8:27 AM
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Re: [pmyche] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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awesome advice, and i love the details, so skinner, keep writing Wink.

agreed with pmyche too that speed and bagging the route is the objective in the first place, but i'm still curious about portaledges and am exploring the issue. i.e. to do the Nose or Muir you probably don't need anything, on Zodiac a hammoc can do? Can 2 people get into a 1-person hammoc or is it a better idea to carry 2? Do you bring a sleeping bag up El Cap in May or is bivy sack enough?


iamthewallress


Jan 24, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Re: [uasunflower] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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uasunflower wrote:
to do the Nose or Muir you probably don't need anything, on Zodiac a hammoc can do? Can 2 people get into a 1-person hammoc or is it a better idea to carry 2? Do you bring a sleeping bag up El Cap in May or is bivy sack enough?


Going faster and lighter than you are dialed to do is a good way to need to bail...And I"ve done so many times b/c I didn't move as fast as my lightness demanded.

Hammocks suck a lot. I'm not kidding. 2 people in a wall hammock, unless you were trying to save your life from a storm, would probably end up being 2 people taking turns in the hammock and sitting on the bag and zero people getting a real nights sleep. They have their place (as a 'just in case I don't make the ledge' or as a 'there's only one bivy' item) but you could end up bailing over the lack of sleep that you experienced with one...especially on your first wall.

You'd have to be exceptional to manage the Muir w/o a ledge for your first wall...Or to manage it at all for that matter. The length will make for a lot of a logistics. I'm sure I coudn't do it w/o a ledge. It would probably be a big challenge for me as a 10 day heavy-hauling affair.

You'll want a sleeping bag.

I totally agree w/ pmyche that it doesn't begin and end w/ the gizmos. I'm kind of into roughing it and being as minimal as I can be on walls even if it's not particularly comfortable, but some kinds of discomfort can only really be endured when everything else runs like a well oiled machine under the best of circumstances.

You can probably borrow a ledge if you're in camp long enough to make friends...which isn't that hard for gals who climb walls or want to.

Otherwise a decent platform of some sort (cot, board, lawn chair...something flat) is in order if your route doesn't have lots of natural ledges. Luckily nature provides the ledges on so many routes...and sleeping right on the rock is always a special part of the experience, IMO.

Where are you at in Belgium, BTW? I used to live in Namur.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Jan 24, 2007, 12:44 PM)


sparky


Jan 24, 2007, 12:34 PM
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I made one out of an old army stretcher I "aquired" from my old job. The thing is super heavy duty, takes about 30 seconds to set up (even in the dark), weighs about as much as a standard double ledge. It also works as a cot for back at camp. Webbing and cam buckles cost me about 20 bucks, and I made a haul bag for it for about 10 bucks. If you look, you can find the stretchers for sale all over the internet.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


pmyche


Jan 24, 2007, 1:36 PM
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lambone


Jan 24, 2007, 2:14 PM
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Just search ebay and the message board classifieds for a used ledge. They come up all the time, ussually 1 pr week at least. I have scored 2 cheap singles, pretty much brand new off the net.

There is no substitute for a real ledge.


skinner


Jan 24, 2007, 11:22 PM
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lambone wrote:
There is no substitute for a real ledge.

I have to agree, having spent one too many nights hanging in slings, or sharing a ledge that you can each get one butt cheek on. I'm all for light and fast and spend a good portion of my winters alpine climbing, .. scoop out a hole in the snow and jump in your bivi sac, but I do think ledges have their place, and are much more then just a gizmo.

Sure, if you're lucky and everything goes right, the weather is perfect day and night, you can bivi in a plastic garbage bag, but..

I think back to the two unfortunate Japanese climbers that died huddled under a flapping tent fly in a freak ice storm on El Cap. While two other climbers survived 4 days of 50 mph wind gusts and several feet of snow which fell.
In one of the climbers own words;
"The storm packed unrelenting fury for nearly 4 continuous days. I felt like we were in a row boat in the middle of north Atlantic hurricane We had the best ledge money could buy ,a A5 cliff cabana with a 4 season fly. The fly is more of a tent that encompasses the whole ledge. Even though I truly believe that this system attributed to our survival, more than once Erik and I thought the winds were going shred it apart right in front of our eyes."

The point is, it didn't fail, but rather became a critical piece of life-sustaining equipment when shit hit the fan.


uasunflower


Jan 25, 2007, 4:52 AM
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Re: [iamthewallress] Portaledge question [In reply to]
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iamthewallress, i'm near Tournai, almost in French Lille, a pretty flat country one way or another...what did you do in Namur?

everyone else - thanks again for the advice, looking into it all. The problem with ebay - portaledges in europe are harder to find than in the US, but it's also an option.


wanderlustmd


Jan 25, 2007, 7:50 AM
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skinner wrote:
I can't imagine renting ledges. They take a lot of abuse (and IMO need serious modification to prevent this), not to mention the liability.. just sounds like a bad business venture to me. If profiting from climbers is the objective, I think you'd better off selling cold beer out of a coolerTongue

Second. The Fish Ledges are supposed to be good, I 've never used one over the course of my two nights on a portaledgeBlush

You may be onto something. At the risk of getting flamed for excess bolting, someone should really set up a beefy anchor half way up the Nose and bring a weeks worth of supplies and a keg. They could chill out all season, one week at a time, and give climbers a cold one halfway up for $7 a popWink


(This post was edited by wanderlustmd on Jan 25, 2007, 7:50 AM)


iamthewallress


Jan 25, 2007, 9:38 AM
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uasunflower wrote:
iamthewallress, i'm near Tournai, almost in French Lille, a pretty flat country one way or another...what did you do in Namur?

everyone else - thanks again for the advice, looking into it all. The problem with ebay - portaledges in europe are harder to find than in the US, but it's also an option.

I was a Rotary exchange student after high school. I lived in a small town on top of the hills between Namur and Dinant, but above the Meuse river valley climbing...Unfortunately, I didn't climb back then!

I could hold a package for you if you're planning on flying into SF for your trip. (I live on the way to Yosemite from SF).

Also, a lot of foreingners sell their ledges in Camp 4 before they leave. You could recover a lot of your investment if you didn't want to drag your ledge back to belgium.


stymingersfink


Jan 25, 2007, 7:01 PM
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wanderlustmd wrote:
You may be onto something. At the risk of getting flamed for excess bolting, someone should really set up a beefy anchor half way up the Nose and bring a weeks worth of supplies and a keg. They could chill out all season, one week at a time, and give climbers a cold one halfway up for $7 a popWink

It's called Lay Lady Ledge, and though it's not on the Nose (slightly east), I've heard of more than a few keggers on that thing.

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