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Portaledge

Camping on the edge

“Tents” that hang off the side of cliffs aren’t actually tents, they are portable ledges, or Portaledges as they are called. The idea is on long steep Climbs where there aren’t ledges large enough to sleep on, then the Portaledge is brought out. They allow a comfortable night sleep, but the climber is able to remain clipped in and safe.

In inclement weather, a rain fly is put over it for shelter. Unlike a tent, their structure is derived from collapsable bars that are clipped together to add structure.

Product Specialist Tam McTavish well explains his experience with this kind of camping: “Personally I’ve been in one, but never had cause to sleep in one. They are kind bizarre. A little clausterphobic, but when you are on the wall for a long time, the room to put things down, and to shift about make them feel huge. Also, at $700 and up per ledge, they are kinda pricey. I don’t really do aid, so I have no use.”

Portaledges are really only useful for aid climbing on huge, steep aid climbing routes. You can still sleep on cliff edges in tents though. Mountaineering generally has plenty of good spots to set up camp, or bivouac, on your way up the mountain, after all if it’s mountaineering it’s not too steep.

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  1. Portaledge — Dioniso Punk – Evaporata

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