Author Topic: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions  (Read 1390 times)

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Offline SLareau

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Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« on: December 20, 2011, 09:16:39 am »
I recently acquired a BD double (the newer style) and have some questions for you bigwall sages.  Are there any tricks to setting these things up?  I've been practicing setting it up, started on the ground a few times and just did a free hanging solo assembly at my local gym for the sake of practice.  First tick I learned, bring a partner. 

My biggest issue is getting the the short pole into the two traditional corners on the right side of the ledge (facing the wall).  The left side has the hot shoe connection which is super convenient.  The only way I can get the short pole fully seated on the right side is to pull the bedding/floor material off the right two long poles and onto the left two long poles.  Then I can get the right side of the ledge assembled (short pole fully seated in the corners) and then pull the bedding/floor back to the right where it belongs.  Is there a better way?  It seems like the floor is too tight to be near the corners to get the poles seated. 

Second question:  Is it typical for these things to want to hourglass (twist), even with the spreader bar?  This ledge is brand new so I'm assuming there will be some stretch over time. 

I've learned a ton of little tricks in the 4 times I've assembled it so far so I'm figuring there is a wealth of knowledge out there waiting to be scooped up.   

Thanks

Steve

Offline mhudon

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 12:16:09 pm »
Steve,

I have a Metolius double so I don't know how much of this relates. Here is my technique:

Clip your ledge into its anchor, and dump it out of the bag. I have my bag permanently tied into its tether cord so I can never lose it.
Lengthen all of the straps the ledge hangs from.
Get the long sides put together and get it so the thing is hanging nice and organized. Get the ends oriented in the correct direction. I call this the "bathtub" position.
Make sure the bed straps are totally loose. (Loose, lose I can't ever get it straight, you figure it out!)
Girth hitch a tie-off loop to the middle of the outside bar and clip this up to the anchor where the ledge is hanging. The ledge should now be totally supported by this sling and is now hanging flat against the wall and you are dangling around on the rope via your gri-gri. You have enough rope to swing to either end of the ledge.
Put one end pole into the wall side corner and slip it into the outside corner, put your toe on the wall side long pole to apply some pressure if needed.
Snug up that end's bed straps.
Swing over to the other side and repeat.
Swing to the middle, put the spreader bar onto the wall side pole, put your toe on the wall side pole alongside the spreader bar and apply a little weight to it. "Pop" it with a little bit of your weight as needed while you guide the outside end of the spreader bar into the outside long pole.
Unclip the tie off loop and flop the ledge down.
Lower yourself onto the ledge and tighten the bed straps.

In, so far, 4 El Cap walls, I've had no problem doing this all by myself.

To take down the ledge, first loosen the bed straps fully and repeat in reverse order.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 12:18:25 pm by mhudon »

Offline SLareau

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 12:25:40 pm »
Tying off the outside long side up is a nifty trick -- thanks Mark.  I ended up with the ledge in that orientation after CF-ing around for about 10 minutes with it. 

I had my ledge hanging in the middle of my simulated three bolt anchor, had myself on the grigri off the middle and used anchor points on either side with an adjustable daisy to hold myself to one side while working there. 

Anyone with experience with the BD double?

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 04:30:06 pm »
I have the BD Double and have found that it can actually be easier to set up solo than with a partner (depending upon your partner)

After setting it up from a freehang in the gym by myself over 20 times and then setting it up outdoors once with a partner I learned a couple of tricks.

When setting it up solo, it it helpful to put the spreader bar on before you try to attached the end poles. Then when attaching the end poles, it's  a little easier because the spreader bar acts like a third hand to keep the opposing side of the ledge from coming together like a "V" an thus, making it impossible to get the end pole into the slot properly. By yourself, when hanging, you can face the wall and push the wall side pole with your foot and then maneuver the air side side pole into the clipy thingy. Note: the spreader bar will pop out from time to time which sucks and wastes time, but in setting it up by myself, I haven't been able to get it done without using the spreader bar first (even though the instructions specifically say to put the spreader bar on last. But if I was going to follow directions, I wouldn't be on a wall, I'd be sport climbing)

I've found that the thing can be so touchy that working with a partner on it is only helpful if you guys are in a mind meld.

Didn't notice any hourglassing with mine.

Final trick. Wear headphones and blast music because the constant windchime dingdingdingdingdingding of the side poles banging against the wall will literally drive you crazy, especially if you're having trouble because you still don't know how to take the ledge out the same way that you put it in.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Garbonzo

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 06:14:12 pm »
Conversation 4 pitches up Washington's Column after dark at a free hanging belay with 7' of twirling steel and nylon flying through the air:

Stew:  What can I do to help?

Me:  Defend yourself!

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 06:21:50 pm »
Conversation 4 pitches up Washington's Column after dark at a free hanging belay with 7' of twirling steel and nylon flying through the air:

Stew:  What can I do to help?

Me:  Defend yourself!


Duelling ledges at 5 etrier steps?  CHALLENGE!!


LOL!!!

Offline SLareau

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 08:49:26 am »
Thanks for the advice.  I'll try with the spreader bar first.  The third hand makes a lot of sense.  The poles making the V is definitely a bitch when trying to do it free hanging which is why I basically ended up assembling the right side of the thing first, and then connecting the long poles.  I'll need to get in some more practice for sure. 

Offline mhudon

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Re: Portaledge "Hourglassing" and other assorted questions
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 09:17:32 am »
If you hang the ledge for the tie off loop in the middle of the outside pole, the poles stay parallel and don't form your dreaded "V".