Author Topic: What's your worst bivy?  (Read 3338 times)

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Offline Didder

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What's your worst bivy?
« on: November 26, 2008, 03:48:30 am »
Would love to hear some hair-raising epic tales of woe..... or see some classic photos... Also a good excuse to figure out how to post pics.

What's your worst bivy?

« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 04:48:35 am by didder »

Offline Didder

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 04:58:22 am »
You know it's bad when you start thinking you might have to spoon the guy next to you to stay warm!



Offline Mike.

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 09:24:11 am »
Haha...good one, diddman.





Not bad, here. I've done a few open bivis but was always able to build a fire when it got cold. Sleep's not so good, but hey. Then we have guys like Gabe who can fully saw logs thru that shee. Yea, that's him on the right.

I think I was in the worst shape after running low on water soloing the Prow (in Nov). Last two days, one quart each. Why did I not bail?! For another unknown reason, the last afternoon I took some Excedrin knowing caffeine was in it. Suicidal? I just laid there at the lip tied to a bush with gear strewn about like a war zone, my heart just pounding away, me unable or unwilling to move. Had to stash my gear to make it down (had never done ND Gully). Same back ten days later and grabbed it. So far, heat and lack of water have come closer to shutting me down than cold. Maybe that's Yosemite for ya?
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Didder

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 10:21:10 am »
Dude if he doesn't wake up soon he's goona end up with melted poly-pro and gortex adheared to his body. I've always been jealous of people who could sleep anywhere like that. I had one night in a hammock under my buddies in a double port-a-ledge. I was the small guy so I got the hammock. I remember it was a full moon because I watched the moon rise, then move across the entire sky and then set as the sun was rising....needless to say I was a bit foggy getting on my lead the next morning.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 01:54:22 pm by didder »

Offline smack

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 04:35:42 pm »
Most of my bivies have been more memorable than terrible. As long as I can laugh at a joke or two, it's not too bad.
 
1) Kolob canyon zion, NP. 1st week of May. Had to stem around ice walls in the canyon, walk through snow banks, and swim some cold water. It began to rain/snow hard when we were in the technical section. We hoped to run the canyon in a day (returning up MIA exit) but were dramatically slowed by the cold. Ended up bivying on a high bank, with 1 small tent footprint wrapped around us three dudes in wetsuits. Hiked out the next morning in freezing temps.

2) Near the top of angels landing, Prodigal Sun, Zion. First wall. Started around 8am, and finished at 2am. Ran out of water and food on the climb. Tried to sleep on the ropes, but I was too cold as I was in shorts with only a thin polypro shirt. We started down a few hours later at first light and caught the shuttle bus exactly 24 hrs after starting. Totally wrecked and addicted to wall climbing.

 

Offline mhudon

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 07:31:52 pm »
Hmmm... let's see....

my second bivy on El Cap ever, CHECK
cotton painter's pants, CHECK
Down jacket, CHECK,
2x5 foot ledge for two guys, CHECK
Rain, snow, ice falling off the Shield, CHECK
"you're gonna die" floating up from the Valley out of the clouds, CHECK
It starting off clear but sleeting a few minutes later and us rapping off, (way back before the days of 3 bolts anchors all the way down) CHECK

Triple Direct, Gray Ledges, May 1974



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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 10:30:58 pm »
There was 1 really bad night on Kaos. Windy as Hell. Full on blizzard.
Is it still a bivy if you're up all night, fightin' the Elements?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 05:51:03 pm by skully »

Offline Didder

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 08:22:10 am »
Hmmm... let's see....

my second bivy on El Cap ever, CHECK
cotton painter's pants, CHECK
Down jacket, CHECK,
2x5 foot ledge for two guys, CHECK
Rain, snow, ice falling off the Shield, CHECK
"you're gonna die" floating up from the Valley out of the clouds, CHECK




So classic Mark....

I remember the first time I heard someone yelling up "Yer all gonna die" from the meadow.... It was my first El Cap route the Salathe... and I truly believed it .... Now I laugh every time I hear that... and of course I have thrown out a few of my own "Yer all gonna die"'s since then from time to time :).... That and "climbers on El Cap... do you need a rescue?" are two of my most memorable ...

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 05:32:09 pm »
see the cheeriness in my eye...



actually it wasn't death defying, just dry mouth, uncomfortably cold.

Castle Rock Spire

Offline Mr.

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 09:48:51 am »
i dunno, maybe not the worst bivy, but maybe the weirdest forced bivy this year.

we were on a unclimbed backcountry wall this july and while on lead during the night, a huge possessed rat/animal/thing attacked our ropes and almost completely chewed through one of them. in a panic we kept flipping the ropes but in the dim light of out headlamps we could see it still attack the cords again and again. we had been battling it for about 10 minutes at this point, my partner shouting back and forth when the animal suddenly appeared, very close to me, arms reach, it was staring me down. it had just been and honest 40-50 feet away and then it materialized right in front of me, clinging to the rock upside down, very spooky, i was scared. honestly this thing was so crazy and so close i thought it was going to jump on me and maul me, seriously. i thought it was going to attack me and then cut me off the wall. so finally it was in range staring me down, and my first thought was smash it with a #6 cam, and kill it, and i started unclipping a camalot but it scurried just out of range and started on another section of rope before i could unclip my cam. terrified i flipped the ropes as hard as i could to whip the thing off the rope and have it fall to its death. but it held on with one arm, the force of the flip stretching the animal completely horizontal as it clung on. we could not continue. i hung in slings all night, sheltering the ropes with my body, wondering which powerful animal sprit i had pissed off. i connected myself to the anchor with both my daisys and at 2 points with the lead cord. if i dozed off i feared that any moment i was going to get cut off the wall and find myself in a freefall. evil animal spirits testing our mettle?

we still sent.

other worst bivy this year was when rockfall chopped my haulbags off the wall on another first ascent. coreshotted the ropes and everything. was way up there etc. sent that one too.

still havent had an epic this year tho! : )


Offline Mike.

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 09:44:46 am »
Weird indeed. Put a sidearm on the rack for that area.

Gray Ledges...one of the worst spots on EC in a storm. Yeesh, that could have gotten so ugly, Mark. Not that it wasn't.

Scary, Rob! : )


Hammock bivy on a slab with p-ledge rainfly in a downpour = not much of a bivy.

Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline scottydo

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 08:47:06 pm »
Well I have to say that my first trip up the big stone (just a week ago!) had a pretty hairy bivy for 2 people. We got seriously slowed down on Salathe Wall so we were forced to bivy on the Sous Le Toit Ledge instead of our goal of Long Ledge. The supertopo says "poor bivy for one" ... or was it an awesome bivy for 2! No....it was an even worse bivy for 2. My buddy's legs were hanging over the abyss in one direction and I had my legs/hips shoved through the straps of our haul bag (anchored and hanging) and my torso on the ledge. We sort of made an L

We didn't get much sleep.

Here's a shot of one half of our bivy


Offline mhudon

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 09:25:36 pm »
Is that a down bag Scott?

Offline Didder

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2011, 09:46:31 pm »
Couldn't have been that bad... You had a sleeping bag... Even if it might have been down ... Congrats on the successful ascent!

Offline scottydo

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 10:40:15 am »
That was my buddy's bag. I'm pretty sure it is synthetic. I know down is not the way to on the wall. And you're right, at least we had our light sleeping bags...it wasn't too cold at night either, so that did help. This bivy definitely wasn't as bad as what I've seen other people post here.

Offline mhudon

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2011, 11:54:14 am »
In February of 1976 I did the Prow with Eric Barrett (He was working at the Mountain Shop and I was a maid at the Ahwahnee, I met my wife when I went back to work after the route) and we planned to take hammocks up. After fixing pitches we figured that we'd be able to get to "Tapir Terrace" for the night to bivy. You know "... Terrace" like "Mammoth Terraces" (as Mammoth Ledges was called back then), so we took the hammocks out of the haul bag.
Anyway, you all probably know that Tapir Terrace sucks as a ledge and we ended up the night sleeping sitting up, side with a aider strung in front of us so that we didn't slip off the ledge. That was probably my 2nd crappiest bivy ever.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2011, 04:49:50 pm »
Tapir Terrace made me want to haul a sledge hammer, knock down some rough spots. Didn't need to, I slept well on a porta ledge.  But yeah, that whole "good bivy" for 1 or 2 things needs serious clarification in the guidebooks. standardize!

"good bivy" = good bivy if you have a porta ledge
"good enough" = if you had to tie in and stay warm in a sleeping bag on a pad, you could force it to work with some rigging or what not.
"good bivy ledge" = good for sleeping on if you are 6'1" or less. e.g. Dinner Ledge, Honeymoon Suite, etc.
"ledge" = could sit on, sleeping leaning over, or could squeeze in cramped
"stance" = if you had to hang in a harness all night long, you could stand on it and your balls wouldn't have to be surgically removed the next day from lack of blood. Think 2x2 max.

Offline Gagner

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2011, 08:34:31 pm »
Man - hard to single one or two out.  One of the ones that sticks most in my mind was in 1987 when Scott Cole and Walt Shipley and I climbed the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre.  We got to the little ice field just below the traverse and decided to spend the night there.  Took hours to hack a ledge out of the ice for us to sit on.  Scott and I had made the brilliant decision to go light and forego sleeping bags and just had bivy sacks.  Walt on the other hand had brought a light bag.  It was one of the longest, coldest bivy's I've had, and I doubt I slept much that night.  In fact I know I didn't because I have this cool sequence of shots of the full moon coming up behind Fitzroy.

Another one that sticks vividly in my mind was with Conrad Anker on the Eye Tooth in Alaska around 93/94.  Similar story.  We decided to go light and left the port-a-ledge behind.  Got about 2,000 feet up a 3,000 foot route, and to a narrow ledge where we could both lay head to toe.  Had some dinner.  Just as we got in our bags/bivy sacks it started to snow.  It snowed all night and most of the next day.  The snow kept building up between us and the wall, like it was trying to peel us off the wall.  After about 20 hours of that we got up, hucked the haul bags off the wall to the glacier below, and rapped out of there.  The next year we went back, but brought the ledge that time.

WOO HOO!!

Offline JC5123

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Re: What's your worst bivy?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2011, 09:39:36 am »
My 18th birthday, Dec 13, '96. My friend Eric and I had decided to do a training climb for our upcoming Grand trip. We had driven out to Dome Rock for a little Alpine/Bigwall climb. We got about halfway up to a nice ledge we had scoped out and set up camp just before dark. At this point the weather was perfect. 50 degrees that day and just a light wind. Just about dark a nasty storm moved in on us. Instead of 50 degrees and 10mph winds it went to 10 degrees and 50 mph winds. All in the course of about 45 min. Horizontal snow, and the first time I had ever seen lightning in a snowstorm. We suffered pretty hard that night due to the fact that we were young and broke and didn't have the best of bivy gear at the time.

When we crawled out the next morning in dense fog and brutal cold we found that all our anchors were frozen into the rock. It took us most of the morning to chip out our gear and descend. Crazy thing is I look back on that as being one of the best birthdays I ever had. But then again, most of my friends think I'm a masochist, since the more brutal the conditions, the more I dig it. Of course now, I have much better funding, and much, much better gear.
I don't think it's gonna hold....BUT WE'RE GONNA USE IT ANYWAY!