A portaledge is a deployable hanging tent system designed for rock climbers who spend multiple days and nights on a big wall climb. An assembled portaledge is a fabric-covered platform surrounded by a metal frame that hangs from a single point and has adjustable suspension straps. A separate cover, called a stormfly, covers the entire system in the event of bad weather.
Rock climber Warren Harding slept on natural ledges during his first ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite in 1958. 
The multiple-day routes on El Capitan pushed climbers to invent structures for sleeping. They began securing traditional two-point hammocks to cliff walls. Warren Harding invented the first hammock suspended from a central point, which he called a B.A.T. (Basically Absurd Technology) Tent. Central suspension facilitates deployment, prevents the tipping that occurs with two-point hammocks, and has since been integrated into every significant big wall sleeping structure. Harding almost died during his 1968 attempt on Half Dome in Yosemite after being trapped in a three-day storm, where his B.A.T Tent was filled with freezing rain and snow. Single-point hammocks allowed little sleep because they offered no weather resistance and crushed climber's shoulders. 
During the early 1970s, climbers Billy Westbay and Bruce Hawkins created the first portaledges by re-appropriating steel and canvas cots stolen from park lodges in Yosemite. These were a vast improvement from single-point hammocks with regard to comfort, but they were not collapsible and weighed up to thirty kilograms (almost three times the weight of today's models). During this period climbers also used Submarine Ledges, made from U.S. Navy aluminum tube cots that had been purchased from army surplus stores. 
In 1972 the climber brothers Gregg and Jeff Lowe designed the LURP, a highly innovative portaledge prototype. The design's collapsible frame allowed the Lowes to climb without the bulk of a cot. Every significant portaledge since the LURP has had a collapsible frame. Another pioneering feature of this design was its nylon fly tent, which provided an enclosed shelter from the elements. Fly tents quickly became a standard element of portaledges. Jeff Lowe used the LURP on the first winter ascent of Yosemite's Half Dome. Although the prototype was never sold to others, the brothers included it in their catalogue of climbing products, which circulated widely among climbers. 
By the late 1970s the term "portaledge", which combines the words "portable" and "ledge", had become the common name for the typology. The originator of the term remains unknown to this day. Mike Graham, a famous American climber, founded his climbing gear company Gramicci in 1977. Over the next five years Graham sold over five hundred of the first commercially available portaledges, called Cliff Dwellings, to climbers in California and Europe. Graham made his Cliff Dwellings using equipment that he carried in his truck, and would set up his shop in friend's garages and basements. Graham's frame tubes slotted into each other at their corners, which allowed the frame to collapse into the smallest bag possible. His minimal corner connections were an important innovation, but they also made the Cliff Dwelling vulnerable to structural failure under extreme forces of nature. For an expedition to Patagonia in 1979 Graham designed the Fortress, the first portaledge large enough for two people. This model was constructed with ballistic nylon, a fabric strong enough to deflect small pieces of falling ice and rock. During the same year Graham made, but never tested, a prototype of a Windshield: a tent, suspended below the Cliff Dwelling that would deflect upward winds away from the portaledge. 
The first portaledges used in Yosemite were non-collapsible cots purloined from Housekeeping Camp, a Yosemite Valley campground that featured primitive metal framed bunks for the campers.[ citation needed ] These heavy cots were used on multi-day climbs on granite monoliths like El Capitan, and then sometimes tossed off the summit for later retrieval. Mike Graham is credited with the first collapsible portaledge models available for retail purchase under the name of his company, Gramicci Products based in Ventura, California. The Gramicci Portaledge appeared in the very early 1980s and revolutionized multi-day big wall comfort. There were a few minor manufacturers that also dabbled in portaledge design in the early 1980s but could not get any traction in this niche market and soon faded from sight. In 1985 a small California-based company called Fish Products, founded by Russ Walling, started to manufacture one-person single portaledges. Other early Portaledge manufacturers were Fig, Frog (Ray Olsen), Lowe (never commercially available), and C&S Engineering.
In 1986, John Middendorf, a Stanford-trained mechanical engineer, founded A5 Adventures. Previously, Middendorf and his companions Steve Bosque and Mike Corbett had nearly died due to portaledge failure during a three-day storm on the 2000-foot south face of Half Dome, prompting Middendorf to redesign the modern portaledge.  A5 portaledges were constructed of highly weatherproof fabrics and engineered to be structurally stable and strong. The company produced three models: the Single, the Alpine Double, and the Cliff Cabana. The A5 portaledges were the first that could withstand the severe weather conditions in remote areas such as the Himalayas and the Karakoram, enabling climbers to expand their horizons to the largest rock faces in the world. Middendorf himself used A5 portaledges on some of the hardest and remote big walls of the world, including during the first ascent of The Grand Voyage on the Great Trango Tower in 1992, the longest vertical big wall (1350m) in the world. The A5 Portaledge was sold worldwide.
The North Face (TNF) acquired the assets of A5 Adventures, including the A5 portaledge design, in 1998. Middendorf continued to steer the product for an additional two years at TNF before moving on to other pursuits outside of the climbing industry. The A5 portaledge designs were subsequently transferred to Black Diamond Equipment of Salt Lake City, Utah, who continue to produce the A5 designs with many added features. As of 2016, there were four major commercial suppliers of portaledges, making the following popular models:
In 2017, John Middendorf introduced a new portaledge design, called the D4 Portaledge (82" × 47", 16.5 pounds with haulsack, fly, and flypole). Instead of block corners, which has been the de facto standard since they were first introduced, the new D4 Portaledge has rounded curved tubing corners, which offer more rigidity and are lighter than the traditional block corners. The D4 portaledge brings many more innovations, including a newly engineered hybrid diameter tube design, which provides strength and rigidity without the need for a spreader bar, a new integrated haulsack/deployment system, and a completely simple but new concept for the stormfly—a single vertical zipped opening which enables the quickest deployment while also allowing full opening between storms. Also around this time, Middendorf introduces the D4 "bullet-joiner" which is a simple yet effective way to create a joint with overlapping tube strength, and rounded nose for quick self-assembling joints. The D4 has been produced in several sizes and besides being lighter and stronger, pack smaller (29" × 10" for the full size D4) than previous designs of portaledges.
Middendorf develops the "Delta2p" portaledge, a cantilevered design. Named for its delta shape and 2-person design, this design solves many longstanding issues with portaledges, including improved ergonomics and increased stability. The rigid six-piece frame design with curved corners and "D4 bullet-joiners" enables quick assembly, and folds compactly. Six prototypes which were sent to Yosemite and the Himalaya for testing, and an additional 24 Delta2p's were crafted in Tasmania in 2020/2021 and distributed worldwide; these weighed 6.5 kg. with haulsack and stormfly. Photos and open-source design notes available online:  See also: 
Portaledges have been used by tree-sitters during anti-logging civil disobedience protests,  enabling them to remain aloft in trees for weeks, months, or sometimes years.  They are also used in recreational tree camping. 
Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinct shape. One side is a sheer face while the other three sides are smooth and round, making it appear like a dome cut in half. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.
This is an index of topics related to climbing.
Camp 4 is a tent-only campground in Yosemite National Park in the United States. It became notable after World War II as "a birthplace of rock climbing’s modern age." It is located at an elevation of 4000 ft on the north side of the Yosemite Valley, close to base of granite cliffs near Yosemite Falls.
Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which standing on or pulling oneself up via devices attached to fixed or placed protection is used to make upward progress.
Royal Robbins was one of the pioneers of American rock climbing. After learning to climb at Tahquitz Rock, he went on to make first ascents of many big wall routes in Yosemite. As an early proponent of boltless, pitonless clean climbing, he, along with Yvon Chouinard, was instrumental in changing the climbing culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s by encouraging the use and preservation of the natural features of the rock. He went on to become a well-known kayaker.
Warren Harding was one of the most accomplished and influential American rock climbers of the 1950s to 1970s. He was the leader of the first team to climb El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, in 1958. The route they climbed, known as The Nose, ascends 2,900 feet (880 m) up the central buttress of what is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. Harding climbed many other first ascents in Yosemite, some 28 in all, as well as making the first true big-wall ascents in the Sierra Nevada range of California.
The Fly is a 25ft high 5.14d (9a) sport route or V14 (8B+) boulder located in the Rumney Rocks climbing area Rumney, New Hampshire, USA. It is located at the Waimea Cliff.
A bivouac shelter or bivvy is any of a variety of improvised camp site, or shelter that is usually of a temporary nature, used especially by soldiers, or people engaged in backpacking, bikepacking, scouting, or mountain climbing. It may often refer to sleeping in the open with a bivouac sack, but it may also refer to a shelter constructed of natural materials like a structure of branches to form a frame, which is then covered with leaves, ferns, and similar material for waterproofing and duff for insulation. Modern bivouacs often involve the use of one- or two-man tents but may also be without tents or full cover. In modern mountaineering the nature of the bivouac shelter will depend on the level of preparedness, in particular whether existing camping and outdoor gear may be incorporated into the shelter.
The Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome was the first Grade VI climb in the United States. It was first climbed in 1957 by a team consisting of Royal Robbins, Mike Sherrick, and Jerry Gallwas. Its current aid climbing rating is VI 5.9 A1 or 5.12 for the free climbing variation. It is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and considered a classic around the world.
John Middendorf is a big wall climber and designer of climbing equipment.
John Bachar was an American rock climber. Noted for his skill at free soloing, he ultimately died during a free solo climb. A fitness fanatic, he was the creator of the climbing training device known as the Bachar ladder.
John Long is an American rock climber and author. His stories have been translated into many languages.
Dean Spaulding Potter was an American free climber, alpinist, BASE jumper, and highliner. He completed many hard first ascents, free solo ascents, speed ascents, and enchainments in Yosemite National Park and Patagonia. In 2015, he died in a wingsuit flying accident in Yosemite National Park.
Big wall climbing is a type of rock climbing where a climber ascends a long multi-pitch route, normally requiring more than a single day to complete the climb. Big wall routes require the climbing team to live on the route often using portaledges and hauling equipment. It is practiced on tall or more vertical faces with few ledges and small cracks.
The Nose is one of the original technical climbing routes up El Capitan. Once considered impossible to climb, El Capitan is now the standard for big-wall climbing. It is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and considered a classic around the world.
The Royal Arches Route is a technical climbing route in California's Yosemite Valley on the Royal Arches wall. The route is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. The route was first climbed Oct. 1936 by Ken Adam, Morgan Harris, K. Kenneth Davis. The route is moderate in difficulty and is frequently climbed. The first 4 pitches are along a west facing dihedral. At Pitch 5, the route turns north and ascends the main face along crack systems. Pitch 10 can be free climbed at 5.10b however, most climbers use a fixed rope to pendulum to a long ledge. At the end of Pitch 15, begins the bolted rappel route. It is 18 rappels to the Valley floor. Some climbers prefer to continue to "The Jungle" at the end of Pitch 16. Beyond The Jungle is a 5.4 slab and 4th Class scrambling to the Valley Rim. The descent is usually accomplished by traversing northeast to Washington Column and descending the exposed North Dome Gully.
Thomas "Tom" M. Frost was an American rock climber known for big wall climbing first ascents in Yosemite Valley. He was also a photographer and climbing equipment manufacturer. Frost was born in Hollywood, California, and died in Oakdale, California.
Alexander Honnold is an American rock climber best known for his free solo ascents of big walls. Honnold rose to prominence in June 2017 when he became the first person to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, a feat that sports writer Daniel Duane described as "one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever." Honnold also holds the record for the fastest ascent of the Yosemite triple crown, an 18-hour, 50-minute link-up of Mount Watkins, The Nose, and the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome. In 2015, he won a Piolet d'Or for the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia with Tommy Caldwell.
The Stonemasters were a group of rock climbers and adventurers in the 1970s, roughly 1973 to 1980, who originally climbed in Southern California—principally Tahquitz, Suicide Rocks, Joshua Tree—and later, Yosemite National Park further north. The initial group were those of the first ten ascents of Valhalla on Suicide Rock.
Libby Sauter is an American mountaineer, rock climber, and pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse educator. Sauter and her climbing partner, Mayan Smith-Gobat, set the women's speed record climbing The Nose on El Capitan, in 2014. In 2017, she became the youngest woman inducted into the American Alpine Club Hall of Fame. In 2007, she became the first woman to walk the Lost Arrow Spire highline.