Good Bye Spreader Bars (and plug for the new D4 Portaledge)


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Hobart, Australia
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 8, 2017 - 02:27pm PT
Here are all the all the updates in one set of links. It has been a fun and truly authentic design process, and now comes the hard work of production.


John Middendorf

Hobart, Australia
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2017 - 04:28pm PT
Setup manual (draft version, but explains the intricacies of the new lightweight system):

This thread seems dead, so all updates will now only be posted on the Facebook page:
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jul 26, 2017 - 08:51am PT
Resurrected from the dead:



While the four-strap suspension seemed good "in theory", I was not a fan. It is prone to taco-ing, however if you follow John's instructional video to the letter, you will be ok.

Mostly I did not like it as a soloist, because with no person to counterweight the other end, I could not lean my back against a non-existent corner strap, nor against the pig, as a backrest. Thinking of El Cap, I like to sit with my back in the SW corner to face the morning sunlight. Impossible with four straps.

Also no good for me [being alone] with the four straps - when you go to load your pig in the morning, you want to stand on the end of the ledge to reach inside, right? Well, you can't do that, because with no person to counterweight it, it immediately tips!!

I found it harder to level, and to keep level. If you moved a bit, it would shift more than a six-strap ledge.

That being said, the other design innovations are brilliant! I really LOVE the round corners for flagging the ledge during hauling, because unlike a block corner, the round corner will slide round obstructions on the wall amazingly well. And since on a big nailup we haul two loads, with the ledge flagged on the second load, the ledge slides up past the first docked pig and catch lines much easer.

The way it folds in the bag is super-easy, and it is FABULOUS that you can pre-attach the fly for quick deploy. I used to use an old North Face-A5 fly with a floor, and that really IS Big Wall Theory, at least for above freezing walls. The bottom of the ledge fly would collect water, a giant cold lake heat sink. Yes, there are grommets, and no, they don't drain well.

Deucey - please provide links below where you want me to copy and paste this stuff for you. Like McTopo, etc, then message me and I'll update as you like.

Cheers, eh?
PtP Pete

Hobart, Australia
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2018 - 05:54pm PT
Just finishing up the Kickstarter--we did it, completed all orders ahead of schedule!

Barry Ward of Durango Sewing Solutions will be continuing to produce the D4 portaledge.

Final Kickstarter update:

All Kickstarter updates here: (these fully document the evolution of the design during the Kickstarter).

In the meantime, check out the adventure of re-inventing the portaledge in pictures:
[Click to View YouTube Video]

And a new interview on the history of portaledge development:

Also some stuff on the D4 portaledge in Chris K interview here:

from out where the anecdotes roam
Mar 9, 2018 - 10:19am PT
bumping the good stuff
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