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HELP: Question on BD Double Cliff Cabana - Setup Problem
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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Jan 13, 2013

Hi,

Just bought a new portaledge and I am having a lot of frustration trying to set it up.

I tried to set it up simply in my living room, following the easy instructions...

First, either the end tubes are too long, or the bed material was sewn too tight, or I am missing something, but it felt impossible set it up alone, the first end tube would just not fit since both sides cannot be stretched enough appart and brought parallel to let the tube slide in the connectors.

We managed to get the tubes in place by installing both sides almost at the same time and by applying a stupid amount of strength. I don't see myself being able to do that hanging from the wall...

Then, it was physically impossible to put the spreader bar in place (even with a stupid amount of strength), again, looks like the bar is too long ...

On top of that, when looking at the portaledge, the long lenght tubes seem bent inward, almost like the fabric is shorter than the tubes at the end when installed.

Is the fabric supposed to stretch?!? Am I missing something?!? or is this thing simply badly designed or a lemon?!?

A bit frustrating considering the price... but hey, I am open to consider that I am doing this wrong!

:)


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By Ryan Curry
Jan 14, 2013

Have you tried releasing all the buckles so that the bed fabric is as loose as possible? There's a bit of a learning curve in setting up the Cliff Cabana, but I can tell you it's well worth it when you're hanging out on a ledgeless wall drinking beer!


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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Jan 14, 2013
me on my redpoint

There is some stretch with use. Try leaving it set up in the garage or take a nap or two in it and it may help. Mine has gotten easier with time for sure.


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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Jan 14, 2013

It definitely gets easier with time. Leave it setup for a while and keep tightening it. That said I don't think it would ever be simple for one person to put that ledge up hanging. I've had some success starting with the spreader bar.


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By Steve86
Jan 14, 2013

Don't fret, this is normal. It does get easier but I defintely remember the first time I tried to set up my new double. It took me half an hour and I was swearing constantly at the thing. Here is a trick to make it easier, especially when it's new:

0) (Obviously) make sure the bed straps are completely undone

1) On the end that has to go together first (not the quick pop side), slide the bed material down the long tubes some, towards the middle of the ledge where the long pipes join together. I believe the side that has to go together first is the right side if you were facing the wall.

2) Now it should be easier to get the first end together.

3) Slide the bed material back to where it should be on the one completed end (right side).

4) Finish assembly.

5) The spreader bar should keep the middle as wide as it will go.

6) Leave the thing set up for awhile in a spare room.

It will stretch some and get a little more "broken in" over time.


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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Jan 14, 2013

Thank you guys. At least I was not alone swearing on the first install!

@Steve: I was thinking of doing something similar on the second try,sliding the fabric might give a little more play.

As for the spreader bar, my shoulder aint happy this morning and it feels like it is still a long way from fitting, but I'll first setup the ledge and leave it for a while, even trying a nap or two in it as suggested. Maybe the bar will fit after that.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Can't wait for the snow to melt...

:D


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By Steve86
Jan 14, 2013

Another tip for the spreader bar. If you stand the ledge on its long side such that the bed is vertical, you can stand on the wall side/lower long side and lift with both arms on the upper long side to get the spreader bar in. Using your legs really will save your shoulder.

For what it's worth, I left my ledge set up in my home office for a month, that seemed to help.


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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Jan 14, 2013

With a combination of Steve86's recommandation and my own approach for the initial setup, I was able to set the first part of the portaledge by myself this time.

As for the spreader bar, literally standing on the wall side pole and pulling upward on the other allowed another person to squeeze the bar in place, with some groaning.

Now, when your girlfriend gives you the idea (that you had but did not mention) of hanging it by the service trap in the living room, you know you have the right women!

Not sure it will last a month there though...

;)

Thans again for all your inputs!


Final result!
Final result!


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By Steve86
Jan 15, 2013

Looking good. Just lean it up against a wall for the duration, it doesn't need to be hanging.


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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Jul 22, 2013

Well, after leaving it up for 2 months and sitting on it for a while, I had to put it away.

Tried setting it up again in a tree this weekend with my partner to practice for an upcoming trip...FAIL!

Same problem, with both of us forcing like maniacs, we still can't get the bar on.

Wondering if we need to sleep in it to really stretch it more...

This is getting frustrating.

:(

I'll see what BD has to say!


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Jul 22, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.

Jean-Michel, I know exactly what you're going through :-)

My partner and I were asking all the same questions a few months ago when we got our BD double ledge, but as everyone has said, it DOES get easier.

It seems like you have everything figured out except the spreader bar, so here's how I've been able to do it, and actually pretty easily once you figure it out!

Tip the ledge up vertically, so the air side is on the bottom, and the wall side is on top. Hook the end of the spreader bar onto the air side (at your feet). Now get it lined up exactly where you want to pop it on, and here's the trick: catch the plastic part of the spreader bar with your palm, and extend your fingers to grab the wall side pole you're trying to clip it onto. Now use that climber's grip strength and pinch everything together—it's actually pretty easy! So again, the spreader bar plastic part that grabs the ledge edge is in your palm, reach out to grab the ledge edge with your extended fingers, and pinch together so that your palm pushes the spreader bar into place.

I know it's pretty confusing trying to visualize what I'm saying; let me know if you can't figure it out, and I'll take a picture sometime :-)


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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Jul 22, 2013

Hi Abram,

Thanks for the reply!

Your tip is actually very clear and beleive me when I say that I've tried that too. Actually that seemed like the most intuitive way to do it. Unfortunately, there is no way my palm/fingers can get it in place. I've put my ego aside and let my friend have a go and had a bit of consolation seeing him curse away!

The only thing I did different from you is having the wall side below instead of the air side... I'm skeptical but willing to try!

Or else maybe break it in more without the bar, just concerned about bending the long sides too much. That thing is so tight it wont lay flat without the spreader bar, it's twisting diagonaly to easy the fabric strech!!!

:)


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Jul 22, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.

Jean-Michel wrote:
The only thing I did different from you is having the wall side below instead of the air side... I'm skeptical but willing to try! Or else maybe break it in more without the bar, just concerned about bending the long sides too much. That thing is so tight it wont lay flat without the spreader bar, it's twisting diagonaly to easy the fabric strech!!! :)


No problem!

I don't think it'll make a difference whether you have wall side or air side down, I was just trying to orient you to what I was describing.

Ours does the same (the twisting from tight fabric) even still, so I think that's all normal... I guess the best tip I can give you overall is that it shouldn't take so much muscle. Just think about the angles of everything and how it needs to be finessed to get in there. "Measure twice, cut once" is a relevant adage—plan out exactly how you're gonna do it, then execute.

If you're in CO near Golden/Denver I'd be happy to show you how we got it sometime. We'll be going out for another practice hanging ledge setup day before we head to Yosemite again in October :-)


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Jul 22, 2013

Jean-Michel wrote:
Hi, Just bought a new portaledge and I am having a lot of frustration trying to set it up.

Dont worry, that is standard to any portaledge. With the exception of the BD Skylounge, I dont think any ledge is easy to setup. The first time I set up my Metolius Bombshelter on a wall I felt like I wanted to punch babies.

If you think it is hard to setup on the ground, it will become MUCH, MUCH harder to set up on the wall where you are hanging in a harness and the wind is blowing it around. The first time I set my ledge up on the ground I got it up in five minutes. The first time I set it up on the wall it took 40 min and I had a partner to help me. So with that said, go hang it against a tree and hang in your harness and practice setting it up, because setting it up on the ground will not fully prepare you for how you need to set it up on the wall. Good luck!


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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Jul 23, 2013

Thanks for the offer Abram, I'm unfortunately a bit far from CO (Montreal, Qc).

I did set it up again yesterday and the side made no difference, obviously. Having people around gave room for some discussion and an idea came up that actually worked:

While setting the ledge on it's long side, I would place the bar on the bottom side pole. Instead of stepping on the bottom side pole to gain half an inch of flex, I actually stepped on the lower curved section spreader bar, giving it some flex, and then I was able to clip the upper side with my palm/fingers!

Now, I need to try this hanging because any solution on the ground will be quite different up on the wall, as stated before.

The fabric does seem to be looser so maybe it just needs a night or two wthout the bar to really stetch out...

I still think it is way harder than it should, but at least I can now set the bar up on the ground!!!

Practice makes perfect right?

Still some time before the trip to the valley in September!

:)


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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Jul 23, 2013
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012

Flag your ledge whenever possible, and if you do have to set it up on a wall have your hammer ready. I found that I could persuade my BD CC to come together with a well aimed tap or two, and I was setting it up solo. wrestling with your ledge is just one of the many aspects of wall climbing. have fun!


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Jul 23, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.

Awesome, glad you got it! We definitely had a steep learning curve, but it gets easier every time. Now get out on the cliff and set it at a hanging belay ;-)


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By Jean-Michel
From Montreal, QC
Aug 13, 2013

Update:

The latest technique worked like a charm.

Thanks to all for the inputs!

Now it's time for some bigger walls in Yosemite...

:)


Cap Trinité, QC
Cap Trinité, QC


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Aug 13, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.

Sweet, nice work! :-)


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