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Topic - 'Big wall' on a shoestring

NottsRich on 29 Apr 2013
The idea of big wall climbing is becoming more appealing to me, as is doing routes (or new routes) in faraway places. Now when I say 'big wall' I mean big for me, and by 'routes' I don't mean anything at all hard because I won't be able to climb them.

I'm getting a bit of practise with aid climbing for the odd tricky spot and am happy to retreat without shame when it all gets a little hard.

What got me thinking about this is an idea I've got for a climbing trip to a remote but warm place and the idea of hiking in for a few days, just chilling and climbing short (2-5 pitch) routes and coming back to camp, and just enjoying life, a few beers, and a complete lack of people other than those I'm climbing with. As a part of that I'd love to do a longer route or two that need a bivvy on the wall. These probably won't be longer because they're big, but longer because I'm slow. Perhaps limited to 1 night on the wall at first...

Because it's a budget trip (what isn't?), I was thinking about all the problems like expensive portaledges, so I started thinking about ways around it. The obvious solution was to use a hammock. The weather will be fine, I'm used to sleeping in a hammock, sometimes in a sleeping bag, so what can go wrong? Has anyone had any experience of sleeping in a hammock on a wall? Any particular tips? Any reasons to avoid it completely? I can imagine being squashed against the wall but I haven't though of a way around that one yet. Are there cheap alternatives to hammocks that have been used reasonably succesfully?

And while I'm at it, can anyone think back to their first 'big wall' trip, back before you knew what you were doing? What did you manage to do on the cheap and make do with? Any tips that you wish you had known beforehand? I want this to be an adventure, but equally don't want to go into it completely blind! Things like "don't try to cook in a hammock" are very valid pointers that I would appreciate learning beforehand! I look forward to your stories of woe and lessons hard learned, so that I'll probably go and make the same mistakes and then kick myself for not remembering what I was told on UKC!
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