Sleeping suspended on a cliff with a steep drop dizzyingly beneath you is not for the faint of heart- but it’s sure to quicken the pulse of all the adrenaline junkies looking for a fun way to spend the night outdoors. Although thrilling, cliff camping comes with significant risks and requires a high level of expertise.
Here’s what you need to know before your steep sleep.
For big wall climbers, sleeping on a rock ledge is common practice. But when there’s no ledge around, you’ve got to bring your own. That’s where portable ledges, known as portaledges, come in.
Portaledges are relatively new to the climbing world. Before them, climbers would hang hammocks between two slings fixed to a rock on a cliff. Portaledges have made this experience safer and more comfortable.
First developed using army cots, portaledges are made using weather-proof fabrics and metal tubing, giving them a strong, stable structure. When sleeping in one, climbers wear a harness which they clip to the tent, and they are often also tied to the cliff wall by another rope, which makes for a pretty stable sleep.
Portaledges are lightweight, and you would only need to carry around a single anchor to set one up, which makes them a great option for overnight climbing trips. Just be sure that you select a reliable portaledge.
If you want to sleep on a cliff without the hassle of setting up your own tent, then consider visiting the Natura Vive Skylodge Adventure Suites in Cuzo, Peru. Here, guests must climb over 1,200 feet up a cliff face to reach a transparent pod in the mountain where they can spend the night gazing over a 300 degree view of the green valley. The package includes breakfast and a gourmet dinner with wine. The pods contain four beds, a dining area, and a private bathroom.
Know The Cliff’s Conditions
Regardless of how you choose to cliff camp, you need to be aware of the weather conditions and the risk of falling rocks, landslides, and other hazards. Research the wildlife that you may encounter beforehand.
Many cliff-side camping areas are home to rare and protected species, and so it’s important that you respect the environment and minimize your impact on it for future visitors.
Don’t camp on a cliff without a Plan B in case of an emergency. Always inform someone else of your whereabouts and expected return time.
Do You Have What It Takes?
You know yourself better than anyone else, so make sure that you do a proper skills assessment before attempting to sleep on a cliff. It’s recommended that you take a mountaineering course to learn the necessary skills and techniques, and to practice on smaller cliffs before attempting the steeper, more challenging ones.
Cliff camping is not for beginners or those who are not comfortable with heights. Having a guide with you may be a good idea.
Although daunting, cliff-camping is sure to be an experience you will never forget. Much like playing at an online gambling casino it will keep you coming back for more.