How to Sleep Comfortably While Fastened to a Sheer Mountain Cliff

Mountain climbers have perfected the technique of fastening themselves to the the open rock face of a mountain when they need to sleep for the night. Here are a few tips and techniques for making that a more comfortable night.

First, find a nice wide ledge in the cliff to sleep on. Most cliffs have ledges that are 2 to 3 inches wide. To get a good night's rest, it's best to find a ledge about 3 inches wide. If you sleep on a 2-inch ledge, you'll be tossing and turning all night.

Next, fasten yourself to the cliff. You can do this by nailing pitons, metal spikes, into the rock face. To get your piton firmly connected to the rock face, use a heavy hammer and swing your nailing arm far back from the cliff. Really reach back.

Now weave your climbing rope around your body limbs and attach yourself to the spikes in a way that keeps at least one arm partially free. If you tie yourself to the rock face in a way that your arms are not free, you'll be spending more than one evening attached to the mountain.

To help you fall asleep you might want to read some passages from your favorite book. Heavier books are favored by climbers. Some mountain climbers carry multivolume reference book series with them.

If you reach the end of a book before falling asleep, find a ledge to rest the book on, and then attach the book to the cliff using pitons and rope. As you continue your ascent you can leave your books attached to the cliff. Other climbers will be so grateful to come across your books when they're climbing.

Once in a while when you're attached to a cliff you'll encounter howling winds, biting sleet and hungry birds of prey. These are all minor annoyances that will go away if you just ignore them.

You know you've gotten a good night's sleep on the mountain cliff if you feel like jumping out of bed in the morning. Resist the urge to do so.

Phil Shapiro