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scott

[TR] half dome - reg nw face 5/3/2004

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Climb: half dome -reg nw face

 

Date of Climb: 5/3/2004

 

Trip Report:

did this route this weekend. tried for one day from the valley floor, but due to murphy's law and the gumby factor (it was my first grade VI and my partners first wall of any sort) only made it to pitch 17 - big sandy. spent a very cold night sitting there at big sandy and topped out yesterday. the more direct option for the final pitch is very wet, but can be avoided.

 

the first six pitches can be done very quickly - something like 3 hours. once you hit the chimneys, the climbing becomes harder. the pitches above big sandy seemed hard because we we tired. to do it in a day, get to big sandy by 3 pm or so.

 

we woke up at 3 am, hiked the death slabs in the dark, and started climbing at first light.

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nice job! regardless of a cold bivi, doing the route in a day and 1/2 is very respectable.

 

hey, curious. Was it your first time up the death slabs? just wondering if it'd be wise to attempt them for the first time in the dark, or if a scouting mission would be needed. thanks...cheers

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we had gone up approx half way on the slabs on scouting trip. although the second half of the slabs are more tricky, our recon (find the start of the approach and locate the second major drainage) was enough.

 

for cascade climbers, the death slabs should seem like just another bushwack approach. it has a bad rep because a lot of people are not used to off trail thrashing, i think.

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one last thing -- just as we were starting the first pitch at dawn, we heard this ripping sound and looked up in horror to see three bodies falling off the top of half dome. base jumpers. one of them almost blew back into the lower slabs, but pulled his chute just in time to steer away.

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