Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
klondike

[TR] Yosemite - Northwest Face of Half Dome 6/20/2011

Recommended Posts

Trip: Yosemite - Northwest Face of Half Dome

 

Date: 6/20/2011

 

Trip Report:

 

Half Dome. We really wanted to do it so we drove down there. This photo taken from the Lower Pines Campground the day before we went up. 261442_2016600730479_1107670161_32109967_5678682_n.jpg

We really liked our spot so we made the most of it. Lisa even threw on a sundress and here she Vanna Whites our new digs.

270251_2016598370420_1107670161_32109962_7980240_n.jpg

Lisa and I wanted to free as much of it as possible so we packed light. Note the cheater stick. We later opted to leave this bad boy behind...since we would be (hopefully) freeing most of it anyway. 261959_2016599810456_1107670161_32109965_4792418_n.jpg So what powered us on this amazing adventure? Orange Pop! 269016_2016618050912_1107670161_32110025_5057443_n.jpg Lisa tapes up a water bottle against puncture wounds en route. Judging from the expression on her face, I think the Yosemite Village Store is stocking the Right Mushrooms.

262301_2016601610501_1107670161_32109969_1743387_n.jpg

OK. We are walking towards Half Dome, which involves hiking the trail to Mirror Lake, at the head of the valley. Where do you leave the tourist trail to hike the requisite Death Slabs approach? Why, its here, across from this boulder in the lake.

270021_2016618770930_1107670161_32110028_7238816_n.jpg

The Death Slabs. Base of the route in upper left corner. 264698_2016768414671_1107670161_32110219_5343563_n.jpg

Death Slabs approach. Lisa is open-mouth breathing. 263003_2016618490923_1107670161_32110027_4030647_n.jpg

We are at the base of the route, where we meet a spectrum of climbers: some nice climbers and some weird-ass sketch climbers. Some succeeded some failed. We sort out who will blast off when. The climbers who said they were fast ended up being slow. The climbers who said they were average were fast. Here we wait a day for the route to clear so we can zip on up it. Lisa learned me Kings in a Corner and a neuvau version of Spades. We lummed around and listened to music. Here a pretty gurrl tries to meditate. She makes it look effortful. In truth, Lisa paced the base of the route like a lioness, even growling intermittently.

268835_2016602210516_1107670161_32109971_7533516_n.jpg

The evening before the Big Day. The route begins at the bannana slug on the lower left and ends at"The Visor", the thingy that sticks out from the summit.

261298_2016602450522_1107670161_32109972_7514579_n.jpg

We blast off in darkness. Here Lisa jugs up our fixed lines.

268490_2016602610526_1107670161_32109973_8319566_n.jpg

By 6am we are on the top of pitch 6.

261941_2016602890533_1107670161_32109974_3622950_n.jpg

I strut up the Robbins Traverse (pitch 10) as Lisa belays. The end of this pitch involves a curious pendulum traverse to a tiny ledge. We met some Scottish climbers, Rye and Mike, who followed us much of the first day.

267431_2016604090563_1107670161_32109978_2218762_n.jpg

Pitch 12 involved an awkward chimney into an incredible 5.11c layback. Here is my makeshift belay seat, complete with orthotics for my tired feet.

268421_2016604570575_1107670161_32109980_2014644_n.jpg

Contemplating the exit moves of pitch 12 270175_2016604810581_1107670161_32109981_4283042_n.jpg

Out of the chimneys and into the sun. I take off on pitch 16 while Lisa gives me her best leer. 268063_2016606650627_1107670161_32109986_3940871_n.jpg

Lisa amid the double crack pitch, which I think is pitch 17.

268124_2016607930659_1107670161_32109990_8176770_n.jpg

Well hi there! On Big Sandy Ledges at around 6pm. Do we keep going? Do we stay the night here? I turn around a few minutes after taking this picture and Lisa is sound asleep in a foetal postion on a ledge 2 1/2 feet wide and 1500 feet high. I guess I have my answer. Lets sleep here.

267708_2016608330669_1107670161_32109991_2792466_n.jpg

We chill as the evening draws nigh...

270130_2016609330694_1107670161_32109995_1198274_n.jpg

Good morning! All our gear is organized and ready to go! Yay! The ZIGZAGS! THE. ZIIIIIG. ZAAAAGS!! YEEEEEEEEEEHA!

Big ole' cams. And NO, thats not a piss bottle. Its regular water with iodine in it. I don't trust these marmots.

268724_2016610890733_1107670161_32110001_422064_n.jpg

*Whew!* Atop the first of the Zigzags. I took a 30-foot whipper whilst climbing it. I bruised my hip while falling but at this point I'm feeling no pain....not yet anyway.

Mark, I AM smiling!

262332_2016611850757_1107670161_32110004_6996536_n.jpg

Zigzags pitch 3. In the Business. This arching undercling is 5.12 or 5.13 depending on which guidebook you cling to. TAAAAKE! I did a spot of aid here.

263663_2016612690778_1107670161_32110006_1385209_n.jpg

Atop the Zigzags at the beginning of the Thank God Ledge. Helluva view.

264081_2016612930784_1107670161_32110007_7800139_n.jpg

You have seen this view on the cover of National Geographic. Alex was not present for comment.

264955_2016613330794_1107670161_32110008_5856251_n.jpg

270122_2016613970810_1107670161_32110010_6175721_n.jpg

263505_2016614290818_1107670161_32110011_2020748_n.jpg

Lisa follows pitch 23

271108_2016614650827_1107670161_32110012_3149429_n.jpg

Lisa leads pitch 24

262136_2016614970835_1107670161_32110013_4965819_n.jpg

Tourists! Tourists in the midday sun! Horray for tourists. Tourists are great! They gave us a quart of water each and a full measure of admiration.

270398_2016615810856_1107670161_32110015_5259760_n.jpg

Summit view. A moonscape for Moomintrolls.

263910_2016616170865_1107670161_32110016_4572050_n.jpg

Cable route descent. Now this was effing scary.

263478_2016616890883_1107670161_32110019_2698808_n.jpg

Redistribution of gear. Lisa cheerfully volunteered to carry some of my stuff because my hip was hurting so bad from my fall on the Zigzags. She rocks.

264875_2016617530899_1107670161_32110021_7745485_n.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

We were able to free 90% of the route (we didnt free the bolt ladders and I didn't free anything over easy 5.12. It took us 29 hours including 6 hours of sleep time on Big Sandy Ledges. So the gear was 3 each of all cams from tight fingers to #3. One # 5 for the chimney following Thank God Ledge. A set of nuts including micro brassies. Offsets of small nuts and small cams were somewhat useful. 13 draws or sling. 4 liters of water. Valley temps were in the low 80's. Supertopo beta was right on.

 

Approach Notes:

The slabs were free of snow. There was snow between the summit and the base of the route, but this was managable.

Edited by klondike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:rawk:

 

where can i get me one of them hard-core clamber'n gurlz? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice job!

 

totally agree on the cables. I was there early summer and climbed snake dike and the cables weren't up yet. Tourists at the top were dismayed we had just climbed a "route" up half dome but after descending the cables without them being up, I think the climbing routes are by far safer and less scary!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome job Mr. Klondike! Great to see those pictures all in one place.

 

Lisa is definitely a rare bird. I feel very fortunate to be able to call her a friend. Both of you...T-town climbers rock!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×