Half Dome Solo-fest

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 30 of total 30 in this topic
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 9, 2005 - 08:17pm PT
Looks like lots of solo climbers on Half Dome.

 I topped out on Tis-sa-ack after 5 days (solo), on Sept. 16.
 There was another soloist behind me, probably topped out on Sept. 23
 Darnell topped out on Zenith (did you pluck my #4 brass off-set on the last pitch?)
 Two other soloist on the Reg. route (one bailed.

When I was on the dome, the rock scar spewed a 10 foot chunk which peppered the gully. The next day, they pulled a climber that had died (see previous post on topic) in the gully.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 10, 2005 - 08:57am PT
congrats paul. did you enjoy the route?
mike hartley

climber
Oct 10, 2005 - 09:25am PT
Paul,

Did you (and others that you know of) carry all of your stuff up there on your own and back down? Rent a horse? Beg friends? I thought hard about soloing a route up there but couldn't imagine getting the gear to the base and down. Renting a mule looked pretty pricey also. How you do dat??
Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
Oct 10, 2005 - 04:14pm PT
Ooh man..if he had help getting gear up there then it wasn't REALLY a solo. Let's hope he did it in good style.


j/k
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 10, 2005 - 04:39pm PT
Yeah, they deduct the number of Virgins you get in Heaven if you have folks help you carry stuff.

Worth the sacrifice in my mind. Particularly to Half Dome once the Spring is dry

Peace

Karl
Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Oct 10, 2005 - 04:44pm PT
Saw no offsets on the last pitch,but I did it in the dark a got a little off route.

Rob topped out a few days b4 me though,u might want to talk to him.

Soo many ways to go on that last pitch!!
Lots of fixed gear (sucker lines) everywhere!

A GIANT rock went flyin by me head on like the 25th, freaking huge, nice explosion down on the trail.

How bout those rivet ladders?


I have to ask you and Rob, did you sling your own webbing behind those frickin things? They stuck out farther than any I have ever seen,and I have climbed some shity rivets in the past.

I cut most of the webbing on the whole route,which was lots,it was such crap.
Did you replace ane bolts?

Take any good whippers??
haha.
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2005 - 07:17am PT
Thanks all for the replies.
Yes, I did haul all my crap to the base: two trips up the slabs, by myself. I did a 30 mile trail race two weeks before the Tis-sa-ack adventure, so was in good shape to do the schlepp. However, my wife and two friends met me on the top and helped carry down some of my stuff (does this mean I get less-of-a-beating behind the shed?).

I liked Tis-sa-ack, except for the constant weaving back and forth. It's a drag to solo, and have to go at a big angle on almost every pitch. Ya, moan-moan.

Poor Rob, I accidentally let a flake fly (pitch 5) which peppered him on pitch two. It missed, but he said he felt like he had a gun pointed at his head. Sorry, I owe you. And, remember my great hauling system set on fifi hooks? Well, on pitch 8 I pulled the haul line only to have it snap. I big shredded line came whipping up to me. Luckily, the bag stayed on the belay....

Yup, that last pitch was a moaner. Steep and wandering. I took a 10 footer on that one and the Ramp pitch. Here's me at pitch 20, last night on the wall, 8PM:
/Users/currybrunner/Desktop/IMG_1018.JPG
Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Oct 11, 2005 - 08:46am PT
I think Rob might have passed the huge flake thing on to me, it was really big!

You still did not tell me what you did on the rivet pitch,did you clip the tat slid behind those rivets?

I could not bring myself to do it, I also did not want to sling my tie offs over all those old ones so I cut most of them.

I also did not clip most of them for fear of rippin them out if I fell.

Paul, were you up there when that soloist died on the slabs?

Here is a funny little story, When I topped out on Sat. there were sooo many tourists up there.

So I am carring the giant pig down the cables, and there is ahuge bottleneck right where it gets steep.

So I stop about 10 meters before the bottleneck, where the angle is not as bad to wait.
I sit down and all of a sudden some guy comes up behind me and asks me to move. Before I can even explain about how he will be waiting quite awhile even if we move up, he blows past me and say's, "I did not know this was your mountain"

I wanted to beat him within a inch of his life!!

So he moves up a little and had to wait at least 10 min. due to the cluster.
I made jokes about him for quite awhile, I told him,"you get a little tired and you get all crabby huh" haha!

All those ppl. epicing on the way up abd down really do inspire me though.
They are having big f*#king day's.
I love the energy of the ppl. in the valley.
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 12, 2005 - 04:57pm PT
Darnell,

I'm impressed with your Zenith solo, and 13 days on the wall: Zoiks! That is quite the time on wall. The rivet ladder, as skanky as it was, must have been easy pitches for you. Regarding your question, I had a bolt kit, a bunch of bolts and rivets to replace, but was too time crunched to replace some of them. I mostly clipped the old tat and backed up the skanky ones with my own. I'm amazed that they held, despite hanging what looked like 2/3 the way out the wall.

My time crunch (confessions of a big wall climber) was due to meeting the wife and friends at the top (camping at the shoulder) and making it down the next day to stay at the Ahwahnee for a couple days (woooo-hoooo!). I checked on Rob to see his progress (Sept. 17 & 18). Looked like he was half-way at that point. Yes, everyone, that guy carrying the Chimay bottle in El Cap Meadows was me.

Yes, I was up there when the soloist died. There was a HUGE 10' chunk that broke away from the scar section and littered the gully on Tuesday (Sept. 13). The next day they pulled the guy off. Not sure if the rock fall was related since the rangers (and Link) said he was off (approach) route and had some gear (couple nuts) attached.

Luckily, I missed the touron goat-feck on the cables since I wandered down them Friday, at 5PM. But, man, they were out in force the next day on the mule trail! Same comments, "Yuk, yuk, geeze that's a big pack ya got there. Don't cha know ya only need a small pack for Half Dome?"

I met a woman named Kate before I climbed Tis-sa-ack. She said she was going to do some wacky link up on El Cap. Can't remember the link up and if she was successful - any insight folks?

Paul
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 12, 2005 - 05:04pm PT
Ho man!

Those rivets took 5 years off my life, I swear. f*ck me. I slung nuts over them after the sudden epiphany (rr-rrr-ip!) that the tat was for lower-outs, not to ride on.

That big flake-- you mean the one about 8 pm or so, in the dark? That was the only really stupid thing I did up there-- tired, climbing in the dark, headlight very dim and dying. I was tired of grovelling in this corner (the one after the rivet ladders), saw an A1 crack on the right and stuck a cam in it, and slumped back down onto the lower piece to feed out slack or something. The next thing I knew, grit was falling and the rock was groaning, I figgered 'this is it, I'm getting erased off this route, my rope'll get chopped if I don't'. Fortunately I'd plugged into the side of it and not the bottom.

About a foot thick, shaped like a giant piece of baklava, maybe three feet on the long side judging from the scar. I'm glad you were way under there for that one.

Paul, I'd forgetten all about the target practice on the Zebra. What I actually said was something like 'nobody's got a gun to my head', meaning it was my choice to climb under you...
I tried the hook system once, it never came off the anchors. So much for that.


Hey, cool place for a camping trip, eh!
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 12, 2005 - 05:07pm PT
About the dead guy:
I spoke with Link when I got down, said he hadn't been dead that long; he died on the same day they recovered his body.
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 12, 2005 - 05:16pm PT
As far as the weaving about goes....at least it was steep.

That route (Tis-sa-ack) would be a good one to have a partner on, was my eventual conclusion. Not because of the wandering (don't they all do that?), but because of all the free-climbing potential that I was ignoring. So many long #1 camalot cracks, and the Ramp, and the squeezer before it, the second pitch on the Zebra with all those flakes... I felt like an overladen chump several times.

And the Super-Weaver, the topout-- that long leftward dangler traverse (fixed little camalot, pin) would definitely go free. I reversed it after changing my mind (seduced by fixed tat up and right)and mostly hung off the incuts by my hands while cleaning behind me.

Sh*t like that is why that was the only pitch I climbed that day ;) I thought Paul's pace was gonna be my pace, but that didn't last long. The Zebra day was the only one where I got 4 pitches in; after that it was s.l.o.w....
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 12, 2005 - 06:12pm PT
Wa-hoo! He Lives! Sorry about the Zebra rock-pepper-fest. And, that last pitch, the wander-ramma was another fun one. I was hanging off a cam hook, then came the dreaded Rrr Rrrrr Scraaape Ker-Pow! A chunk came off, hit me in the chest, then bounced off my portaledge (in bag, bending a tube, doh!) before cart wheeling below. That was a 10 footer for me. Yes, I was a sucker and went right. The only benefit of going right was good anchors and direct haul over the bags. What a grovel!

My speed was due to a whacky schedule I set up before and was determined to make it to the Ahwahnee and not lose the reservation. That place is $300+ a night! Plus, Sept. 17 was my wedding anniversary. And, you can't beat the Sunday Brunch. So, I bivied at Pitches 3, 7, 11, 16, and 20. I would wake up at 4:30AM and be climbing by 6:40AM and stop around 5 to 6PM at night (cocktail hour). However, going from 11 to 16, I was setting up in the dark. I still have a dream of doing only 2 pitches a day, and taking MORE beer. Oh well, next time... I thought the Ramp was long and tedious, plus I ran together that pitch and the cave pitch. It looked like you were having fun on pitch 13.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 12, 2005 - 10:22pm PT
man, you guys are making me jones big time...

way to go, I need to go follow in your footsteps.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 12, 2005 - 10:25pm PT
Congrats on your solo ascents! It's great to see more and more people taking to the walls on their own.

Is it actually possible to hire mules to schlepp stuff up there? If so, how much does it cost, and who would I contact?
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 12, 2005 - 10:56pm PT
yes, probably the horse packers over near Curry. Just go over there and ask around.

I think their ussual deal is multi-day trips in the backcountry...so they would probably try and rape you for a one day haul up to Half Dome, but maybe not. My guess is $200 minimum.
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2005 - 05:40am PT
I did the mule research about 3 years ago and it would come out to something like $200- $250 to get the stuff to the shoulder of Half Dome. You had to hire the "guide" and the mules. You may want to deja the thread. But, you then had the schlepp from the shoulder to the base. Maybe Chongo could lug the stuff up there since he needs to get out of the valley for awhile.

Not sure about the others, but I just did the slab slog. It took me 3 hours from the Ahwahnee to base of Tis sa ack. I also had the benefit of being in okay shape with all the trail running nonesense. Gotta love Half Dome, but ya pay the price to get there (and down).

ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 13, 2005 - 02:36pm PT
i would love to climb halfdome .. but the hike down the east ledges with 2 bags nearly killed me .. i'd hate to think what i'd look like after getting the bags down the halfdome descent trail

Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Oct 13, 2005 - 06:52pm PT
Rob, that big chunk of rock went right by ne head, I took a lead fall about 5 min. later.

There were some folks at the base of the Reg. They did not know what to think after all that took place withing about 5 min.

I was laughing and singing, they must think us aid climbers are a bit daft!!

Paul, I can't believe you clipped that tat!!

Keep doing that and you will learn the hard way, you gota cut that sh#t out boy and use your own tie offs.

Tell em the better way Pete!!

I think I saw where that rock scar was from you peelin it off, I was looking for it,thought it would be bigger than it was.

I loved the expando on Zenith!! lots of it!

Thank god I had the big Pika hooks!!
would have been $#@^%#& without them.

I hauled the better way with the ledge open,worked great!

Rich


'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 13, 2005 - 09:33pm PT
"I hauled the better way with the ledge open,worked great!"

No doubt, eh? Nice to have a place to eat lunch when you're soloing.

Chris Mac told me Zenith is "the all-time Nailing Classic". Thoughts? Do you recommend it? Was it worth the effort?

Cheers, mate.
Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Oct 13, 2005 - 09:38pm PT
I will tell all tomorrow, i have to be at work in 6hrs.

you do know who this is don't you Pete?

Your 9/11 brother!!
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2005 - 10:59pm PT
I look forward to the Zenith TR. And, I'll take clippin' tat to expando! I moved from an expando flake to bust out a couple free moves (pitch 13) and the flake did a reverso and pinched me wee fingers - woof! But, I agree, the huge Pika hooks were the great call on Tis!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 13, 2005 - 11:46pm PT
Rich?!
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 14, 2005 - 11:13am PT
13 was the hardish one? wide to 'unmortared stone wall (Robbins)' to rooflet,camhook traverse, etc.? It was fun, except for a) spending over an hour bashing Nate's walker #5 Camalot out with a hammer and b)being too weenie to climb the wide bit at the end and instead aiding up the 1" flake to the left and swinging over to the bee-lay.

Yeah, the big ol' hook was my constant companion. Left it for pro getting to the belay after you exit the Zebra.

I went right at the top, to the good anchors. Unfortunately, I topped out at dusk, my free shoes were buried, and I couldn't punch out the slabs in the dusk in my wall shoes. had to spend the last night in a fully hanging bivy on the very lip---aaarrrggghhh!!! I cried, I won't lie. So pissed.

Rich-- where exactly did you go for the 60-footer? yowza
and did you get any pictures of that rainbow?

Ricardo- Nice job on the SS!

the hike is what it is, man. It's what gives you 'your own private wall' kinda feeling; not a green dragon in sight. Take it or leave it. (death slabs for me, every time)
"a day of pain" about sums up the descent. I had to be vewwwy careful not to wobble off the death slabs in the state I was in after 9 days. thank god I found water on top. Woulda done the trail, no contest, except my bike was stashed at Mirror Lake, my ledge fly was at the base (oops)and that was that.

And thank you Nanook! He went up to help Rich down, who was nowhere in sight, found my (very heavy) bag, and humped it down instead! You rule Erik!



Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 14, 2005 - 11:27am PT
I, too, had to make a wedding(in San Diego). At the time I started up I thought this was in the unimaginably distant future, no way I'd miss it, I'd visit my bro in palo Alto en route, etc.etc.

Made the wedding by an hour.

Awesome hors d'ouevres. Rack of lamb, seared ahi, chicken satay...made those caterer dudes WORK for their money!

After that I spent 3 days finishing everybody's plate and taking naps.
Paul

Trad climber
Muir Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2005 - 02:42pm PT
Nice! I forgot to ask - did you guys get hit with the rain that rolled through the valley? For Tis-sa-ack, I thought the hard pitches were the ramp and the last one. And, that 5.5 slab was sketchy in my blown-out wall shoes. It took me forever to haul my crap to the top.
Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Oct 14, 2005 - 10:32pm PT
I am going to write up a trip report this weekend.



Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 15, 2005 - 07:58am PT
The rain was possibly the most sublime hour of my life. Sunshine and intermittent clouds rolled over Tuolumne and the high country; Hoffman and Conness shone between the puffies. A sheet of rain crept around the corner from Cloud's Rest, stalling out around the edge of that piney buttress sticking out into the canyon. The evening sun lit it up with a huge rainbow as I was pulling into the Cave, atop the ramp pitch. Meanwhile, downvalley, Mordor! Evil blackness punctuated with flashes from within had subsumed El Cap and points west. It,too, appeared stationary, at least for the moment. Later I heard they had hail, rain, lightning strikes, the whole bit. I wanted no part of this.

Heaven to the east; hell to the west, and me in the middle counting out lightning strikes from beneath the fangs of the Cave like the Count of Tenaya Canyon: "One! Bwah ha ha, Two!bwah-ha-ha, Three!...Boom!" Eventually Mordor closed in and I rapped back over to the Ramp bivy from the base of the bolt ladder as dusk settled in. Just as I put myself on rappel and began sliding into the dimness, a huge wave of fog washed up the cliff, enveloping me in the grey nothing...purgatory. No exposure, just quiet oceanic stillness, with occasional flickers of lightning to show me the bags over to which I was jugging. Hopped in the ledge and cracked a cold one.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Mar 2, 2007 - 11:45am PT
Might as well add this on on here too:


I spend all day, day nine, wandering back and forth on the last pitch. The first bit goes smoothly, backcleaning to make the jug easier, straightening out the line, and generally feeling smug about this bit of cleverness.

I get to where I can see a bit of yellow tat near the lip, the right-hand topout. Looks hard. Left a bit are the thin heads, etc. Hell no. I'm not going back to the bag to dig all that sh#t out, and besides, that way looks even harder.

Fine. I'll go way left, along the undercut rail. A-1 camming with my feet dangling in space leads me 40 or 50 feet left along this rail-thing, which I could probably free-climb under different circumstances, and what a wild pitch that would be. Eventually, though, this ends under more steep-and-nasty-looking climbing, which mournful assessment sees me reversing the rail, tail between leg. F*ck. I just want off of this thing.

At least this time I get to have fun. Handrailing back across the thing free, plucking the cams to plop into my lap and occasionally resting on a piece to suck in rope, is the most fun I've had all day. Or for a few days, come to think of it.

The traverse reversed, I now resign myself to heading for the yellow slings. A few steep moves and some shameless stick-clipping secures me a 'fixed' blue alien, and a 'fixed' green camalot besides. The yellow slings tease from the lip, now somewhat off to my right, and up a bit. Some grungy traversing, perhaps ten feet below the lip of the whole damn face I've lashed myself to for a week and a half now, will put me below the promised tat. I could stick-clip it from here. I need to get off this thing. I have moaned, sketched, talked extensively to people who were not there, pulled gear, nearly sheared myself from the wall parking cams behind huge, loose flakes in the dark, pulled an inadvertent all-nighter, drunk my piss, drunk piss that was not mine, slept in my shoes because I was too tired to undress, and taken the name of the Lord in vain more than once. I'm ready to be done with it.

I will not, however, stick-clip the last anchor on the route. This, simply put, would be too degrading. A flaring, dirty, horizontal seam between the massive onionskin flakes of Half Dome's summit visor is all that stands between me and the faded yellow mank of those anchors. I try to get a loweball to stick. It won't. The anchors are one move away. I think of the vain pride that sees me stranded here, one move from the top, and I recall a conversation I had with an old Valley vet two years before.

It took me two weeks to find a partner the first time. There was a time when I could ride the old Captain America truck into the lot and be greeted by any number of familiar faces willing to go up on a wall with me, even one as distant, committing and obscure as this one, but clearly my nostalgia alone for this time would not bring it back, and neither would it summon a partner. Eventually, an aspirant Swiss guide signed on, humped his bag up the slabs, drug himself to the Dormitory, and hopped on his first lead, into the Zebra. Fresh off the Zodiac, he was all aflame with the beauty of riding clean gear, tiny brass and camhooks that seated tidily into El Capitan granodiorite.

But Half Dome's rock is not so neat. Its grainier, salt-and-pepper granite spat out his silly camhook, sending him for a short, ankle-breaking ride onto the slab below.

I related this story to a grizzled, hard-of-hearing SAR team sage of many years, who had this to say:

"Fuhk that cleen sh#t, mahn. I don't wanna get huht. That's the bottom line."

And so, without further ado, I drove my last pin into the seam between me and the summit and snagged the yellow tat at the lip of Half Dome.

So? where, you may well ask, is the hissy fit in this story?

Patience, Grasshopper. The fit will come.

I rapped, I hauled, I jugged. I hung from two bolts at the lip. Nothing but a 5.5 slab, according to the topo, lay between me and a night (which was fast approaching) on the ground. Piece of cake. All I had to do was feed myself out a big loop of slack and fire for the summit. 5.5 friction is not something a boy weaned on North Cackalacky slabbage should have a second thought about.

The slab, however, was not to be so easily dismissed. I crept upwards in my duct-taped wall shoes. Gravelly bits, stuck to the rolled-up tape, crunched and rolled unnervingly beneath my feet. I didn't like it. The way off, clearly, lay across to the left and over a series of the damnable overlaps receding from the 2,000-foot void behind me. In no way did I intend to skate down the forty feet of 'easy' slab and sail over the lip onto those two bolts.

Darkness no longer hinted, but had begun to flood the valley below me. I didn't have a lot of time. My free shoes were buried halfway down in the haulbag, which I was not eager to unpack. Obviously my morning planning lacked foresight. I retreated back to the bag. Overtaxed by days of abysmal self-care on the wall, my battered brain dithered, back and forth, over my dwindling options. To dig through the bag, pissing away precious daylight to find the clean, sticky shoes, or to resolutely sack up and fire the slab despite the inappropriate gear? What would Royal Robbins have done? I feinted up the slab again, reached the overlap, plugged some shaky gear, and considered. Those cams couldn't catch a forty-foot slab skidder, I decided, much less the awful plunge over the edge behind it.

It was dark. I was exhausted, frustrated, and frightened beyond any tolerance remaining in my desperately frazzled synapses. Back at the bags, I cried.

FUUUUCCKK!!!!!!!! They could have heard me at the Mobile. The last straw had snapped. I screamed, cried, screamed some more, finally sobbing softly with my head against the lip, my feet still dangling over the northwest face. One more night on the wall.
:

Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
overchalking on Grant's Crack
Nov 5, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
Bump for summit angst.
Messages 1 - 30 of total 30 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews