3rd Ascent of Southern Belle

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Messages 1 - 97 of total 97 in this topic
James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 2, 2010 - 12:01pm PT
Yesterday, Nov 1 2010, Alex Honnold, 25, and Will Stanhope, a pup faced 24, hiked to the South face of Yosemite's Half Dome. In a true wildnerness experience, the pair of climbers saw no one on the trail. Around 7 am the pair began climbing Southern Belle (5.12dR). The route is notorious for the scary and difficult climbing. Hank Caylor broke his legs on an attempt. Dean Potter and Leo Houlding made the second ascent. Supposedly, Potter was nauseous from fright while leading one of the upper pitches.

Honnold, who's boldness includes free solo ascents of Yosemite's Higher Cathedral Rock The Crucifix (5.12b) and the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome (5.12b), "It was stimulating-parts of it were just down right mundane. It's definitely not death- but it's easy to get off route. I could see how Hank broke his legs." The pair made a team free ascent- swinging leads. Honnold had no falls. Stanhope fell toproping the fourth pitch. Stanhope tried again and unleashed his Canadian Fury, crimping down on the unchalked version of Blue Suede Shoes. On the summit, they were overcome by dehydration and drank out of the puddles of water on top.


To all the aspiring Supertopo climbers who want to climb the route, Honnold said, "It's just like Snake Dike but more extreme."
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:14pm PT
wow.....
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:16pm PT
Fun stuff! Good work lads!
matty

Trad climber
los arbor
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:23pm PT
parts of it were just down right mundane

zzzzzz-guess I'll pass on the fourth, sounds boring, I'm looking for something that will keep me interested.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:34pm PT
That is awsome. They gonna go back and do the rest of those routes. Sounds like those two are growing up strong.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:37pm PT
what the...
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:38pm PT
wowza
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:39pm PT
To all the aspiring Supertopo climbers who want to climb the route, Honnold said, "It's just like Snake Dike but more extreme."


Woo Hoo if your name is Honnold.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:40pm PT
No good without pics.

No one on the trail? No pics? No proof?

I understand. Why just last week when I did the first free solo of Mescalito, I didn't see anyone either. My damn camera was broken too.....
Bad Climber

climber
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
As with the late, great Alex Lowe, Honnold cannot be trusted. If he says, "No big deal," assume mere mortals should stay away.

That said, I'll say this: Well done!

BAd
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:42pm PT
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:43pm PT
Pretty cool! so I've done Snake Dike....southern belle?????
Peace
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:46pm PT
from Will Stanhope's facebook page:

"Attempt #1 on the gorgeous Southern Belle with Honn-bold. Pitch 5. Micro-wires forever."
426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Nov 2, 2010 - 12:54pm PT
Good on them! Seeeeck...
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:11pm PT
WOw! That is so cool! I'm inspired to go do the NOSE free.
I heard it's just like Pillar of Frenzy, just more difficult.
Gotta love the fun these younger climbers have. Good on 'em.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:15pm PT
Congrats Boys!

You Sooo Bad.

Headed for Snake Dike Thursday. But hmmm....
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
Way to send Alex and Will! Inspiring to say the least..
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:18pm PT
Jesus!!! I think it's time for Alex to free the compressor route on Cerro Torre - blindfolded! Has anybody checked his DNA, did his parents come from Roswell?

Impressive!
canyoncat

Social climber
SoCal
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:21pm PT
Just as long as they're home before the street lights come on.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:24pm PT
yes!! these kids are something.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:32pm PT
Wow!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 2, 2010 - 01:33pm PT
Thanks, James - awesome news! And congratulations to Will and Alex!

Now about that Yosemite's next idol thing....
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 02:14pm PT
The kids are all right!

"It's just like Snake Dike but more extreme."

That quote leaves me speechless.

Fantastic work!

John
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 02:39pm PT
This tale of The Honnold and Will going up there is much like the ancient epics and fairytales of yore recounting the arrival of some splendid young heros who then slay the mythical dragon that has been living up in the hills terrorizing the villagers below for generations.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 2, 2010 - 02:43pm PT
True that Peter


As a slab lover, I think this ranks up there with the greats!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 02:49pm PT
It has to, Munge. 2,000 ft of that granite; it's the best rock the Valley has to offer. I so want to hear more about their experience up there.
Barbarian

Trad climber
The great white north, eh?
Nov 2, 2010 - 02:57pm PT
These lads inspire me to no end! Bravo! Well done!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 2, 2010 - 03:01pm PT
Great stuff. Nice work, lads.
Fletcher

Trad climber
from the place of breath
Nov 2, 2010 - 03:42pm PT
Hummana, hummana, hummana.... very impressive. Love Alex's advice!

That boy is not of this earth.

Eric
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 2, 2010 - 03:43pm PT
I'm proud of them for going after the Belle rather than that sport route next door....:)
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 2, 2010 - 04:29pm PT
Kind of interesting how repeat ascents are so awe inspiring. Huge kudos, of course!

But, something brand new would be pretty nifty...

atchafalaya

climber
Babylon
Nov 2, 2010 - 04:31pm PT
Super cool for these guys to trash yesterdays hyped testpieces. Out with the old...
Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Nov 2, 2010 - 04:38pm PT
Thats what we like to see here Awesome climbing.
Gordon

Trad climber
South Florida
Nov 2, 2010 - 04:49pm PT
Some background reading for those of us not of the Valley:

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Hey-Coz-Sure-would-like-to-hear-the-story-of-Southern-Belle/t271n.html
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Nov 2, 2010 - 05:23pm PT
A super fine effort. Nice effort lads. Ya done us proud!

editmore news here***

http://climbingnarc.com/2010/11/alex-honnold-will-stanhope-team-up-to-repeat-southern-belle/

http://rockandice.com/news/1227-honnold-and-stanhope-send-half-domes-spooky-southern-belle
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Nov 2, 2010 - 06:45pm PT
solid..
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 2, 2010 - 06:55pm PT
Glad to see these two strong climbers send this line.

Three ascents in 22 years says a lot about the route, regardless of Alex down-playing it.

Thanks for the report, James.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 2, 2010 - 06:59pm PT
Good send from two great climbers. Notice how climbs with relatively (by today's standards) low technical ratings that have a sting in the tail stand the test of time.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 2, 2010 - 07:00pm PT
maybe the guys will give the route next door a shot and see if they could have established it ground up onsight. Now there's a topic that all us armchair climbers can get behind spewing on the internetz about! heh :)

MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 2, 2010 - 07:03pm PT
I've never climbed an armchair - is it harder than the regular chair traverse?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 07:12pm PT
next yosemite idol?

Good news about the send... sounds like it's getting routine at 3 ascents... just like Snake Dike? perhaps because the two routes are on the same dome...
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Nov 2, 2010 - 07:19pm PT
If old dudes were hot young chicks these guys would be stoked.

Amazing send. Too bad the mainstream can't appreciate how awesome this stuff is.

They probably get the groupies when in Europe though.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 2, 2010 - 07:39pm PT
Congrats! I guess it helps to have the head to solo 5.11d slab on Half Dome

First continuous ascent if I'm not mistaken and onsight to boot!

Peace

Karl

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 2, 2010 - 07:53pm PT
No doubt, a fantastic ascent.

It'd be interesting to hear more about the style. How long did they take and how much of the route was onsighted?

Come on now!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 2, 2010 - 10:16pm PT

OMG!!!!!

Nice send, lads.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 10:19pm PT
for convenience sake as a reference: 1998 REID guide

thesiger

Trad climber
A desert kingdom
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:04pm PT
Wasn't this the fourth ascent?

Didn't Leo Houlding and Dean Potter do it in 2006? http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/278940/NEWSFLASH-Southern-Belle-Repeated
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:05pm PT
Third FREE ascent.
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:09pm PT
Will had his eyes on SB back in the spring of this year when I mentioned that "Growing Up" had not had a proper ascent;
From Will. 28 April 2010:
Thanks for the heads-up. That route looks wild. Would love to give it a go sometime. Southern Belle back there looks great too... though apparently terrifying. Yeah, the Southern Belle is notorious. Love to climb that face at some point. Beautiful.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
Stoner's Highway is a jog around the lake compared to the Belle! That is some rare air that those lads took in...won't ever be passe! Way to freakin' send, lads!

FFA of Karma next?!? It sure would be an asset before rebolting that route to know how solid these guys are so that the best possible retrofit can happen for a free ascent.

Edit: A cooperative effort seems like the best way to improve our Karma! Fortunately, Dave and Ken are both around to help make the calls because considerable reworking may be needed for optimal results. NOT a job for the ASCA!
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:17pm PT
Proud effort, although Alex would think we are all a bunch of punters for praising this send.

I heard they did the first 5 pitches, then came back and sent.

Funny how it's "No BIG deal" to Alex, would love to hear from Will.

Mucci



Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:21pm PT
Lots on Karma at http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/230752/Karma-done-again
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:22pm PT
Yeah on that Stevie. And the hope too is that they have been scoping and looking at not only Karma but other new possibilities and even the Growing Up "thing". Every time I went up there, I came away with that "faraway" look in my eyes---- it just is so beautiful up there and although it is still a dome and a giant one, there have to be some really amazing lines to add, more great experiences to be had.

Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:26pm PT
You dudes are on top of this game . . . enjoy the awesome beauty and spectacular locations you are witnessing in your personal climbing quests. There are many who experience your climbs vicariously through multitudinous information sources and are encouraged in ways unimaginable . . . they are all grateful for you sharing these efforts.

You guys are the visionaries that are shaping the evolution of this phenomenon we call climbing. Thank you for your bravery, commitment, integrity and passion . . . have fun and live your dreams.

Show us more photos if you can . . . that rock is so stellar.

dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:29pm PT
I have no words!@#$%^&
DT.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
Karma Karma Karma Karma!!
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:35pm PT
I really like the "Wow! What is in the future for the NexGen hardmen!"

The line between support and resentment has been clearly defined.

On which side do you stand?
BASE104

climber
An Oil Field
Nov 3, 2010 - 12:10am PT
See? Southern Belle is the one they did first. I think that the Growing Up stink got the word out there.

As for Honnold. I had NEVER watched a climbing video in my life. Recently I was at a friend's cabin for a few weeks and nabbed "First Ascent." It has a super cool segment on Honnold's Half Dome solo. He got to Thank God Ledge and almost blew a fuse in his brain.

Very nice seeming kid. Goofy, complains of no girlfriends because he is so nerdy. Really funny.

The footage of him soloing Moonlight Buttress is UNREAL.

I don't know how these people can stand it with a camera in their face all of the time, but times have changed.

tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Nov 3, 2010 - 12:26am PT
Awesome accomplishment!
I agree that this route will never be trivial (unless someone invents some kind of weird futuristic removeable plastic goo protection that you can stick anywhere)

The snake dike comment is ridiculous. I've noticed that subtle bravado before. Kind of funny, but also says something about the simplicity/purity of concept in the approach of a supremely talented climber.

Bravo guys.
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Nov 3, 2010 - 12:29am PT
It seems both these guys are well qualified to open up great new lines on SFHD. The Southern Belle ascent is a prime example of why routes should be left undone, till the next generation can come along and ascend them in good style, having grand adventures for themselves while doing so.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:02am PT
As always, reports lamenting the lack of trad boldness in the younger generation of climbers haver proved to be the mutterings of ol Geezers.

There's always some wild and talented hardmen out there (even if they look like video game champions!)

Peace

karl
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:13am PT
The lack of over sized bulging muscles and ripped definition worthy of Olympians on these superstars is simply amazing. I just dont get it ... The head space is clearly where its at.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:25am PT
I don't know Pilgrims. Alex has a superb strength-to-weight ratio--- a really modern climber:

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:45am PT
I've never climbed an armchair - is it harder than the regular chair traverse?


yeah, but only by two letter grades. hahaha :)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:48am PT
Doesn't it depend on whether one does the sit down start?
2 l l

Sport climber
Rancho Verga, CA
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:04am PT
It now seems strange that Croft/ Shultz were rebuffed on thier attempt(s).
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:10am PT
awesome, cheers to Honn-bold
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:25am PT
Great shot, Walleye.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:48am PT
> "It's just like Snake Dike but more extreme."

haha, good one!

Not true, though.
Yes, it's *runout* like Snake Dike.
But you can't get lost on Snake Dike, once you get onto the Dike.
You can easily get off route on Southern Belle, since there are hardly any bolts to find and no big dike to follow.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 3, 2010 - 06:59am PT
Adamame

Big Wall climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 3, 2010 - 12:42pm PT
I think this an awesome and proud send of a bold and beautiful line. Will and Alex get a lot if respect for stuff like this. But I would like to ask the question, does your view of the ascent change if you knew this team used fixed lines to mini-traxion and rehearse the upper pitches. Would that be against the rules considering the controversy next door and the aura of The South Face. Does this reduce the route to a lower level or is it equally proud send either way?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:02pm PT
Rock + Ice has this now:

Alex Honnold and Will Stanhope made the third free ascent of Half Dome's notoriously run out Southern Belle (5.12d) yesterday (November 1). The pair had worked out the first five pitches the week before and then started at 5 a.m., going for the one-day send. According to James Lucas, who talked to the climbers, "On one pitch a knob that Honnold had slung came off as he climbed 10 feet above it on 5.10 terrain. He was looking at a 120-foot fall if he didn't make it to the next bolt." The climbers were so dehydrated when they topped out that they drank out of puddles on the summit.

Southern Belle consists of 14 pitches, four of which are 5.12, with six pitches of 5.11. The route was established (and almost freed) by Walt Shipley and Dave Schultz in 1987 and freed the next year by Schultz and Scott Cosgrove. Dean Potter and Leo Houlding made the second free ascent 18 years later in 2006.
10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:11pm PT
pretty impressive
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:14pm PT
does your view of the ascent change if you knew this team used fixed lines to mini-traxion and rehearse the upper pitches

I don't get it. I hadn't heard of someone doing this. Is this a hypothetical question? Sounds pretty specific.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:21pm PT
The upper pitches, from about the fifth onward, apparently involve serious route-finding. Rehearsing them would remove a lot of the challenge. The first 4 - 5 pitches are mostly cracks, so whatever else, there aren't route-finding issues.

It's hypothetical, given that W & A only rehearsed the first five.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 3, 2010 - 01:36pm PT
MH, I'm not certain we know all the specifics of how long the team took to do the route and the methods involved.
I've also heard reports of MiniTraxion, so I'm wondering how much was onsight?

Still a super proud send.

And James, your OP is kinda odd--Stanhope fell on TR, but then had to wander through "unchalked" holds? Something's funhny there.
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:15pm PT
Stanhopes caption to the facebook picture states "First Attempt" dated Oct 28th, rephrasing that as a "rehearsal" is hardly fair. They had both the Cosgrove topo and the original Shipley/Schultz topo. Critics as yet do not have a claim made by the climbers to criticize. Its not an FFA it's a repeat of an existing line.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
I don't think anybody is trying to criticize. You climb SB, that is proud.
Period.



As is natural, folks will be curious about the details of the ascent. I know I am.






Also, would love to see a copy of the original topo! CMac said he'd post it on the SB route page, but it ain't there!
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/topos/yosemite/half-dome-southern-belle.pdf
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 3, 2010 - 02:41pm PT
Now that is cool, thx.




FWIW, I heard Stanhope took (& used) three sets of micros on the seam pitch. Frickin' Wild!!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Nov 3, 2010 - 04:45pm PT
Good job guys! I guess it's a trade route now.

Ken
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 7, 2010 - 03:03pm PT
http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/honnold_and_stanhope_interview_southern_belle_512d_r/

Good interview posted on Climbing magazine's Hot Flashes site.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 7, 2010 - 06:03pm PT
Thanks Clint for that link. Of course we want to hear more!
2 l l

Sport climber
Rancho Verga, CA
Nov 17, 2010 - 09:38pm PT
FFA of Karma next?!?
As long as we're dreaming, how about Lost Again next.
supafly

climber
Nov 26, 2010 - 07:26pm PT
write-up on will's blog about southern belle:

http://www.willstanhope.blogspot.com/
MH2

climber
Nov 26, 2010 - 08:12pm PT
Nice to see that. Alex has a great smile.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 26, 2010 - 09:49pm PT


Alex arrived at the belay bug-eyed, and said, "this route is a good adventure!" We rapped down, had pizza at Curry Village...

By far the best writeup yet. Good details.

Thanks Will!

I like his October blog too, swinging leads on Bachar-Yerian with his girlfriend. These are some wild young climbers, obviously having a great time.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 26, 2010 - 09:59pm PT
Thanks Supa for the Will link. It has become clear that The Belle is still being looked at as quite technical and hard.
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Nov 27, 2010 - 12:31am PT
Down to earth guys, brimming with extreme talent , having grand adventures. Simply awesome. Thanks for the link
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 27, 2010 - 01:52am PT
Thanks for the link.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 27, 2010 - 02:00am PT
Will Stanhope: a better photo of him

BruceAnderson

Social climber
Los Angeles
Nov 27, 2010 - 02:12am PT
more proof that in his prime Coz was one of the best freeclimbers in the world.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 27, 2010 - 02:38am PT
Is this the ultimate slab route?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 27, 2010 - 11:04am PT
Munge, great question. I have been wondering that myself. I think it is, and we're talking "the world", too. If we consider length, placement, difficulty, history, quality of rock, nature of the climbing, drama.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 27, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
As for ultimate slab, Hall of Mirrors is another contender, especially in the smooth and edging departments. It has had only one repeat.
Southern Belle is harder, has the hard crack climbing start, and of course is notorious for being more runout than the Bachar-Yerian.
JakeW

Big Wall climber
CA
Nov 27, 2010 - 05:31pm PT
Yes, these guys are great climbers, but Will crashed into my car trying to back out of the driveway, and I once saw Alex unable to get a rope through his rappel device...right after saying "god doesn't rain on MY parade." Apparently competence doesn't always extend to all realms of life. ;)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 25, 2011 - 03:51pm PT
http://willstanhope.blogspot.com/

Broken talus bone (ankle) and cracked vertebrae in neck, in March.
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