South Face of Half Dome

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sling512

Trad climber
Chicago
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 8, 2006 - 07:46am PT
I'm having some trouble finding any route info on the South Face of Half Dome. I know it's famously devoid of anything, but there MUST be some climbable routes. I read John M's rescue story from up there, but no mention of actually finishing the route. He talks about some good free climbing potential but has anyone done anything?
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Calif
Mar 8, 2006 - 08:19am PT
Southern Belle is a free route that begins just right of the Harding South face route, crosses into it midway and finishes to the left of it up high. It is unrepeated despite strong attempts by Alan Lester & Hank Caylor(who took a 70' fall which broke his leg). Hank declared it scarier than the Bachar Yerian!

Eric Kohl also did a solo route called Lost Again, VI A3+. It is a couple hundred feet to the left of the Harding route & might be unrepeated. The Harding route has had a few repeats and has aging fixed anchors.

Levy
sling512

Trad climber
Chicago
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2006 - 08:23am PT
Seems ripe for some adventure climbing then!
BASE104

climber
An Oil Field
Mar 8, 2006 - 08:31am PT
Someone should girdle traverse Half Dome like skinning an apple, in a spiral. Go all the way and drop down a few hundred feet each time. It is so overhung between Tis Sa Ack and Bushido that there would have to be a lot of nailing. You could stay up there for months.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 8, 2006 - 11:10am PT
The possibilities are endless...

Wings of Peel

Wings of Speil

Wings of Squeal

Wings of Steal

Wings of Wheels

Wingers of Steel

High Rollers

Hooks Of Squeal

Hunt And Pecker

Iron Tap Dancers

Rock and Roll

Slab Dancers

Slab o' Fools

Slab Of Dreams

Slabotage

Slow Hand Jack

Stain Of Effort
Wade Icey

Social climber
the EPC
Mar 8, 2006 - 11:35am PT
Karma- I. Monkey and Chicken Skinner. '80s. No second (?) Reid Guide
bringmeshelter

Social climber
la la land
Mar 8, 2006 - 11:44am PT
Eric put up Lost Again when he was like 6! Mega proud if you ask me... youngest FA ever of a bigwall? HAHAHA
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 8, 2006 - 12:31pm PT
oy, you guys never forget!
Mike.

climber
Mar 8, 2006 - 01:10pm PT
I heard Roger B. rapped down from the summit and replaced bolts on the SF, but stopped at the arch b/c of difficulty getting back in to the route. Greg B. probably knows about this, maybe try the ASCA site?
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Mar 8, 2006 - 01:33pm PT
Forget El Cap the South Face of Half Dome is the future of Yosemite free climbing. Now I know why Klaus wants all that 1/4 in gear. Klaus , let's see a topo or photos of the Megashear - Proud
sling512

Trad climber
Chicago
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2006 - 01:49pm PT
I suggest setting up a 'Camp 5' at Lost Lake to facilite the fury of route that are bound to spring up!
ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
Mar 8, 2006 - 02:01pm PT
I have heard that the bears are pretty rampant there at the lake for those that are choosing to bivvy there. That seems to be fueled by the proximity to the camping at Little Yosemite Valley of the JMT and the less than suitable food storage tactics for those choosing to bivvy there prior to Snake Hike climbs.
Dirk

climber
Curry Village
Mar 8, 2006 - 05:10pm PT
There may now be some post-Harding anchors on SFHD, but don't expect three ASCA bolts at at station... or even one. The route has been repeated maybe 10 times to the best of my knowledge. While the Northwest Face has seen a girdle traverse the entire formation has yet to be circumnativated--a seemingly ideal task for Kohl, he could just continue to establish pitch after pitch of obscure A5 over multple laps.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Mar 8, 2006 - 06:06pm PT
Here you go Al Dude… You should go bag the second with SG!


Topo drawn by Klaus.
Not sure where the rack list came from – C Mac?


This topo is part of the downloadable “Obscurities” here on this site. Check it out.

Yosemite Big Wall Obscurities:
http://www.supertopo.com/topos/yosemite/obscurities.pdf



Belay 6:

Photo by Andrew McGarry


There is a picture on pages 20 and 21 in the ’01 BD catalog and another picture (same pitch) in the ’03 Climbing Magazine Weekly Engagement Calendar… Photos by Andrew McGarry.



Ed, that wasn’t your fault – it’s a misprint in the ’93 Reid guide!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 8, 2006 - 06:12pm PT
Bryan,

I'm curious, given the terrain looks like pretty scant slabs for much of the way, how much drilling and hooking was used on that route if any?
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Mar 8, 2006 - 06:14pm PT
Awesome picture!
bringmeshelter

Social climber
la la land
Mar 8, 2006 - 06:15pm PT
Bryan, where is your beer?

Is the orange jug filled with liquor?
Mike.

climber
Mar 8, 2006 - 09:19pm PT
That foto on CM is worth a bump.

Plenty of tanning potential up there, it looks like...

Shots like that remind me that wall climbing is not misery and toil the entire time.

Thanks, Min!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 8, 2006 - 09:27pm PT
I should have at least checked it out on the Forum before posting... not hard to do. The mental image of a kindergarten aged klaus chugging an OE while putting up an A5 obscurity is somewhat amusing and not too far fetched.


klaus

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Mar 8, 2006 - 10:23pm PT
Climbing on SF of 1/2 dome is like a vacation at the beach.
bringmeshelter

Social climber
la la land
Mar 8, 2006 - 10:27pm PT
I'm always on a beach in my mind... flying too
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Mar 8, 2006 - 10:39pm PT
Nice, Klaus!

Joseph, the aid climbing is limited to pitches 3, 4, 11, and 12. Everything else goes free. But, that’s not to say that there isn’t any free climbing on the aid pitches… The upper part of pitch 3 and pitch 4 are basically rivet ladders, with a few hook moves. There are probably less than a half dozen hook moves on the entire route; there are no bat-hook holes. It’s pretty much a free route with a little bit of drilling and nailing to connect the free sections. There is also some nailing on some of the free pitches. I only led pitches 4, 11, 12, and the beginning of pitch 8. Klaus is the free climber.

Sorry Jake, the orange jug contains Gatorade with no extras. I’ve got a beer stashed somewhere in that pile of stuff, though…

Yeah, Mike. We had a lot of fun on that route.
bringmeshelter

Social climber
la la land
Mar 8, 2006 - 11:03pm PT
Klaus was trying to create his triangle of sluts up there! Wait this belongs in coiler slander fest.
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Mar 8, 2006 - 11:45pm PT
DREAMY - thanx Bryan. Are there big bolts for the free climbing? How close to Autobahn? Crux free - edges, smearing or dikes? Gettin CHARGED!!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 9, 2006 - 09:11am PT
Bryan, Thanks - looks like a great route. Surprised it doesn't see more traffic in cooler weather...

Klaus, who's the hottie?
klaus

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Mar 9, 2006 - 11:19am PT
...more traffic? Uh, I don't think it gets any traffic. Has not had a 2nd ascent as far as I know. Same with Lost Again. Here is where Cataclysmic Megasheer goes. I apologize in advance for the "substandard" photo.
sling512

Trad climber
Chicago
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2006 - 11:35am PT
Are those 3 dikes left or your route part of any routes? They look pretty pronounced in this photo!
klaus

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Mar 9, 2006 - 11:40am PT
that would be Autobahn & Fast Lane. Also in the photo is Dreamscape and my 6 pitch attempt Road Rage.
bringmeshelter

Social climber
la la land
Mar 9, 2006 - 11:55am PT
the 3 dike triangle... I was unable to find any pics to go with klaus's goal.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 9, 2006 - 12:00pm PT
The hell with those other routes! Who's the hottie?
klaus

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Mar 9, 2006 - 12:48pm PT
Miss Klaus 2000
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 9, 2006 - 01:05pm PT
What, if anything, goes up in this neighborhood?

klaus

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Mar 9, 2006 - 01:06pm PT
This isn't Half Dome but I think there is not even a single established route here, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm currently trying to round up a couple of dykes here in SF to carry all the necessary OE to the base, while I stroll on in with my 1/4" kit.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 9, 2006 - 01:30pm PT
Wow, that is a hell of a rock fall slope! Lots of big stuff. Would have been impressive to see that face delaminate. Looks like it may have happened in just two or three events.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 9, 2006 - 01:42pm PT
healyje wrote:
>What, if anything, goes up in this neighborhood?

Autobahn, Fast Lane. -- see Klaus' answer in his 11:40am post above. Just look at the topo in your trusty copy of Meyers/Reid, Reid, etc. The upper half of your green line looks like it's on Autobahn. But I could be wrong; I haven't been up there.

Thanks for sharing the nice photos, Klaus.

Compare with Chris McNamara's photo of the SW face; Autobahn and Klaus' route are on the far right margin, I believe:


aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Mar 9, 2006 - 01:55pm PT
Hmmm. Looks vaguely familiar. West of Starr King? Cashner and I got 4 pitches up central line in 1990. After two horrendous 1/4 inch horror shows attempt ended on big loose flake in near darkness with much 5.11 to go. I think Chapman and Worral later established an 8 pitch 5.10 to the left. Could be mistaken though.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 9, 2006 - 02:39pm PT
I once hiked up to the South Face and scoped those dikes and walked all around that face and thought: That's the future. It's one of my greatest disappointments that I never organized a group to really have at that face. If I could ever have gotten Darrel Hensil, Kevin Powell and Rick Accomazzo together (all skilled at on-the-lead, high angle slab climbing/bolting) and a big stack of quarter inch bolts, we might have been able to do some nice stuff on that face. Those dikes are fantastic to look at. A skilled team with enough time and the right prep. could possibly do a stack of routes on that wall. But it'd be a ton of work and you'd be taking some king sized whippers in the process. On really hard, bolt protected open faces, you're lucky to do two pitches a day--which involves at least a dozen bolts hand drilled on the lead.

JL
Roger Brown

climber
Mar 11, 2006 - 06:16pm PT
I was up there replacing the 37 FA bolts above the arch last summer. I'm to lite to climb it and was doing it on rappel when I found a two bolt anchor fifty feet or so to the east of the Tri-clops. It had some way old webbing on it. The bolts were 5/16 so at the time I just assumed Walt and Dave placed them after hitting a dead end when they were putting up Southern Belle. This thread has re-kindled my curiousity. Anyone know anything about this anchor?
Roger
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 3, 2008 - 08:03am PT
Klaus -

Aldude's partly right - the dome's west of Starr King. Walkabout, the route Chappy and I did, starts on an easy right leaning ramp centered btw the two tall central pines in your photo, then continues up and right toward a long thin roof that leans hard to the left up where the wall lays back. 7 pitches, one at easy 11, two bolts placed. I've described it in other posts here.

It's a good one - choice rock, obvious line, stellar setting. You just gotta hike out there. We found it better to approach from Glacier Point on the Illouette Falls trail than from Mono Meadows. Many top notch new possibilities left to do.

Cataclysmic Megasheer looks excellent - I had my eye on that, scoped it well, and you guys did what I was thinking was best to access the dikes. The aid gave me pause, but I'm sure it was well worth it. Great effort. It must be crazy good up there.


teamwhipper

climber
Bay Area, CA
Apr 3, 2008 - 10:34am PT
What is that mysterious dome (not Half Dome) photographed by Klaus? As AlDude and the Warbler note, it's slightly west of Starr King. In addition to the routes they mention, I know of at least 4 other lines on it, ranging from 5.9 to 12d. They were established from 1984 through perhaps the mid '90's. At one point, I thought Galen Rowell had climbed on it as well, but in an Indian Rock conversation much later, he told me he hadn't climbed on any of the similar domes in the Illouette Creek drainage. We called that dome Dome Baez in 1984, when we established Diamonds and Rust (left side of dome as pictured; 10c chickenheads) and some 5.9 all gear line reminiscent of The Surprise on the right side. I can't remember at that point if the AlDude/Warbler lines had been done, although I remember seeing signs of their passage in later years, when we established a short 11d route and a 12d line not as far to the left.

I think I established roughly 60 pitches on the multitude of domes in this drainage, and Dome Baez is certainly not the best of the 9 domes out there. The rock on some of the other formations was very reminiscent to me of the stone on the back side of Half Dome around Autobahn or the east side of Watkins--- that delicious gold varnished stuff crossed by great dikes and spotted with chickenheads that is arguably some of the nicest quality stone in the entire park. I was always surprised that so much amazing stone so close to so many climbers was so unvisited. With the exception of the few parties doing the standard Starr King route or headed out to Mt Clark (and going right through the heart of the area), I think virtually no one visits. 60 pitches doesn't even scratch the surface of the opportunities out there. And there's even some great bouldering blocks as well. Cheers...

Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Apr 3, 2008 - 11:36am PT
teamwhipper,
Cool to hear of your activity in that area. Being dome obsessed, I've often stared at topo maps and satellite images of the smaller domes in that area, wondering if they were still virgin. Never laid eyes on them in person, and it may be years before I visit. However, I'd love to know even just the names you called them.

 pt. 7734, I'm assuming this is the one in the picture by Klaus. Dome Baez?
 pt. 7669 just south of Starr King
 the longish south facing dome/wall just southeast of Starr King
 pt. 8312 quite a bit further south.
I'm sure there are more...

Feel free to email me, if preferred. The rock sounds similar to some of the best atop Shuteye Ridge.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Apr 3, 2008 - 03:07pm PT
it if wasn't for the regulations and rangers that place would be awesome. might be worth it one of these days.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 15, 2012 - 03:46am PT
Here's a prelim overlay of Dome Baez (we were too busy replacing bolts on Starr King to go to the base of this and locate the routes/bolts precisely):
Dome Baez overlay <br/>
&#40;SW of Starr King&#41; <br/>
prelim version - needs checking
Dome Baez overlay
(SW of Starr King)
prelim version - needs checking
Credit: Clint Cummins
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