Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 4, 2019 - 09:26am PT
We are a couple of Spanish climbers, on the 2017 September we went to Yosemite and did Zodiac and Mescalito (with storm included) . We are Father and son, I’m 52 and Mikel is 18 years old and the truth is, we enjoyed it so much. We are liked to the “aid climb” , for us the free climbing of these walls is too much complicated. It isn't crags in Spain.
We were really impressed by the Halfdome and would love to come back on September 2019 to try Zenith. I don’t know the current conditions as well as the required gear. There’s few info on internet.
Someone would you be so kind to give us some advice about the Zenith (HalfDome)? Are there dangerous ledges? We are also considering from Cap, Aurora, Sunkist or the Pacific, which would you recommend, considering that I prefer NO ledges in case of a potential dangerous fall.
I haven't been on Zenith but attempted Tis-sa-ack this past summer, which is relatively close to Zenith and we found it to be concerningly loose/unstable. My partner and I retreated at the 13th pitch, where a detached 30' x 30' flake was flexing up to 6" from the force of a gentle hand jam. A much more skilled party attempted the route shortly after us and bailed near this point, where they noticed alarming signs of instability. They posted about it in the route's beta page. I don't know of anybody who has climbed Zenith over the past few years but would be very wary of loose rock up there.
Two years ago I climbed the South Seas to Pacific Ocean Wall and that was an excellent route if you're looking for something long, steep, challenging, and for the most part free of dangerous fall potential.
Thank you very much Steve.
It is very bad news for us. We thought that Zenith could be a good challenge, for your words you think it can be dangerous.
We wanted to climb Zenith in August and PO in September. I do not know what to do. Kali Yuga, Big Child I see them too difficult. . .
If you would not mind a long approach, and something off the beaten path, you might consider the South Face of Mt. Watkins: The Beta page says:
"Mount Watkins is an adventurous off-the-beaten track wall with relatively moderate climbing. The route is mostly 5.10 or easier with a few aid climbing cruxes. The climbing is surprisingly good and the line follows big striking corners linked by exposed traverses. Because the long approach and descent it is ideally done light and fast – in a day or with one or two bivis. This route is hidden deep in Tenaya Canyon; no cars, tourists, or busses here! The approach is long for a Yosemite big wall but short compared to other walls that feel this remote. Today the route is seeing more and more free climbing action both by people who want to free the whole route and those who want to free the 80 percent of the climb that is 5.10+ or easier. This climb is harder than the Regular Route on Half Dome but easier than The Nose. It get's a 5.9 mandatory free rating to underscore that you want to be in good free shape. Often a 5.9 move avoids a tricky aid placement. Great training for The Nose in a day."
I find the crowds in Yosemite a bit off putting, and Tenaya Canyon is remote and lovely.