free climbing half dome

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 56 of total 56 in this topic
dirtbagaaron

Trad climber
el cap dreamin'
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 30, 2005 - 04:25pm PT
cruxes would be the zig-zags, higbee hedral and the face near the top correct? any beta on any of these?
Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
Jan 30, 2005 - 05:31pm PT
Be really, really strong.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jan 31, 2005 - 07:11pm PT
Actually most of the Zig Zags are 5.10 or easier. But there's a super thin section on the 2nd one (I think, but may be wrong--that's been 25 years ago) that is nasty hard. Higby dihedral is just a tricky corner (short) and the last pitch is hard slab bouldering for several body lengths. But this route is no classic in my book. Just too chossy.

JL
Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
Jan 31, 2005 - 07:19pm PT
You heard it first here on Supertacos! Largo says the Reggae is a chosspile! Comments? ;-)
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Jan 31, 2005 - 07:36pm PT
I wouldn't call it a chosspile, but I like it up there for the position and the rock formation at least as much as climbing itself.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Feb 1, 2005 - 10:29am PT
Let me rephrase that: Half Dome is a classic formation with a divine view. But the first half of the Reg route is pretty beat up and flakey and low angled--like a route in the Sierras or the North Face of Tahquitz--and not till you get to Big Sandy does the angle kick up and the rock get clean--and then it's only a few hours to the top. Thank God Ledge is an all time pitch (I had traversed it, and actually know of nobody who has foot traversed the whole thing), but after that it's basically over save for a few cranker slab moves or easy aid moves. So if you boiled down the whole route to prime footage, you'd have a great 4 or 5 pitch route. You can have the rest of it. But of course you have to do it--it's Half Dome for Christ's sakes.

JL
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Feb 1, 2005 - 11:41am PT
Yeah, if anybody out there's walked Thank God, they best spray about it now. I, like everyone, went up there determined to saunter across and ended up handtraversing, although I demeaned myself horribly with a bit of crawling in between. Don't crawl, peeps. When you got to get down--and you do have to get down, when the wall bulges--just go straight to hands.

I may have to go back up there...



Who's walked it?
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Feb 1, 2005 - 11:47am PT
I, for one, chose to crawl like a little baby.

Mostly because I ran out of rope and was caught in a hanging belay in a Whillans harness just short of the ledge, and couldn't feel my freaking legs for a bit...
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Feb 1, 2005 - 01:21pm PT
half and half for me. hell I was looking for that sweet spot that gives you props for standing up as long as you did, but felt ohhh so sweet when you dropped down and sunk your hands into those sinker jams behind the ledge.

But I'm with Largo, as a route to remember for the climbing and not the position, there's only a few places that standout.

BUT, it's friggin Half (rubble) Dome for christ's sake and must be climbed by some route or another, other then the cables or Snakedike to say you've actually climbed the thing. At least to me

Cheers
Pat
Brick

Social climber
SF, CA
Feb 1, 2005 - 01:26pm PT
hands + a right heel hook

and while it may be choss, some... teneya canyon is spooky magic no matter how you slice it
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Feb 1, 2005 - 01:29pm PT
"Yeah, if anybody out there's walked Thank God, they best spray about it now. I, like everyone, went up there determined to saunter across and ended up handtraversing, although I demeaned myself horribly with a bit of crawling in between. Don't crawl, peeps. When you got to get down--and you do have to get down, when the wall bulges--just go straight to hands."

Well, I watched my partner walk it. Which gave me some added determination to walk it. But I crawled and hand traversed anyway.
atchafalaya

Trad climber
California
Feb 1, 2005 - 02:00pm PT
I had heard the stories that it had been walked, and was psyched to try, but, groveled on hands and knee. My partner tried it with a pack on and failed to walk it as well. It was like a bizarre limbo contest at the end of a long day...
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Feb 1, 2005 - 02:08pm PT
I thought that most people walked it... Interesting, I think my friend was messing with me when he told me to walk it. I had to take my camelback off, and placing gear made me appreciate yoga. My wife followed me and tried to walk it, but she was so tired that she ignored my advice to take the camelback off and she whipped. Unfortunately she sprained her ankle a little which didn't help for the descent... :(

Edit: My favorite part was that you had to have your toes on the ledge so that your heels could be as far out as possible for balance. Very intimidating!!!
Melissa

Big Wall climber
oakland, ca
Feb 1, 2005 - 02:08pm PT
"It was like a bizarre limbo contest at the end of a long day..."

Nice image!
Matt

Trad climber
moving to the RIGHT
Feb 1, 2005 - 02:42pm PT
i actually didn't know anything specific about TG ledge before i went up there and it never even occurred to me to walk the whole thing (damn!). my partner just told me the pitch was mine becaus eit had a short wide section on it, so i walked most of it and then i just layed my right leg and hip on it, hanging my left leg off, and slid about 6 feet before i stood back up.

afterward i sent some jpegs to a friend, who promptly informed me i'd have to go back up and clean it up (at 1st i thought he was joking).


a few of my friends have walked it, i'm told it's really more heady than hard to do.
Southern Man

climber
Feb 1, 2005 - 03:49pm PT
When I got to TGL I crawled on my hands and knees like a reptile or is that an amphibian, whatever, I groveled. I had a great time on the route w/ my son (close encounter w/ bears, snowed the night we bivyed on Big Sandy, etc.) last June as our first wall. Since the consensus is that most of the route is less than spectacular, I can't wait to do the more classic big wall routes w/ him.
Does anyone have suggestions in Yos. for the next step up from Half Dome? Lurking Fear?, Nose?, T. Trip?
Cracko

Trad climber
Quartz Hill, California
Feb 1, 2005 - 04:01pm PT
Southern Man,

My first wall was NWFHD years ago. Due to the fact that it isn't very aid intensive, I did the Grade V circuit (Prow, WFLT, etc) in preparation for my first real wall which was Zodiac. I would really recommend you dial in your aid on a grade V before hitting El Cap. Zodiac was great!
Southern Man

climber
Feb 1, 2005 - 04:08pm PT
Cracko:
Thanks for the info. The RNWF did have alot of free climbing on it. One of the reasons it was so much fun. Ditto on the grade V and aid prep.
Rob

climber
Feb 1, 2005 - 04:20pm PT
How about some photos of the ledge?!
Brick

Social climber
SF, CA
Feb 1, 2005 - 04:33pm PT


and a full monty view from above
Gunkie

climber
I don't get mad, I get stabby -- Fat Tony
Feb 1, 2005 - 04:57pm PT
Brick-

That's the best overall picture I've seen of TGL from above. You can clearly see the narrow section.

BTW, I hand-traversed/crawled across that thing for the most unasthetic crossing of Thank God Ledge ever.
Matt

Trad climber
moving to the RIGHT
Feb 1, 2005 - 05:04pm PT



i walked part of it...
Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
Feb 1, 2005 - 05:31pm PT
Nice pics guys!! And Largo I was jsut teasing. I think a lot of 'classic' routes have that kind of issue. They are classic more for their historical value, position, line and the formation they climb than anything else. The Reg on Fairview is similar. Some great climbing for sure but not pitch after pitch of divine granite by any stretch.
Festus

Mountain climber
Antelope Valley
Feb 1, 2005 - 09:31pm PT
Hey, Cracko

With all that experience, how did you then go oh for three on Prodigal Sun? Keerist, Michael Jackson could step into the batter's box against Randy Johnson and put up the same numbers.

"Now pinch hitting for Cracko, number 16, Bulging Puke!"

[crowd cheers]
Blinny

Trad climber
Eureka, Montana
Feb 1, 2005 - 10:53pm PT
I had the pleasure of going across TGL three times when I soloed the route. Once to lead it, then again to get back to the belay, and a final time to clean it. Full grovel each time!!!

Mark
malabarista

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Feb 1, 2005 - 11:27pm PT
I walked it.

Tradboy

Social climber
Valley
Feb 2, 2005 - 01:48pm PT
The original question was about the free climbing cruxes not about some easy pitch rated 5.7 only because there is an easy chimney at the end of it. The Huber variation around the bolt ladder is easier than Higbee but not as classic. The squeeze chimney to skip the 11c corner is airy. The very end of the Zig Zags would have to be the absolute crux, very thin. Seems much harder than the rating. Another crux would be the crowds since it is a gumby wall route with parties taking upwards of 20 hours for one day ascents.
atchafalaya

Trad climber
California
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:02pm PT
DOH!!!!
malabarista

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:08pm PT
Look TradBoy, BURT BRONSON has probably already free-soloed this route in heavy mountaineering boots in under 2 hours.
Southern Man

climber
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:08pm PT
I still stand in awe of anyone who climbs HD and the Nose in a day. Heck, I amazed that folks hike the slabs, climb the RNWF, and go back down the slabs in a day!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:12pm PT
He wrote: "The very end of the Zig Zags would have to be the absolute crux, very thin."

Especially if you hve fat fingers like I do. I think this last bit--20 or so ultra-thin feet--would probably be rated around 5.12b by modern standards.

JL
Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:16pm PT
If you if you are just really fat like I am. The thin feet pose extra problems when your belly prevents you from seeing them.
Southern Man

climber
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:43pm PT
Who ever in the future does the first free solo of this route will be one bad-ass individual. IMHO.
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Feb 2, 2005 - 04:51pm PT
Supposedly some mad Brit soloed it in the '80s. Belatedly reported in the AAJ maybe 5-10 years back. Seriously.
dirtbagaaron

Trad climber
el cap dreamin'
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 2, 2005 - 07:01pm PT
so i guess i should start training huh? about the fingers, i have girl hands for sure. and i will definitely train for the ledge walk.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Feb 2, 2005 - 07:31pm PT
damn that ledge walk looks scary as hell.

so which is the best method, belly in or belly out?
bobmarley

Trad climber
auburn, california
Jun 30, 2005 - 06:11pm PT
dirtbagaaron, just did the regular route yesterday! excellent route man and i highly recommend it. to big sandy is pretty much all free 5.8/5.9 except the 2 bolt ladders and that 10c first pitch. some of the 5.9's were demanding for the grade, but pretty much valley 5.9. my partner led all that in 1 block. i led the next block from big sandy to the top. i free climbed, french freed, and aided thru the zig zags, but never actually broke out the aiders. there's alot of fixed gear to clip for sure. thank god ledge was a bit intimidating but fun and easy and easy to protect. i walked across until it got weird and hard, then just hand traversed across which was easy. i agree with JL about the quality being high sierra granite-ish. but i did not think too chossy. that last 5.11 was the heady-est to me. it's not a straightforward bolt ladder so be prepared for some hard face moves or a little aiding (which i did). not to carry on here, but we went with a fairly light rack 11 cams, 10 stoppers. biggest cam was BD #3. the rack turned out perfect i thought and was ample for every pitch. good luck and have fun on it!
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Chatsworth
Jun 30, 2005 - 07:37pm PT
I did thank god and took one look at the 5.9 and headed out to the left. I then free climbed up to a belay. Long runnout but I avoided the OW. Looking at the topo it says A2. But I free climbed it.

Felt the zig zags where easy for 5.11.

Juan
Shack

Trad climber
So. Cal.
Jun 30, 2005 - 08:09pm PT
That's why your the "rockstar", Juan.
Impaler

Trad climber
Munich
Feb 22, 2010 - 08:48am PT
So which is the preferred variation: the Higbee or the Huber dihedral for most people who free the route? Squeeze chimney or the 11c crack that is often wet? What's safer gear-wise?
pyrosis

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 22, 2010 - 10:22am PT
>>Yeah, if anybody out there's walked Thank God, they best spray about it now.

Five years too late, but..

I walked it, the whole thing. Toetips way out on the edge to keep from tipping over backwards. Even squatted down in the middle to place a piece of gear. I guess I didn't realize it would be easier to hand traverse. Probably took me like ten minutes, inch by inch. And.. I was scared shitless the whole time. Partner hand traversed on the second, took him less than a minute. Doh! :)

-Tavis
NA_Kid

Big Wall climber
The Bear State
Feb 22, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
TGL
TGL
Credit: NA_Kid
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Last clip of Lichen Lunch
Feb 22, 2010 - 01:08pm PT
Awesome shot.
The Void beckons, huh?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 22, 2010 - 01:25pm PT
seriously good photo
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Feb 22, 2010 - 01:31pm PT
"Who ever in the future does the first free solo of this route will be one bad-ass individual. IMHO."

Guess we only had to wait about 4 years to find out who the real bad-ass was!
jsj

climber
Boulder
Feb 22, 2010 - 01:32pm PT
Regarding free climbing, here's some of my opinions:

First, I haven't done the Huber Hedral, and almost everyone I know does the Higbee Hedral. Like Largo said, it's a short boulder problem in a corner. Stemming to a mantle basically, right off the belay. If you blow it you can lower to the belay and try it again no problem. I'll note that the pitch leading up to it involves a kinda scary move protected by (currently) a really awful 1/4 inch bolt. This is probably an 11a/b balance move. Replacing this bolt would be really nice. After this move there is a section of burly wideness... we didn't have a big cam (#4 Camalot), and because of this the section was scary. Prolly no more than Valley 5.9 but still. That said, I wouldn't bring a big cam on the route.

Second, don't do the circuitous 5.10 free variation. What a pile! Seriously, WHAT A PILE. Do the 5.12 Wilder variation, or, if that's over your head, dog it, french free it, or just do the standard bolt ladder.

Third, yes, only one of the zig-zags is really that hard. Unfortunately when I did it I accidentally went up the 5.12c way instead of the 5.11d/5.12a way for the crux zig-zag and actually found it not too bad. I thought it was 12a. So I'm speculating the 11d/12a is even easier.

Fourth, the slab is pretty hard at the end of the day. But definitely 5.11 no worse.

Finally, on gear: We brought a single set from blue alien to blue camalot, with doubles in 0.75, #1, #2 Camalots. Wires. Lots of draws. This rack worked pretty well - I wouldn't add anything, probably could skip some of the doubles next time. Don't skimp on draws though - the route is heavily fixed with various aid paraphernalia.

I think the route is great and to call it chossy or a pile is only relative to, say, the Cookie Cliff. Compared to typical Rocky Mountain National Park alpine routes, stuff like that, it is a classic, beautiful rock climb. Everything from the chimneys on up is great.
Impaler

Trad climber
Munich
Feb 23, 2010 - 03:31am PT
JSJ, thanks a lot for the beta! That's exactly what I wanted to see!
altieboo

Boulder climber
Livermore, Ca
Feb 23, 2010 - 03:54am PT
Thanks JsJ for getting the psyche on more!
wrw

climber
Feb 23, 2010 - 07:51am PT
http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1686060896?bctid=65561781001
squatch

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
Feb 23, 2010 - 09:51pm PT
funny to see the timeline on this thread.
and that last video... yeah pretty much mindblowing.
Mimi

climber
Feb 23, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
Travis, but now you are one of the few that have walked it. Yeehaw!

I had to drop and hand traverse. Still spectacular though as the pic above shows.

The zigs were coated with dust and grit and would've been sketch freeing them. Do the rains up there usually wash that much sand down? Never did ask anyone that BITD.
jsj

climber
Boulder
Feb 24, 2010 - 03:48am PT
I think I'll also use this opportunity for some unsolicited ranting:

If you're one of the pathetic aid climbers who thinks you're doing someone a favor by leaving a 2 liter bottle of water wedged down in the chimney by Big Sandy, or by pissing or shitting on that ledge... You suck. I mean talk about lazy. You're hauling anyway... Can't you dump your nasty water and carry an empty bottle 6 more pitches to the top? Don't piss down cracks or on ledges, piss over the face. Carry your sh#t out. Carry your TP out. If you forgot your TP and decided to use your boxer shorts, carry them out. If you can't manage this, then wear a diaper when you climb and don't take it off until you're back at camp.
Impaler

Trad climber
Munich
Feb 24, 2010 - 08:42am PT
jsj, unfortunately, the people who would read your rant probably don't do that kind of stuff anyway. I can imagine that euros come to do this route and the ethics are completely different for them. These people don't respect their own rocks and you can tell that from all the cigarette butts stuck all over the crack in the Dolomites.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Last clip of Lichen Lunch
Feb 24, 2010 - 08:48am PT
Word. I'm a pathetic aid climber(Haha!), & I don't sheet or pizz on yer ledges, nor stick butts in cracks. Yeah, I don't leave a jug, either, unless there's a following party suckin' hind tit behind me.
Haulin' it out over here, boss.

tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Feb 24, 2010 - 10:20am PT
More Honnold from First Ascent series:

http://natgeoadventure.tv/Post.aspx?Id=24672
TomKimbrough

Social climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 24, 2010 - 10:30am PT
Barb Eastman walked TGL when she and Molly Higgins did HD in '76 (?)(maybe 1st all female ascent? Bev J and someone may have done it before them.)
Barb said she didn't know to crawl but got out there on her feet and couldn't get back or down. She considered jumping but kept edging along and finally it got better.
She said it was one of the dumbest things she ever did.
Messages 1 - 56 of total 56 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