Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1
Trip ReportHalf Dome RNWF in a day (jaysen+ryan) 18 hr push
"I was cold, I thought i was off route 2500 feet from the ground and in the darkness I was scared."
After doin the nose and zodiac with whitemeat, i was psyched on doing a bit more free climbing and shifted my focus from the captain to half dome. Mickey having already climbed half dome allowed me to climb with someone els, I was stoked to climb with ryan. This being Ryans first wall, i knew it was gonna be a rad experience for both of us.
-Triple set of cams to .5
-Doubles .75 to #3
-single set of offset cams
-Nuts, Single set of regular and offset
-4 liters of water
We hiked to the base via the death slabs and camped at the base with our wilderness permit and bear canister. I have a cool history with halfdome, snake dike being my first climb in yosemite on a trip 3 years ago made doing the RNWF a big mile marker for me. Sitting at the base of the wall opened the door to alot of reflection on my part. There were no crowds so we woke up and filled up our water with what was left of the spring. Off we went on the crush pitch 1.
Ryan and I were splitting the climb into 4 blocks, Ryan took the first 4, then I 5-8 ect. The first pitch went slow as expected (its long and hard), the second took about a fourth the time and the third was also a bit of trouble. Ryan finished off his block and I fired into action.
I took the next couple pitches through the robins traverse (fun!) and Ryan resumed. At this point we were moving at a good pace and I realized that the next 2 block would be slower with the chimneys and zigzags so once at the base of the chimneys I expected to finish the climb in the dark. By this point Ryan began running out of gas. We brought 4 liters of water and were down to about 1, so i left the remainder to him (i drank about 1/2 liter of water the whole climb) I took the first pitch of the chimneys and frenched the c1 corner and Ryan took p14 with the sweet handcrack in the back of the chimney.
By this point it was pretty obvious to me that it would be better if I lead the remainder of the climb, Ryan was running low and pounding energy supplements so I told him as long as he keeps the stoke up (which is always most important to me) I would lead the remainder of the climb. I took the sweet 5.9 handcrack pitch to the double cracks where ryan re-energized and wanted to take 1 more pitch. He blasted to big sandy and it was time for the zig-gags.
I had planned on linking the first 2 pitches of the zig zags and short fixing the last. Upon leaving sandy, i realized this pitch would go into the dark for sure. After what i thought was 200 feet of back cleaning and clipping fixed forged friends, i made it to a corner that i couldent make out on the topo. It was dark, I thought i was off route 2500 feet from the ground and in the darkness I was scared. This was one of the moments where I knew i just had to suck it up and be "The Guy". One thought that comforted me was that I knew people had epiced so much harder than we were (we were nowhere near epicing) and i was just getting into my own head. I just built a belay in the corner and sat there listening to AC/DC from my phone for 30 mins waiting for Ryan to jug the massive pitch. As I sat i began doing the math of the pitches. I had just did a 200 foot pitch and I knew that i would have had to short fix a pitch until 10 feet before the belay to wait for Ryan to unfix and belay me for last 10 feet. This meant that I had passed the belay? Ryan arrived at the belay to meet a pretty unstoked Jaysen. He brought me back and I set off again, i figured all i could do was go up. So i went up.... and after 15 feet I found THANK GOD LEDGE. Earning its name, i new felt stupid for having made this mistake. I had done a 240 pitch and took an unrecommended belay.
EVERY STEP I took across the ledge got me more stoked, I was walking on this ledge i had read about in books for years and at the moment, i felt like the entire world was inside my 10 foot bubble of the light of my lamp. I was in a rage of happiness and was ready to punch the 5.8 squeeze in the face. When i become completely depleted, For whatever reason, climbing is something that feels so natural and engaging, that it manages to hone my focus and bring me into another headspace. All worries about the world and even my gear or rope are gone with the darkness and all i am concerned with is the next move ahead of me, it simplifies everything. I apperantally got half way through the squeeze and knee barred, then maintained to carry on a conversation with ryan mid crux. I had not a single worry, i think i may have actually savored the crux because of the feeling of having escaped (the next 2 pitches are a joke). Ryan came across the walkway and i set off again to take down the short aid crux of the discontinued bolt ladders. Then I finished the last pitch and we were at the top. At this point I was a little bummed we dident top out in day light to get free oreos and peanutbutter for gapers but we did find a little girls backpack she had left on sub dome and inhaled all the water in it (sorry).
Afterward, I realized we were never really in any danger, I was just tired from an 18 hour push and you just become a little bit of a baby. I really wanna go back and do the route sub 12 hours someday and free more (especially the zig zags). Ryan had now done his first wall and what a great one! Now im ready to chill and this coming Tuesday whitemeat and I are getting on the shield.
I will be leaving the valley in 2 weeks, after 90 days of climbing its crazy to think of returning to a life without it. Ive done so much but there is always so much to do, Mickey and I will CRUSH the Shield and that will be a great temporary conclusion, but i'll be back.
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