Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Half Dome RNWF in a day (jaysen+ryan) 18 hr push
Wednesday August 7, 2013 9:41pm
"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.

Rack
-Triple set of cams to .5
-Doubles .75 to #3
-one #4
-single set of offset cams
-Nuts, Single set of regular and offset
-70m rope
-4 liters of water
-STOKE

camping at the base
camping at the base
Credit: Jaysen

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.

one of the initial pitches
one of the initial pitches
Credit: Jaysen

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.

gettn ready to start my block.
gettn ready to start my block.
Credit: Jaysen

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.

me linking p8 and 9 to the robins traverse
me linking p8 and 9 to the robins traverse
Credit: Jaysen

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.

Credit: Jaysen

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.

me on the zigzags
me on the zigzags
Credit: Jaysen

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).

Me breaking down tot he hand rail traverse on thank god at like 11pm
Me breaking down tot he hand rail traverse on thank god at like 11pm
Credit: Jaysen

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.

  Trip Report Views: 1,747
Jaysen
About the Author
Jaysen is a trad climber from NY working the the park for the summer. A burrista at the pavilion coffee corner, come say hi!

Comments
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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Aug 7, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
So freakin good, I love this stoke!
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Aug 7, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
Great TR. Thanks!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
  Aug 7, 2013 - 09:56pm PT
Helluva stout young crew coming up. Wonder what you guys will be doing in the bright future!

Love the TR!
whitemeat

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Aug 7, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
good job jaysen!!! that route is amazing, Right?!!!! CANT wait for the shield!!!!!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Aug 7, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
Have fun on the Shield. One of El Cap's crappier routes, however.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Aug 7, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
Geeez, I just can't add to anything that has been said! Awesome!

Susan
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Aug 7, 2013 - 10:49pm PT
Good job guys!
fat-n-sassy

Social climber
San Francity, CA
  Aug 7, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Youngsters killin' it these days!
JLP

Social climber
The internet
  Aug 7, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
I remember you asking about this route a few years ago, as a 16 yr old, or so. Nice to see you coming along with your dreams and goals.
Nate101

Trad climber
Aliso Viejo, CA
  Aug 8, 2013 - 12:40am PT
Great job guys!
Mark Sensenbach

climber
CA
  Aug 8, 2013 - 06:40am PT
Awesome!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Aug 8, 2013 - 09:12am PT
Nicely done!!!
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 8, 2013 - 11:24am PT
Great write-up, captured it well. Felt like I was there. TFPU. Gotta say, I come down in the Twight camp - drink more water, the weight will pay off in morale and energy.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Aug 8, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
Bump! The headlamp bubble effect is so true.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Aug 9, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
I felt like I was on the route again. Thanks much for a well-done TR, sharing a well-done climb.

John
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 10, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
Loved the writing and introspection, a great TR!!!!
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Half Dome - Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Regular Northwest Face.
Photo: Mark Kroese
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