Trip Report
Half Dome Unroped
Wednesday July 17, 2013 2:01pm
This past Autumn I completed a ropeless ascent of Half Dome. Afterwards I concluded that this feat should be trivial to an average Hiker, as I saw many poor souls carrying heavy climbing-rope up the mist trail.

Here is my report, as dictated through my iPhone on my commute.

Mountain of Majesty.  Couldn't start until after 7 because there was n...
Mountain of Majesty. Couldn't start until after 7 because there was no place that would serve me coffee. The storm is foreboding.
Credit: MtnSavior


My great adventures began this summer, after my children were old enough to move out of my house and into their mothers apartment (which I pay for). This was ideal as now I could use the money I spent on a nanny to see the best mountains, and conquer them.

Contemplating the frailty of life.
Contemplating the frailty of life.
Credit: MtnSavior

I got in around 4 in the afternoon, on a Saturday. The rental car was much faster than mine at home, and it was nice to feel the power in my hands as the Sorrento glissaded against the curves of highway 41. The overpriced place I was staying in, Housekeeping, had no housekeeping. I feel as if they could have a suit on their hands sometime soon.

The alarm sounded at 6AM, my usual wake up. That's when the cat feeder dispenses four treats and Yolanda starts vacuuming. I looked all over for an open coffee shop. Supposedly there was one open at 6, but they did not properly advertise. I contemplated the mountain, and my ascent, as I sat on a park bench carb-loading. At 7 the store opened and they, after much persuasion, let me in at 7:05(why is EVERYONE's watch off???)

I started hiking up just after 0800 PST. I had hoped to summit by 1pm and be back to the valley and my emails at 1600 hours. I had prepared quite easily for this trip, and after 2 hours was still enjoying my iPod playlist #1 (Hit Jams 2009-2012). Especially I had been enjoying Nickelback. Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Silver Side Up came out in '01, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. They've been compared to Led Zepplin, but I think Chad has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.

I got to the base of the cables in 6 hours, a blistering pace. The mist trail was enjoyable, thanks to the mist, and the clouds followed suit, misting my fellow mountaineers as we searched for a gardening glove in the pile. I decided to ascent un-assisted.

Many souls march to glory.
Many souls march to glory.
Credit: MtnSavior


The wet slabs clung to my boots with efficiency. Many souls were frightened at the cables; indeed, my mortality was being contemplated, by me. It was late season and they were against the floor, with no supports. One must lean over and grab them, exposing the buttocks. I darted past many hikers, and arrived at the top in a head-spinning 45 minutes from the bottom of the cables.

The summit was ethereal in beauty, with harmonious thunder to calm your soul. Many inexperienced hikers were running for the way down; indeed it was I alone who ventured UP on this afternoon. I assume they were inexperienced, as to be uncomfortable in Nature. My time growing up in the harsh desert of El Paso taught me many things, namely that it can be safe to sleep in a car and eat glue for survival.

I had several books on tape on the drive up, extolling mountain lore. One of which described a tecnique called 'gliss hotting,' whereas the mountain climber grips his axe and slides head first down an ice slope. Not having an axe, I found the cables to be a good substitute. Readying my body, I laid down face-first at the top of the cables and, with either hand gripping the steel laying flat against the floor, sent off to adventure.

Unfortunately, the friction of my Winners Only jacket made this descent impossible. Some newer hikers came from out of nowhere, wearing a seat-harness and carrying what looked like a mountain rope. They looked scared, so I offered them my jacket and a dumpling (I had many left; they were the worst part of my lunch). It took a while for them to set up the rope for repeling, close to 2 songs from Nickelback as I listened and waited, but once finished they wanted me to show them how to repel. It was curious to see them fasten a harness on me, set me on the rope and lower me to assess its safety. Once I had been lowered to safety, I assured them they did a correct job (I considered charging them a consulting fee but left THAT binder in the Kia).

I watched their absurd technique (lowering yourself???) and sauntered off back to the cabin, just as mother nature in all her beauty set off a light show on Half Dome. It was marvelous! I wonder if my novice friends saw it, they likely got front row seats.

I arrived just in time for the last shuttle to take me to my pizza party at the Lodge. I invited everyone with a tie on to celebrate my summit.

Remember, mountains are ominous and forebode evil. But I can climb them fast.


inspired by tales of adventure.

  Trip Report Views: 5,920
MtnSavior
About the Author
Ruben Ortiz is a Lawyer from El Paso, TX.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
GOOD GRIEF!

TFPU!

P.S. This is GOLDEN!

A frikken award winner!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
Excellent!
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:13pm PT
Astounding! What an adventure!

Well done.

;>)
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Rad...we should get together and pull off a some sicko climb. Maybe an ascent of North Dome gully?
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:18pm PT
Hey. . . ya know. . . there's another new guy here. . . maybe you should send him a PM. . . he'd be a great partner for you!

:-)

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Grand-Teton-Unroped/t12030n.html
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
When did this place turn into a hiking forum?
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
goat. . . I'm'a gwan pretend you didn't just post that. . . I'm'a gwan give you the benefit of the doubt, here. . . like. . . I'm'a gwan just say you added to the sarcasm, OK?

:-/
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
Well duh :)
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Hah, hah, hah!

Thanks!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
My wife is making fun of me for laughing out loud at the computer
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Dude! You totally beat me to this TR concept. That was rad man. The poor dude who posted the "Grand Teton Unroped" TR will forever be famous around here and your report solidifies his as one that will be played out for ages.

Congrats on your sick send of the big beast. Just be careful spraying this info all over the internet. People are gonna find your secret dome and before you know it the cables will be crawling with tourists. This trip report made my day. Thanks.
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
This one time, at band camp, I totally on sighted this wicked route up the mountain.
Turns out it was the downclimb :(
selfish man

Gym climber
Austin, TX
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Dude, quit bragging. I've repelled much harder routes while not even wearing a climbing belt and I never boast about it.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
Micronut, that you?
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:35pm PT

Well duh :)

Whew. . . you had me scared, there, for a moment!

:-)

ox
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
Here I go wishin' we all had to write one of these and turn it in by tomorrow morning at 10a. . .

I bet we could all come up with some FUNNY SHEE!

:-)
MtnSavior

Mountain climber
El Paso, TX
Author's Reply  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
People are gonna find your secret dome and before you know it the cables will be crawling with tourists.

Have you heard of the internet? Half dome is LITERALLY the most sought-after peak. Just do a google search - "Half Dome Adventure" returned 1,830,000 hits. I am sure others know about the mountain.

What is of more interest to me is the route I ascended appeared to be the most difficult up the mountain - indeed, anywhere steeper was completely devoid of handles, steps or any kind of steel infrastructure. I think a more difficult face would require huge amounts of iron to ascend, like the north face. It is for this reason, and for the piton and power-bolt damage to the rock, that I feel the cables should be the sole legal means of ascent, to prevent further damage of future cables on future faces.

Ruben Ortiz
Author
Producer
Environmentalist
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
Given the profundity of this recounting I am inspired to bolster my
cultural bonafides and expose myself to this Nickelback so that I may
savor this TR more deeply. Until then I am merely speechless, or so
many of you would wish.
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
^^^^ buy a bolt GUN and conquer that S.O.B
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!


TFPU!!!
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
anywhere steeper was completely devoid of handles,

YES!

Well done!

:-)
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
This must be Radical or I'm Rick James goofing around again.
I recognise the Canadian pomposity.
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Nah. . .neither one of those guys. . . it's somebody with a serious command of the English language. . . a Ricky Accomazzo kinda guy, but I don't think that's who it is. . .hmmmmmmm. . . might be fun to have a contest to see who can pinpoint who our fabulous satirist is.
nopantsben

climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
Hahaha, classic.
best tr in a while.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
  Jul 17, 2013 - 02:57pm PT
Nice! Really enjoyed the writing and the climbers style ;-)
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
  Jul 17, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
But he likes Nickleback.
Nobody likes Nickleback but Canadians living in Texas and invalids.
Maybe that Jim dude or Anders whathisname.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Jul 17, 2013 - 03:01pm PT
I went to your pizza party but I forgot my tie. I was very sad and hungry. Thanks for letting me have the pizza box though. I have it framed now.
MtnSavior

Mountain climber
El Paso, TX
Author's Reply  Jul 17, 2013 - 03:12pm PT
Timid, were you the young fellow in the Patagonia Puffy jacket? The one with an elbow patch? You have a beard and wore jeans?

Just trying to narrow this down. There was a self-proclaimed 'dirtbag' who, later that evening, made off with my bacon-bacon-ham pizza. He wouldn't stop talking about mushrooms and his mom's Subaru. It seems I meet this 'dirtbag' character every time I visit the valley, I wonder if there aren't more?
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Jul 17, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Jeans and a improvised trash bag poncho. Unshaven but not really a beard. I was walking around with my harness on and a rope over my shoulder.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jul 17, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Might i inquire as to your thoughts on "SLEDS" and the possibility of a future repeat towing said ..


We here at "SOE" are always keen to a new frontier.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jul 17, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
If micronut hadn't posted, I'd have suspected he had a new handle.

Hilarious and well done!

John
Bad Acronym

climber
Little Death Hollow
  Jul 17, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Nice American Psycho reference! Ahoy polloi!
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
  Jul 17, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
I've seen that dude at the climbing gym wearing one of those unpadded rental harnesses, a white undershirt, and pleated pants.

He's for real.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jul 17, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
What a stupid as#@&%e ! You were totally out of your element & had to be rescued. I hope no n00bs think that this is an attainable feat & go kill themselves up thar. U cocky nickelback lovin, jerk lawyer from Texas yer gunna die fer sure!!

And you forgot the soundtrack!!!







(Insert sarcasm emoticon)






Matt Sarad

climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
This makes me long for a third return to the most wonderful of ascents. Thirty years after my first, and 20 years after my second, time is passing too quickly for me next chance.

Thank you for your inspiration.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Jul 17, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
I wonder if he knows Burt...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jul 17, 2013 - 07:43pm PT
One must lean over and grab them, exposing the buttocks.

A technique few but many have mastered.

Such graphics, too!

ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
  Jul 17, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Especially I had been enjoying Nickelback. Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Silver Side Up came out in '01, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. They've been compared to Led Zepplin, but I think Chad has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.


you know, you just might find Huey Lewis and the News mind-blowingly avant garde

SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
  Jul 17, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
I just gave myself a hernia laughing.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Jul 17, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
HAHAAH!!!! Come to Canada and climb with our friends Ricky, Julien and Bubbles. !!!!


Whadda great TR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ruppell

climber
  Jul 17, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
LMFAO. Nice send. lol

I can't believe no ones done this yet. Here's my favorite Nickleback song. Listen to it. You'll laugh for sure.

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jul 18, 2013 - 01:03am PT
Ruben!!

Ignore all those downers trying to harsh your mellow!

You are the Doooede!



(great trip-report!)
skywalker

climber
  Jul 18, 2013 - 01:19am PT
OMG...F'n hillarious! Great piece of writing! I felt a little like I was reading a passage from RUMDOODLE maybe 2.0?

Brilliant! TFPU!

S...
Deekaid

climber
  Jul 18, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
I get the satire, whatever, I just don't think it is funny. Then I didn't think that rumdoodle sh#t was funny either. Moving on.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Jul 18, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
I get the satire, whatever, I just don't think it is funny. Then I didn't think that rumdoodle sh#t was funny either. Moving on.


eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 18, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
I get the satire, whatever, I just don't think it is funny.

You may have missed the fact that he was TOTALLY making fun of another trip report that wasn't so tongue-in-cheek.

?

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Jul 18, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
I invited everyone with a tie on to celebrate my summit.


I must remember to bring a tie on my next trip, I wouldn't want to miss your next celebration!


Many fun times had I reading this TR, Thanks!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Jul 18, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
Funny, funny stuff! Well done, sir!
Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
  Jul 18, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
A perfect storm of stand up comedy meeting performance art meeting trolling.

It doesn't get any better than this!

Eric
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jul 18, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
I've been out having fun and behind on the current taco happenings, but laughed to tears reading this thing! A true masterpiece not just of content, but also of language construction.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Jul 18, 2013 - 04:20pm PT
Add a cabana boy to the staff featuring Yolanda, and the cougars will want to become photo-journalists to document your studly feats!

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 20, 2013 - 10:02am PT
Greatest SEND EVER!!!
LMAO, Made my day!!!
rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
  Jul 20, 2013 - 07:39pm PT
We proudly salute and welcome the age of the Well-Edited Mad-Lib Virtual Trip Report; the new frontier of human exploration.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Jul 20, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Too much, too good!
Way To Go!
Way To Go!
Credit: Some "brave" soul on Google Images

Susan
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Jul 20, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
You make me proud to have been born and raised in El Paso. Thanks for such a great contribution to the tacostand.
snakefoot

climber
Nor Cal
  Jul 20, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
fun place
along the visor
along the visor
Credit: snakefoot
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
  Jul 21, 2013 - 12:48am PT
I liked that TR!
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Jul 21, 2013 - 02:31am PT
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Jul 26, 2013 - 03:45pm PT
Thank you for inspirational report!!

Hopefully someday I can summit Half-dome without ropes.

 Luke
cornel

climber
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
  Aug 7, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
Wow now that is bold! I wonder if that will ever, ever, ever be repeated?!!!! Did I say ever?
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Aug 7, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
that was a nice video T H


...for being off route ; )

kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Aug 7, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
hah, im pretty sure i stopped reading this early my first time through. too bad too, cause this is pure gold.
HuecoRat

Trad climber
NJ
  Sep 4, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Oh, man! I was in Tuolumne when this went up, so I missed it until now. I can't stop laughing. This is even better than the rope less ascent of the Grand. I'm not sure whether this makes me glad or sad to also be from El Paso. Totally made my day!
LB4USC

Trad climber
Long Beach
  Sep 5, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
Stay tuned for my TR:

"INTO THE DEATH ZONE: The Ascent of Mount Dana."
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