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 no place that would serve me coffee. The storm is foreboding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!!
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
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!