Trip Report
Karma done again!
Monday July 31, 2006 11:40pm
Not really. I resized the photos and added some others. I hope that they are a little quicker to download for the people with land lines.

First pitch.

Second pitch.

Jugging fixed lines.

Third pitch.

Right hand variation.




The one and only ledge.


Virgin territory.













Last pitch.


Who is going to get the coveted second ascent or even better the first free ascent of one of the most spectacular routes in the Valley?

Ken

  Trip Report Views: 1,880
Chicken Skinner
About the Author
Chicken Skinner is a trad climber from Yosemite.

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Ouch!

climber
  Jul 31, 2006 - 11:43pm PT
That's wild!
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:00am PT
I'll have to go add this one to the index.
john hansen

climber
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:02am PT
where is that climb.. Royal Arches ,,naw? No clue
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:09am PT
John,

South Face of Half Dome. Beautiful rock.

Ken
john hansen

climber
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:11am PT
Ah..Makes sense . Is this really Snake Dike or a real first acent?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:27am PT
This route is a really creative line on the major south face of Half Dome. It is probably more than a thousand yards to the rt and around the corner from the trade route, Snake Dike, and a few hundred yards to the right of the Rowell-Harding South Face aid route. It follows a truly unique gigantic dike that squiggles and snarles its way up a very steep face for over a 1000 ft, defying other features on the principle back of Half Dome. And it has some points of aid, via bolts. Ken is conveying that, here is a spectacular climb, waiting to be climbed free, that he and Jim Campbell and Dave Schultz did 21 years ago. It is a gift to us, he is saying, go do it.
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:47am PT
I'll get right on it.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:20pm PT
When we did the route I had just had major knee surgery five months previously. Schultz convinced me that the dike was huge and big enough that tourists walked down it from the top to take pictures. It turned out to be steeper than it looked and the dike was larger underneath than on top of it thereby casting a large shadow making the dike look bigger than it actually was. I could hardly use my left leg due to lack of mobility but, this worked out perfectly because most of the route leaned up and right and I didn't have to flex my left knee very much. I have never been so terrified on a route in my life.

Ken
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:30pm PT
"I have never been so terrified on a route in my life."

Not much of a salesman eh?







What is the aid like?
poop*ghost

Trad climber
Denver, CO
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:37pm PT
Is that dike's edge as sharp as it looks?! I am tying to imagine a fall pulling your rope tight over that ginsu knife!!!

Baaaad ASS.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:40pm PT
These are the most inspiring climbing pictures I've seen.
Thanks for taking the time to post them.

So, how good do you think the bolts are now? 20-year-old 1/4" buttonheads...
I think I'd carry a kit.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:43pm PT
That thing looks rad.

Rating?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:49pm PT
I remember the aid being about ten bolts in three or four short sections of A0. I followed one pitch with only one rope and all I could think about was if I fell the rope would rake accross the crystals and I would go plummetting to the base without touching rock. I climbed the rest of the route with double ropes. The route is protected for the leader and not set up for the follower. Dave kept sandbagging me by saying the next section was only 5.9 or 5.10 and after leaving the bolt and getting stuck he would say "Oh yeah there is a little 5.11 move or two and then it gets easier". By then I could not reverse the moves to the previous bolt and was forced to go for it. I am glad I did not fall.

Ken
Richard Large

climber
sneaking up behind you...
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:53pm PT
"I am glad I did not fall" Me too. Nice grimace on Shultzi's face -- I'll bet that was an easy drill stance!
Tahoe climber

climber
Davis these days
  Aug 1, 2006 - 12:58pm PT
"How'd y'all get that rope up thar?"

Nice Pix.

-Aaron
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
  Aug 11, 2006 - 02:06am PT
"It was soooo scarey, I'd never go back"
The Iron Monkey
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
  Aug 11, 2006 - 02:18am PT
oh, by the way, in answer to Kens question about who is going to get the coveted second ascent of Karma, I rhetorically asked that same question on this forum in February or so and had no takers (in response to some dumb question about what good routes are left to do in Yosemite). Kudos to Ken for illuminating an important yet unknown route in the history of Yosemite climbing. It's sort of like Bacher's "Body & Soul" in Tuolumne. albeit "Body and Soul" is a much shorter route. Nobody actually talks about it much less does it (Body & Soul still awaits a coveted 3rd ascent), but Schultz is the only bad ass motherf*#ker to go try it. (Shipoopee nonewithstanding of course)...
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 11, 2006 - 04:23am PT
The South Face of Half Dome has the best rock I have ever seen in Yosemite. It is rarely travelled though I don't know why. It is not a place to be during poor weather and the approach is semi longish by Yosemite standards so that may be the reason. The location is awesome and serene. Saw a peregrine falcon fly upside down with a catch in its talons and pass the catch to its mate flying toward the delivery flying right side up. The mate then went to feed the kids. It was amazing. The falcon would perch every now and then on the rock near us as we were climbing and check us out while bobbing its head.

There are other prizes up there besides Karma as well.

Ken
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Aug 11, 2006 - 05:06am PT
wow that rock looks crazy!
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
  Aug 11, 2006 - 08:45am PT
Didn't Hank Caylor take a wicked fall on an attempt on that one?

I seem to remeber him discribing it as being "dragged behind a pick-up, across a cheese-grater."

Too bad the current trend is to do established stuff in a faster time to have something to spray about in the rags. I would think the self-professed "soul climbers" would prefer to experience the glistening saphire of enlightenment offered by Karma, but since you guys didn't record your "car-to-car" time, there is no record to beat.

Some people pick plums to eat them, and other people pick them to sell to others who can't reach the tree branch.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
  Aug 11, 2006 - 11:17am PT
Body & Soul had an ascent by Tracy Dufriend(spelling?) in 1994. I did it with him, and he took a fall at the roof, descended, pulled the rope & went up again & did it. Strong guy he was, did the B&Y too that year. Whatever happened to him?

Hank Caylor took a 70 footer off Southern Belle, which he said was scarier than the fabled B&Y.

Levy
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Aug 11, 2006 - 12:56pm PT
This must have been quite a special experience.

Each decade held unsung examples which appealed to the grand tradition of boldness.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 12, 2006 - 12:09am PT
I remember talking to Walt after he did Southern Belle with Dave. Walt said that he was totally gripped while on the route and felt pressure on his pitches to really run it out, because Dave was going for it on his.

Walt said he asked Dave how Karma compared to their route when they were near the top and the worst was over. Apparently, Dave just laughed and said Karma is way scarier.

Ken

p.s. When I said prizes, I think I would include anything up there. To me they all look good.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
  Aug 12, 2006 - 12:51am PT
"It is rarely travelled though I don't know why"

Cause Captain approaches are way shorter and most people don't want to hike up 6 miles with a pig on them.

I think the rock is stunning. I was up there in May poking around, took a bunch of snaps wondering what was up there. Ken, do you have a bigger pic of the South Face that shows where it goes?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 12, 2006 - 12:58am PT
Flouride,

I do have a picture of the South Face and will attempt to draw the route in. It is pretty obvious when wandering up there.

Ken
Mimi

climber
  Aug 12, 2006 - 01:00am PT
Thanks for the S. Belle story Ken. Hilarious.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
  Aug 12, 2006 - 01:03am PT
To Levy
I remember Tracey Du Friend?? and the whole low level "buzz" surrounding him. I remember talk of him doing the B&Y, but thad no idea about "Body & Soul" which finally answers a longstanding question about the route. Apparently you guys got the 3rd and nobody really knew about it until now. Congrats. Mystery finally answered in 06 versus immediate publication in the daily cryer detailing speed, time, which hand went where ect ect...... The Iron Monkey would have surely had the 3rd, but he too got spanked from the roof and actually never went back after pulling the rope. It's funny too, because Dave always said that was one of the more "burly" experiences he had on a short route, and this from a man who had oh so many.

Also, "El Cap Fool" Great post and I could not agree more. You said a lot in 2 sentences.... Ha ha ha "Soul Climber" too effin funny and oh so true. You kill me!!!!!!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 12, 2006 - 02:15am PT
Here you go Fluoride,

The South Face.



The general area.



The route with the right hand variation marked in. The right variation would be the easiest way to go for an ascent. The left variation has more potential to go free.



Ken
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 13, 2006 - 10:31pm PT
The Tigers belly from where the route starts.



The derelicts before we got into this mess.



Ken
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
  Aug 13, 2006 - 11:49pm PT
Is that Jim Campbell in the center? Didn't he help with the efforts up there?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 13, 2006 - 11:53pm PT
T2,

Yes, that is Jim. Just saw him and Carol recently they are doing well.

-Ken
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 5, 2008 - 08:43am PT
Ken,

Two years on the back pages is enough for this underappreciated thread!! We've had so many junk threads, that I think this one deserves another look what with all the commotion over on the "Growing Up" thread. What an amazing thing you guys did!

What the heck ever happened to Jim Cambell? I climbed the West Face of El Cap in a day with he and Scott Burk back around that time. (1987) We had a ball up there. If you see him, please tell him that Bruce said hello. That's the first photo I've seen of him in twenty years.....amazing.
Who's Iron Monkey??
wildone

climber
EP
  Apr 5, 2008 - 10:38am PT
Ken, those have to be some of the most amazing photos I've seen, anywhere. Thank you for sharing them with us. We spent a lot of time on the tiger's belly under your route, looking up at that big corner to the right. We've had many a conversation about how amazing that feature and your route are. I would love to someday have the nerves for that thing. That is some zen master sh#t, to be sure. I'm coming up there today to do some long routes in the valley. I'll swing by tonight to say hi.
Ben
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
  Apr 5, 2008 - 11:12am PT

RE: "Who's Iron Monkey??" = Dave Shultz
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
  Apr 5, 2008 - 11:25am PT
This is the Topic that should attain 600+ posts.

Thanks Ken!
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  Apr 5, 2008 - 11:44am PT
Wow Ken, those are beautiful and literally quite awe-inspiring photos.

How the hell did you guys keep it together up there???

I'm looking at that dike and thinking, "Any minute, any second...the call of the wild blue yonder is going to end in For Whom the Bells Toll.

You obviously have some good karma going for you. Thanks for sharing the experience.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 5, 2008 - 12:10pm PT
Thank you L,

I am glad you like them.

How the hell did you guys keep it together up there???

After we cast off, the wall got more overhanging and longer underneath us and retreat did not appear to be an option. So we had to keep it together. There were some tense times and ecstatic relief when we reached the top. Here is a photo, just before we dropped our fixed lines.



So many times, I thought I was going over backwards. After the climb I had a scab on my nose from turning my head to look for my foot holds.

Ken
WBraun

climber
  Apr 5, 2008 - 12:19pm PT
Good stuff Ken

So Ken you and me being older and a little wiser now, ..... hummmnn maybe not me being any wiser now.

But anyways .... we can free solo it now, meet me at the base.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 5, 2008 - 12:22pm PT
What time Werner? I just found my old chalk bag.

Ken
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
  Apr 5, 2008 - 12:32pm PT
"So many times, I thought I was going over backwards. After the climb I had a scab on my nose from turning my head to look for my foot holds."

Those might just be the best words written on climbing in the last year!

Now this may just be base-less chisme, but wasn't Schultz also called "Ultimate Male"? The reference point being that when he went to the WC in the morning and had to force down the pee-rod, he'd actually be front-flipped into the john? If so, that's some mighty powerful core strength.

More interesting tidbits:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=360600&msg=366267#msg366267
Gene

climber
  Apr 5, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
The "Tiger's Belly" picture is just plain awesome.

Great thread.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 5, 2008 - 02:20pm PT
Ken,
refer to my question about Jim Cambell earlier??
Bump!!!!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 5, 2008 - 02:56pm PT
Hi Bruce,

I see Jim about once a year lately. He lives with his wife, Carol in Las Crusces, New Mexico. She works at the university there. I will tell him hi for you next time I see him. I know I have his contact info somewhere and will email it to you when I find it.

Ken
Buggs

Trad climber
Corrales, New Mexico
  Apr 5, 2008 - 03:02pm PT
Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Dawggie! Now that's got some serious SSSSSS on it! Bump.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 5, 2008 - 04:29pm PT
Found another photo. This one is on the fourth pitch (pitch #9) of the endless diagonal dike, when the angle starts to subside.



Ken
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 5, 2008 - 04:38pm PT
Ken,

I know you're holding out on the "secret" photos......
It's good for this to get a fresh look now. If it weren't for that edge and "Too Much Sideways!!" some of it looks downright climbable. Deceiving, I'm sure. I know how some TM routes that looked casual to me from below ended up bein' diaper changers.
Getting Jim's contact info will be cool, I'm moving to Albuquerque....

Buggs, yeah it's got some SSSS on it. Too much for us sufferers.
It would make us gag....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Apr 5, 2008 - 07:01pm PT
Excellent thread Ken!
It should get somebody fired up once we replace the steel. Sweet looking climbing!
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Kent
  Apr 5, 2008 - 07:10pm PT
Very cool.

How long did it take?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Apr 5, 2008 - 07:13pm PT
This should give you some idea of the amount of work. I spent lots of time studying this one from the 93 Reid guide.

marky

climber
  Apr 5, 2008 - 07:22pm PT
what CS had to say about the falcon might be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen on the taco
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 6, 2008 - 05:57am PT
Bump..
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 7, 2008 - 12:13am PT
bumpity bump.....
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
  Apr 7, 2008 - 12:21am PT
Incredible photos of an absolutely amazing line. The thing to do for the second ascent is to lead it ground-up, replacing the bolts as you go, with the second removing the old bolts and filling the holes with ground granite and epoxy. Also, the leader should have cable runners prepared to lower the protection points below the sharp edge of the dike, as has been suggested That would be a second ascent we could all celebrate. A true homage to the pioneers of a few decades ago. A little safer than the original climb, but safer through ingenuity and cunning, rather than accepting a step-down in style.

-JelloMouthsOff
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 7, 2008 - 12:24am PT
Jello,
Nice to see you posting on this.
"Cables as was suggested"...ahh you've been keeping an eye on the other thread. Too much of a statesman to leave a mark?...
Thanks Jello
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Apr 7, 2008 - 02:05am PT
More diplomacy than statesmanship, I suspect.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 7, 2008 - 06:30am PT
Right you are Warbler.
Do you see Chapman?
adventurewagen

Trad climber
Seattle
  Apr 7, 2008 - 11:00am PT
Instead of replacing the bolts I think the FFA party should go with about 20 screamers and just do the line as is. Then if it goes replace the bolts on the climb if they feel the need. If it doesn't leave it for the next guy to decide what to do with it.

Once I get my 5.13 slab climbing dialed I'm on this one. I need about 2 more years though ;) (of dreaming...)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Apr 7, 2008 - 03:35pm PT
The bolts can be replaced from above, in their original holes, by hiking to the top with enough ropes. This is how Roger Brown replaced the bolts on the top section of the Harding route a couple of years ago. I probably don't have to mention that it is a lot of work to carry that many ropes up there and back down, plus all the rapping, jugging, pulling and drilling!
wildone

climber
EP
  Apr 7, 2008 - 04:05pm PT
I've already talked a bit with Ken about it. I'd love to put in some work on it!

I remember talking with Roger when I was working in the wilderness permit station in the valley and he came in to get a permit for his trip up there.
adventurewagen

Trad climber
Seattle
  Apr 7, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
Like I said... Just bring a full set of screamers with you. No need to replace the bolts. Maybe just one per belay on the way up to be safe...
wildone

climber
EP
  Apr 7, 2008 - 04:31pm PT
With the Ginsu dike below, salivating at the thought of munching your rope, I kinda don't think that the quality of the bolt or presence of a screamer, has a lot to do with the danger.
Maybe we could get tom frost to make us some five foot long power draws.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Apr 7, 2008 - 04:55pm PT
Ken, since you were on the FA, what do you think of the bolts on the climb? Think they need replacing before (or during) a 2nd? Do you remember the type of hardware on the climb (SS hangers?, button heads, yadda yadda).
TIA

PS. Nice running into you at P&J's yesterday...
adventurewagen

Trad climber
Seattle
  Apr 7, 2008 - 05:06pm PT
I think the point really is... Don't fall.

How about just lead on double lines AND use screamers.

But don't rebolt or fix some permanent crazy 5ft draws on the climb just so a bold line with no repeats may see another one sooner.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Apr 7, 2008 - 05:36pm PT
Survival,

Haven't seen Chappy since he got hitched, nearly a year ago.

He keeps telling me he's going to get back into climbing after he finishes the job he's on. Ain't happened yet. He's living in Ventura area.

KW
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 7, 2008 - 05:44pm PT
The least invasive style of retrofitting doesn't seem that awful. "Don't fall" is a good place to start, being ballsy and having some long fall hazard is one thing, but an actual person getting the chop is worse than fixing it up a bit.

Edit: Wow, thanks Kevin. Your post surprised me. I know the difficulty of getting back into it. I've struggled a bit myself. As long as his hitching is going well, I guess that's a starting point. I hope to see him sometime.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 7, 2008 - 11:39pm PT
Someone asked about the bolts on Karma and it has been asked several times before. It has been a long time and my memory might not be completely accurate but, this is what I remember.

We used three types of bolts. We had compression bolts (buttonhead and or screwtops), taper locks, and machine bolts. We were poor and collected whatever we could find at the time. All of the pitches, except for the first two and the 4th and 10th, have three bolts at the anchors (usually one of each type because we had a limited supply and we figured one of them would hold). If you go the left hand variation which has the best chance of going totally free I think there are 67 bolts total counting anchors and 17 bolts for aid (not 180). 15 aid bolts and 25 bolts for anchors leaving 25 bolts for protecting the free climbing in 13 pitches. There is an occasional cam placement in a pocket once in a while though pretty rare and there are a few short crack sections. For the most part it is very exposed face climbing and terrifying to me because of the traversing nature.

I imagine the bolts are not in great shape after 22 years and probably need to be replaced. In fact they probably should have been replaced after we did the route. I talked with Dave and Jim last year and we all hope someone will repeat it and fix the route up. None of us appears to have the time and energy or desire to go back and do this. I think once was enough for us. I can still close my eyes and feel the fear, maybe it was terror.

The route is protected for the leader and not the follower. Dave and I think that should change and I bet Jim does too. I would like to see a few added and maybe a few removed keeping the count about the same. Talk to Dave, myself and Jim if you are interested in going up there and maybe it could be made better so that it gets done. The route has a very good chance of going totally free.

It is by far the wildest and most beautiful climb I have ever been on and is an experience I will cherish forever. Schultz really laid it on the line on this one. My only regret is that others havent been able to enjoy this climb yet. I hope that changes.

Ken
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
  Apr 7, 2008 - 11:47pm PT
It sounds like it would be a formidable job for a public spirited person to replace all the bolts from above - unless you had a lot of friends willing to help with the project. But perhaps very worthwhile - the knowledge that the fixed anchors were reliable might attract more climbers. Even though there still aren't many bolts, and the falls, even with extenders and other razor-avoidance tactics, would still be terrifying.

I suppose it wouldn't be 'ethical' for someone to first replace the bolts on rappel, then climb the route. Whether they could be replaced on lead (by anyone) without making a mess is another question.

Would modern protection gadgetry and tricks help at all?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 8, 2008 - 12:02am PT
It would sure be a serious job.
I would love to see that trip report almost as much as I've enjoyed this thread!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 8, 2008 - 12:03am PT
Mighty Hiker,

I think it would be very difficult to re-use the same holes on the lead. I don't think modern gear would help much, other than a few pockets there is only about 50 feet of crack climbing in 2,000 feet of climbing.

As far as the sharp crystals go, I thought of using slings wrapped with fire hose to extend them over the dike (after the climb). During the climb we realized we did not bring near enough slings. The wire slings is a great idea and just go for the ride if you have to. We were well aware of what the consequences could be if someone fell and fortunately no one did.

Ken
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Apr 8, 2008 - 03:16am PT
hey there survival and warbler... say, my brother, chappy, he is home now, or was... but i think he may be heading back to PRAGUE soon... (oh, my... is that how you spell it?).... '

my mom says that there is some work or something, that had to be ?redone?----i will call him tomorrow night... and see if he can say "hey there" to you all....

or, at best, i will post a fast "hey there" or something... as you have asked before, and i have not gotten hold of him...

sure, enough, i miss him....
i have two wedding pics... but i would not post, as i know he would prefer to do that on his own....

he has been veryyyyyyyyyy busy, though...

he has his first anniversary coming up----APRIL 21ST
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 8, 2008 - 08:24am PT
Ken,

Thanks for continuing to include your thoughts on this thread. It is just so much more relevant when the main players are part of the conversation. Did you take turns being in the middle of the team and having a belay from both sides? Surely one person didn't have to bring up the tail every pitch.... That would have been as horrifying as leading and infinitely more stressful than being in the middle. What did you guys do?

neebee,

Tell your brother that we're talking about him, and that we'll be looking for him at the facelift in September!

Timely bump, I love it when this thread and "Growing Up" are next to each other on the list....
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Apr 8, 2008 - 08:40am PT
Bruce,

I had just gotten over knee surgery and wasn't in the best climbing shape but went along for the ride. I went last on all the traversing pitches but one. Some of the bolts I lowered off of and others I probably should have. I freed what I could at the time. The one pitch that I didn't go last on, I did have a belay from both sides and was able to free it.

Ken
adventurewagen

Trad climber
Seattle
  Apr 8, 2008 - 01:44pm PT
I will be in the Valley in the next couple weeks, then back again in July and probably back for another trip end of summer if the funds hold out.

If you need a pack mule to haul ropes, pull bolts or anything of that nature let me know, I'd be happy to help out anyway that I can. Just send me an email.
Fletcher

Boulder climber
A very quiet place
  Mar 24, 2009 - 12:42am PT
I just inadvertently reread this one a second time (in conjunction with coz's tale of Southern Belle) and it's just as good the second time around.

Holy cojones, the south face of Half Dome is one wild and beautiful place! Y'all have done some wonderful, rare and exceptional things here. Thanks for sharing that. Maybe in my next lifetime I will even approach just thinking about doing routes like these.

Eric
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Mar 24, 2009 - 09:42pm PT
Ken - Is the giant diagonal dike hand traversed at all ? (and) Was a 'direct start' from the right-leaning arch lower down ever considerred - or do you see the ledge approach/start as important to the route ? These are great pictures . Thanks for posting them . BtW : Are bigger files of these images (still) accessable ?
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Mar 24, 2009 - 10:30pm PT
Bump for badass razor-dikes!!! (Not a lesbian meth biker club)

First page for the money-shots. Is that last pic unprotocted to where the climber is? I'm scared!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Mar 25, 2009 - 07:14am PT
hey there, say, thanks for the bump... i had not seen this... very good stuff here...

thanks...
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Mar 25, 2009 - 12:32pm PT
T H asked "Ken - Is the giant diagonal dike hand traversed at all ?"

Only one pitch where it was slightly overhanging. This was the one through the black streak. We called it the Yardarms. Dave and I almost got taken out on that pitch by rockfall. A giant rock came down and hit the slab above us and broke into about 20 pieces varying in size from basketballs to refrigerators. I vividly remember the wind and the shadows on the rock as they traveled past our heads with Dave and I looking at each other white eyed and wondering if this was it. The slight overhang saved our lives.

"Was a 'direct start' from the right-leaning arch lower down ever considered - or do you see the ledge approach/start as important to the route ?"

We were trying to find the easiest way to the long diagonal dike. It is an intimidating piece of granite and it was a giant expanse of unexplored rock. We thought that once we got to the dike the route wouldn't be too bad. We were wrong. It seemed like a big enough project starting from the ledge.

"Are bigger files of these images (still) accessable ? "

I have the original slides probably about 60 of them. I haven't taken the best care of them over the years. When I scanned them I was just learning how and playing around with Photoshop. I could do a better job now with some time.

bluering asked " Is that last pic unprotected to where the climber is?"

Sure looks like it. The last three pitches to the top seemed so straightforward and were quite a bit easier that a lot of pro didn't seem needed. I remember only one piece per pitch. We were ready to get the heck out of there. It looks like you could get more pro than is in the picture. We did not have small cams at the time and I don't even remember bringing pitons. There was less than 50 feet of crack climbing on the left variation in about 2,000 feet of climbing.

Ken
Zander

climber
  Mar 25, 2009 - 08:11pm PT
Bump for great pics and stories
mankymonkey

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
  Mar 28, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
Someday, someday... The south face of Hame Dome sure has some strong mojo...
mankymonkey

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
  Mar 28, 2009 - 03:58pm PT
Ken - All the bolts are above the dike, save for the Yardarms pitch? Seems like hand traversing could help protect the follower... is that even feasible?
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Mar 28, 2009 - 05:58pm PT
Bump this again. Ken, awesome tale!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Mar 28, 2009 - 09:46pm PT
Mankymonkey,

The Yardarms seemed to be the only pitch that seemed logical for hand traversing. You may be able to hand traverse more of it but may have problems getting back up onto it to rest. The wall under the dyke is overhanging and smooth(not much for the feet)and it throws a big shadow making the dyke look bigger from below. All the bolts are above the dyke even on the Yardarms pitch though they are just above it on that pitch. Following or leading, our main concern was having the rope rake over the crystal coated edge and cutting, it wouldn't have mattered whether we were hand traversing or not. Lengthening the bolts with slings or cable runners would alleviate that problem. At least you won't hit anything underneath the dyke though it would be a terrifying ride.

Ken
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 6, 2009 - 01:58am PT
Isn't it Wednesday?

Ken
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Aug 6, 2009 - 09:47pm PT
I missed this the 1st go-round.
RAD.
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
  Aug 6, 2009 - 11:20pm PT
Yahoo. You two did such a proud line. Good on ya Mate!!

Nice throwing it out there for all to view and savor.

Ken, did ya get that Porter nut I sent?

TC
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 6, 2009 - 11:31pm PT
I did Tom,

Thank you,

Ken
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Aug 7, 2009 - 12:04am PT
hey there say, all...

great bump... i really enjoyed all this, ken and all...

altieboo

Social climber
Das Blase
  Aug 7, 2009 - 12:58am PT
Wow. Inspiring.

Has this thing gotten a 2nd? The first post is '06. If not it needs to.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  Aug 9, 2009 - 08:27pm PT
I guess someone needs to get on up there before the bolts fall out on their own.

Ken
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Aug 9, 2009 - 10:56pm PT
No fair.....you guys had more soul. More freakin' VISION.
We're just a buncha hacks.Just speakin' for the Royal "We".
That's an outrageous route.
Maybe enlist some of the new blood, those "rad" boys.
Shame 'em, if ya have to.
Maybe they can only climb hard without the dire consequences.
Just sayin'.....
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Aug 10, 2009 - 12:49am PT
A visionary route.
Clear proof the oldsters were harder.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Aug 10, 2009 - 01:10am PT
definitely a badass route!

very proud. Those pics are timeless too!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Aug 10, 2009 - 01:17am PT
So many times, I thought I was going over backwards. After the climb I had a scab on my nose from turning my head to look for my foot holds.

Ken


one for the story books, lads!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
  Aug 10, 2009 - 02:49am PT
OMG.....and WOW 1111!!!!and speechless. lynne
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Sep 14, 2009 - 04:42pm PT
Another bump for the baddest of the bad!!

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Sep 29, 2009 - 08:59am PT
bump for the amazing glimpse back in time. what rock!
Jingy

climber
Random Nobody
  Sep 29, 2009 - 03:28pm PT
Great post...

Seen it for the first time.... I think!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Author's Reply  May 29, 2010 - 05:55pm PT
Could this be the year?

Ken
Mr_T

Trad climber
Northern California
  Jun 1, 2010 - 02:45pm PT
So why didn't they just put all the bolts below the dike? They're hanging from aiders and drilling anyway, right?

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 1, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
really want to get back there (not to do this line, I don't got enough stones for that or skill or stamina probably)

but the location is pretty dang cool
Hoots

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
  Nov 3, 2010 - 03:20pm PT
Bump for climbing!

Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
  Dec 6, 2014 - 05:55pm PT
This is a TR that must be bumped!

I mean come on!
Dave and I almost got taken out on that pitch by rockfall. A giant rock came down and hit the slab above us and broke into about 20 pieces varying in size from basketballs to refrigerators. I vividly remember the wind and the shadows on the rock as they traveled past our heads with Dave and I looking at each other white eyed and wondering if this was it. The slight overhang saved our lives.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Dec 6, 2014 - 06:17pm PT
Mr_T, they were hoping to free the thing; they did get some of to go, after all.

Next ascent should have some long wire rope leaders made up and if it is that bad use double ropes that are both rated for sustaining over a 90 degree edge. Some of them are.

It is a very oddball and creative route on a bizarre aspect of Half Dump. It turned out, once up there, that the thing was so much nastier than anyone had expected. What a situation.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
  Dec 7, 2014 - 12:06am PT
There was talk a couple of years back about trying to get the thing rebolted which would take quite an effort. There were some of us who volunteered but it never go off the ground. The traversing nature is not only bad for ropes but also tough to rebolt. Maybe someday......Roger would do it if he had help.
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