Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1
Trip ReportNorth West Regular on Half Dome goes (updated)
On monday Aug 31 2015 matt and I set off to the base of half dome to try our hand at north west regular. We brought supplies for 5 days. A little iron and left the bolts and hammer in the car.
day one we humped loads to the base and fixed to pitch 2 before the sun went down.
day 2 we made it to the top of pitch 9 and set up the ledge for a very cool and comfy night.
day 3 the fun began. i linked the robins traverse and the half of the next pitch to the bottom of the new bolts. i believe it was 7 rivets with hangers and 3 large bolts. a fun pendulum gets you to the far end of a 20 ft or so ledge that leads to the 5.11 crack. i caught the ledge and had to do about 15ft of traverse climbing with no feet where part of the ledge was very sloping with lose rock. back cleaning the whole way i was able to aid quickly to the first bolt with some lower out tat that went to the old ledge you could fallow to the next anchor. that ledge is now gone and it is about 25ft to the anchor which has one large block under it that looks like it will not be there for much longer. i attempted to pendulum / tension traverse with no luck. there is another bolt about 15ft higher but the crack thins out and i used a green C3 to a small cam hook to a small pecker to reach it. from that bolt i attempted to pendulum / tension traverse again with no luck and a now bleeding shin from the left facing corner. 10 ft higher is a 2 bolt anchor for what i am guessing is another route. i lowered out from there and started throwing rope to finally catch the crack just under the chimney. pulling my self over i was able to finish the pitch.
I got the idea to try rope throwing from Robbins book "Advanced Rockcraft" where he states "if you can lasso a tree or get a knot stuck in a crack to save the use of putting in bolts then it is in the finest style"
Another option would be to possibly free straight up the 5.11 corner for another 200 ft skipping the chimneys all together. the lighter colored rock scar is exceptionally smooth and i did not see something that could go free but i am by no means a 5.13 climber so i cannot say for sure.
we made it to the top of 16 on day 3 and toped out just before sunset on day four. Surprisingly cool days for early september and very little smoke made for an amazing ascent. All the rock seamed stable and we did not hear any strange noises up there.
If some one were to put more bolts in to make it so you didn't have to through rope i would guess 2 bolts around the corner from the old lower out bolt could get you there. the main issue now is the current bolt is on the wrong side of the corner making it very hard to get any momentum.
I hope this helps, be safe up there!
Follow me on instagram @alexrsaunders if you are into that kind of thing
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