Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Psychedelic Gummies with Honnold: The RNWF In a Day
Tuesday April 16, 2019 5:28pm
KC and I climbed the RNWF of Half Dome on May 31st last summer. It has always been a dream route of mine, and when that massive flake took the Robbin's traverse with it, I knew I had to climb it before the exfoliating onion shed the rest of the route.

We hiked up the death slabs in the evening after working and found a flat patch of dirt among the talus. There were two other parties camping at the base and the spring was flowing. I fixed the first pitch, quite enjoyable climbing! The sunset lit up the whole face, which is decidedly intimidating when you are going to climb it the next day! The right side of the face is unbelievably sheer and I cannot fathom heading up into its loose flakes for several days of scary aid! (But I probably will, eventually...)

Looking up at the route. Very alpine feel!
Looking up at the route. Very alpine feel!
Credit: Miles Fullman

What a gorgeous onion!
What a gorgeous onion!
Credit: Miles Fullman

I took the first block of the day and took us all the way to the base of the Robbin's traverse. There were some really incredible pitches and some awkward 5.9. The route finding would have been more time consuming in some places had we not been on the heels of another party that had bailed off the route the year before and knew the first part of the route. We simul-climbed the easier pitches.

Stellar crack climbing!
Stellar crack climbing!
Credit: Miles Fullman

KC and I switched blocks just as Hon-Solo himself passed us... with a rope! As he climbed through I offered Alex a gummy fish, to which he inquired if it had any psychedelic properties. After assuring him that he would not be picturing fractals and entities for the remainder of the route and offering his partner one too, they continued past us and KC followed closely behind them through the tricky aid section where the rockfall had been.

KC stoked on Half Dizzle!
KC stoked on Half Dizzle!
Credit: Miles Fullman

Here comes Hon-hold
Here comes Hon-hold
Credit: Miles Fullman

The old anchors above the rockfall. Eery!
The old anchors above the rockfall. Eery!
Credit: Miles Fullman

The section around the rockfall was really slow from the two parties in front of us now... Honnold was cramping our style! Eventually we got into the chimney system. The chimneying on pitch 14 was actually quite scary and physical, in my mortal opinion.

KC entering the chimneys. Splitter!
KC entering the chimneys. Splitter!
Credit: Miles Fullman

We swapped leads again and I led us into the sunshine for the first time all day. Pitches 15, 16 and 17 are some of the most fun splitter pitches I have ever climbed, and being in the sun was a significant mood shift. We hooted and hollered our way to Big Sandy with big grins.

Living my dream!
Living my dream!
Credit: Miles Fullman

We had been sharing belays with the party ahead of us since we started at dawn and were by now all good friends. We decided to stick together until the summit for the belay camaraderie and conversation. At big Sandy we ran into a party of two that were climbing their first big wall and were on day four, having slept in their slings in the chimneys the night before! Way to stick with it boys! The energy was high and the visor felt close.

Looking up into the Zig-Zags
Looking up into the Zig-Zags
Credit: Miles Fullman

We decided that we would push the rope faster so we passed the party in the Zig-Zags and I led the long and slow corner. KC and I swapped leads again and he took the last block to the summit. The views from this high on Half Dome are out of this world stunning.

All smiles on Big Sandy!
All smiles on Big Sandy!
Credit: Miles Fullman

It was reassuring to have two friends sharing the belays, especially when the sun went down and it turned into an exhausted shiver fest between climbing. I would have loved to climb Thank God ledge in the light but at this point none of us cared all that much, and it certainly helped with the exposure not being able to see the sheer drop in the dark. the chimney at the end of TGL was a nasty little shocker and should by no means be underestimated. The last few pitches are a bit hazy in my memory but I do remember the friction traverse under the visor being pretty fun and mantling over the massive blocks was one of the most ecstatic feelings of all time.

Stoked beyond words.
Stoked beyond words.
Credit: Miles Fullman

We climbed Half Dizzle in a Dazzle! A day I will never forget. The summit felt like a lunar landing, with the chubby moonlight illuminating the rounded top of the onion sloping off in all directions into blackness. It was so surreal and we were so exhausted and cold that I had to wonder if the gummy fish did in fact have some psychedelic properties.

We climbed that thing?!
We climbed that thing?!
Credit: Miles Fullman

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Miles Fullman
About the Author
Miles Fullman is 20 years old and is looking forward to graduating so he can climb more.

Comments
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Apr 16, 2019 - 05:36pm PT
Thanks miles, you are on a roll.
Proud climbing 👍👍
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
  Apr 16, 2019 - 05:50pm PT
Nice one! Your report is well written and fun. I'm glad you had fun up there, it's a good route to tick.

No photos of Honnold? Tragic.
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Apr 16, 2019 - 06:28pm PT
nice job and nice write up! inspiring
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
  Apr 16, 2019 - 06:37pm PT
Sweet TR! Thanks for posting up :)
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Apr 17, 2019 - 06:18am PT
A most excellent adventure, good on you. I foresee many wonderful adventures in your future if you are starting out like this. Way to get after it.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Apr 17, 2019 - 08:38am PT
TFPU
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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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Snake Dike follows an amazing feature to one of the most incredible summits in Yosemite.
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The first part of the route is hidden.
Half Dome - Direct Northwest Face 5.14a or 5.10 C2+ - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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The Direct Northwest Face.
Half Dome - Blondike 5.11b R - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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Blondike is the red line and Two Hoofers is the Blue Line.
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