Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
This trip report is much less cool since a 12 year old did it but here we go...
Friday July 15, 2011 1:36am


Well, I was all ready to come home and write up a sweet trip report on climbing half dome's NW face, including with stories of bravado and daredevil whimsy, when I saw this.


Oh.


Much like the comedian that had to follow Richard Pryor I'll do my best, but don't expect much. I'm short, kind of hairy, and did a pretty popular route in about as plebian style as I could. But, it kicked my ass and was the biggest accomplishment of my short climbing career, so I'm super happy anyway.

I'm sure there are a lot of you who can run up this thing in a few hours, just as there are some that perhaps it just might not be a reality to finish it. Well, 6 months ago I was 50lbs overweight and could barely lead 5.7, so little victories are everywhere. Whether its setting a goal in climbing and accomplishing it or raising your children to be good kids, or even being a bit nicer to strangers, its probably better to always keep evolving, or at least give it a shot. Stay in the drivers seat, naw'mean? (I think I stole this phrase from DMT. It is gangster.)



This is Lucas. He is 19 and lives in Idyllwild. He is young, strong, and more motivated to climb than I am. These are all good things if you want to get stuff done. Also, not bad to look at. That pays dividends on a long trip.


Boom. Don't be hatin'.



We went 'light,' and by that I mean to say we hauled just a lil' bit. That Black Diamond Stubby had 2 sleepings bags, 2 gallons of water, ~4000 calories and a single sleeping pad on the route. Even though it wasn't much, still hauling was a bit annoying. I would recommend rapping from the top and stocking Big Sandy with lawn chairs, beer, and various accoutrement. This will make your experience much more enjoyable.


But that's not why were there. Otherwise I'd be watching TV and eating cheez-its. Which is what I did today.





this shows you what the first part of the route is like. Luckily, Lucas lives in Idyllwild, satisfying both my need for hard training days and my fascination with drag queens. A typical day of training would be to get to the parking lot at 9am (don't be hatin'), do 3 routes around 5.8 to 5.10a, then go home. The best thing about that was just the long days, 10 hours of hiking/climbing/descending really prepares you for the mental challenges of doing this route.


Lucas was (is) the better free-climber, so he pretty much took over the first 9 pitches. I did up to the base of the 13th (yes, I aided the C1 variation to the squeeze. My parents taught me a thing or two about self preservation :D). I can tell you only this - those chimneys were pretty serious looking.




We're not really good at taking pictures, so here's like, the next one. This is the morning after on big sandy.

I thought I would be all rad and pack a Neo Air for a mattress because it packs so well! However, the mutherfukker is slippery, and when you're on the bottom ledge... well... it kind of slopes away. I didn't have any issues sleeping on a porta-ledge or the Awahnee ledge, but a few times I would turn over and squeak 6 inches towards Mirror lake. Scawwy.


I took over the climbing for the zig zags. Again, pretty uneventful - lots of yanking on fixed gear and pulling past 5.9 moves (LOLLLL!!!!). After 18odd pitches I just don't feel like freeing anything I can't do in flip flops.





{ASIDE}
Alex soloed this? Geezus christ. That's ridiculous. It sounds stupid to say because everyone has said it. But I was scared. In aiders. Clipped to a #2 Camalot. On belay. And I even had my security blanket.
{ASIDE OUT SON}


Hrmm what else.

Well, the Thank God ledge was pretty cool. I crawled across it.



I might be the first person to plank on it too.

You can clearly see my toes pointed, hands turned palm up... and if you look at my helmet I am clearly smashing my face into what at some point was where a tourist dropped a snickers bar. But six or so sessions of turning around at Lucas yelling "GET IT YET???" and I think we have decent photographic evidence of this feat.



Well, anyway, long story even longer, we topped out. It was super cool. I hate being 'that guy' but I kind of like the hero feeling of topping out next to people and having them say good job. I love answering the first three questions. Unfortunately, as you descend the cables, you realize you get those three questions over... and over... and over again.


Anyone planning on summitting in the middle of a nice July day should have a T shirt made.

1. It took me 2 days
2. I slept on a coffee table sized ledge
3. Not only did I take a dump I can show it to you

Hiking back to the base in TC Pro's to get the big 90L pack and our approach shoes wasn't so bad, but I really don't know why I volunteered. Hiking out was a bitch too, but so are a lot of things, so you just kind of do it. Pizza and beer was the reward, or at least that's how I have to look at it, otherwise I'll have them all the time and look like one of the Fat Baldwins again.


Some notes:
-We really had no room for the approach shoes, but our toes got murdered. I don't know what the right answer is, but prepare for pain jugging in rock shoes. Unfortunately my partner was a size 11 and I have hoofs, so sharing a pair was unrealistic, but again... it sucks, but you just kind of 'do it.'

-Metolius Pocket Aiders were really, really bad ass. I tucked those suckers (edit - almost weblinked a gif of the dude from Silence of the Lambs. You are all welcome) back in and they didn't get in the way of those chimneys, could whip 'em out and aid past that really heinous 5.7 or jug up 4th class with EASE. Very radical.

-We carried a Cam hook, which I only used on the last bolt ladder... was it needed? I'm sure a dude with some actual climbing skills could just tension over to the next little pod and get in what I did, but I never claim to be anything special. Unless you want to see me @ the clubs. Then I'm SUPER special, and in a V-neck.

-Our rack was just about perfect - double set of BD C4's, single set of C3's (could use 2 but not really all that important), single set stoppers and 3 or 4 offset brass stoppers.

-Working hard pays off. Seriously. I trained pretty hard, and I know I can be self deprecating (white people love self deprecation) but I am in very good shape, cardio-wise. We got up to LYV in 1:40, but even then - the JMT route beats the f*#k out of you. Just too much blood in your legs by the end.


Yup, I am bored at my parents house abusing their Washer and Dryer, so you get a pretty long winded trip report. If you don't have dayquil or a warm glass of milk this might help you get to sleep tonight, at least you should be dreaming of the rad@@@@@ instead of Kate Upton. Or should you.....


.....


or are they both the rad@@?


These, my friends, are lands of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You just crossed over into the twilight zone.



Squirrel got into the planking thing too - DON'T BE HATIN'!

  Trip Report Views: 3,786
GDavis
About the Author
Greg Davis is a poseur of epic proportions but sometimes has fun in the process.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:51am PT
That was good. Planks!
SofCookay

climber
  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:56am PT
Nice job, Greg, I'm proud of you :) Hey, you look great!!!

Sonya
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:58am PT
No one gonna be hatin' on your trip report: it's good!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:00am PT
AAAAH!!! SONYA!

HI!!
miss yew :)) u gonna be in JT next October?
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:18am PT
Ha haaaaaaaaaaaa - rivals the 12yo's send. Really dug it. It was a special TR, in a v-neck.

locker

climber
STFU n00b!!!
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:29am PT



That was a fun read...

Good job on the climbing and TR!!!...

AKTrad

Mountain climber
AK
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:43am PT
Fine report. Cool photos. And the notes were a very nice touch!
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:56am PT
Nice! I haven't seen the plank pose there before.

And Congrats on the body shape change. I remember some pics before just of your face and even there can see the weight difference.

Cardio... makes my wheezing home office vegetating body take a half deep breath and then cough a little from the effort! But I went to the gym tonight for first time in a while, re-lit the fire on my motivation to get in shape for some late summer and fall stuff.
treez

Trad climber
99827
  Jul 15, 2011 - 03:19am PT
nice job dude. someday....
O.D.

Trad climber
LA LA Land
  Jul 15, 2011 - 08:37am PT
Congrats on a worthy goal achieved, and an excellent TR!
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Jul 15, 2011 - 08:49am PT
WooT!! I can dig it.
TFPU!

Timing is Everything, huh?
SofCookay

climber
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:31am PT
Greg - we have a house in JT and live there during the winter - see you and your mom (tell her hi!) next season! Oh, and next time you're up in Yosemite, let me know and we'll have you out for dinner & cold beverages.

Sonya
eKat

Trad climber
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:37am PT
SofaKingCool!

TFPU!
Zander

climber
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:43am PT
Thats the way to do it! All right!
Z
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:43am PT
Gneiss! A trip report of granitic importance. Way to go: you got in shapes and did something big!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:13am PT
GREAT HUMOR!!

but I never claim to be anything special. Unless you want to see me @ the clubs. Then I'm SUPER special, and in a V-neck.

Worth repeating!


Seriously, don't be beat down about the 12 yr old. That's a great route waaay up in the sky no matter what your age.
And people of almost all ages have been spanked up there too, so good job!

There's so much climbing content around here lately, I'm all a-twitter !!
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:57am PT
My kinda climbing...way to go.
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:00am PT
An 11 year old climbed the Nose in a day and a 13 year old summited Everest. These facts don't detract from your own personal accomplishments as a climber. What makes an awesome trip report is the author's willingness to share their adventure.

It isn't to say that the girl's trip up Half Dome wasn't amazing (it was incredible), but her father is also one to have freed the Salathe. She could not have been in better hands. And what makes their story so magical wasn't necessarily the fact that a 12 year old climbed the regular route, it's because the story exuded the love shared among dad, kid and the granite wonders of Yosemite.

If I wanted to read about badass climber W climbed route X in Y time less than climber Z, then I would just read climbing magazines and never come to supertopo. Your TR was fantastic, pretty damn funny and will inspire the many who still dream of climbing half dome and know that if a guy like you has the determination to train hard, he or she can make it too. And have some fun while at it.

Looking forward to reading and seeing pictures from your next adventure. You should be so proud!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:04am PT
Just a little less Cool....but still really cool!
Congrats!
TwistedCrank

climber
Released into general population, Idaho
  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:09am PT
All trip reports are cool. You rocked the climb.
jewedlaw

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:14am PT
Guess I have no excuse now.... On to HD!

Love the planking. Let's see someone do it between two portaledges, 10th pitch or higher.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:16am PT
Greg, I really enjoyed your TR! I celebrated my 30th birthday by climbing this route...20 years ago! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

You set a goal...then went out and grabbed it......GOOD ON YOU!!!!!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 11:59am PT
Love the planking. Let's see someone do it between two portaledges, 10th pitch or higher.


This man has dreams.
this just in

climber
north fork
  Jul 15, 2011 - 12:23pm PT
Hell yeah! You guys are crazy for leaving your approach shoes, that hurt my feet just reading it. Nice work.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 12:39pm PT
Forget the 12 year old snickering in the corner. This woman thinks you are one stud, complete with the most important quality for a fabulous partner, a sense of humor. Love the report.
jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
  Jul 15, 2011 - 12:45pm PT
Awesome! Good job on the sendage, and thank you for introducing me to planking... And for not weblinking the "tuck"
cleo

Social climber
wherever you go, there you are
  Jul 15, 2011 - 12:50pm PT
^^^ whoa! there ya go G!

great report, enjoyed it, maybe someday i'll get in there, although my one and only foray into aid climbing left me feeling like i had been beaten by a closet full of midgets with brooms.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:37pm PT
although my one and only foray into aid climbing left me feeling like i had been beaten by a closet full of midgets with brooms.


The coolest thing about doing a few walls is after you get the hang of it you really flow from one move to the next instead of constantly hosing yourself pulling on aiders stuck on feet or twisting the lead line around your haul line... etc. Its like, if you never ran, it sucks to run. But run a lot. Then its more fun. Kinda.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:14pm PT
Nice TR, but the route didn't become easier b/c a 12 year old girl did it. I know you were admiring her accomplishment, but I think it diminishes it as well to say that what felt hard to you was less impressive b/c she could do it (even as a joke).

To be fair to Kara, it's not just that Jim is a great climber, she has worked her butt off for many years with more determination than many adult from what I've seen as an outsider fly-on-the-wall. Her skills were earned, not simply inherited. Even though Jim did most of the leading, it's worth noting again that she did the route WITHOUT JUGS!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:48pm PT
What's the next goal, Greg? State it here publicly, keep us posted on progress!

So true what was stated above - your TR WILL be mined for grade A motivation and psyche. Thanks again for sharing it, already read it twice.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:48pm PT
but I think it diminishes it as well to say that what felt hard to you was less impressive b/c she could do it.

I was just making jokes. These were some of my jokes.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
What's the next goal, Greg? State it here publicly, keep us posted on progress!


Whitney front trail, late september. Aiming for sub 2:30 for the way up, 4 hour round trip.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:00pm PT
I get it. I thought it was cute and and funny too. But, there is a reason why the caveman takes offense in all of those commercials (which I also think are funny). It not either or. I was also sort of responding to upthread comments and wanted to put a little more psyche out there for a young girl that from the sound of it really climbed her climb.

GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:08pm PT
I getcha, but really, give other people the chance to be offended instead of doing it for their sake :) I'm sure I'm not even on her radar. Part of being younger and stronger than me is I get to heckle. Sorry. Just like at the bouldering gym when I yell at Lucas "DAB DAB DAB" mid crux. If you can't have a sense of humor, well, there's other things out there ;D
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:16pm PT
Holy sh#t you have a hairy belly button! I bet you grow some serious lint in that thing.


No joke, I'll sit there after a shower and pick at it, only to realize its not lint but just man fur.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:22pm PT
sweet job man!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:26pm PT
RADNESS!!!!

Nice job, Greg.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Jul 15, 2011 - 02:49pm PT
GDavis, 50 pounds?..... really....Wow..... good for you..

Cheers..




I had to re-look at your picture after Weschrist comment.... Kinda looks like a bearded face saying ..OH.....






GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jul 15, 2011 - 03:18pm PT
Sadly, I don't grow hair there. :((
Anastasia

climber
Home
  Jul 15, 2011 - 06:37pm PT
This is so wonderful! Kudos!
Hugs!
Anastasia
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:40pm PT
Nice work! Good job up there.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 15, 2011 - 10:53pm PT
Awesome!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Author's Reply  Jun 11, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
While training for this route, we did a climb on Tahquitz called The Consolation. I had fallen on the crux pitch, but two days ago went back and got it clean. Good times. God I miss that kid.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 11, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
I missed this trip report first time around G. Good to see it. It's worth bumping up pictures of our friends that are gone from time to time. It keeps them alive in our memories.

Best to you,
M
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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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Half Dome - Snake Dike 5.7 R - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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Snake Dike follows an amazing feature to one of the most incredible summits in Yosemite.
Half Dome - Tis-sa-ack A3 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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Half Dome - Zenith A4 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Zenith, A4 5.8
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The first part of the route is hidden.
Half Dome - Blondike 5.11b R - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Blondike, 5.11b R
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Blondike is the red line and Two Hoofers is the Blue Line.
Half Dome - Two Hoofers 5.12 or 5.10b A0 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Two Hoofers, 5.12 or 5.10b A0
Half Dome
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Two Hoofers follows the blue line.
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