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Half Dome, the steep way.
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grayhghost


Jun 28, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Half Dome, the steep way.
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Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome
June 24, 2006


Friday found the two most promising students of The Handsome Boy Modeling School driving west in search of large granite monoliths.
By complete coincidence, two other students, Kolin and Brad were slated to climb the route on Friday and leave a stash of gear and ropes at the base.
As we rolled into the valley, Brendan's phone lit up with a message from Brad: "We have bailed due to heat stroke"

Sh*t.

As we talked with Kolin and Brad over sandwiches they recounted with abject horror the Death Slabs Approach, the mosquitoes and the heat.
Now it was our turn.

We find a nice park ranger and ask if we need a wilderness permit to camp at Half Dome for friday and saturday night.

Ranger:Yes, you can get a permit and stay in the campground about half way up the muir trail.

Brendan:No, we need to sleep at the base of Half Dome, we plan on climbing it.

Ranger:Well, I guess you can do that, but a pair of strong boys like you could do Half Dome in about nine hours round trip. You should just do the whole thing in a day.

Brendan:Wow, that is really nice of you to say. Wait a minute. We don't want to do the Cables, we want to do the Northwest Face.

Ranger:The what?

Brendan:The steep way.

Ranger:Oh.

6pm Friday: we start the approach by running up to Mirror Lake only to find that we are on the wrong side of it.

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...2e9bc8292169e15-.jpg
Brendan fords Mirror Lake

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...9c98005607d8cfa-.jpg
Approaching the wall, with the route highlighted in pink

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...73bae769de7b347-.jpg
Dusk overtakes the Captain

4:30am Saturday: the alarm goes off and we are climbing by 5:45am.
The first 14 pitches go smoothly with only one near fatal mistake.

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...951f5e9b2f8c8f5-.jpg
Two ropes disappear into a chimney, apparently attached to something.

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...f1bb5e135773441-.jpg
A profound amount of suffering was in our future, but luckily it missed us

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...e983419d48f0dab-.jpg
18 pitches up, exposure set on high

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...3154e3bf75829d7-.jpg
Brendan leads the Double Cracks, one of the best pitches, anywhere.

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...51e07d868f1eaa0-.jpg
I inform Brendan that I forgot the lunch, he does not smile for the rest of the trip

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...a491ffa4c74ad62-.jpg
Okay, well, he smiles when he gets to lead Thank God Ledge

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...ead89b3c641e2e7-.jpg
10pm finds us searching for the cables

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...1c3c803117bb691-.jpg
After climbing a vacant route we are astounded to find 3 parties cued up for the route on Sunday (the sabbath)

Sunday finds us hiking down the Death Slabs,
then visiting the Pizza Deck, then the Beer Garden,
then the Taco Stand, then the Beer Garden again,
then the ice-cream parlor, then the Beer Garden
one more time before driving home.


keinangst


Jun 28, 2006, 11:06 AM
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This is one of the best climbing pics I've ever seen. Nice little trip report!

http://grayhghost.zoto.com/...a491ffa4c74ad62-.jpg


chanceboarder


Jun 28, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Nice little TR, thanks for sharing. Thought the conversation with the ranger was funny and I have to agree with Keinangst, that's a pretty awesome photo.


svilnit


Jun 28, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Great Story! Loved the pictures!


cragmasterp


Jun 28, 2006, 1:39 PM
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congrats fellas, that is a pretty fast time up a large piece of stone, and even without lunch. :shock: you must have made good time up the zig-zags.

Thanks for the photos, brought back good memories of my mini-epic on the same route ('99). we headed up with just a small backpack w/ food and water, hoping to complete the route in a day. we hit the big sandy ledge at 5 pm, thinking we had it in the bag. Then we became fatigued on the zig-zags, and by 8pm (dusk) we rapped back to big sandy to sit out the night. finished the route up in the morning, and had all day to meander our way back down. What a great experience, we also had the route to ourselves that day, only to find 2 parties on the lower pitches when we returned to the base to get our gear.


Partner macherry


Jun 28, 2006, 1:43 PM
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macherry moved this thread [In reply to]
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macherry moved this thread from General to Trip Reports.

nice TR guys!!!


sspssp


Jun 28, 2006, 2:32 PM
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I inform Brendan that I forgot the lunch, he does not smile for the rest of the trip

Instead of arguing over what to carry, you just tell him after the fact.

Props for shaving weight.


shanz


Jun 28, 2006, 2:51 PM
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KICK ASS -- I am so ready to be there great story great pics


stzzo


Sep 2, 2006, 2:38 PM
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Re: Half Dome, the steep way. [In reply to]
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Have you heard that you missed a very large rockfall by just a few days?

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=230443


Partner brent_e


Sep 20, 2006, 9:06 PM
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good TR!!!

and the aforementioned amazing picture is incredible in my opinion, too!


Thank you!


Kironkid


Jan 21, 2009, 2:44 PM
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Re: [brent_e] Half Dome, the steep way. [In reply to]
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Brings back memories. That was my first wall.

Kiron Kid


Adk


Jan 23, 2009, 5:47 AM
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nice TR and photos to boot!
Thanks for sharing


johnwesely


Jan 23, 2009, 6:02 AM
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inspiring.


reg


Jan 23, 2009, 7:43 AM
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most excellent - thanks!


Dirka


Feb 8, 2009, 1:14 PM
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Thanks for the post. Strong work.


Durin


Feb 8, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Re: [Dirka] Half Dome, the steep way. [In reply to]
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I've lived in California for 20 years, have been ogling half dome since I was ~6 years old, and only recently discovered a love for climbing....

I plan to do it this summer, I'm so goddamn excited and it's still february...

I'm envious of you, but thanks for the report :)


kushtre


Mar 1, 2009, 1:42 PM
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Damn right, makes my hands sweat just looking at those pictures.

had me laughing at some of the stuff you said, dont forget lunch next time Frown


jmarzi09


Mar 2, 2009, 7:25 AM
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I really havn't found out how to just reply to foums without replying to responses...ah well

nice trip report, i like the pictures.


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