Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


garrettweaver


Feb 25, 2009, 9:02 AM
Post #1 of 11 (2094 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 4, 2005
Posts: 66

Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey everyone,

Just curouis about a few things pertaining to Half dome Regular NW Face route. Is a portaledge necessary or are there bivy ledges? How long does the average team take to climb the route? Is it easier then the trade routes on El Cap? What is the best season to climb it?

Garrett


graniteboy


Feb 25, 2009, 12:25 PM
Post #2 of 11 (2059 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 1, 2001
Posts: 1091

Re: [garrettweaver] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The fact that you're asking these questions leads me to believe that, yes, you should take a lap on the dome B4 heading to the captain.
And no, you don't need a ledge on half dome .
decent bivys on the top of the 6th and 12th pitches, and big sandy ledge at the base of the zigzags is exactly what it says.
Frankly, if you're gonna do 1/2 dome as a wall, and not as a fast freeclimb, I'd definitely suggest that you try to go as light as possible with the haulbag. That route is kind of a bitch to haul anyway.... traverses, chimneys, the loose stuff on the 4th class traverse, the thank god ledge, etc.
Most folks hauling take 2 days on that route, hike up the eveninng B4.


sspssp


Feb 25, 2009, 12:37 PM
Post #3 of 11 (2045 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 1731

Re: [garrettweaver] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've only done RNWF as a day climb. The "bivies" at the 6th and 12th pitches looked a bit grim. Big sandy is pretty long, but rather narrow. I wouldn't call it Big (and it doesn't really have any sand any more either).

Doing it in two days with a night at big sandy wouldn't be too bad. Otherwise..., a ledge would be nice but that is a long way to hump/haul it.

The route stays in the shade until ~2:00pm and is at a moderatley high elevation. Spring and Fall can be cold mornings. Summer is hot after 2:00 pm (but in a day climbers are usually in the chimneys during the hottest part). Most popular time is all summer long with the longer days of sunshine.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Feb 25, 2009, 12:39 PM)


marc801


Feb 25, 2009, 1:11 PM
Post #4 of 11 (2026 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2689

Re: [garrettweaver] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Based on the questions you're asking and the assumed intent to haul and do it as a big wall....have you ever hiked with a fully loaded haul bag? If not, you might want to give it a try....go ahead, load it up with 80 lbs or more of gear, food, water, poop system, etc and hike a couple of miles. Make sure your hike has a healthy elevation gain. We'll wait......

OK. Grab a fistful of ibuprofen and a beer, then sit down and figure out exactly how you and your partner are going to split the load up to get to the base. Even new, modern haul bags are uncomfortable and a PITA at best when compared to a good pack.


garrettweaver


Feb 25, 2009, 4:14 PM
Post #5 of 11 (1997 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 4, 2005
Posts: 66

Re: [marc801] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Everyone,

Thank you for the great feedback. I think I would have to give myself two days to climb it just to be on the safe side. However, I do like the idea of going as light as possible because it sounds like a long hike in. With those three ledges it sounds like a portaledge is definitely not necessary hurray! Another random question: is a permit necessary to climb it?

Garrett


marc801


Feb 25, 2009, 4:26 PM
Post #6 of 11 (1987 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2689

Re: [garrettweaver] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

garrettweaver wrote:
However, I do like the idea of going as light as possible because it sounds like a long hike in.
Either the trail approach or the death slabs both have significant advantages and disadvantages.

The death slabs are the shortest but also the steepest and with some devious route finding, including a little bit of 5.8 that almost everyone stumbles onto. And folks have indeed died on that approach.

The trail is much more gentle, but much longer - on the order of 7 miles or so - but mostly brainless, yet a little demoralizing. When you leave the trail to drop down around to the NW face and the start of the route, you loose about a thousand feet of hard won elevation.

No permit needed to climb it or bivi on the route, but you would need a wilderness permit to bivi at the base.
http://www.nps.gov/.../climbingpermits.htm


graniteboy


Feb 25, 2009, 4:31 PM
Post #7 of 11 (1981 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 1, 2001
Posts: 1091

Re: [sspssp] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
I've only done RNWF as a day climb. The "bivies" at the 6th and 12th pitches looked a bit grim. Big sandy is pretty long, but rather narrow. I wouldn't call it Big (and it doesn't really have any sand any more either).


Nah....the bivy on top of 12 is actually a pretty good sleep. Just wide enough to lie down in, and just long enough for 2. And it sits right about halfway up the route in terms of hours of climbing. The top of the 6th does kind of suck as a bivy, admittedly. ANd yeah, the sand has been gone for a couple decades now....
In reply to:
go ahead, load it up with 80 lbs or more of gear, food, water, poop system, etc and hike a couple of miles. Make sure your hike has a healthy elevation gain. We'll wait......

And, OP, disregard this last statement entirely....you can get water at the base during most years, so long as you don't show up late season.. be sure to treat it.... and as for 80 lbs of gear...we're talking about the RNF here, Marc, not Mescalito or Trango Tower...... you should be able to do with a total maximum of more like about 25 lbs of gear each....plenty to do that route.
Have a blast.


(This post was edited by graniteboy on Feb 25, 2009, 4:39 PM)


marc801


Feb 25, 2009, 5:13 PM
Post #8 of 11 (1968 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2689

Re: [graniteboy] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

graniteboy wrote:
In reply to:
go ahead, load it up with 80 lbs or more of gear, food, water, poop system, etc and hike a couple of miles. Make sure your hike has a healthy elevation gain. We'll wait......

And, OP, disregard this last statement entirely....you can get water at the base during most years, so long as you don't show up late season.. be sure to treat it.... and as for 80 lbs of gear...we're talking about the RNF here, Marc, not Mescalito or Trango Tower...... you should be able to do with a total maximum of more like about 25 lbs of gear each....plenty to do that route.
I agree. But if you train with 80, 50 will seem so much easier! Sly


marc801


Feb 25, 2009, 6:34 PM
Post #9 of 11 (1950 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2689

Re: [marc801] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

marc801 wrote:
graniteboy wrote:
In reply to:
go ahead, load it up with 80 lbs or more of gear, food, water, poop system, etc and hike a couple of miles. Make sure your hike has a healthy elevation gain. We'll wait......

And, OP, disregard this last statement entirely....you can get water at the base during most years, so long as you don't show up late season.. be sure to treat it.... and as for 80 lbs of gear...we're talking about the RNF here, Marc, not Mescalito or Trango Tower...... you should be able to do with a total maximum of more like about 25 lbs of gear each....plenty to do that route.
I agree. But if you train with 80, 50 will seem so much easier! Sly

And going even further in this direction.....
Mark Hudon and Max Jones did the Nose in 1979, going way ultralight. Mark posted about it on the Taco:
http://www.supertopo.com/...msg=794898#msg794898
Swiping from that post, this was their rack:


In that post Mark wrote:
In reply to:
In September of 1979 Max Jones and I climbed the Nose on El Cap. We had it figured that if we were to haul very small bags (we hauled two packs, each smaller than the pack you probably hike your gear around to the local crags), we would be able to belay a second and haul at the same time, since we both wanted to climb every pitch, even the aid.
We had seven quarts of water, a down jacket and half bag each, two and a half ropes and all the gear you see here.

3 full sets of Friends (yup, a 1 a 2 and a 3!) and one #4. 10 Friends in all.
13 nuts,
6 quick draws and three or four 2 foot slings.
16 extra carabiners
Five pitons, one hammer,
two-3-step aid slings
and one set of Gibbs ascenders.
Waist bands, no leg loops.

Regarding the spring at the base - find out if it's running (and what kind of flow) before you head up. Yes, treat the water (which may be enough of a reason for some to carry up all their water from the valley).


graniteboy


Feb 26, 2009, 10:03 AM
Post #10 of 11 (1910 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 1, 2001
Posts: 1091

Re: [marc801] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

 
In reply to:
Iagree. But if you train with 80, 50 will seem so much easier!

Yeah, true....but 25 lbs each will seem even a helluva lot easier still....which is actually what we're talking about here for each of them. So to hell with training with 80 lbs or even 50. Focus more on your leading, hauling, and jugging technique, and just hoof it up there with your light rack.

Nice refs to Max and Mark's old trip....they used to climb around donner here alot when I was a teen....I think Max got into mountain biking and quit climbing. Great photo of the old "state of the art" EBs with "super gration".... Those old hard rubber shoes were pretty damned hilarious.

We could list the lightness of Dean Potter's rack if we really wanted to talk about light....He freesoloed most the route, and toted a single 9mm and a little bit of gear. But that's another story.


Kironkid


Feb 28, 2009, 11:30 PM
Post #11 of 11 (1852 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 12

Re: [graniteboy] Half Dome Regular NW Face route Portaledge [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Garrett

Big Sandy Ledges are not big or sandy, but offer a pretty decent bivy.

Kiron Kid


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$12.56 (10% off)
$13.46 (10% off)
$16.16 (10% off)
$51.26 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook