300m, 7 pitches. 5.7R (run out). Recently voted 'the best 5.7 in the world' by an American climbing magazine (or for us Brits, VS). "A 7 pitch route up the slabs of Half Dome, Only two difficult moves on it, very little gear"... says dave657. Others will disagree, several tricky moves can be found on the first traverse alone. But memory will always be drawn to those long yet technically steady quartz dikes snaking up towards the clear blue sky... ROUTE. PITCH 1: Begin on a ledge by stunted trees 35m below an overhang which has a #4 Friend-size letterbox in it. Head up steadily until a traverse left beneath the overhang leads up to an obvious belay. This traverse is the crux, the famous 5.7 'glass traverse' and Contender for shiniest rock in the world -(yes, more polished than Chudleigh). 'Piss on your shoes' is the advice from Speedos-wearing/banana hammock Valley Vet at Camp 4. Wet shoes or dry, a high line is a challenge, place high runners before commiting. PITCH 2: 5.5 wanders wildly rightwards above the overhang and runs out a tad to the bolts, up through a small awkward rise to a two bolt belay. PITCH 3: The Supertopo crux. A 5.7 slab traverse leftwards, this at least has friction and joins the first dike commencing the cream of the route - the 25m run out mania. Ignore the double bolt belay to help with rope drag. One bolt on way eases tension to a two bolt belay (45m pitch). PITCH 4: Up (50m) of more 25m run out madness up the famous snaking quartz dike (or dikes as it happens), all at roughly HVD. Despite assertions otherwise, the holds are not always positive on the Dikes and many require pinches etc. While the climbing is steady, the exposure, vulnerability to cross winds and the run outs demand care. Gear initiative will get you nowhere on the first 5.4 runout pitch, but can prove very handy for those seeking protection higher up on apparently run out sections. PITCH 5 Look to join a rightwards branching dike taking a traverse across via a bolt. Climb the left side of an overlap (gear) to a two bolt belay above a hole (40m). PITCH 6 up dike to 2 bolt belay 5.4r (37m). PITCH 7 Head up the '5.2' slabs above, trickier than you'd expect, aiming to connect with an overlap and ample gear. Belay on ledge, gear. PITCH 8 Heads steadily through a series of roofs and wide cracks at 5.2, has ample gear. The post route 'scrambling' equals a lot of friction trudging up the vaunted moonscape to the famous summit. NOTES: Treat Supertopo's rack description with scepticism, this moderator managed to place a #4 friend 4 times on the route despite big gear being supposedly defunct on Snake Dike. Also, consider a late afternoon ascent to beat the crowds. It is said that a moonlight ascent with torches is apparently a great pick-me-up for the jaded Valley veteran... photos here please of any nutters doing that. WARNING: Despite the glass traverse and 25m run-outs on the 50m pitches, most climbers will find the crux to actually be the chaotic descent down the cables from the summit of Half Dome with all the other visitors... you'll see.
βeta:I wouldn't recommend doing this in "tennies", as I did, even if it's well within your grade. It's all about footwork, and I think I would have had a lot more fun if I wasn't wearing clumpy shoes.
Show beta βeta:I wouldn't recommend doing this in "tennies", as I did, even if it's well within your grade. It's all about footwork, and I think I would have had a lot more fun if I wasn't wearing clumpy shoes.
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