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Half Dome, Cracks vs. Face?
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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 24, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

A buddy and I are gearing up for the NW Face of Half Dome in May. We're trying to do it in a day and so we're game planning who's going to lead what pitches, what pitches we're going to link, etc. He's a stronger crack climber than I am and so I'm trying to figure out which pitches are pure crack climbing and which pitches have more features. Anyone got anything for me?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 24, 2012

Planning to free the route? Or anything goes?


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 24, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

We're going to free everything we can. We're prepared to aid the Zig Zags if necessary, but we're not planning on aiding anything else.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 24, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

But I've got nothing against some good ol' French freeing


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 24, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Still me. Still not awesome. Fairly competent though and I actually kind of enjoy them now.


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By slim
Administrator
Jan 24, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i think JLP's question has merit. to go from 10a (face only) climber to solid 11+/12- climber (including cracks) in 6 months would be a quantum leap, particularly doing a bunch of them, and in an 'under the gun' sort of situation.

i'm not saying it's impossible. i've seen several climbers early in their career that i knew were destined for eating nails and shitting chains (josh janes, brad g, scott bennett, rob pizem, ari menitove, and kirk chynoweth being a few of them), but i think you need to take a good, objective look at your plan.

i apologize if i don't sound positive, but when somebody asks me to review their plan, i feel i owe an honest opinion.

(where did josh janes' comments go??)


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 24, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Slim and JLP - I don't mind the honesty, however brutal it may be. I appreciate it. My partner and I know that we're being ambitious and we're prepared to get 3 pitches up, realize we've been too ambitious, and then bail. We're going in confident but aware of our limitations and humble enough to admit that we got our asses kicked. What the hell though, right?

JLP - good call on the plan Bs. We've got several less-ambitious ideas just in case HD doesn't pan out. There's this one called the Yerian-Bachar or something like that... :)

Thanks for the input.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 24, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

And for a little clarification - my partner IS a 5.11 crack climber AND I'm planning on taking a pair of ascenders. I'm not too proud to say I jugged half of Half Dome.


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By davecro
From Golden, CO
Jan 25, 2012
Summit of Estrillitas

I remember there being some chimneys on that climb. I'd consider practicing that skillset


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By Salamanizer
Administrator
From Vacaville Ca.
Jan 25, 2012

You don't need to climb any of that other shit especially Astroman and the Rostrum. Those routes are totally different animals. But if this is the first long route you've ever climbed in the valley, expect complete epic failure unless you've sailed up similar things elseware.

RNWF is a few hard pitches separated by typical Yosemite ledgy climbing with short but physical easier climbing in between.

Here's how you pace it out to climb it quickly.
Know how to improvise, pull on gear, lower out quickly, move through bolt ladders, and keep changeovers short, like real short.

Bring a 70m rope, water, some food, a headlamp and maybe a micro puffy stuffed in a bag. Leave your shoes and all that other bullshit people like to climb with at the base. Seriously!

Pitches as per the Reid guide.

-Climb pitch one and belay.
-Link pitches 2 & 3.
-Climb pitch 4 (bolt ladder).
-Start simuling pitches 5-9. You should be able to move through these pitches in less than 30 min.
-You're simul leader should be hanging out at the top of the bolt ladder on pitch 10. As soon as you see him, take in slack and lower him out to the anchors. Have him leave double length draws on the bolt ladder so you can french free, no jugging needed.
-Belay pitch 11 as it's tricky and has funky gear but short.
-Climb variation crack on pitch 12 and belay here. If crowded you can climb the O.W. pitch to pass slow parties. You need to be solid in Offwidths.
-Link all chimney pitches with 70m (pitches 13-15). Leave most of your gear with second. Only cams from perfect hands to tight hands and a set of small (offset) nuts. Most of the "chimney" is actually a splitter perfect 2 inch crack, you'll see. Your belay will fall short of the nice belay spot on the topo but not by much and there is plenty of gear.
-Start simuling pitches 16 & 17.
-Link pitches 18 & 19 to the alcove.
-Belay pitch 20
-Belay thank god and chimney P. 21
-Belay bolt ladder pitch P. 22 and link with P. 23. Go out left and don't get suckered into the bolts leading strait up unless you can climb 5.11+ slab as you can't aid through the bolts(to far spaced) and are forced to make some desperate moves between bolts.
-Belay at end of arch (p. 23) and bring up second here.
You can basically walk up with a few short mantles from here to the top.

13 pitches in total if you climb this way.
We started from the car at 5:00am approaching via the slabs. Passed 6 parties on the wall and were back at the Mountain Room Bar for a late lunch.

My first trip up the route we belayed every pitch, had a back pack and spent 13 hours on the wall. We were both solid 5.11+ climbers.

Good Luck, have fun!!!
_


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By jdorais
Jan 25, 2012

If you can be safe, go for it. This was my first wall and I think it's a pretty good starter seeing as most of it is 5.10 or easier. There's nothing like getting in over your head (not saying you are) and pulling it off. Be fit enough to move quickly all day, french free if it's faster, bring a cam hook for one of the upper bolt ladders and dont' get stuck behind slow parties!


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By slim
Administrator
Jan 25, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

JLP wrote:
EDIT: "i've seen several climbers early in their career..." I've seen a bit of those people you mention as well. They sucked, too, after 6 months of experience. They put in their time, though.


just curious to see which of these folks sucked after 6 months. i don't seem to remember that. however, i do agree that they ALSO put in their time, along with naturally having the 'knack'.


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By DaveF
From Durango, CO
Jan 25, 2012

I love the way the internet, beta, and conversation has changed EVERYTHING. It used to be train, take your lumps, train again, have few epics and learn a shit ton, train again... THEN head into the big stone. Now it's, "hey people of the WWW, how do you do this?" Tell me everything including everything" so I don't have to figure it out on my own.

Hey speaking of this, can someone give me the move-by-move beta on the 87 pitch 5.gnarly route on Super Steep Half Dome Nose? Thinking about linking it up and sending it in a morning. BTW...I climb solid 5.8


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 25, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

DaveF wrote:
I love the way the internet, beta, and conversation has changed EVERYTHING. It used to be train, take your lumps, train again, have few epics and learn a shit ton, train again... THEN head into the big stone. Now it's, "hey people of the WWW, how do you do this?" Tell me everything including everything" so I don't have to figure it out on my own. Hey speaking of this, can someone give me the move-by-move beta on the 87 pitch 5.gnarly route on Super Steep Half Dome Nose? Thinking about linking it up and sending it in a morning. BTW...I climb solid 5.8



Coupla things Dave:

Technology changes things. If Edmund Hillary had had GoreTex and ultralight tents available, I bet he would have used them. If the old-school badasses had had stickier shoes and cams available, I doubt they would have looked at them, said "Naah", and kept placing bongs and hexes while wearing hobnail boots. If I can get some beta that helps me tackle my first big wall in such a way that I improve my chances of success, I'm going to take it. I work two jobs, am planning a wedding, and I'm trying to train. Forgive me for not having the time to live in Camp 4, "pay my dues", and follow whatever "Route to Half Dome" that you feel is appropriate. Climbing is important to me but it's just a part of my life, not my entire life. With that being the case, I'm going to find out as much information as I can to improve my chances of success. If that means that I won't win the approval of hardmen like you...whatever.

The way I see it, there are only two possible ways to interpret your statement:

1.) You eschew the use of new technology that might give you any advantage. If this is the case, you're using a hemp rope, giving hip belays, and wearing a swami belt. This also means that you don't use MP to get beta or to figure out the safest\most effective way to climb what you want to climb. Problem is Dave, you do. You climbed Comic Relief, in the Black Canyon, last year and you read up on the descriptions. What happened to "taking your lumps"? Why didn't you just get out there and figure it out for yourself? This first option either isn't the case or you're just a raging hypocrite.

2.) You're just a dick. I want to climb Half Dome. I may be in over my head. I may be too ambitious. I may get 10 feet up, freak out and start crying, and return to Utah with my tail between my legs. So what? You're going to give me shit for having something I want to do and going for it? I listen to enough sanctimonious bullshit during the Republican debates; I shouldn't have to hear it from the community that I turn to when i'm trying to escape the unpleasantness of everyday life.


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By dorseyec
Jan 25, 2012

Austin Baird wrote:
Coupla things Dave: Technology changes things. If Edmund Hillary had had GoreTex and ultralight tents available, I bet he would have used them. If the old-school badasses had had stickier shoes and cams available, I doubt they would have looked at them, said "Naah", and kept placing bongs and hexes while wearing hobnail boots. If I can get some beta that helps me tackle my first big wall in such a way that I improve my chances of success, I'm going to take it. I work two jobs, am planning a wedding, and I'm trying to train. Forgive me for not having the time to live in Camp 4, "pay my dues", and follow whatever "Route to Half Dome" that you feel is appropriate. Climbing is important to me but it's just a part of my life, not my entire life. With that being the case, I'm going to find out as much information as I can to improve my chances of success. If that means that I won't win the approval of hardmen like you...whatever. The way I see it, there are only two possible ways to interpret your statement: 1.) You eschew the use of new technology that might give you any advantage. If this is the case, you're using a hemp rope, giving hip belays, and wearing a swami belt. This also means that you don't use MP to get beta or to figure out the safest\most effective way to climb what you want to climb. Problem is Dave, you do. You climbed Comic Relief, in the Black Canyon, last year and you read up on the descriptions. What happened to "taking your lumps"? Why didn't you just get out there and figure it out for yourself? This first option either isn't the case or you're just a raging hypocrite. 2.) You're just a dick. I want to climb Half Dome. I may be in over my head. I may be too ambitious. I may get 10 feet up, freak out and start crying, and return to Utah with my tail between my legs. So what? You're going to give me shit for having something I want to do and going for it? I listen to enough sanctimonious bullshit during the Republican debates; I shouldn't have to hear it from the community that I turn to when i'm trying to escape the unpleasantness of everyday life.


Wow... someone is overly sensitive!


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By slim
Administrator
Jan 25, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

austin, i think the thing to remember is that you kind of put it out there. you have to expect that people are going to tell you what they think.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Jan 25, 2012
Imaginate

Austin Baird wrote:
I want to climb Half Dome. I may be in over my head. I may be too ambitious. I may get 10 feet up, freak out and start crying, and return to Utah with my tail between my legs.


And in the process muck up the route for other climbers who are actually prepared to send the route.

If you are just overambitious but don't have the experience or skills to succeed, it is kinda like driving in the left lane at 5 under the speed limit. Sure you have every "right" to be there, but it doesn't mean that you should be there or that you aren't hampering the people behind you.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 25, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

slim wrote:
austin, i think the thing to remember is that you kind of put it out there. you have to expect that people are going to tell you what they think.



I recognize that and I don't mind at all. I appreciate people telling me that I'm in over my head, that it's a bad idea, etc. I take it all under consideration and use it to make my decisions. I don't mind criticism; but there's a big difference between the helpful type (that I mentioned above and that most people have given) and the derisive "you haven't earned this\you're just a poser" response that Dave offered. Both you and johnL told me that I'm probably not ready, but you did it in a way that helped me think about my plans. Dave just insulted and flamed me in such a way that offered nothing constructive. That's why I responded the way that I did.


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By DaveF
From Durango, CO
Jan 25, 2012

Oh Austin...I was just messing around and put that up there as haha. Have a good time, hope you send it and learn a boat load while you're doing it, and move on to bigger and better things.

I like your sensitive nature...shows you're a real man


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 25, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

DaveF wrote:
Oh Austin...I was just messing around and put that up there as haha. Have a good time, hope you send it and learn a boat load while you're doing it, and move on to bigger and better things. I like your sensitive nature...shows you're a real man



Funny you mention that. This is me expressing my sensitivity:


So sensitive right now
So sensitive right now


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 25, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!

DaveF wrote:
I like your sensitive nature...shows you're a real man


Strong men also cry.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 25, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Naah. I'm able to campus everything anyway.


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Jan 25, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

it's great that there's a site climbers can use to share information about climbs and also ask others for information as they're attempting to improve their skills and knowledge.

because, without the site, where would people go to complain about others who are using the site exactly as intended.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 25, 2012

Austin Baird wrote:
I work two jobs, am planning a wedding, and I'm trying to train. Forgive me for not having the time to live in Camp 4, "pay my dues", and follow whatever "Route to Half Dome" that you feel is appropriate....I'm going to find out as much information as I can to improve my chances of success.



Hey dood, the advice he not so subtly gave you...do the progression of awesome climbs that will prep you for the route (and are worth climbing in their own right) is the single best way to "improve my (your) chances of success".

And it's never a good sign when you start front-loading the excuses...I work two jobs...so what?, Plenty of us work 60 hrs a week and train, raise kids, etc. Chopper Reid thinks you need to harden TF up.


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By DallinH
From Utah
Jan 25, 2012

I think that some of the issues raised by a few others are worth considering. Your desire to climb half dome is applaudable and I don't doubt that you will put your full effort into training between your rigourus work schedule and marriage planning. With that being said, it appears that you are rather inexperienced outside of sport climbing and I would assume as far as multipitch climbing you haven't done much more than a few hundred feet off the deck in rock canyon.I don't want to sound like a jerk here but maybe potentially hurting the trip of other more experienced climbers on half dome because of inexperience isn't really fair. Especially with the abundance of multipitch climbing close by from which you could gain experience. Zion, the tetons, castle valley, and the wind rivers are much closer and will offer that experience. Nothing wrong with getting in over your head but maybe try it out on some shorter less crowded climbs prior to heading to the valley. Why venture over there when you haven't tapped into the resources close by. I would hardly call half dome something you need to go through a rite of passage before getting to but at least pay some dues and get some experience. It will save some time and money too.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 25, 2012
Me scaring years off my mom's life

johnL and Dallin - definitely things to consider. I appreciate the input. John - I think you're right that my chances of success\fun are better if I pick some different climbs to cut my teeth on. We're weighing our desire for fun\success against our desire for a challenge. That'll be the determining factor for us.


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