Note from Rockgrrl: This post is a guest post by Katie London, an awesome local rockgrrl who I met, along with her partner, Ben while climbing around my hometown. They did a write up of their Half Dome, Regular Route experience as a PDF and I asked if they’d mind sharing. They didn’t mind so here it is for your benefit! Be sure to read the PDF as well as the following notes!
Great trip with a happy ending : ) Aug 4-6, 2009
Some editorial comments: We missed the climber’s trail on the death slabs approach from “Mirror Lake/Mirror dirt patch” (apparently there’s no lake this time of year), so we traversed the Ahwiyah Point rock fall a couple times (not fun), then bush-wacked and meandered our way up a good portion of the approach. Did some spicy mossy slabby moves unprotected with our packs/gear on. Using the fixed ropes on the approach with a heavy pack is a bit awkward, and a mid-day approach is hot with little shade. I was conserving water as I was not sure if the spring at the base of the climb would still be running, which made the approach even tougher. The spring had not dried up as of Aug. 4th; the water is cold and wonderful and I drank about 3 liters without treating/filtering and did not get sick.
I was pretty new to jumarring – it was something I came to love and hate. Cleaning pieces and having to swing behind flakes to start a pitch was frustrating. But the jumarring did allow my climbing partner to short fix some pitches, and therefore keep climbing while I was ascending, which sped things up a bit.
I got to do a lot of climbing on this route, lots of great pitches. However, trailing a rope (our haul line/backup rappelling rope) and carrying a bag full of water and provisions for the overnight can make easy pitches seem really hard.
It’s amazing how fast time goes on the wall. We started from the base of the climb around 5:30am and before I knew it the sun was setting before our last pitch of the day.
Sleeping on ‘big sandy ledge’ and at the base of the climb, without sleeping pads, is really uncomfortable, and requires you to toss and turn fairly regularly during the night as invariably, some rock will start digging into your side and you’ll have to roll over to get more comfortable for a few moments.