Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Half Dome

Select Route:
Autobahn T 
Blondike T 
Eye in the Sky T 
Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome T 
Snake Dike T 
Southwest Face, The T 
Two Hoofers T 

Half Dome  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 37.7442, -119.5349 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 653,491
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 15, 2006
Forecast:
Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon
Partly Cloudy
73° | 49°
Partly Cloudy
62° | 40°
Chance of Rain
45° | 27°
Clear
49° | 34°
Clear
57° | 33°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [2 people like this page.]

Half Dome, South Face Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The classic profile of Half Dome, recognizable worldwide, sits over the east end of Yosemite Valley like a distant guardian. Glaciers cleaved the dome clear in half, leaving incredible slab climbs on the sunny southern aspect such as Snake Dike (5.7) and Southern Belle (5.12) to amazingly steep lines on the NW face. The namesake route (the "Regular" route) on the NW face is one of many aid climbers' first objectives, but it makes for a great, adventurous free climb as well.

Even the hiking route up to the summit visor, via the cables, is classic, and it is no wonder why this formation was used for the North Face's logo.

Getting There 

Half Dome takes a bit of work to get to. There are generally two approaches used by climbers:

1) Hike up from Happy Isles up the Mist Trail through Little Yosemite Valley (approx. 8 miles to the shoulder of Half Dome).

2) Head over from Happy Isles past Mirror Lake and hike up the "Death Slabs".

Option 1 is smooth hiking and clearly the way to go for the south facing routes. Option 2 is significantly faster (for the NW face), in both directions, but requires skilled route finding, very steep hiking, and use of fixed lines.

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.7 miles from here

7 Total Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',2],['5.11',2],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Half Dome:
Snake Dike   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, 8 pitches, 2000'   
Blondike   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R     Trad, 7 pitches, 900'   
Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Trad, 23 pitches, 2200'   
Two Hoofers   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 7 pitches, 1000'   
Browse More Classics in Half Dome

Featured Route For Half Dome
Big granite, big aspirations...

Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Half Dome
Wanna feel like a hero? Here's how. Get your gear and partner in order. Do an excruciating approach up thousands of feet, passing hundreds of knackered tourists from all over the world. Although a few will recognize you as a climber, most will look at you like you're a bit off in the head for shlepping an enormous, orange plastic backpack up the several million steps. And in many ways they're right, for you're about to pull off one of the most spectacular climbs on the face of our fair plan...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Half Dome Slideshow Add Photo
Surfing the Diving Board on Half Dome.
Surfing the Diving Board on Half Dome.
Half dome
Half dome
Half Dome in early April. My attempt on being Amsel Adams.
Half Dome in early April. My attempt on being Amse...
spent 3 days on wall in this poor weather
spent 3 days on wall in this poor weather
Early morning light on the South Face of Half Dome
Early morning light on the South Face of Half Dome
"It is a crest of granite...perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden by human foot."  <br />-- California Geological Survey 1865 <br /> <br />Photo taken October 2011
"It is a crest of granite...perfectly inacces...
Me sitting on the diving board... a life dream fulfilled...
Me sitting on the diving board... a life dream ful...
Taken during the flood of Spring '05, when the valley was closed to visitors.  Watkins on the right.  Glacier Point beyond Half Dome.  The Cathedral group down valley in the distance.
Taken during the flood of Spring '05, when the val...
A stunning piece of earth.
A stunning piece of earth.
 <br />The Snake Dike side of Half Dome, and the glories of the high country beyond.
The Snake Dike side of Half Dome, and the glories...
West and NW faces, taken 5.25.05.  Note the still significant snow tongue guarding the approach from the shoulder.  Crossing this in Spring can be a dicey proposition.
West and NW faces, taken 5.25.05. Note the still ...
Half Dome catches some sun during a storm
Half Dome catches some sun during a storm
Half Dome.  <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Half Dome. Photo by Blitzo.
Halfdome on a nice autumn day...
Halfdome on a nice autumn day...
Pastel.
Pastel.
Half Dome, Mount Broderick, and Liberty Cap
Half Dome, Mount Broderick, and Liberty Cap
Traffic jam on the Cables
Traffic jam on the Cables
Half Dome. Face detail. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Half Dome. Face detail. Photo by Blitzo.
From Mirror Lake
From Mirror Lake
Evening, Half Dome
Evening, Half Dome
Half dome from atop the columne
Half dome from atop the columne
Waking up alone in a strange place.
Waking up alone in a strange place.
busy day on the cables
busy day on the cables
Half Dome from Glacier Point.  ?Summer '97.
Half Dome from Glacier Point. ?Summer '97.

Show All 64 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Half Dome Add Comment
Show which comments
By Karsten
From: Sacramento, CA
Oct 13, 2006
The death slabs are not that bad. Find a topo, such as Chris Mac's in Supertopo. It is pretty chill as long as you don't get off route. If it looks scary, you probably aren't on the right path.
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Dec 13, 2006
I haven't done the "death slabs" in years but if I remember correctly the key was being familiar with it prior to hiking it with a haul bag. Zip up it with a day bag to get to know the route.

It's a lot of effort with heavy loads so break it down and do it over a couple of days. It's the only approach I have used.

I echo with Karsten just mentioned as well. I just brought the latest version of the Supertopo's Big Walls guidebook and it has a great description of it.
By Sergio P
From: Idaho Springs, CO
Jun 24, 2007
When descending the cables on a crowded day you may find it easier to clip into the cables with a binner attached to a sling then step outside of the cables. Use another sling and binner to clip past the poles so that you are always clipped in.
By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
Aug 7, 2008
I have done both approaches and absolutly recommend the "Slabs." There were only 2 slightly tricky parts:
1) Finding the right start...the spot where you leave the trail was very inobvious when I did this a few years ago. Maybe it is better now.
2) There is a spot near the end where the route seems to get blocked by a steep wall on your right. At first we actually climbed this darn thing only to figure out that the correct way to go is around a corner to the right. There is a hidden fixed rope (or two) ver that way and provides quick access to the long slpoe that brings you to the base of the wall.
Chris Mac's topo is pretty good, and we figured it all out without checking it out first.
I have also gone down this way and it wasn't bad at all.
The best part about this approach is that you have STUNNING views of the whole wall that almost seems to hang over your head the whole way. If this is your first wall it will make you think "...um...gee...what am I getting into?"
Have fun!
By Eckhard
From: Denver, CO
Sep 26, 2008
Is anybody familiar with which climb was FFA by Jim Erickson and Art Higbee, in 1976. It was captured on the film Free Climb: The Northwest Face of Half Dome?
By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Sep 26, 2008
Wouldn't that be the Regular Northwest Face?
By jhump
May 10, 2009
I have always heard that Higbee/Erickson did not free the final bolt ladder. Leonard Coyne later freed everything in 1979. Is this correct?
By EldoFiend
From: WY
Apr 28, 2010
A permit is now required to hike up half dome via the cables route on weekends. This does not apply to climbers hiking down the cables after climbing half dome.

HD Permits