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Elevation: 8,821 ft 2,689 m
GPS: 37.74594, -119.53304
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Description Suggest change

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 (hence the original indigenous name Ti-sa-ack or Cleft Rock in the language of the Awahnechee), 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.

Remarkably, Half Dome was once described as "perfectly inaccessible" by Josiah Whitney of the California Geological Survey in the 1870's. The summit was finally first attained by George G. Anderson in October 1875, via a route constructed by drilling and placing iron eyebolts into the smooth granite near the site of the cables today and remains one of the most historic Yosemite ascents that has contributed to the direction of rock climbing in the USA.

Getting There Suggest change

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.

15 Total Climbs

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Location: D. Half Dome Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Half Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
 1,330
Snake Dike
Trad 8 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b A3
 4
Direct Northwest Face
Trad, Aid 14 pitches
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c R
 5
Deuceldike
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1
 458
Regular Northwest Face of Half D…
Trad, Aid 23 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 5
The Southwest Face
Trad 7 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
 6
Cold, Rain, and Snow
Trad 9 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 5
Blond Ike
Trad 7 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 6
Autobahn
Trad 12 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 4
Two Hoofers
Trad 7 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C0
 6
The Xue Way
Trad, Aid 20 pitches
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c A0
 5
Growing Up
Trad, Aid 21 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Snake Dike 4. Southwest Face
 1,330
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad 8 pitches
Direct Northwest Face 2. Porcelain Wall
 4
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b A3 Trad, Aid 14 pitches
Deuceldike 4. Southwest Face
 5
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c R Trad 5 pitches
Regular Northwest Face of H… 1. Northwest Face
 458
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1 Trad, Aid 23 pitches
The Southwest Face 4. Southwest Face
 5
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 7 pitches
Cold, Rain, and Snow 3. Sunshine Buttress
 6
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13 Trad 9 pitches
Blond Ike 4. Southwest Face
 5
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad 7 pitches
Autobahn 5. S Face
 6
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 12 pitches
Two Hoofers 4. Southwest Face
 4
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad 7 pitches
The Xue Way 5. S Face
 6
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C0 Trad, Aid 20 pitches
Growing Up 5. S Face
 5
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c A0 Trad, Aid 21 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Half Dome »

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