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Routes in Half-Dome

Lost at Sea T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A0 PG13
Type: Trad, Aid, 1000 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: 18OCT2014 P. Murdock I. Silva
Page Views: 161 total, 4/month
Shared By: Pat M on Oct 19, 2014
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Description

This is a true adventure route with a mix of moderate rock climbing, jungle mountaineering and steep slab-hiking. Do not expect a nice clean day out on the rock. It's pretty grueling and route-finding can be a challenge, but the summit is more than worth it. The 'crux' of the route comes in two sections with 3 pitches of moderate climbing each. The route traverses at nearly a 45 degree angle across the face, making rappels difficult and quite dangerous if you get rained off the summit. The alternative, however, would be over 1000 feet of rappels to an unknown spot in the jungle. Most of the climbing is easy slab, with some sections of 'vertical jungle' (alternatively, the jungle section can be aided).

Approach (car): From Fazenda Rio Iris (basecamp for most climbs), travel South past the village of Cumbira and at 2.7km, turn right on the road to Anga 2 (first dirt road to right after Cumbira). Continue 4km on the dirt road staying mainly to the right except for one 4-way intersection at a cemetery (see map). Park just after the 3rd village that you pass on the road. From the parking area, head North on well worn trails aiming for the left (West) side of Half-Dome. Follow trail through 2-3 small villages (many trails branch off, use map) to the toe of the rock. From there, push straight up to the notch between Half-Dome and the other big dome to the North. At the notch, continue right along ledges until they end (total 2.5km from parking).

Climb:
From the ledge, move straight right 15m to a single bolt (can belay here or just have belayer simul from ledge over to first bolt).
P1: From bolt, climb up and right on thin flakes and good edges (safest to favor the latter). Every 8-10m there will be an obvious good stance. Look for RB holes at these stances. 5.6 35m (2 RB's for lead protection; 2 bolt belay)
P2: From belay move straight right about 5-6m to a 15cm ledge (it's obvious). From there, climb straight up 6-7m to a bolt. There is also an RB hole ~4m right of the bolt. From there, move right again across small ledges, trending slightly up until about 10m below the belay. Move up and right, then back left to the belay. 5.6 35m (1 bolt, 2 bolt belay)
P3: From the belay move straight up along ledges and flakes, aiming for the left side of a cactus on a small ledge about 15m above the belay. After ~6m, you will pass the 1st RB hole. Continue past the cactus then move right to a bolt, continuing up and right to the belay. 5.6 35m (1 RB, 1 bolt, 2 bolt belay)

From the top of pitch 3, traverse 70m across low-angle slabs and grassy ledges, passing one bolt and stopping directly underneath another bolt about 3-4m above the ledge. If climbing on a full thickness 70m rope, you can link pitch 1/2 and then link pitch 3 and half of the traverse (or simul-climb the last half of the traverse).

P4: From the ledge, move up past the bolt into thin flakes. Look for an RB hole about 5m above the bolt near a small cactus. Move past the left side of the cactus past more thin flakes to another RB hole at the top of the thin flakes. From here, mantle up onto the right side of a flake/ledge and continue up and left to a bolt. At this point, you can A0 directly above the bolt on an RB (to grab fixed slings from the belay) or climb jungle 5.9 up the vertical wall by using grass clumps up and left of the bolt. After about 3-4m of jungle thrashing, move back right to a ledge with an RB hole. Continue thrashing straight to the belay for the 'free-climbing' experience or use the fixed sling like you will wish you would have done in the first place... On the first ascent, I had not choice but to thrash up the grass clumps which with unknown critters, questionable structural integrity and a healthy runout is sketchy at best... Belay on narrow ledge. 5.9 AO (or jungle 5.9R) 35m (1 bolt, 3 RB's, 2 bolt belay)
P5: From the belay, move straight up on 5.9 friction moves to bolt, then up and right passing 2 more bolts every 7-8m on fairly sustained friction. Some RB holes available as intermittent pro after the 3 bolts. Continue up and right to a series of grassy ledges, belay is on left edge of 2nd grassy ledge. 5.9 35m (3 bolts, 3 RB's, 2 bolt belay)
P6: From the belay move up past the right side of another grassy ledge to a flake. Move up the flake along the edge of a strip of grass to a 2-bolt belay. 5.4 35m (No Pro, 2 bolt belay)

From the last belay, step right into the grass and change into your hiking shoes. Stay roped up for the first 100m or so of hiking while you cross a few water streaks that cut through the grass (there would be nothing to stop you from taking a 1000+ foot ride if you slipped). Trend up and right at about 45 degrees, avoiding traversing open rock but aiming for a large patch of open rock visible right on the shoulder of the mountain. After un-roping, you can leave your rope here and continue hiking. From the exposed rock (roughly 4-5m high by 10m wide), move up and left following the rib to the summit ridge for several hundred meters. Move right up the summit ridge on open rock to the top. There should be a large 1.5m cairn on the summit (or a weird looking pile of rocks where it fell over). Total hike from top of climbing is about 500m. When in doubt, just keep heading uphill and avoid anything too steep to hike. It is recommended to leave markers to help re-trace your route back from the summit. The summit is absolutely incredible as the East face of Half-Dome is nearly 1000ft straight vertical to overhanging. I drilled 3 RB holes near the cairn if you want to rope up to walk to the edge and look over.

Descent: Re-trace route (we used plastic caution tape on tall cactus plants to mark our route up so we could find out way back through the grass to the belay point... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!). Everything looks the same coming down from the summit and getting lost could cost you precious daylight. Finding the rappel anchors in that sea of cactus and brush at night would be nearly impossible. Even if you bring 2 ropes, use all rappel points on P1-3 as they require alot of traversing. Descending in the rain will be extremely dangerous, so recommend waiting out a shower if it's early in the day.

Location

See Description and maps.

Protection

At least THREE 1/2" Removable bolts required, otherwise, the rating will be X instead of PG13. Many pitches have only RB's for pro. All bolts are 2 bolt belays and the route is set-up to be climbed and rappelled with a single 70m rope. First ascent was done with a single 8.4mm Bluewater Excellence. It is not recommended to try to link rappels due to the traversing nature of the route. ALWAYS tie end knots as many of the rappels are right to the end of a 70m rope.

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