Tuesday, February 19, 2008

RNWF of H-dizzle, VI 5.9 C1 8/07

Emboldened even more by my successful column solo I decided to solo the reg on h-dizzle in a day. By now I hardly need rest days and take maybe 2 before I packed all my stuff up and hiked the death slabs to Half Dome. I settled into the base and read Hans' book on speed climbing. I didn't bring it, I just found it up there and decided it couldn't hurt right?
There was gnarly rock fall almost hourly coming off the route by late afternoon. I was furious! I yelled, screamed and threatened the culprits though I had no idea who they were. I took cover under the biggest tree I could find, rocks fell randomly across the base. Then out of no where a blood-curdling scream from high above me. It was so long and shrill I expected a body to come down along with it. Then total silence. Way eerie.
4 AM. I hear voices on the wall for the first time since the scream. They are calmly asking for a rescue it seems. So I call up my SAR buddies Scott and Cam on my cell phone to see what's up. They relay the message that a rescue is about to happen and that I should turn and head down. No sense in being under a rescue if I don't need to. Too bad I didn't hear more from those guys as I could have called in a rescue 10 hours earlier! Oh well, I took the SAR advice and headed down just as the voices on the megaphone started. I wasn't done with Half Dome though so i left all my rack and gear up there at the base.
The very same day I ran into my good friend Greg. He was on SAR and knew all about what had happened. We shot the shit for a minute on our bikes near the lodge. He planned on soloing half dome the next day. We decided we had better go to the bar to further discuss our plans.
We settled on a plan to do the route together the next over crown royal and coke. It seemed silly to retrieve my gear without climbing and why would we both solo it on the same day? We would meet in the cafeteria for coffee the next morning and then hike up together.
We rode our bikes from the lodge to mirror lake and crossed not so much as a puddle to get to the death slabs. We smoked up the trail in no time flat arriving at the base to find it empty. Funny how a rescue will clear things out!
We started the first pitch before noon and simul-climbed forever it seemed. I lead with Greg taking the more dangerous job of following. We simuled for 8 pitches before I got any rack back and even then we had maybe 12 pieces for pro. I kept going all the way to big sandy before stopping again. We only short-fixed once entering the chimneys. We swapped roles and Greg took off short-fixing the rest of the route. We ran into a couple 17 year olds after thank god ledge on their first wall. they were happy to let us pass and congratulations flew all around.
The route took us 5 hours. It was amazing to cover that much ground that fast as this was my intro to simuling. We ran back to the base and and then descended the death slabs again. Damn that was fucking fun!

No comments: