Reg NW Face Halfdome - approach : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

When living in the valley (89-94), the locals I knew would use the 'death slab' approach via some fixed ropes and scary class 4. But, reading trip reports on the net recently, it seems everyone else is hiking up the LYV trail to the Half Dome trail and on up around the shoulder of the rock to the base. Does the death slab approach still exist, have the fixed roaps failed, or is it just predominently used by the locals still? Responses from recent (last 2 years) trips most welcome. If anyone has done both, comparisons would be cool.

-- George Thomas (, July 06, 1999



I just talked to a friend that recently climbed the reg. NW face route (last week). He said they did the death slab approach and there are still fixed lines there. They were pretty thrashed, so use cation. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

-- Brian (, July 09, 1999.

The fixed lines are all in place. As to them being thrashed- I doubt it since I just replaced half of them along with Eric George. There was an article in a recent Rock and Ice(maybe climbing) by Chris MacNamera that has a complete topo for the approach. It's quite easy to follow without the topo though. Head up the trail on the south side of mirror lake. Take a turn off about a marked by a cairn even with a large boulder on your left. Follow the cow path. It's a much better approach than hiking down the long way.

-- Eric Coomer (, July 14, 1999.

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