New Half Dome Route

Gripped - - NEWS -

The Xue Way is a new 5.11+A0 up the south face of Half Dome, one of the world’s most iconic moun­tains. The first as­cent of Half Dome was by Ge­orge An­der­son in 1875. Chris Koppl, Brian Pence and Vi­taliy Musiyenko worked on the new mostly free route, with the ex­cep­tion of 10 A0 moves, for the past few years. The fi­nal push took three days. “The route goes at 5.11c-ish,” said Musiyenko, “and has some crazy climb­ing on it – first pitch climbs a lay­back to a side­ways tra­verse of a dike, then you climb up into a huge arch­ing roof on pitch two, and con­tinue travers­ing left, un­der­cling­ing and jam­ming the roof, then you down­climb the arch and climb up the dike on the third pitch.” The rock is re­ported to be im­mac­u­late with a great po­si­tion. “The route was es­tab­lished with other climbers in mind and ad­di­tional bolts were added to sev­eral in­di­vid­ual pitches af­ter those were led with less on the first as­cent,” said Musiyenko. The first as­cent team ded­i­cated the route to Michelle Xue, who passed away in an ice climb­ing ac­ci­dent in the Sierra Ne­vada last fall.

South face of Half Dome (on the left) and Lib­erty Cap (on the right)

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