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Re: First free climb of North Face

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avatar First free climb of North Face
May 03, 2008 05:41PM
Anyone know who did the first free climb of the north face of Half Dome?

Free climb meaning no ropes or other assistance

Thanks, I think I might have met the guy by chance.
avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
May 03, 2008 06:18PM
Was it Royal Robbins in 1957?

Re: First free climb of North Face
May 04, 2008 12:59AM
nobody has ever "free-soloed" it (no rope etc) but you might be thinking of Dean Potter or Doug Robinson who both made sort of historical ascents .

Re: First free climb of North Face
May 04, 2008 08:10AM
Todd Skinner freed Half Dome. "Free" in climbing meaning not using the ropes and other artificial means to aid in climbing; ropes are there for safety - to catch a fall.

I don't think you met him though..

See: Loss of a Legend from Climbing magazine

http://climbing.skrammedia.com/print/features/toddskinner/index.html

Mike

avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
May 05, 2008 09:26AM
Lucrativ wrote:

> nobody has ever "free-soloed" it (no rope etc) but you might be
> thinking of Dean Potter or Doug Robinson who both made sort of
> historical ascents .

I heard Dean Potter is quite a character. People are still talking about his documented climb of Delicate Arch. Not that he was the first to do so, but that some thought he was showboating by having it captured on video/photos (with a subsequent press release), rather than just doing it quietly. I'm sure the Park Service probably wishes he would just go away.

eeek wrote:

> Was it Royal Robbins in 1957?

Wouldn't he have used siege tactics? I understand that means pretty much using fixed ropes all the way, and maybe coming back down and retrying if some routes aren't fixed yet?
avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
May 05, 2008 10:50AM
Royal Robbins climbed the North Face of Half Dome in the late 1950s. Not sure when. No Siege. The famous siege was of El Cap's Nose, by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore.



Post Edited (05-05-08 10:57)



mark2
avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
May 05, 2008 10:51AM
Who did the first free climb of it, is a good question.

The first actual ascent of the North Face of Half Dome was made by Royal Robbins, and it was not a siege.

It was first climbed in 1957 by a team consisting of Royal Robbins, Mike Sherrick, and Jerry Gallwas.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_Northwest_Face_of_Half_Dome



Post Edited (05-05-08 14:23)



mark2
avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
May 07, 2008 06:29PM
Looking at photos of the guys in question I think it was Doug Robinson. Mind me asking you how tall Doug Robinson is? That would narrow it down a great deal. Thanks
Re: First free climb of North Face
July 08, 2008 12:02PM
John Salathe and Anton Nelson were the first two people to climb the great face of Half Dome, in 1946.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Salathe

But they did not free climb. Salathe, Nelson, Harding, Robbins, and other pioneers used ropes.

Salathe invented the modern hard piton. I'm sure they used those too.





Doug Parr
avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
July 08, 2008 04:08PM
Salathe and Ax Nelson's famous climb was of the southwest face of Half Dome, not to be confused with the regular or northwest face by Royal Robins, Mike Sherrick and Jerry Gallwas, which was the first grade VI climb done in the U.S.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Robbins

Some people confuse the Salathe Route on El Cap with John Salathe, thinking that maybe he did it first, when in fact the Salathe Route was done by Royal Robins who name it after John Salathe.

I had a chance to ask Royal Robins once when he was giving a slide show in town if he knew what Salathe thought of him naming the route after him, and he said he didn't know. He seemed to wonder himself how Salathe would have thought about it, as Salathe was alive then. I thought it very odd that Robins didn't know. But, I guess he hung around in different circles. I think that by that time Salathe was having some demensia if what I read was correct. Robins suggested that I ask Warren Harding, which I had the chance to do about a year later. He had no idea. Warren was in town for another slide show the following year. I was very lucky to have been able to catch their slide shows and talks. You have to admire these men. It was sad to hear about Warren passing away only a few years later.

Anyone know how Royal is doing these days?
Re: First free climb of North Face
July 11, 2008 11:02PM
Royal and his wife died in a small plane crash six years ago.

http://www.yosemite.org/newsroom/clips2002/august/082202.htm

avatar Re: First free climb of North Face
July 12, 2008 03:04AM
Lest anyone becomes unduly alarmed, Royal Robbins was not on that plane with Galen and Barbara Rowell.

Last known, Royal is alive & well and living in Modesto:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Robbins
http://www.modbee.com/life/funstuff/v-print/story/65043.html



Post Edited (07-12-08 03:45)



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