266 "The Reg" is an odyssey up one of the Valley's coolest cliffs, with unbelievable backcountry views and vibe. There's even a good flowing spring (till late season) 8' from the base of the route! North facing, and topping out at almost 9000', HD is more of a Summer/Fall route. It is a beginner wall in the sense that there is no really tricky aid, even if you only climb 5.9. HD is more of an alpine wall, with a grueling 2.5 hr--half day approach and loose/impossible hauling that forces people to go fast and light. The cruxes are a couple awkward/tricky moves on the Robbins Traverse and on the pitch after Thank God Ledge. While there are a couple dozen routes up HD's Northwest Face, only The Reg sees any regular traffic with 2-3 parties on the route most days from mid-May to mid-October. Get in solid 5.9/5.10 free climbing shape and this will be awesome fun.


*Plan: Plan on some logistical figuring as there will most likely be other people attempting this climb when you arrive. Luckily, unlike The Nose most parties on Half Dome have a similar strategy of fixing and blasting early in the morning, so it is easier to enjoy fixing and bivying together. One day ascents, especially after fixing two or three pitches the day before, are the norm because the approach is so gueling that most novices opt for beginner climbs closer to the Valley floor. Most parties hike up and fix a couple pitches the first day, and filter water at the base; then you can climb fast and light to Big Sandy or the top with the second jugging with a pack(best way) or spend two nights on the wall hauling. It takes less than an hour to get from the Summit back down to the base of the Route.


*Approach: Once the slabs approach is free of snow/water in Spring that is the best way, with only a couple 5.6 sections that always have fixed ropes to hand over hand up. The Mist or John Muir Trails, which you leave at the shoulder of the rock and skirt along the wall on an obvious talus trail, is long and arduous but safer if the slabs are still wet.

*Ledge: There is a poor, sloping ledge up and left from the sixth belay. Big Sandy, at pitch 17, is comfy for 4+. Big Sandy and the Summit are at over 8000' elevation so if you're going fast and light, but planning on bivying at either spots, bring a space blanket bivy sac(and 1/2 a sleeping pad) or similar as it is very cold at night.


*The Elements: The Reg goes in the Sun early/mid afternoon to sunset. Half Dome is the site of many a mid-Summer hail/thunderstorm, so bringing a synthetic puffy jacket on the climb even if you're doing it in a day is advisable. 




Trip Reports



1. Partner
Hans Florine, Jim Herson
Oct 1999
1. Solo
Alex Honnold
Jun 22, 2010 (El Cap+Half Dome solo linkup)