Half-Dome, Northwest Face, Zenith. Zenith follows a line between Tis-sa-ack and Bushido. It joins Tis-sa-ask’s famous bolt ladder near the top. Jim Bridwell and I climbed the route in July. We watched two helicopter rescues and about fifteen ascents of the northwest regular and direct routes during our six-day climb. Zenith is typical of Yosemite’s new wall routes. It requires many hooks, copperheads, knifeblades, Friends*, and rivets to connect expanding flake systems. This route follows beautiful overhanging rock to the summit. When in doubt where to go, use your hooks. NCCS VI+, F9, A5.
* Friends are designed by Ray Jardine. Though expensive, they are necessary in today’s new routes. They make new climbs possible and many safer.