Fairview Dome, North Face (Regular Route)

By: Bill Wright | Climbers: Bill Wright, Hans Florine |Trip Dates: June 3, 2001

Photo: Gary Clark

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Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from a longer trip report, which can be found on the author's web site.

Bill Wright and Hans Florine climbed eight domes in Tuolumne Meadows on this one day, comprising 38 pitches. It is included here as an example of what committed and highly competent climbers can accomplish on routes that the average climber might look upon as a serious challenge.

Our next dome was the biggest of the day and had previously been an all day climb for me. Fairview Dome was just a little ways up the road and across the street. We were surprised to only see two cars at the parking area and hoped they both wouldn't be on the Regular Route. Before we left the road, we saw a climber at the first belay and upon our arrival at the base, he was still there. His second was about halfway up the first pitch and, sure enough, the other party was gearing up at the base. I'd let Hans handle the negotiations.

Hans walks up to the other party and introduces himself, "Hi, I'm Hans. What are your names?" They respond Ray and Leslie. As Ray started to lead the first pitch, he asked, "Hans, what's your last name?" Hans said, "Christian-Anderson," then smiled and said, "Florine." Ray responds, "Hey, I know Nancy Feagin (Hans' former girlfriend) real well. I used to climb with her a lot." Hans says, "Then you might now that she just recently summitted Everest." They went on for a bit and then Ray went back to leading. Hans tells Leslie that we're trying to do a bunch of domes in a day to which she says, "Then I suppose you want to just climb over the top of us." Hans says, "What I want and what I get are two different things. You were here first and you have dibbs on the route." She said she wouldn't mind and then Hans yells up to ask Ray and he says, "No problem, come on up."

So I geared up and started up behind him. I climbed a variation crack about five feet left of the main crack so that our ropes would run more cleanly. Eventually, I had to merge with the main crack just before the crux move and our ropes ran more on top of each other. I stayed a safe distance below him so that I wouldn't be in danger of him falling on me and so as not to be rude.

As we approached the belay ledge, Ray tells the other party that his plan was to climb above them to an alternate belay, but that the guy behind him (me) is climbing a lot faster and figures to just let me pass right at this ledge, since we had promised to simul-climb the first couple of pitches. I didn't catch the other party's names, but just tried to move up by as quickly as possible. I thanked them all and moved straight up the next pitch.

I ran the first four pitches together up to Crescent Ledge. Upon arrival I had three pieces on my rack and no slings - two went in for the belay. I was just starting to get worried about what I'd belay with when I came across the ledge. The climbing is so fun on these opening pitches that I just didn't want to stop. Finally, out of gear, I had to stop.

Hans, never far behind, soon joined me on the ledge and said, "Well, you've had a chance to rest so why don't you continue leading?" I led off and we simul-climbed the next eight pitches to the top without re-gearing. What a fun ramble this route is! Hans joined me on the summit 1:11 after I started up the first pitch. Once again, we trotted down the slabs in back and along the base of the wall and back to the car - completing the climb in just over two hours car-to-car.

Editor's Note: The author is a Major Contributor to the North American Classics project.