/ McNamaras Big Wall graded list
The route that is 2 routes down from it is the 'direct northwest face' which looks quite serious, the normal route on half dome is the regular northwest face which is 8 routes down the list. I've not climbed zodiac but from what i can gather it is an introduction to the harder aid climbs on el cap, and so sits quite high up (easier) on the list.
Got a link to the list?
Ok - so not sure which list youre using but mine maybe from an early supertopo - but still the Nose is higher in difficulty.
Surely a serious aid pitch or two ramps up the difficulty more than the route just feeling epic due to its length?
Not digital - just from my supertopo guide.
It is I suspect now a harder and better route.
Aid climbs change over time and it is short.
Ok - so pitch 14 for example which has a number of bolts shown in Supertopos to protect the pitch now has none?
after the big clean up, Zodiac is now a lot harder than it was a few years back.
I remember quite a few C3F pitches with absolutely no fixed gear on the pitch. In my mind this is A3 if you hammer or C? if you don't.
I think the nose is much easier. Every pitch is C1 which means it goes much faster. Fixing to sickle ledge and spending 2 bivis on the wall is mellow.
Zodiac took me 3 bivis (albeit with no fixing) and the zodiac is half the length of the nose.
Ok - cheers. Not sure I am going to be able to describe the Nose as mellow but we'll give it a go (again).
If you can lead, clean and haul a pitch in 1.5hours, then anything you can free will be a bonus - but be careful - changing shoes and stripping down the rack and vice versus can waste a lot of time. I would only bother changing from aid to free set up if there was a reasonable block of freeable pitches, otherwise just stick to the aiding setup.
I bivied on Dolt tower and Camp IV. From Cap IV we went straight to the top - thats 10 pitches virtually all on aid in a 15 hour day.
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