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Will Stanhope gets 3rd Ascent of Southern Belle

Will Stanhope gets 3rd Ascent of Southern Belle
Will Stanhope gets 3rd Ascent of Southern Belle
November 26, 2010 -  Will Stanhope    

A lap up the gorgeous Southern Belle with Alex Honnold. On Nov 1, Alex Honnold and I repeated the Southern Belle on the South Face of Half Dome. It was first climbed in 1987 by Walt Shipley and Dave Schultz and freed the next year by Schultz and Scott Cosgrove. In 2006, Leo Houlding and Dean Potter made the second free ascent.


Hazel left to go back to the UK on October 8th, which left me a few weeks before I had to leave Yosemite too. Jason Kruk and I had an Arc'teryx photo gig to attend in Joshua Tree on Nov 5. Alex and I had made plans to climb together and were shooting ideas around on email. We hoped to get on a big wall but October's weather was surprisingly unstable. Storms were rolling in every week, it seemed. Perhaps a one-day mission was the go? The idea of climbing the Southern Belle had been floating around in my head for a few years. I popped the idea to Alex. He responded, "Everything I can find on the internet says that it's certain death, but I guess you never know till you try."

To read more, please visit my blog.

The shoes I wore on this mission (like always, pretty much...) were the Anasazi Blancos with Stealth C4.  It is absolutely critical that I can trust my feet when I can barely see the last bolt I clipped...

Check out an interview about the climb on and an article on


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