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Half Dome in Yosemite was Just Skied

It was first skied in 1980, but has never been skied to the valley and Mirror Lake

Half Dome is one of the world’s most iconic peaks and its northwest face is an objective for countless climbers. The 45 to 60 degree domed “back” is often climbed in summer via the Cable Route.

On Sun., Feb. 21, locals Jason Torlano and Zach Milligan became the first skiers to ski the massive granite slope from the summit to the valley. It had been skied before, in 1980 by Bob Bellman and Eric Perlman down the Cable Route. In 2000, Jim Zellers snowboarded the line without a rope.

Regular Gripped contributor, Chris Van Leuven, reported about the historic descent here, saying, “Torlano successfully negotiated the icy section and led past Milligan to reach a 60-degree section covered with quarter-inch névé, the steepest section of the line. It was coated in ‘the finest of powder snow,’ Milligan says. The névé was hard as concrete. Torlano took a total of five turns down the face.” Torlano told Van Leuven that he’d dreamed of skiing Half Dome since he was a kid.

After skiing Half Dome, they continued down the should to the base of the “climber’s’ face” where they joined the climber’s path. They continued downt the trail, rappelling off the odd tree, and made it back to Mirror Lake.

The first ascent of the Cable Route was by George G. Anderson in 1875. The famous northwest face was first climbed in 1957 as the first grade VI climb in America, by Royal Robbins, Mike Sherrick and Jerry Gallwas.

Half Dome Ski