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Houlding and Potter make the second free ascent
of Southern Belle in 18 years
 


Leo Houlding and Dean Potter made the second free ascent of the infamous Southern Belle V 5.12d on the Half Dome’s South Face in Yosemite Valley. Houlding and Potter free-climbed the route in a day on their second ground-up attempt.

Originally established in spring 1987 by Dave Schultz and Walt Shipley, the 14-pitch route starts at the second prominent arch in center of face and breaks through to the forbidding headwall above. It was freed year later by Schultz and Scott Cosgrove, becoming one of the most runout and severe lines in America and probably one of the finest long free routes in the world. The 3-pitch 5.12 crux offered difficult crack system (5.12b, two bolts), followed by a beautiful overhanging crack splitting an outside corner (5.12c) and then a very technical 80o face (originally graded 5.12c/d).

“It is more serious than the Bachar Yerian or You Asked For It, with 5.10X and 5.11X pitches”, commented Cosgrove. Schultz was of the same opinion: “It’s only 14 pitches, but it’s horrendous! There are no more than four bolts per pitch!” (overall only 30 bolts including belay anchors protected the climb).

In 1994 Hank Caylor shattered his ankle going for the second free ascent of  Southern Belle. He fell probably more than 20 meters on the last 5.11 pitch and impacted a ledge about halfway down.

 
See also
 Books/Movies
Angels of Light
Defying Gravity
Big Wall Climbing
 Climbandmore special
Why Yosemite? Answers by Top Climbers
 Climbers
Dean Potter, b. 1972, USA
Jim Bridwell
 Fotogallery
Famous Climbers' Portraits
 News/Last added
Smith-Gobat and Astorga's records in Yosemite Valley
Honnold links Half Dome and The Nose in 8h
Difficult Desert Cracks
Krakow Mountain Festival 2007
Lee Cossey Sends Three El Cap Free Routes
The Huber Brothers Set Another Speed Record
Remarkable repeats of Free Rider
Potter makes his hardest solo ever
Free solo and speed climbing in the Valley
 Routes/Crags
North Face of Rostrum, Yosemite Valley
 Walls
Aguja Poincenot
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All texts and photos copyright (C) 2005-2014 Piotr Dro┐d┐ - ClimbandMore, unless otherwise credited
Editors: Monika M│odecka, Janusz Szymik