Van Halen’s David Lee Roth “climbed” Half Dome

It was 1988 when Roth’s second album called Skyscraper was released. It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 that year. To me – so what? His greatest time was with Van Halen. But here’s the rest of the story. Here is the album cover.

David Lee Roth KINDA climbing Half Dome

David Lee Roth KINDA climbing Half Dome

That is high on the face of Half Dome in 1988. Old news? Yes, but did you know this before? Roth is an amateur climber and his handlers came up with the idea to show him on the face of Half Dome.  The cover was shot by veteran climber, Galen Rowell and Ron Kauk, a Yosemite climbing favorite served as riggers.

The team hiked to the top and spent the night at the saddle. Back then, you could camp even on the top. Next morning, they summited and Kauk and others helped lower him over the edge. A few pitons were installed and as he dangled, Rowell shot the famous photo.

And now you know.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: Can you see me now crack the skies like lightning.’  Mama’s little sonic boom is simply frightening. I’m a skyscraper.” David Lee Roth 

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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One Response to Van Halen’s David Lee Roth “climbed” Half Dome

  1. Maureen L says:

    so, he cheated!

    Rowell talks about this in his book with his photos and the text of Muir’s Yosemite (at least, I think it’s the same story, how many people wanted album covers like this).

    however, Rowell didn’t let on it was a fake.

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