Half Dome at Yosemite Scaled!!!
“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter” - John Muir
“Summit of Half Dome will never be trodden by human foot” - 1868 Yosemite Guidebook
Winning the lottery!
About 3 months ago our hiking group won a lottery from the national park service and obtained a permit for 6 persons to hike Half Dome on Tuesday August 11.
In this enchanting place one hikes through the high sierra’s dramatic landscapes, in the shadow of the high granite cliffs, through alpine meadows and large stands of the giant sequoia trees, past roaring waterfalls, pools and along Merced River, and over gentle sandy paths and mostly steep rocky slopes for about 9 miles to reach the sub dome and then up steep craggy steps to reach the base of half dome where the cables and the fun began 😊
Trials and Tribulations!
At a hike like this, you are bound to confront the demons within you .. there are moments that frighten you to your core .. and then what do you do?
- One such moment occurred to Sam when a hundred or so feet from the top and clinging on to the cables .. he just couldn’t breathe .. and then he gulped for water and there was no water .. yet he overcame this moment and climbed up and passed me quickly down to lie below and take a nap for half an hour or so
- Another person from our group felt light headed and a bit dizzy .. she turned back before reaching the cables
– I would climb 6 ft or 12 ft and gasp for breath with the legs like jelly and weakness/soreness in arms .. scared for an hour or more that fatigued I’d loosen my grip on the cables .. so it’s really will power and everything else is secondary
- I’m so indebted to Lalitha, for providing the leadership to our group .. for staying with me and encouraging me throughout the climb to the top of half dome inspite of her migraine and despite the fear of the dark clouds and thunderstorm that was just across on the other mountain .. truly an amazing person!
- All of us ran out of water and shared our meager supplies ..even had to beg the Yosemite park ranger for a bottle from their emergency supplies and then replenished in Merced River 😊 by the end we were all extremely fatigued.
A few facts ..
- 300 permits are issued daily ..
- 30 percent of the people turn back after climbing halfway or less up the cables .. it’s a steep ascent for 600 ft at 45 degree angle .. many others turn back earlier from the steep sub dome climb
- In the last 15 yrs there have been at least 12 deaths and 290 accidents ...
- The whole hike is about 20 mi with 5000 ft elevation gain
- Woke up at 2:15 am, on road at 3 am, on trail at 4am, done by 830 pm at trailhead .. at cabin by 930 pm .. chilled with our stories and drinks until 11 before hitting the sack!
Right after the hike, everyone of us said we wouldn’t do it again 😊
Today the bravado is back .. it’s such an enchanting place .. as my friend and fellow hiker Janet said: “Your successful completion of half dome is a true testament to not just your willpower but also your fitness! You’re a lot fitter than you give yourself credit for!”