Ramble On

Friday, September 20, 2013

Half Dome Reprise – Part 3

(Note:  Mary and I are traveling this week – we’ll be in Las Vegas for a trade show and then we’ll head down to Flagstaff and day trip up to Grand Canyon.  I’ll have some posts on that next week, but in the mean time, I thought I might repost this old series about hiking to the top of Half Dome during a trip to Yosemite in 2005. This will be the final post in this series.)

This first photo shows the view of the south face of the Half Dome from Little Yosemite Valley. When we got to the top of the mountain, we learned that there was a group of rock climbers who were making their way up this side while we were on our hike. They are invisible in this photo.

Also visible in this photo is the cable route. It is just to the left of the big pine tree on the right side of the photo, and shows as a faint line on the side of the Dome massif. As we stopped to take this photo, we could make out people up there, but they don’t show up in this view.

The next photo looks at the view that is behind the hiker as he or she approaches the Half Dome’s shoulder – there is a photo looking towards the Dome in Saturday’s post that shows that view. The mountains in the distance are called Clouds Rest.

Next, a rock climber is practicing the sport on the escarpment at the edge of the Dome. The escarpment is visible from the Valley below, but this climber would be invisible from there. The Valley, as seen from this vantage point, is 4,400 feet below! The time of year that we were there is the high season for climbers, as we later learned.

Final photo, the view of the top of the cable route, as you would see it on your approach back down from the peak. From here it appears to disappear off into nowhere…but the climb down is much easier than the climb up. The woods in the distance are part of the hike - characterized by switchbacks and probably 600-800 feet of elevation change.

I’ll close with a brief mention of the relatively new permit requirement for climbing the Half Dome.  When Chris and I did the hike in 2005, permits weren’t required, but NPS and Yosemite decided for safety and preservation purposes it would be best to limit the cable route to the summit to 200 hikers a day.  There are more details on the Yosemite web site under the “plan your visit” tab.

No comments: