North side of Half Dome

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing 

May9.06 036

Today we finish our circumnavigation of Half Dome with the North Face. It’s the one on the 2005 Quarter and the subject of about 5 million other memorable photos. Besides being the inspiration for the North Face Company’s logo, it is the signature landmark of Yosemite. Just to review: The top is  2,000 feet above the Valley floor. But it is also 2,000 feet (give or take a few) above the incline leading to its vertical wall. It tops out at 8842 feet. For some reason I often read that the height is 8837 feet. HUH? Either it is or it isn’t. My GPS reads 8842. Go figure. There is NO USGS marker on top so I am going with most of the reliable maps that say 8842. The trek up the backside was first attempted by John Conway and his sons who got a ways up by trying it barefoot. The first real summit was by George Anderson in October 1875. The first to scale its face was Royal Robbins and 2 buds in 1957. The first woman was his wife, Liz (Royal accompanied her) . The first solo free climb (NO ropes pitons, parachute) was done on Sept 8, 2008 by Alex Honnold (in 2 hrs 50 mins). And you did it when???

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Early in the evenin’ just about supper time, over by the courthouse they’re starting to unwind. Four kids on the corner trying to bring you up. Willy picks a tune out and he blows it on the harp. Down On the corner, out in the street. Willy and the Poor boys are playin’. Bring a nickel; tap your feet.” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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