The line on top Part 2

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

In follow up to yesterday’s missive, I thought it would be useful to share more info on the crowds. First, it behooves you to begin the hike as early as you can. Only you know your pace, so it may be worth it for this important hike to leave in the dark – maybe even 4 am. Just get to bed at 8 pm and you’ll have enough sleep. (Actually the rest you get the previous night will carry you through.) Earplugs and eye shades. I have a buddy who was afraid he could not do the hike at a strong pace, so he and his family left at 4 am with headlights. They arrived at the cables early enough with no problem. OK, it’s darn crowded – but with 6.8 Billion people on earth and 308 million Americans, we need to get used to it. My analogy is this: Some friends tell me they are never going to Yosemite because it is too crowded. I say why should you stay home and let all those other people enjoy the park? If a new restaurant opens in town and you go the first week and it is very crowded with an hour wait – do you complain that the place should be shut down? Just come early next time – if you really want to eat there. If you really want to do the Half Dome hike this is one of the sacrifices you need to make. I believe in not sugar coating the difficulty of the hike. It’s hard. That park calls it “extremely strenuous.” But 50,000 a year now do it – so can you. All you need is Education, Preparation and Motivation. If you slack off on any of those, you may have trouble. My book, my talks, my website and this blog are all here to help your education. The last 2 are up to you. The following photos were taken from the top on a summer weekend at 2:45 pm August 7, 2007. Yeow.

I am never there that late, but that day I had my Sony VideoCam and wanted to take movies of everything. You are forewarned. In other news, I read that we are supposed to hear the “good news” that the US obesity problem has leveled off. Now “only” 34% of adults and 17% of Children are obese in America. Pass the fries!

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Maybellene, why can’t you be true? Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true? You’ve started back doing the things you used to do.” – Chuck Berry

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


3 Responses to “The line on top Part 2”

  1. BellaBike Says:

    I (& my better half) am scheduled to hike with your party on 6/23, which is why I keep studying these, and other cable photos. The crowds are strangely comforting to me, even if they aren’t expected to be this thick on a Wed. morning in June. Having this many people around me would make it less scary on the cables…maybe? We’ve been practicing your prescribed “EPM” method since the end of October! I’m looking forward to The Day!! Our east coast hiking is so very different from what you describe in your book – we’ve never had to filter water, for instance, nor or we ever this exposed, always being in the woods.

  2. mrhalfdome Says:


    Mary, sorry I didn’t recognize your “handle.” – Yup we’re anxious to welcome you Greensboro folks and we have the marching band all lined up for your birthday celebration. I appreciate that you are taking it seriously. Your HILLS training will pay off for you. Almost a mile up and down spread over 16 miles is tought. The scenery is beautiful and the waterfalls will knock you out. Did you know that Yosemite has more high waterfalls (12) concentrated in one place than anywhere else? I grew up in Northern VA and the tiny rolling hills there are nothing compared to the Sierra. We have the tallest mountain range in the country. It might seem like we are cheating, knowing that Colorado has all those 14ers…but we have #1 – Mt. Whitney! Be sure to get a water filter pump and practice. I like the Katadyn PRO Hiker. I can’t believe you drink raw water Giardia is everywhere. The EPA estimates that 90% of all the fresh water on earth is contaminated with something. 6B people and all the animals dropping e-coli!

  3. BellaBike Says:

    Heavens no, we don’t drink untreated water! We just carry it all with us, so we’ve never run out while in the middle of nowhere. But, like you say in the book, that just means extra weight. You’re right, and I have the Katadyn in my Amazon shopping cart. I also have that silly mountaineer caribiner harness system you talked about last month, but I think I’ll leave that on my Wish List 🙂

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