The cave

Half  Dome – Yosemite Musing

The Visor w/ Valley

On the eastern summit of Half Dome there is a cluster of large slab rocks. This point is called the Visor. Since Half Dome has been proven to have been above the glaciers, it puzzles me just how these rocks got there. I guess over time the dome continued to “stretch” and expand as it ever so slowly cooled from its magma state far underground. The exfoliation that sheared off the face must have also acted horizontally and created the slabs. At the tip they are jumbled together to form a small “cave.”

This cave was made famous in 1985 when 5 men hid in it to try and escape the lighting that night. It didn’t work – they got hit and 2 died. The story is described in “Shattered Air.” Folks stand on top of this slab to get the mandatory photo. But it is possible to climb inside. It’s a bit hairy and scary getting in. Once inside it is rather neat. You can see how 5 would fit easily. I like to scoot inside, gel and munch a power bar while getting out of the sun. There are “windows” at either end to look out.

Once, while at the far inside end, I saw a photograph of a man glued to the backside of a rock.  It was put there by his relatives as a memorial. The next time I was there it was gone. No memorials are allowed in National Parks.

Face blurred to protect identity

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White

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

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2 Responses to “The cave”

  1. BellaBike Says:

    Could this section, at one point in history, been along the edge of the glacier. Was the glacier ever this thick? These rocks could be scree, left along the edges of the ice as it retreated. Or not.

    Anyway, I ain’t skeered. Yet. Keep trying.

  2. mrhalfdome Says:

    Geologists have proven (in the way geologists do) that the upper area of Half Dome was above the glaciers. So picture a huge dome that popped above the snow/ice fields. In time the glacial action eroded the base and made it weak. But it was the thousands of years of rain getting into the cracks then expanding that caused the rock to peal off in vertical slabs along its crystaline structure. Chunk by chunk until about 20% of it was gone – leaving what we see today. OK, follow me … so we know that the cable route is about 500 feet up to the apex…and that the incline is nearly 50 degrees. Well we also know that the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) near Cairo is also about 500 feet high….and its slope is about 50 degrees. Deduction – since we KNOW the pyramids were built by alien visitors – what does that tell us about Half Dome?????? Hmmmm??

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