Trail maintenance

Half  Dome – Yosemite Musing

     We are back from the attempted viewing of Horsetail Falls in all it’s rare glowing radiance. Too much weather for it to happen on Feb 20 and 21. Oh well, you pay your money and take your chances. There is always next year. I gathered a lot of good info to share about the goings on at Yosemite in coming blogs, so stay tuned to this site for all the Half Dome info you will ever need. I have a gob of photos to download and show you.   For today I wanted to show you just how gnarly the trails were this weekend as we went up to Clark’s Point. This famous spot is named for Galen Clark, first guardian of the park. It lies on the John Muir trail just below the Panorama Cliff. You get a good view of Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, Mt Broderick and Grizzly Peak from there. Here are scenes ts that we saw a lot of.


     Downed trees crossing the trail. Lots of them. The trail crews will be busy trimming cuts for hikers. We were later told that the heavy snow storm 2 weeks ago with high winds caused weaker tress to surrender. We had to over, under, sideways and down to proceed. It made for an adventurous hike – not unlike what John Muir would have experienced.

     On a safety note, I have gotten some questions about doing the Half Dome hike before the cables are set up. Like as early as mid-March. The cables should be put up by the 3rd weekend in May- weather depending. Here’s my take. I would NEVER go up using the heavy steel cables as a rappelling “rope.”  Without the boards and poles to rest on it can become a death wish. I refer you to my website and the Accidents page. In November  ’06 and in April ’07 2 athletic women attempted this and lost their grip and slipped on the damp rock. R.I.P. In addition, the NPS closes the gate on the Mist Trail at the JMT split during the winter because the mist can freeze and make that portion very very slick. They also close the gate at Clark’s Point for the same reason. Don’t rush things.  Wait until the cables go up. I will post it on my website home page when the lanes are open.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “One may as well dam for water tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.” – John Muir re: Hetch Hetchy

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –



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