Half Dome Cable Permits update 3/28

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

     Well, I got zip comments while I was out on what the heck that building in Cook’s Meadow is. Either no one knows or no one cares. I know the readership goes down on weekends, but we still get a bucket load of visitors. Hey, I’m here for you anyway!  All I ask is 3 minutes a day to read the hot info I conjure up.  I met a woman from Stockton this weekend at the park who suggested I start a Facebook FAN page on Half Dome. What do you think? I don’t  tweet or use those other social networking sites. I’m too busy living life than recording it. But she may have a point to increase the community of Big Granite Rock lovers. I need to learn how to do all that but I could care less telling what my favorite color is or my thoughts on Brittany Spears. (Geezing again)

     The Yosemite Assn Spring Forum was great. Over 450 people in attendance. I took 3 pages of notes and observations. Plenty of fodder for at least a week’s worth of blogs! Today I wanted to get the most relevant news to you first. Yes, the permit thing.  Turns out the program is under the management of the park  “Protection Services” or some such named group. Meaning Law Enforcement.  Eeck! The cops – the guys with the loaded guns. It surprised me that the plain old wilderness rangers weren’t the focal point.  Well the plan is hire about 10 more rangers to administer and enforce the cable permit hairball. They will have many suits along the trail and yes, they plan to be strict, especially in the beginning.  When probed, it was revealed that the fine for abuse is $150. Folks thought this was no deterrent to not getting one. They won’t tackle you and put you in irons. If you have  a confirmation number for a permit, you WILL be getting an email soon explaining how to actually manage your permit.

     I have a ton of pix to download and share. See yall back here tomorrow – I won’t take roll, so don’t worry.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “How deathlike is sleep in this mountain air  and quick the awakening into newness of life!” – John Muir, 1869

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


19 Responses to “Half Dome Cable Permits update 3/28”

  1. andy Says:

    Awesome, guys with guns on the trail to Half Dome.
    It’s only a matter of time until this little piece of pleasure is closed to John Q Public. Nobody will like the permit system, they will deem it unmanageable then it will be closed.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Andy – Watch out for the land mines. Your permit will have a nano copastatic detectible chip and once the number of your permittted hikers passes tree 458, it will detonate upon sensing any extra scammers.

      And smile for the cameras.

  2. John Lauer Says:

    I told you a month or two ago FACEBOOK is the stuff! Yes, start a page. Facebook is great for pictures and movies too! Easy to add in existing friends and lead them to new pages!

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      OK…my favorite color is blue. I’m an Aquarius and I think we were justified in dropping the bomb in WW2.

      That whole “friend,” “defriend,” “defrock” thing seems silly to me. (Geezing again)

  3. John Lauer Says:

    I have a curious question The bears zone in on Curry Village and Little Yosemite Valley. Have they ever been seen near the top of the shoulder of Half Dome? Do they pretty much stay below the whole shoulder? Is there a certain area right now where mountain lions are known to hang out?

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      John – stop worrying. I have only seen 2 small bears in all my hikes. One near the Vernal Fall bridge and the other on the forest switchbacks. No, they are rare during the day. If you want to take pix, stake out any parking lot near habitation – Curry and Camp 4 are good. Use your IR lens to catch them skulking about. Bears eat berries and other flora – none up high. They are lazy and scavage garbage tossed by tourists.

      Mt Lions are even rarer. Good luck. I’ve never heard of any hiker on the HD trail seeing one. But I did see a coyote on Northside drive kinda near El Cap yesterday… My camera was buried so no photo. He was big and just walking alongside the road.

      Get me a photo of Sasquatch!!

  4. Luis Says:

    Will this mean that Half Dome night-hikes are a thing of the past? I’d be disappointed to see posted hours around Half Dome.

    I suppose the ideal system would be the Weekend permits only required during the peak hours between 9-5, when all the running-shoe-clad yahoos get stuck halfway up… 🙂

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      No not at all. You need to get a permit for ANY hike up SubDome for any Fri, Sat, Sun & holiday. They are concerned about the crowding, NOT on legislating against doing the hike. They have not addressed night hiking – as in “Do I need a permit for the day/night that I start the hike – say 10 pm on Sunday night (a “permit day”) – or do I NOT need a permit since I will be at SubDome/cables on Monday – (a “non-permit” day)? I can see no way a ranger will be at SubDome after 6 pm or so just to check the 15 people who go up after then. Again, they are concerned about the 400 who may be going up at noon and want to keep that number from growing to 800 with non-permit holders. My sense is that they will be there early like 8 am (ahead of rush hour) and stay until about 4. By then the cables will be thin and mission accomplished. They need to gauge the flow to see when the bulk arrive and see if the new system is working. The NPS is really trying to help people and not be the Gestapo. Let’s cut them some slack and see how it all rolls out on May 21 or when the cables finally get up.

      By the way, re: climbers. The rule is if you can get to the cables without going up SubDome, you do not need a permit.

  5. John Lauer Says:

    Yes, I take pictures- I go to the wild life. Only exception was a huge Grizzley bear close to my car on the road from Yellowstone to Teton NP. He stood up on his hind legs and looked startled and anxious… Figured that is not a good time to walk up and launch a flash fest.

  6. John Lauer Says:

    ********* By the way, re: climbers. The rule is if you can get to the cables without going up SubDome, you do not need a permit. ******** Can people land a private helicopter on top of HD or fly just above it and drop someone off?

  7. Andy Says:

    I’ll stand by my prediction of eventual closing…
    However in the meantime. What do you mean if you can get to the cables without going up the sub dome you don’t need a permit?
    I thought the whole reason for the permits had to do with traffic on the cables?

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      I said it to focus on what do climbers do?….. so if you can get to the cables via the north face big wall climb, you don’t need a permit. Since SubDome is the ONLY why for mortals to access the cables – WE need permits…climbers do not since they are only going down them.

      It won’t close if we (you) get involved in the planning for the 2012 solution.


    • Luis Says:

      It’s meant for climbers. If you’re sharp enough to climb to the cables using rope, belays, and elbow grease, you’re not going to be causing any traffic jams getting up there.

      Not many people get to the top from the *other* side of Half Dome… 🙂

  8. John Lauer Says:

    They will NEVER close Half Dome. It is just a matter of keeping people safe and satisfied.

  9. John Lauer Says:

    MRHalfDome, do you think a road will ever get built that is closer to the upper Merced River than Glacier Point Road? If money were basically no option, could a road be built from the general area of Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley? If any peaks got in the way, you`d just drill and blast through them and make tunnels. It must have taken extensive work to get Tioga Road all the way from Lee Vining to the Yosemite Valley Roads.

  10. mrhalfdome Says:

    Never. The Merced is a Wild and Scenic River – a congressional designation. The park is writing the new Merced River Plan to reduce human encroachment on the river. A giant legal issue. It is in the Wilderness and protected by the Wilderness Act.

    The Tioga Road was because of the Gold and Silver mining going on at Bennetville, just east of the gate in the 1880’s.They had to get supplies and assayed minerals to Sacramento and SF. It was rugged until 1960 when it was realigned and paved.

  11. andy Says:

    OK you meant to the TOP of the cables without using the sub-dome. Nothing personal just asking a question.
    We shouldn’t have to “get involved” to keep something open that we as taxpayers already own, but I get your point.

    BTW – It’s spelled “capisce” 🙂

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      There are a lot of “shouldn’ts” that we have to live with in an organized society. We can sit at a bar and discuss, but the caretakers of the park appointed by our elected officials are going to make up the rules. So we either need to keep drinking and complain or get involved. The train only leaves the station once.

      Just for fun chat –> No, if you can get to the top OR bottom of the cables without going thru SubDome you do not need a permit. That is only possible thru levitation, teleportation or big wall climbing.

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