Training Hikes-Big Basin

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
The best way to prepare for your Half Dome hike is to hike! The Stairmaster is great for your uphill muscles – but does nothing for the downhill. Biking, running, roller blading, etc. are all good workouts, but you should think of the Half Dome hike as a marathon of hiking. 16-miles RT and with close to 10,000 feet up and down. Today I joined a few friends for a 5-hour hike through a drizzly Big Basin State Park, home of giant Redwoods. It’s in the Santa Cruz mountains near Boulder Creek.  It’s through training hikes like these that you get to know your water/food requirements and start to build up those legs. Our trip was led by Jayah Faye Paley, the Trekking Pole Guru. She has 2 nice instructional DVDs and conducts training classes on how to get the most out of your poles. They save your knees on the Half Dome (and other) hikes. See her website <HERE>. 

Rick and Jayah on the trail

Berry Creek Falls

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Most people are born into the world remain babies all their lives, their development being arrested like sun-dried seeds.” – John Muir, 1873
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


9 Responses to “Training Hikes-Big Basin”

  1. Dean Says:

    For me the heat was the biggest problem and on my first hike I felt a bit sick by the time I reached the summit, not being used to hiking in 90deg.

    Last year was just as hot but I was much more careful about hydrating and keeping energy topped up.

  2. Krista Says:

    Ooh, I love Big Basin! My husband and I did the Berry Creek Falls hike last year and it’s beautiful! It’s not as hard as Half Dome, but it’s certainly not a walk in the park! ; )

  3. BellaBike Says:

    71 miles thus far this year…thousands upon thousands of vertical feet climbed & descended…blistered feet…does that count? We can filter water with the best of ’em now. We’ve found packs we like, foods we like, clothes we like, boots we like, cameras we like & gatorade we like. Does that count? We’ve spent hours in the gym doing strenthening & agility work, and for fun, we’ve cycled hundreds of miles. We’ve talked to everyone we can find that’s been up Half Dome. Still, those cables are scary!

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Does that count? Only if you make it to the top and ring the bell!!!

      Keep it up. You will be glad you did. 2 months to go. Do nothing the last week – rest your body. If you are scared just put on a blindfold going up the cables! :>) Or just look 10 feet ahead – break it into manageable chunks.

  4. John Lauer Says:

    What Gatorade you like?

  5. John Lauer Says:

    Does carbonation in a beverage such as Pepsi make you more susceptible to altitude sickness? Some hikers in the Tetons told me not to drink pop.

  6. mrhalfdome Says:

    IMHO – No.

    Altitude sickness is an little known field. No true cause & effect. You may get it today – and not tomorrow. Acclimatization can help a lot – but no guarantees. Diamox doesn’t work. Ask my brother the doctor who was on it when we did Mt Whitney – he got hit at 12,000 ft. I felt fine the whole 3 days.

    No worries at the half dome hike – generally you are just not high enough to get it – again not 100% but I find most who complain on the trail just did not train well. Tuolumne Meadows is above 8,000 ft! And aircraft are pressurized to 8,000 ft. The literature indicates adove 10,000 is more common.

    Pepsi will just load you with tooooo much sugar.

    Hydrate and sleep.

  7. BellaBike Says:

    Purple Ice Gatorade, fer shure man. The grape stuff. Like Koolaid only…saltier. Hard to find the individual packets of the purple stuff around here, though.

    For bubbles, I think I’d opt for champagne 🙂

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