To Harness or not?

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

I often get inquires about tying off to the cables when ascending/descending. Most seasoned domers agree that it is not necessary if have good boots, gloves and stay away when the weather turns sour. Homemade systems are deadly. There are only 2 firm rules at Half Dome. 1) You cannot camp on top. 2) You must have a permit on weekends & holidays.  Beyond that I encourage you to do whatever you feel is safe for you and your hiking mates. You can skip up on 1 leg, crawl on your belly or perform yoyo loop-de-loops while going up. If you plan to use a harness, please get a real mountaineering harness like the one shown.



Note the 2 thigh straps as well as the waist support. You will also need 2 carabineers and shock cords. Go to a professional store and have them assist you. Learn how to use it and practice before heading up the cables. REI is selling the Black Diamond FOCUS model for 50% off – making it a steal at $33.93. The woman’s version is called the IRIS.  

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “We dream of bread; a sure sign we need it.” – John Muir

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


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