Cables update – still not good

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

My moles just said a ranger told them the cable target is now Jun 17. Not confirmed but ugh.  I have a trip on the 23rd. Here’s a photo taken by the park service on Tuesday. You are looking at the approach to sub dome. A lot has melted since, but you can understand the dilemma.


The problem is the HUGE amount of snow on the trail and the sub dome. They just cannot get up to put up the cables into the support poles … and the trail is dangerous. So we wait. It takes 2 full days to install the poles and boards. Plus they have to haul them up from storage.
Depending on snow elsewhere. I recommend some alternatives:

1. Yosemite Falls. It’s 6 hrs RT but you can continue on to Eagle Peak or all the way to El Cap.
2. Tenaya Lake to Cloud’s Rest is awesome… 7 hrs RT. You get to look down at 10,000 feet to the cables on HD.
3. Try the Big Oak Flat original road…go from just west of El Cap and follow the 1876 road up to Tamarack Flat.  Lotsa rock slides to bolder over.

4. Try from Glacier Point down the Panorama Trail to the valley … a long day.
5. Try from the Glacier Point area to Taft Point, Dewey Point and Stanford Pt to Old Inspiration Pt.
6. Take John Muir Trail up to Lake Merced…..FULL all day hike.
 Have  FUN!!

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, What might be right for you, may not be right for some.  A man is born, he’s a man of means.  Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans.  But they got, Diff’rent Strokes.” – R.I.P. Gary Coleman

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


20 Responses to “Cables update – still not good”

  1. Stalin Says:

    wow — that is loads of snow up there. Hope it clears up before Jun 27th.

  2. d.cade Says:

    That just about sums it up. I am still praying for a miraculous snow melt that will enable a quick turn around with the cables. In no way did I think that they would not be up by now. I will be there in two weeks. My fingers are crossed. I am traveling from Michigan for my ten year anniversary. It might be another ten years before I can make it back. Six months of training in the flat lands of the mid west comes down to a couple of days. Ugh…I feel you!

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Brother Don,

      Heck, 2 weeks will see a heat wave and melt it all away! I go up on the 23rd so I’m with you. When we have droughts people complain – now we have a ton of water and we complain. Humans! You’re not like my fellow Zorbs on Zorbon-12.

  3. Krista Says:

    I was up there this weekend and we did the Upper Yosemite Falls/Eagle Peak instead of HD, but didn’t quite make it to Eagle Peak. About .3 miles into the trail going to Eagle Peak, there was so much snow that it was quite difficult to tell where the trail went and every person in my party had a leg go through a spot in the snow! We decided it was too dangerous to continue and risk breaking a bone. But boy were the falls spectacular!

  4. Krista Says:

    Oh yeah, and Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road are still closed, so Cloud’s Rest from Tenaya Lake is not doable yet!

  5. Donna Says:

    Thanks for the info on Tenaya Lake to Cloud’s Rest. Our HD hike was set for June 8th – so we are now exploring alternative hikes. I think we will do the Eagle Peak and perhaps we’ll be able to make it all the way by next Tuesday. Can’t wait to see the falls!

  6. John Lauer Says:

    People say Eagle Peak is full of heavy snow long before the Peak, take snow shoes. When I hiked up above Yosemite Falls, the whole area is snowy. They opened Glacier Point Road the last day I was in Yosemite- SAT. Sunset was great Illoette Falls is raging! Everything is green!

  7. John Lauer Says:

    I went up onto the shoulder of HD, but too much snow… It was already 4PM and a storm was brewing, si I headed down. Hardly anyone was summitting anyway, most who were had mountain climbing gear. Yes, I like Yosemite better in true summer weather. I like to come in from Tioga Road. Seeing the waterfalls with all the extra snow and rainmelt was spectacular, though! MIST TRAIL is GREAT right now! It was a ZOO by Glacier Point Road Saturday, being the road had been scheduled to open Friday, but due to a cold, rainy, snowy week, it took until Saturday morning. Then, so many cars went up, they closed the road for about 2 hours. Panorama trail was nearly free of snow, but Glacier Point trail is a total mess near the top. It was neat to see the cool, unstable weather in Yosemite, then be able to drive so quickly to Sunny 80s in Fresno with all the beautiful palm trees- lovely town!

  8. andy Says:

    So John what is your prediction? Any chance the cables are up by June 8th?

    • John Lauer Says:

      I am glad my main stay in Yosemite was a week before Memorial weekend. Parking was near impossible last Saturday. By Noon, the Curry Village parking lot was completely full. People then had to circle around, or park illegally, making a bigger mess for all. People were parked many blocks along the highway toward Fresno from Bridalveil Falls, many far into the actual highway, rather than completely on the often narrow shoulder. Go see Bridalveil, it is like a hurricane at the end of the trail. You cannot get up onto the boulder field, as the entire area is raging with water. Someone said Glacier Point Road is closed, it has actually been open since Saturday, but closes temporarily when traffic becomes gridlocked!

    • Krista Says:

      Ha, ha…yeah Yosemite Village was a total mess of traffic both Saturday and Sunday. We drove by Glacier Point Road twice on Saturday and Sunday and it was closed both days – I guess due to traffic!

      • Krista Says:

        Oops, I meant Yosemite Valley, not village, because the entire valley was crazy busy!

  9. John Lauer Says:

    June 8. I say NO WAY. It was a mess a couple of weeks ago, then lots more cool, cloudy weather, and a bunch of snow. In the lower elevations, the trails are a wet, sometimes muddy mess. If you take John Muir trail, the area about a half mile before Nevada Fall, where there is the steep cliff area with long rock railing wall is all flooding with water. It showers down at high velocity from the cliff, then turns the rocky trail into a steam. If you have a rain jacket or poncho, and good hiking shoes, you can stay fairly dry. They built drain holes in strategic areas through the rock wall, so the water does escape the trail. Even Panorama trail has one real treacherous stream running over the trail near Glacier point where a lot of people were falling off the wet rocks, and were soaking their hiking shoes and socks. I will post some pictures soon. I got a super double rainbow pic over Nevada Falls!

  10. Sönke Says:

    Tioga road is scheduled to open tomorrow (conditions permitting). So are couple of interesting day hike opportunities will come up. However I expect the backcountry to be still very snowy and therefore some hikes could be very challenging. Waterwheel Falls should be spectacular (it’s a looong day hike in beautiful landscape). Or try Tuolumne Falls (trailhead starts near Lembert Dome, store your food items in the metal locker boxes in the parking lot). The hike to Tuolumne Falls is a spectacular 9.4 mls roundtrip with stunning views, beautiful surroundings as the trail often runs along the Tuolumne River and plenty of opportunities to take a break on the smooth granite. Don’t take a bath though – water will be way too cold and the current can be very dangerous. Take a look in the shallow pools of the river and you can see plenty of trout. There a couple of nice pools for an undisturb long lunchbreak before you return to the trailhead (or check out the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp just “around the corner” – it might be still closed though). The top of the Tuolumne Falls has some fantastic photo opportunities but be very careful as the granite is very, very smooth and unlile Vernal Fall there is no fence that will keep you from stepping too close to the water. When you do this hike you will hike a part of the Pacific Crest Trail (something I had on my list but unfortunately that is not going to happen anymore). There will be some trail traffic but not much compared to the Valley. As usual: be prepared, bring lots of water (or a filter), sunscreen and sturdy hiking boots.

  11. Sönke Says:

    Due to the snow conditions in the backcountry it’s unlikely that a hike to Tuolumne Falls or even Waterwheel Falls is possible right now. If you should attempt any of these hikes use extreme precaution and proper preparation. Imho right now it requires more preparation than a “simple” dayhike like HD, YF or any other comparable hike.

  12. Sönke Says:

    From the NPS website:

    The Half Dome cables will be ready for use on June 16, 2010, conditions permitting. The cable route will be closed during installation on June 15. Snow remains on the subdome, below the Half Dome cables. A slip and fall from the subdome’s steep snowfield could cause serious injury or death.

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