Big Water

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Permits <HERE>
     The winter snow is now rapidly melting and gorging the Valley’s rivers and streams. When you arrive at Yosemite, you will be floored by the amount of H2O coming down from the higher elevations. On the Half Dome hike, we almost got blown off the Mist Trail by the strong winds generated by the 300 foot drop of mega-gallons of water. It felt like a firehose blast. Really. It’s the biggest I’ve seen.

Rain protection is a must unless you want to be soaked to your Fruit of the Looms. I use a .97 cent army surplus poncho made from the cheapest vinyl in Taiwan. But it works fine. They are small to pack and I only plan to use it for one hike. They are impossible to fold up so I just drape it over my back and let it air dry. Here’s another tip I invented: In a deluge like this, the hood will blow off your head and the poncho will rise up your torso. So bring 3 “binder clips.” Those are the kind you get at a stationery store. Clip the front of the hood to your cap and use the other two to clip hold the  poncho to your shorts/pants.


I was glad I had it on the return asI decided to come back via the Mist Trail and not the John Muir Trail because I was seeking the site of the hotel called “La Casa Nevada” that was located just after the Silver Apron Bridge. It prospered from 1870 – 1890 and was destroyed by a fire. More on that in a future blog. Going down the lower Mist Trail is pretty hard with blowing spray, wet steps and the steep downhill.  It’s advised to go the long way to avoid  this hassle. The entire run othe Merced from the fall through and under the footbridge was whitewater. Heavy class V froth. Very deadly.

This area is not in the designated wilderness and it is frequented by folks of all sizes and shapes. Be careful
     From Kathy of our Sonora Bureau, the park will be starting a prescribed fire in the western portion of the park near Crane Flat early next week. Hope they can put it out.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend but I always thought that I’d see you again.” – James Taylor
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


3 Responses to “Big Water”

  1. Rick Romio Says:

    Mr. Dome, it was indeed a real pleasure to meet you in person on the trail down from Half Dome on Wednesday. I could not have planned that if I had tried. It was just fate that I happened to be there on that day at that time. You are a walking talking Google on half dome.

    Your comments on the amount of water currently flowing and the related dangers, the poncho and binder clips, and the history lesson about the La Casa Nevada are interesting, informative and even inspiring.

    Even though I am currently in training for a half ironman, I was beat up by the time I finished the hike. I wondered how others, in what I may consider possibly less physical conditioned than myself, were able to complete this hike. I did my homework, researched the dangers, brought just enough water and food, and felt I concurred half dome. But when I got back home, I realized I had not concurred half dome, I had instead made a permanent bookmark in the memory of my life.

    Perhaps we’ll pass on the trial while your completing number 27, and I’m completing my 2nd.

    Oh, it also appears my fear of heights was resloved once I started back down off the dome … kinda strange how that worked out! : o )

  2. mrhalfdome Says:


    Thanks for the kind comments. I met a lot of blog readers up there. I’m sure you witnessed many others who had no clue as to how to do it safely. Little water, tennis shoes, etc. Yes, I am amazed how some complete the hike – shows the inherent human potential when we are pushed to our limits.

    What a great day – weather was “Chamber of Commerce” perfect. And the falls were the biggest I’ve seen.

    #27 will be on July 6. Camping and playing with bears at Little Yosemite Valley. See you there.

    Oh, nobody “conquers” Half Dome – it lets you pass.


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