Vernal Grotto

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give permits<HERE>
    When you go up the 700 steps of the lower Mist Trail, you will be tuckered out. It is hard. Your group will probably become separated here. I figure most groups comprise 20% fast, 60% average and 20% slugs. So you need to decide up front if you are all going to wait for Uncle Sluggo or just meet on the top.
    As you approach the steps cut into the upper part of the trail with the railing on your left, pause for a few minutes and look to your right. You will see what I call the Vernal Grotto.

You can easily scamper up and to your right. There is a nook there that you can kick back, watch Vernal Fall pouring over and look at hikers as they struggle up the final steps of the trail. It’s pretty neat to just sit and imagine the folks in the late 1800’s going up the ladder contraption to get to the top. I have a neat vintage photo of that scene on page 80 of my book. You can see the THEN and NOW comparison. I’ve found some old chicken wire and pipes up there and wondered what that was all about.
    The park is getting summer rains now and slow moving thunderstorms are passing through. Currently 20% chance to rain – the same as on June13 last year when a man fell to his death and 41 people were stranded on the cables in the rain. Start your hike early and get down before noon. Be cautious of lightning and be aware of small streams flooding.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Well now, they often call me Speedo, but my real name is Mr. Earl. . . . Known for meetin’ brand new fellas and takin’ other folk’s girl.” – The Cadillacs
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –

4 Responses to “Vernal Grotto”

  1. john lauer Says:

    One day, there will be granite steps all the way up Half Dome. People will look at old pics of the ramshackle cables and boards and not believe how long that was as good as it got!

  2. Tom Says:

    Rick- RE summer rains: I was in the Y backcountry Thurs-Sun, and yes, LOTS of rain. Summited HD Sun 9 ish, back below the shoulder by 11am and the thunder and rain started. Much erlier than the average Seirra storm. Just FYI. (keep up the good work)

  3. mrhalfdome Says:

    Thanks for the report. It’s that time of year…start your Half Dome hike early and get off the big guy before noon to avoid any thunder bumpers. Hiking on slippey muddy rocks is not easy..Use your hiking poles.

  4. john lauer Says:

    Does yosemite falls still have heavy flow?

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