Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Half Dome permits<HERE>
Following is a guest blog from Kathy L, “The Hiking Nun.” She really is a religious and had a goal of doing Half Dome a couple years back – and now has done it 3 times. It think hearing her recent experience might help folks who are going up for the first time. Note the comments on the permit process at Sub Dome.
“On Saturday, August 21, I completed my 3rd hike up Half Dome. I noticed that the PSAR rangers were in place at the trailhead. T they spoke to people as they were starting out, but folks all seemed prepared and all were now aware of the permit system etc. The hike itself was good, the weather was cool, an awesome day to repeat this hike. Most of the hike didn’t seem any different than the ones I have done in the past, but my past hikes have been on Thursdays pre permit system. So, yes, there were a lot of people but you leap-frogged familiar faces all day, and it wasn’t too crowded.
What I did notice was that for a Saturday, there were very few people who looked like they weren’t up to the hike, I saw proper shoes and water more often than not. When I arrived at The Check Point, there were some people looking for permits. No one had turned in any to the ranger at this point. One of the people looking for a ticket was a fourth girl in a party of three who did have permits. She was asking if anyone had tickets, and a stranger handed her one. We came across a guy who wanted to do this hike for his 37th birthday and did not have a permit. He took a chance and had made it to Sub Dome. We were able to give him the one extra permit we had. The ranger commented to him: “You sir, are lucky – you only had to wait 15-minutes.”
The cables themselves were a “thrill” as always. I reached the cables at 10 am, which is earlier than I have ever been there. There were many people on the cables, but not the lines as in the past. There were actually fewer people than even my previous weekday experiences. I wasn’t sure if it was the time or the permit process or both. After about a half hour on top, it was time to come down. There was a back-up on the cables as we came down, but it wasn’t due to crowds. There were two people who freaked and were having difficulty moving on the cables. Unfortunately, one coming up and one going down and it made it hard for people to move around them. There was a snag as people talked them through it. This was near the top, so once we were past this, it was a nice and easy descent down the cables. Several hours later, we were back at Curry for showers and pizza.”
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Walk a mile in my shoes, just walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticize and accuse – then walk a mile in my shoes.” –Joe South
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com