Happenings at the park

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give Half Dome permits<HERE>

    I’m seeing an uptick in requests for permits in the waning days of the Half Dome cables. I say just go for it. Odds are the ranger at Checkpoint Charlie will have extras given him. And if you don’t get up, it’s still a great hike if you only get to Sub Dome.

    A reminder that the Yosemite Climbing Association invites the public to participate in the “Yosemite Facelift” being held on Wednesday, September 22 through Sunday, September 26.  There are a lot of bottles and cameras at the bottom of Half Dome.



     They are also having evening programs each night. Royal Robbins will be talking on the 22nd. If you want to give back a bit to the park and can get up there, think about putting in a few hours. For more info click <HERE>.  Speaking of climbing, the daring men and women are beginning the fall season now that the temps are not like Mars. The “Ask a Climber” program will be starting up in the El Cap Meadow also. Feel free to stop by, gawk skyward and marvel at the climbers. If you are on Northside Drive, you can pull over into the El Cap picnic area and trundle thru the forest to the base of El Cap. It looks a bit different when you are up next to the wall.

     I make it clear that I am not a climber. I know the limits of my envelop. Surfers have a term for guys who pretend to be a surfer – called a “Ho-Dad.” Wonder if there is s similar term for wanna-be climbers. I’m sure Camp 4 gets it share of “posers.”  

     Did you know that our own George Anderson (1st person up HD) actually started Big Wall climbing in the US? His hand forged 7” spikes were the basis for later pitons.

Original Anderson Spike

    Metal assists evolved and were the norm thru the first half of the 20th Century. The problem was that most were left in place for years until Royal Robbins initiated clean climbing techniques – that is, he removed his aids once he ascended above them. 

    If you are in Camp 4 on Saturdays, stop by the boulder known as “Midnight Lightning” for a free cup of coffee. It’s at the far end of the area. Bring your cup. NPS Climbing Ranger, Eric, manages the pots and coffee is donated by Mountain Sage of Groveland.

     They are a neat coffee house on Hwy 120 in town. I like to stop by and have a delish Smoothie. I am not into the coffee habit. Owners Colton and Hillary also provide free wifi so you can catch up on things on your way to the park. 

    This summer the Curry Tent Cabins introduced Locking safes in each unit. Pretty good idea. So now you can stash your valuables while you hike. The only flaw is that they are not secured so I guess if a gang of desperados came thru they could just carry the safes out and cut into them later. Well, I am not going to worry about it.


 Unrelated thought worth quoting: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


3 Responses to “Happenings at the park”

  1. john Says:

    What does Ho-dad derive from? What is the highest you have climbed… I mean hiked, Rick? I cannot find the info on your website. Kilomenjaro? That is basically a long hike? If I was rich, I would do Kilomenjaro. I think that should be the permit bet. Whoever loses pays for an all inclusive trip up Kilomenjaro.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Dunno – I’m not a surfer…

      Mt Whitney is my tops…14.5K ft I’m not overly impressed with those who boast of a Kilimanjaro hike…yeah, it;s 19K ft but they use porters, you stay in huts and it’s a gentle uphill grade. We did Tanzania and saw Kili but enjoyed the animals way more than taking the time to do the hike.

      • john Says:

        Unless you do Kilomenjaro up the backside the way only 4 have succeeded. With the ice receding, perhaps none will ever do it again.

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