Archive for May, 2011

Memorial Weekend at Yosemite

May 31, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     Another glorious weekend at Yosemite. Although it rained heavy Saturday and Sunday, it was sunny Monday and it looks good for the week ahead. I hiked up to Glacier Point Friday and Monday. The water on the trail is flowing, so Gortex boots are very handy. Hiking Poles are mandatory in my book. A few stream crossing were way easier with the poles. I talked to a ranger at Glacier Pt and he said that the High Sierra Camps may not open at all this summer since it will be very late until the snows are clear. Sorry if you won lottery slots.

The Holiday Horde arrived Friday evening and the place was jammed. I heard folks were turned away at the gate since the park was “at capacity.” I think that really means that all campgrounds and lodging were fully booked. They asked if you had reservations.

Curry was a beehive and a long line ran out the door for dinner. Tip – Go inside and get in line at 5:00 pm – they open at 5:30. Then go right to the main course line. If you wait and get a salad first, the line for the good stuff will be huge. The lobster, shrimp and filet mignon go fast. By the way if you are over 60, you get $2.00 off. Don’t be proud – take the discount.

Rumor is that the new Royal couple (William and Kate) – YAWN – will be coming to Yosemite and the Ahwahnee Hotel July 8-10.  Their honeymoon??  A good reason to keep away. Wonder if he needs a permit?

For a little fun – A Hearty Handclasp if you can identify this waterfall.

 

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting:There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.” – Paul Scott

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Freaky Weather at Yosemite

May 29, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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    May 29 at 7 pm and it’s still raining at the park. Even snow with chains required.., Gimmie a break!!  I am doing Glacier Point tomorrow….STOP it already!! This place is jammed. People even being turned away at the gates. The park is at Capacity. I am NOT moving my car.

A guy came up and asked me to bring up Accuweather.com  He wanted to know tomorrow’s weather on Half Dome. He brought 51 Chinese hikers up from LA…a big hiking club. And they all had permits. No go..but he wanted to take them as far as he could. So there you go. That a lot of fingers on  a keyboard.

All for now…heading to bed for an early rise…for a CLEAR sunny day. I hope.

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: As a nation we are dedicated to keeping physically fit – and parking as close to the stadium as possible”. – Bill Vaughan

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Glacier Point Hike

May 28, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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      First off, sorry for the delayed broadcast. The Curry Village internet is flakey and the ATT man is trying to fix it. I’m at the park now until Tuesday. Hiked up to Glacier Point yesterday. With no Half Dome open, it’s a good 18 miles RT hike. The trail is fine. Just a bit of a brief drip-shower at the ice cut on the JMT near Nevada Fall, but no biggie. Illilouette Fall is roaring.

Lasting Adventures participants at Glacier Pt

Some snow at the top but go for it until the Half Dome cables get up.

Latest Hi-Tech gear at the Ice Cut spray on JMT

It’s Saturday morning and the park just does not feel jammed to me. A lot of parking spaces at Curry.  Bears are out and about. As of mid-May, there were 27 bear incidents at the park, which cost folks over $9K total in damage/loss.

Yesterday a rockfall occurred off of Hal Dome near Mirror Lake. No further details.

Thanks to SK of our International Bureau for this info from the NPS website:

The Half Dome Cables are not expected to be put up during the week of June 6 because there is a substantial snowfield on the Sub Dome. This steep snowfield can make access to the Half Dome cables hazardous for both trail crews and the general public. Slipping or losing one’s footing on this snow could result in a long fall with the potential for serious injuries. A trail crew will be stationed in the area starting June 6 and will be able to make frequent assessments of the trail and put the cables in place for the season as soon as conditions allow. The NPS will continue to provide weekly updates on the Half Dome Trail conditions and provide an expected date for placement of the cables, when known.

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting:Your body is built for walking.” – Gary Yanker

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Memorial Day weekend at Yosemite

May 26, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

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     A tip on giving permits….just do a SEARCH on your PC on the blog to get to July 15 etc…then you can contact the person who needs them without having to read all the posts.

     This author is at the park now….here for 5 days. I’m a guest with Lasting Adventures. They have 8 clients for a guided hike up Half Dome….Except no Half Dome yet. Instead we’ll head up the JMT and avoid the heavy spray on the Mist Trail and go up past Clark Point and past the ice cut and up the Panorama Trail to Glacier Point. It will be about 55 degrees tomorrow but clear. That snow threat bypassed us.

     Starting Friday, May 27th, a NPS Ranger will be selling YNP gate passes from the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce offices inside Mountain Sage. Stop by and ask a question!

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “What you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do.” – Norton Juster

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – http://www.HikeHalfDome.com

Yosemite Bird watching

May 25, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     I must admit I know zilch about the birds at the park. Well, I can tell you that the Steller’s Jay is a royal pain in the rear. They are so aggressive they will snatch a sandwich out of your hand if you look away. Beyond that I’m clueless. Many of our readers might be interested in our feathered friends. If so I encourage you to look into the Yosemite Conservancy’s Outdoor Adventure Program. On Sunday I ran into this group on an expedition to identify birds in the valley. YC naturalist, Pete Devine was seen intently sharing his knowledge with them. They all seemed to be having fun and learning.

"Hurry - one's getting away"

 

 

"Page 154: TheYellow-Bellied Sapsucker"

 

 

     Good news: The Glacier Point Road in Yosemite will open for the season on Friday, May 27, at noon.

    Today’s Merced River Plan webinar on Recreation was a short one. 3 hours. Bret Meldrum and Jim Bacon gave the beef. Not too deep – they just went over the things people like to do in the Merced River corridor. From the Valley to Wawona. This is the last session on the public outreach.  A woman in the audience ragged on them about too many people getting Half Dome permits and scalping. As we learned yesterday, it’s really not a widespread problem.

     SPAM check: Let us know you’re human by taking this simple test: Calculate the square root of 567 to 3 places and divide it by pi. Add that to twice the distance in feet to the moon and back. Answer: _____________ 

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Permits and scalpers

May 24, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

** Put your contact info on the request. **

   During my trip to Yosemite this past weekend, I met with park officials and the word is that there is no strong evidence of massive computer generated programs snatching up dozens of permits as was reported in the media. An ABC TV story was an extrapolation by the reporter and not based on any facts from the park. It appears that the Half Dome permit purchases were generally done by regular Joes & Janes like us. The scalpers who are appearing asking for $100 and up per permit are small time mugs who don’t have a ton to sell.

     Merced River Plan Recreation Workshop will be held via webinar for us flatlanders on Wed May 25 from 1-4 pm. The purpose of this workshop is to develop a common understanding of recreation activities and related resource protection along the Merced River. Social Scientist Bret Meldrum and Park Planner Jim Bacon and others will present an overview of current recreation conditions and managerial considerations. Try to attend via your computer. Go to yose.webex.com to register.

   Recent photo of Tioga Road….it’s gonna be along time ’til it gets plowed.  

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “We live in a fast-paced society.  Walking slows us down.” – Robert Sweetgall

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

My weekend at Yosemite

May 23, 2011

 

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

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   Welcome back. The Internet at Curry Village has been down for 4 days, making it hard to publish the blog. The word at the park is WATER. Everywhere. Forget the cables for a long time. Sub Dome and its approach are covered – deeply. The Merced alongside the roads is at the banks but not rising higher through the valley. Outside the park along 140 towards Mariposa it is a full-tilt boogie.  

     Blog reader and Half Dome aficionado, Norm S. joined me for a spirited hike up Yosemite Falls. I got some really nice photos.  I even snapped a few at 12 megapixels. Parts of that trail are covered in water, so hiking poles were valuable. The downhill was pretty well mandatory for poles. The tent cabin complex was interspersed with large puddles. Mud was right up to some cabin doors. Fun.

    Behind Curry, as you look up towards the right side of Glacier Point, “Stairstep” Falls was running. It is thin and is seasonal – it is flowing now. Although the temps are in the solid 50+’s, clear skies yield to clouds by the early afternoon so the sun is not melting the snow up high. 7,000 feet or so is the line.

    I’ll be back on line tomorrow with more info on the permits. Things are not like the media is reporting. And a tip of the hat to McDonald’s and Starbucks for offering FREE wifi.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Blog delayed

May 22, 2011

There is no wifi at Curry….. I need to find a spot to download blog…at the Yosem Lodge now – I give at talk at 8 pm tonight….Got a lot of upated Yosemite Park info to share…tune in Sunday for the beef. Hint – LOTS of water flowing!

Rick

Half Dome cables – be patient

May 20, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

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     It’s looking grimmer every day.  May is out and now the weekend of Jun 4/5 is doubtful and I would not put my money on June 11/12 either. There is THAT much snow up there – and fresh snow on top of that. The Tioga Road plowing report was grim also. There’s still 11 ft of snow near Porcupine Summit. … and up to 20 inches of fresh snow. May be a July 1 opening. And there’s fresh snow on the Big Oak Flat Road off the Hwy 120 gate. I am driving up Saturday and may take Hwy 140 to play it safe . . . it’s the ALL WEATHER road.  I’ll try to blog to give you the latest.

     But the good news . . . I guarantee NO SNOW and OPEN CABLES in September. So what? Well June 1 is the date for getting permits for the 9th month. That’s less than 2 weeks away. Put it on your calendar. We are getting over 500 daily readers who come here for my musing – but also to play the “get a permit” game.  So if you can’t go up Half Dome in May or June, for gosh sakes go in September. It is beautiful. The hordes have left, the rugrats are back in school, the weather is good and daylight lasts until 7 pm. I love it.  So don’t comment that “I forgot about the permit requirement.” Get on recreation.gov at 7 am with the rest of us and don’t give up. Have some alternate dates ready. And if you don’t; hit paydirt right away, KEEP TRYING. Stay logged on until 7:45.  Many permits come up late as people don’t pay or complete their transaction in the allotted 14 minutes.  Just like you’re trying for those Pink Floyd tickets.  And no scalpers. The park is watching you – see that camera in the corner? We know who you are. Now that Osama Bin Dead, the FBI has resources to go after you.

     Starting next week the park will be posting updates to the “Cables Erection Plan.” Click <HERE>. You’ll be able to monitor the forecasted date for getting those steel ropes up and running. Carpe Diem! 

     My REI talks start up again on May 31 at Saratoga and June 1 at Corte Madera. See you there.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “We live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way.” – John Muir

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

No Half Dome cables for Memorial Day

May 19, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

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     Memorial Day is the time of the year we remember our fellow citizens who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Take the time to honor the fallen soldiers who are no longer able to join us on a hike.  As much as we hoped, the Half Dome Cables will not be up for Memorial Day Weekend. This year that means May 31 will be Cables free. Dang. The park has said that they will not be up for the following weekend of June 4, 5.  So it’s official. You read it here first. 

     The trail crews really really want to get the cables up but with deep snow on the trail, they cannot get the support pipes and 2 x 4 boards out of their hiding place and get the whole thing assembled. Double-Dang.  Last year it was not until June 16.  Sorry Charlie, but it’s a no go. Next week, the park will provide weekly updates on the Half Dome Trail and cables. They will also haul out George Anderson’s crystal ball and try to guess when the attraction is open.  Bookmark this link <HERE> to keep abreast. When I know – you’ll know.

      If you have permits, recreation.gov will credit your VISA or Mastercard with the $1.50 you were charged for your permits. They will send you an email if you are affected.   

   No tears – it is what it is.

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” – Soren Kierkegaard

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com