The Snows of Kilimanhalfdome

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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      The daily question around the stately Dome mansion is when will the cable get up? And we keep saying there is too much snow up on Sub Dome. Half Dome itself is pretty clear along the Visor and rocks near the cables. But the bugaboo is Sub Dome. That’s 400 ft bump that preceeds the cables. Just so you know, the trail crews cannot safely get up Sub Dome which means you and I cannot get up either. Some people have and have even rapelled up the Dome using  the steel cables. Not a smart thing. No, macho or not…. zip, slip and ker-splat. See my ACCIDENTS website page for the death stories in Nov ’06 and Apr ’07 of two women who tried and failed.

     Just so you know what’s going on, here are 2 pix of the Sub Dome blanketed in white. DEEP white.



f you tried to go up, you can’t even find the steps and may risk falling a very long way. But you will have a great last view!


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Fear is what stops you… courage is what keeps you going.” – A wise old man

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


11 Responses to “The Snows of Kilimanhalfdome”

  1. ScottS Says:

    Rick–I understand the Four Mile Trail is now open! So one of the options we’re considering as an HD alternative is the Four Mile/ Panorama loop. My question: which direction would you recommend? Is it better to start at Happy Isles, or at the Four Mile trailhead??

    Thanks for your help!

  2. Alan Hudson Says:

    Hello Rick,
    I have some interesting information. I had several permits for Sunday,
    June 12th. Obviously, the cables were not up and I was not able to use the permits. I called the Recreation.Gov folks in New York and asked them when I should be expecting a refund to be credited to my account. They stated that there are not going to be any refunds. It’s only a few dollars but it is also the principle of the thing. They have been issuing useless permits since the end of May. I know it is the weather that is at fault but if you have tickets to a ballgame or an outdoor concert and it is cancelled because of incliment weather, a refund would be forthcoming. I will continue to try for permits in July and those could have been used to credit future permits.

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      You are 100% correct. Talk to a manager. If the cables are NOT up you will get your $1.50 back…make it clear to them that you are not talking about just cancelling during the summer. However if you get a permit and the cables are up and it rains or a hurricane or you stub your toe…you eat the permits…no refund.

      Let me know the result.

  3. Brian Says:

    Is there any speculation as to when they might go up? I have permits for July 11, and I’m starting to get a little nervous. It can’t stay closed for another whole month, right? Right!?!?!? 🙂

    Just wondering if there were any sort of insider gossip going around as to how far away we are from being the cables going up.

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      It’s obvious that you don;t read the blog or my website….I posted the latest info…..Word is that the cables will be up NOT EARLIER than June 17. Read today’s blog :>)


    • Roberto Hernandez Says:

      Subdome is very safe. Rangers are getting up there without trouble. Poles and boards are along the cables jammed in a crevice ready to be put up. I got up without any trouble yesterday, as did 50-100 people. Most stopped on subdome or at the cable base. RANGER SAID HE THINKS BEFORE JULY 4, ESPECIALLY WITH THE HEATWAVE NOW.

  4. Maureen Lahiff Says:

    for Scott:

    If you do the Mist Trail or JMT and then Panorama up to Glacier Point and then 4 Mile Trail down to the Valley in the direction Rick suggests, you can use the shuttle bus on the El Cap loop to get back to Yosemite Village, close to day use parking, Curry Village, etc.

    the El Cap shuttle may run only every 1/2 hour, but the 4 Mile Trail trailhead is a stop on it. check it out to be sure I’ve got this correct.

    • ScottS Says:

      Thanks, Maureen! I was figuring that either way we went, we’d shuttle back to where we started. But it’s our first trip to the park, so I’ll have to make sure I know which stop is which. Otherwise I understand it’s another four miles back to the trailhead… 😛

      I appreciate your input!!

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