Cables up Wednesday!!!!!!

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     Oh my!  The cables are supposed to go up on Wednesday…. that’s tomorrow for some of you…and today for others!!   I sit in Weed, CA heading to Mendocino on my Carpe Diem trip – so I need anyone to send in a report to confirm things.

     Word is that the Mist Trail is a DELUGE. You must have rain gear – a poncho with binder clips attached to your hat and sides to keep it from blowing. Also, real gaiters might be a good idea to keep water out of your boots.

     Since Friday, June 17 hiker George Penca has been missing – he was last seen at the top of Yosemite Falls. He was with a big group. YOSAR and other search teams have been combing every square inch of the area. The teams consist of  approximately 105 Search and Rescue personnel, two helicopters, dog teams and 14 California County Search and Rescue personnel. The search area so far has included 70 square miles of rugged terrain ranging in elevation from 4,000 to 8,000 ft. If you are up near there and see him, call the Yosemite Emergency Communication Center at 209-379-1992. Penca is 5′ 10″ tall, weighs 240 pounds, and has dark brown hair, blue eyes, a stocky build. He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants with white stripes, a black T-shirt that says “D&B” across the chest, or a black tank top, and gray/blue running shoes.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I went to a garden party, to reminisce with my old friends. A chance to share old memories and play our songs again. When I got to the garden party they all knew my name. No one recognized me – I didn’t look the same.” – Ricky Nelson
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


19 Responses to “Cables up Wednesday!!!!!!”

  1. Kathy Peck Says:

    We hiked up last Monday and the mist trail was like a driving rainstorm. The ice wall on the way down had its own waterfall, and severall parts of the trail had running water over it. The Merced was a class 5 at the bridge below Vernal falls. Other than that, a beautiful day.
    There were some hikers that actually climbed the cables and we sat and watched. A few remarked that it was the hardest thing they have ever done.
    First, they had to lift the cable to grasp it, which required about 20 lbs of pull, then scale the dome with only a couple rest points on the way up. We thought they had more than just a screw loose.
    And, there were still patches of slushy snow on the sub-dome and approach to the sub-dome. We figured If life won’t let you have the cables, make snow angels. So we did.
    We had a blast on a gorgeous Spring day in Yosemite.
    —Kathy Peck

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      GREAT report…..

    • Roberto Hernandez Says:

      The ice wall last week was actually more tame than I thought. Way more water coming off the cliffs above in May 2010. Perhaps that high area needed a little more melt time this year to ramp up. There are actually a plethora of good resting crags and ledges on the cable route of halfdome. On areas without good rock resting, I used the big metal rings screwed into the rock which keep the cables fastened down. Went down the cables facing straight down the whole time. What worked for me was to slide on my butt, and use the soles of my hiking boots to create enough traction to slide slowly downward. Are the cables up yet?

      • Kathy Peck Says:

        Still a very dangerous proposition for those without climbing experience, which was the case for some of them.

    • Sönke Says:

      Very nice report, Kathy! Sounds like you had a great hike.

      I guess there are always people who think they know better and safety concerns and risks don’t apply to them. Very likely that you can read about some of them in the revised edition of “Death In Yosemite” in the future. One of my favourite books by the way.

  2. Al Laurente Says:

    Mist trail did not felt like a deluge … I guess it does not matter and I cant tell the difference anymore after scaling the same route 11x since 2005 (8x in the month of June).

  3. Kathy Peck Says:

    We were soaked to the bone even with rain poncho, and several others on the trail felt the same way. Not one person I talked to wanted to go back down the same way. But, then, I have nothing to compare it to, as it was my first time up the trail.

    • Roberto Hernandez Says:

      Me too! My rainjacket saved the day, and my hiking pants quickly dried in the sun. Should have brought extra socks, as there were tons of puddles!

  4. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    So much water, there are flood advisories for Fresno, and the San Joaquin Valley below the dam, as they are having to release water from the full reservoir. IRONIC, California has too much water!

  5. Roberta Says:

    Does anyone know if they are opening the rafting from curry village?

    • Maureen L Says:

      The raft rental at Curry Village for floating on the Merced River in the park doesn’t open until the flow rate and river depth are low enough and the water temperature is high enough, but I don’t know the determining values.

      When I was there last week, the river in the park was closed to all boats, private as well as rental. Given how high the water was, there’s no way a raft could go under the Swinging Bridge!

      You might check with rafting outfitters and trip leaders on the Merced west of the park (in the national forest and BLM land) if you’re looking for a wilder adventure than floating in the park.

  6. andy Says:

    My friend hiked to the top today. The cables opened up at 4:00 pm.
    There were about 130 people waiting with permits in hand to climb.
    The river flows are crazy. He felt mist from the falls on the TOP of the Dome.

  7. Moraga Mike Says:

    Hello All,

    Many of my family are planning the half dome hike on 6/29. Anyone been through the mist trail in the last couple of days?


    Moraga Mike

  8. Moraga Mike Says:


    This will be our first time on this hike.

    We’re being advised by friends who have taken this hike to go up the mist trail and to come down the Muir trail.


    • mrhalfdome Says:

      They are correct. The Mist trail is wet, so bring a poncho. Take the JMT back down – it;s easier on your knees.

      Get my book to learn more aobut the hike. “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome”

      Also the FREE Half Dome app at will help.

    • Roberto Hernandez Says:

      I would agree on taking JMT down when it is wet. You get a great view of Nevada Fall from the right, and sometimes you can get a giant double rainbow picture. The only wetness is this below the cliffs ledge cutout area. Very wet at times in Spring and early Summer, but fairly dry this year. Very safe though due to the whole area having a high rock wall built on the edge of the ledge.

  9. Michelle Says:

    Does anyone know if the permit system has helped shorten waiting line on the cables? Just planning our hike and are wondering how much extra time we should plan on waiting. We are staying at Crane Flat and were hoping to be on the trail by 6 am. We are hiking Sept. 14 so the spray on the mist trail should not be as bad by then!

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      Each day plays out differently. But YES, it is a much better experience. You will be surprised when you arrive at how smooth things are goingl The permits have helped and on many days not all 400 slots are coming! On July 4 there were about 250 total all day.

      In Sept it will be great…no waterfalls though.


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