#29 in the books

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

     The two-legged locusts have left Yosemite. The 4th was a ghost town here. Really. Very nice. My day got off to a bad start yesterday when I overslept and we didn’t; hit the trail until 6:30 am. But our group of 8 did the hike to the top in 13 hours and. We had folks from New Jersey and Mass. I think they got saturated with all my commentary as they kept zipping ahead. The trail was deserted, but the Lower Mist trail was indeed jamming. If you don’t; bring a poncho and gaiters you will get DRENCHED. Plenty of water to filter on the trail and we didn’t need the Little Spring. I captured GPS long/lat data for the Points of Interest and will put them on the smart phone app later. No pix due to limited bandwidth.
     Only about 200 people went up Half Dome all day. I had 5 extra permits that we gave out. If you don’t have one, I say put a sign on your back and go al the way anyway. Hang out with the ranger at Sub Dome and plenty of folks will be by with permits.
When you get to the park you can go to the Visitor Center and access free wifi thru a server/router set up by my good friend Reid B. He did the Yosemite Falls app you can get there. You can also download my Half Dome app at this site. Hang just outside the door to the YC bookstore for best reception.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Because it’s there.” – Dan Evans.

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


12 Responses to “#29 in the books”

  1. Al Laurente Says:

    Congrats with your #29 … I look forward to my #8 on the 18th and 3 more in August and September. I’m trying to catch with you :+)

  2. Moraga Mike Says:

    Climb number one..

    My wife and I did the climb/hike for the first time on June 30th with a group numbering eleven people. Eight made it to the top, all eleven made it to the bottom of the sub dome. We made a lot of stops, took a lot of pictures, left at 5:30AM from Curry Village, and arrived back before 3:30. As Mr HalfDome suggested, we went up the Mist and came down the John Muir trail. My son and nephew did the hike an hour quicker, others didn’t return until almost 6PM. My pedometer measured the entire trip at 39,772 steps.

    Our permits were for Wednesday the 29th but we were rained out, so we decided to take our chances and go anyway the following day. Our thought was we would plea/cajole/beg for the authorities to consider our passes as rain checks. As it turned out, we arrived before the rangers (at about 10AM), and went on ahead. When we came down ninety or so minutes later, the rangers were in place.

    Some observations:

    Camel packs, trekking poles, the correct shoes, planning your meals and water, and leaving early in the AM make a huge difference. Because i have a balky knee, I would not have made it without the trekking polses.

    The scenery is fantastic beyond description. It has to be seen to be believed, but I can say that between the vistas, the waterfalls, the meadows, and the “sheerness” of the clifts, one is constantly awestruct by the beauty of the place.

    Curry Village is about as comfortable as you can hope for in a camping evironment, but that overall experience pretty much sucked. Too may people, too noisy, and a lot of people who would respond to a friendly good morning with a cold stare. We found that ordering sandwiches at Yosemite Village was the best way to enjoy a meal. Opinions regarding the cafeteria food were mixed.

    We enjoyed the hike to Lower Yosemite Falls and Mirror Lake (which we did after the rain stopped on Wednesday morning). It also occurred to us that a hike up the Mist Trail and then down the John Muir might be a good compromise for people unwilling to walk for over ten hours.

    We did wear ponchos and hats for the Mist Trail, and were soaked anyway. The mist/rain is fast and horizontal in places, and the wind amazing. My poncho stayed relatively in place, but it only took a second when it billowed to get soaked. It was warm enough, and I really didn’t mind getting wet. The water at the bottom of the falls ran as fast as I’ve ever seen anywhere. At the surface I would estimate 60mph. I don’t think walking down the Mist trail is worth the risk.

    Lastly, take your time. We caught several people on the trail that were overweight and/or well into their sixties, yet we ended up seeing them at the top. Their secret was resting often, which is certainly safer and which allows time to enjoy the great sight seeing.

    It was a great experience!

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Mike – thanks for sharing. My latest idea is to use binder clips to attach the hood of your poncho to your cap bill and then 2 more at your sides. NO billowing. I did it6 yesterday and was bone dry. I have a waterproof Casio G1 camera for shots. Wehad a blast thru the mist. Only wimps go the dry JMT. But going down you can easily slip if you go back the Mist.


  3. Norman S Says:

    Moraga Mike

    Great write-up.

    To do the hike in 10 hours, with 90 minutes on top, is fast – especially with so many people in the party. My experience has been the larger the party, the slower it goes.

    If you had it do over again, would you go up the Mist or the John Muir?

    Was there a mosquito problem?

    Rick mentioned that there were other sources beside the Little Spring to filter water? What did you do after LYV?

  4. Moraga Mike Says:

    Hi Norman,

    The 90 minutes I mentioned incuded going from the bottom of the sub dome to the top, time on top, and then back to the bottom of sub dome. I think we were on top for about 40 minutes.

    Our party actually broke up into three groups, with my group finishing around ten hours. My son and his cousin actually finished at least an hour before us. The last group finished in around 13 hours.

    Mosquitos were not a problem on the hike, but were an issue in the evenings in Curry Village. We used the spray version of “Off” which was pretty effective.

    If I were to do it again, I would still go up the Mist trail. As I mentioned, it was wet, but worth it. I think going down would be too dangerous given the driving rain/mist and the wet steps.

    I had a three litre camel pack, which lasted until I got to the lower bathroom on the JMT. My son refilled his pack in the river below the backpacking camp, using purification pills. We’ve been back several days now and he seems no worse for the wear, so the pills seemed to have worked.

    I hope that helps,

    Moraga Mike

  5. Moraga Mike Says:

    Didn’t understand that… thanks

  6. Moraga Mike Says:

    I didn’t understand that a filter was required to deal with cryptosporidium.. Now I do. Thanks

  7. Wendy Says:

    What? no photos of our July 4th trip?! We brought flags and everything…… we were only speeding ahead because we had started late that morning and besides Eric can only absorb so much knowledge in one day- believe me he gives the same glassy eyed look when I tell him about my day!! Thanks for all the info Rick- we really did appreciate it. -Wendy

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