Help for hikers

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>


     Most Mr Half Dome Blog readers are savvy hikers. But I know many newbies also find us. Today is another plug for the PSAR group – Preventative Search and Rescue. They educate hikers so the YOSAR group (Yosemite Search and Rescue) are not called upon to risk their hides to pluck folks out of harms way. Ranger Joy Marschall tells me that the PSAR Info area is located one mile up the trail from the Happy Isles trailhead, at the lower junction of the Mist Trail and JMT. Last year they were down by the river but feel that the new location makes people huff and puff a bit and realize the trail ahead may be beyond their preparation level.

     They try to let people know how hard hikes further up might be for them. The trek to the top Vernal Fall is pretty tiring and some do find it challenging. (Kinda like Middle School). Getting to the top of Nevada Fall is much harder (like High School). Making it up to the top of Half Dome is extremely strenuous. (Kinda like College). Big wall climbing is like getting a doctorate – but we won’t go there.

  They set up the PSAR station about 8 am or so. I wondered why so late since most hikers better be a far way along their trek to Half Dome. Joy told me that folks who leave early are generally well prepared and taking their hike seriously. It’s the day hikers who roll out of bed, eat breakfast, then decide they can “easily” do Half Dome or other hikes later in the morning.  A tip of the hat to the NPS men and women who stand in the hot sun to help others have a more pleasant experience. I never see them – I’m one of those 5:30 am guys!


Pay attention: Drink plenty of water, and start drinking it now.

 PSAR and Interpretation rangers provide information about trail and weather conditions, and how to safely enjoy your time on the trail.


Ranger Phil Johnson helps hikers plan their day.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: He wore black denim trousers and motorcycle boots and a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back. He had a hopped-up ‘cycle that took off like a gun. That fool was the terror of Highway 101”   – Vaughn Monroe 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


5 Responses to “Help for hikers”

  1. AL Says:

    Number 8 is on the books.

    4,800 ft drop behind us
    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Congrats Al!!! Wow, the cables looked empty.

      • Scott Baines Says:

        Truly empty. And they couldn’t have left too early, since the photo of the mileage markers at the trailhead was taken in daylight. I guess this is why NPS is allotting the new “day before” permits.

      • Al Laurente Says:

        We started at 5:52am and arrived at the base of the cables at 10:53am. We started climbing at 11:05am. As were going up, a group of around 10 just cleared the top of the cables. By the time, we started going down at 12:35pm, there was a steady line going up but no ant trail. Normally, there is an ant trail at that time without the permit system. IMO, NPS should increase the allotment to 500 – 350 for hikers, 100 for backpackers and 50 available on a walk-in lottery basis similar to the famous The Wave of Coyote Buttes.

      • Sönke Says:

        Congrats, Al! 🙂

        Too me the number of hikers looks just about right. With “traffic” like this there is a slim chance to have something like an outdoor experience.

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