Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

HOT – Short fuse – Permits for Aug 25

August 22, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

I have come upon 9 extra permits for Aug 25. Contact me ASAP for a scan/email on Tues…I am driving up Wed. I will be going up the 25th and will give them out on the trail if no response. NO scalpers – you gotta do the hike.

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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Half Dome training hike

August 22, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

 

    I want to thank everyone that made the Mission Peak hike today. We got an early start and were about a half hour up the Ohlone trail and were greeted by a rather huge rattlesnake. He was rattling and I jumped about 5 feet. Check these photos. 

Good reason NOT to wear an iPOD>

 

Count the rattles. A python??

     Since I was there last, the East Bay Regional Parks installed a real pit toilet. Over the years we went from nothing to a basic Johnny-on-the-spot to a tin can facility to a real nice one. Funny, there is a picnic table just outside. Not exactly my idea of a pleasant place for a lunch! 

   I was disappointed at the trash and empty water bottles along the trail. There are trash cans at the toilet and further up the trail. OINK. I picked up about 4 bottles. The top is at 2500 feet. There was the usual morning low clouds still present at 11 am, but it did clear. We returned to Mission Blvd about noon and said goodbye as I continued my “double down” hike. Water refill at the car on Mission Blvd then back up for another lap. The total elevation gain for me was 4400 feet…Pretty close to Half Dome’s 4737 feet. Total distance was 14.2 miles. Again, pretty close to the Half Dome hike. It took me 6 hours and I am wiped.   

    If you are in the South Bay area and want a good HD training hike – this one is my favorite. I’ll invite yall when I do it again. When you are done with your hike, I highly recommend the Ohlone Deli – right across from the college campus at 43625 Mission Blvd, Fremont 94539. Bob runs the place and makes a very good sandwich. If you tell him Mr Half Dome sent you, he’ll give you the key to the restroom. Just kidding, but it is a welcome wash-up room. AND he has FREE wifi so you can keep your stock portfolio current.

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting:When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody’s help in any way. But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured, Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors. Help me if you can, I’m feeling down and I do appreciate you being round. Help me, get my feet back on the ground. Won’t you please, please help me. – The Beatles 

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Pack light for Half Dome

August 21, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

 

     When I do the 16-mile hike up to the top of Half Dome, I try to pack light. Nothing excessive that will weigh me down. So check out this troubadour who hauled up this git-box to the top. I dunno, I guess, yeah,  I would consider this excessive.

 

I asked him to play some Hendrix, but he could not.   What are YOU carrying that you could do without? 

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: He’s free as the breeze, he’s always at ease. He lives in the jungle and hangs by his knees as he swings through the trees without a trapeze, in his B.V.D.’s. Gitarzan, he’s a guitar man. He’s all you can stand. Give him a hand, Gitarzan. ” – Ray Stevens 

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Socks on the Mist Trail

August 20, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE> 

     Just when I thought I saw everything, I was coming down the Mist Trail at the end of a Half Dome hike when I come upon this woman. We were returning to Happy Isles below the Vernal Fall Footbridge. Take a look.

Yes, she is wearing only socks. I did not see her carrying shoes. Just socks. So did she do the hike to Vernal in cotton foot coverings? Did she jettison her shoes along rock slide area? Sleep late and have to hustle out her tent? Odd people, you Americans.

    I often tell people  that they should take their  photos on the Vernal Fall Bridge early in the morning when it is empty. At 5 pm when you return you may see strollers and high heels. Well, here’s proof of one of them.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Sock it to me.” – Laugh in TV show 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Gripping the Half Dome cables

August 19, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

 

      The cables running up the backside are a bit over 600 feet long. There are 68 pole sets from bottom to top. The poles are set in about 5 inch deep holes and have 2 x 4” boards spanning the width at 10 foot intervals. The cable is multi-stranded steel alloy – just like the kind they build bridges with. It is about 3/8 inch in diameter. They have been replaced in 1934 and 1984. The cables are not one continuous run; they are set in thirds, with strong anchor points along the rock. For over 2 football fields, you will be pulling yourself up up up. The common guess is that the rock is at 45 degrees. As you ascend you see a definite steeper grade. The original 1917 Engineering drawing by the contractor (Gutleben of San Francisco) who put them up reads: “about 50 degrees.”  I have measured the incline and got readings of up to about 56 degrees. You will also encounter 4 “steps” in the rock where it is exfoliating. This means they expansion outwards as it relieves its stress causes it to layer like an onion.

    The cable can be pretty warm in the summer heat and very cold when weather turns below 50 degrees. It will pull the heat right out of your hands. There are no burrs on the cable – they are nice and smooth.

    My recommendation – use Atlas model 370 nitrile coated gloves. About $5 at ACE hardware. 

  These gloves at the base of the cables are considered trash – because they look like it.The rangers ask that you take some down with you. They are not reliable.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto.” – The day the earth stood still, (Micheal Renie) 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

More Waterfall crazies

August 17, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE> 

     Since we have been talking about Yosemite’s waterfalls lately, here’s one for you. Zambia’s Victoria Falls is the largest in the world (length) and  it is a couple tads higher than our Vernal Fall. It is 5,604 ftwide and has a height of 108 ft, forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world. During our autumn, flow is down so people with small brains go out to the edge and look down. Watch this.  Maybe we can start this at our favorite National Park.

On a brighter note, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West is performing in Oakhurst at the Oakhurst Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 7 pm.

And on-site report back from Yosemite by blog reader Maureen sez that Vernal and Nevada falls  look  like the end of May in a low-water year and ponchos were not needed  on the Mist Trail. Carry one anyway in case of seasonal afternoon thunderstorms. The Avalanche Fire smoke does dampen the view from the top of HD and its smoke settles in the Valley overnight. So now hard hats for the rockfalls and gas masks for smoke. Got it. That fire is 25% contained with 1040 acres burned and a date of Sept 1 estimated for extinguishment.

She also echos a suggestion that I’ve made and to ask for a tent cabin in the 700 series when you arrive at Curry Village. This will put you away from the hordes with no manners and closer to the trailhead. Bring earplugs and a loud alarm.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Prepping for Half Dome

August 16, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

     A lot of folks are getting permits off this site. Good going! And thanks to all the givers. The $1.50 service charge per permit is a fair payment since it’s a service fee and not scalping. Those bums are still out there. ReserveYosemite.com is a scam – do not fall for permits at $60 and up. It’s against the law to sell them. My guess is these dudes are outside the USA and popping for suckers via Paypal. Don’t bite. There seem to be plenty of permits on the trail. I am surprised that the park has not nailed them yet.

     I ran the ups at St. Joseph’s Hill in Los Gatos yesterday. Not a big deal, but I walk the downs to save my knees. My Aug 25 hike up HD is coming soon. I will be at Mission Peak in Fremont  Thursday at 9 am if you want to join me for a day of exercise and chatter. Then on Sunday I get to taper off. Ahhhhh

     I am finally decompressed from my weekend at Reno. I taught an introductory Nordic Walking class. But I also attended the Hot August Nights Car show. About 9,000 classic America cars. Love ’em. But the attendance was down from past years…that old “economy” bug. A few observations: I-80 going over the high passes is like cobble stone. The right lane is really chewed up from trucks with chains. Also, there seems to be a never ending construction zone near Nyack. (Sounds like the 3 Stooges: Nyuck, Nyuck).

     At the old “Worlds Biggest Little City” arch sign they are building a new hotel. On the Virginia street side they are constructing the world’s tallest climbing wall … looks like 8 stores to me with a negative incline at the top. A good belay is critical! A must see is the National Bowling Stadium. It’s HUGE. 78 lanes and grandstands (with cushy seats) for 700 spectators. Funny that it is NOT open to locals. They did not want to steal biz from Reno blowing alleys. Only tournaments are held there. The Car Museum is superb. And hiking at nearby Mt Rose is nice. The air is very dry near 5,000 feet. I took a drink every 15minutes! Funny how Reno and Tahoe are becoming joined at the hip. The airport is officially the Reno-Tahoe Airport.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Dear sir or madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? Based on a novel by a man named Lear and I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer, Paperback writer.” – The Beatles

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Over the falls – Niagara this time

August 15, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

 

     There must be something in the earth – moon alignment that is causing this. Yesterday at 8 pm a 26-year old Japanese woman was swept over Niagara Falls.

     She was getting a photo by standing on a pillar when she slipped and fell into the edge of the river. The fast moving water took her over the 180 foot high fall. For reference, Vernal Fall is 317 feet. Although searchers have not located her body, they did find the corpse of a male. Ugh.  

      I wanted to share this nice comment from a blog reader. The permit exchange source we are running here works !! Hang in there.

Thanks to your blog I got two permits for the day I needed. We are so excited and so happy. The woman, Linda, posted the permits on your page and could not have been nicer. This is what it should all be about. Folks helping other folks to enjoy one of our national treasures.  She and I never would have linked up if it had not been for your blog. Thank you so much for doing this!  

    Word back from Valley Visitors is that the Avalanche Creek fire is causing some smoke and haze but not too major. You could see the red flames from the Crane Flat area.

   Anyonewnqt to call in sick Thursday andjoin me for a hike up Mission Peak in Fremont? Send me a fecebook message if interested. It’s my “Double down” hike – twice in a row. I’ll be leaving at 9 am from the Ohlone Deli. I’ll write a note for you if you need one.

 Last call – if you want me to cover anything special in the second edition of the Half Dome book – holler now. I am going into a cave and not come out until it’s done. It will be released next spring, but the publisher needs it soon. It takes that long to edit my mangled grammar. It will be super. If you liked book 1 and my free app, you will line up outside REI to get the 2nd edition. We are negotiating movie treatments.  We already have the actor to play me – Pee Wee Herman!

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: Another one bites the dust. And another one gone and another one gone. Another one bites the dust.” – Queen

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Yosemite – Accident Free weekend

August 14, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

 

     As of press time there were no reports deaths at California’s Yosemite National Park. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

     This in from our bookie, Mr Clouds Rest  ….   In the 10th race today at the Del Mar track: 1. Del Mar King 2. Half Dome Dude 3. Spurr Road DEL MAR KING finished the race in a romp. HALF DOME DUDE makes his career debut with a series of sharp works, while SPURR ROAD pressed and faded in his debut. Neat. Put your money on the 3-year old from Kentucky!!

    The Yosemite Area Regional Transit System surpassed 12,000 passengers in July, a total higher than any month in its 11- year history. YARTS provides year-round regularly scheduled public transit service into Yosemite  from the gateway communities. They now stop in El Portal. Leave your car on Foresta Road. I know a ranger who rides it in from his El Portal office to the Valley for business. If you are not hauling half of an outdoor store, it’s a good idea. Also, the bus system announced two more round-trip runs from Mariposa to Yosemite.

    Finally, the squirrels at Half Dome are getting very aggressive in seeking food. Chewing through backpacks was not enough, now they have escalated their tactics. They mean business. Give up the trail mix.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Help me if you can, I’m feeling down and I do appreciate you being round. Help me, get my feet back on the ground, won’t you please, please help me?” – The Beatles 

*MrHalfDome(tm) – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Yosemite – safety is YOUR responsibility

August 13, 2011

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

To request, trade or give permits, Click HERE.

FREE Half Dome Hike app <HERE>

 

Think July at the park was busy? You’re right..A new record for the month with 704,553 through the gates. Get ready – August is always the busiest and we’re only half through it. Here is a good article from the Sacramento Bee about the lack of smarts that many visitors have while at Yosemite. They say that the Vernal Fall deaths, the Half Dome fall and the Mist trail death might be related to a lock of mental preparation for the experience of being in a National Park.

I dunno – maybe. But there is a lot of concern about “gym rats” thinking that a Stairmaster is the way to prep for a real world hike. Reality beats virtual any day. Anyway, click on the link and be sure to watch the short video. It features an interview with Joy Marschall of PSAR – Preventative Search and Rescue. They now have an information area set up on weekends near Register Rock. just up from the Vernal Fall Bridge. They offer good advice to flatlanders and city slickers on the real world Yosemite.

Need cheap gear?? … try Moosejaw. I just got a Patagonia Houdini jacket (REAL compact) for $99….list is $125. And it’s blue not the puke green that you ususally see on sale elsewhere.  Want cheap Powerbars? Try WalMart – .99 cents each. …not the $1.50 elsewhere. Want cheap Clif Bars? Costco – hands down the cheapest.

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve played the silver ball. From Soho down to Brighton I must have played them all. But I ain’t seen nothing like him in any amusement hall… That deaf dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pin ball.” – The Who 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com