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Half Dome in mid April?

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Half Dome in mid April?

Postby adventurer » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:19 pm

In mid April, I'm attending a wedding in the Yosemite area. While I'm out there, I'm planning to escape for a day to hike Half Dome via the cables route.

I've read the Half Dome page on SP but I'm still a little unclear about a couple of things. First, what is the approx r/t length of the hike from the Happy Isles trailhead? Also, how long should I expect the hike to take in mid April when the cables are down?

Any other comments or advice always appreciated as well. Thanks.
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Re: Half Dome in mid April?

Postby jonmeek16 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:22 pm

9 miles one way. Depends on snow pack. I had some friends there last weekend and they said the snow in the valley floor was thin but more up higher. Plan on most of the day!
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Re: Half Dome in mid April?

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:23 pm

The cables will not be in place in April.

Bring snowshoes.

If there is snowpack on Half Dome, there will be very serious avalanche danger.
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Re: Half Dome in mid April?

Postby fatdad » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:56 pm

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:The cables will not be in place in April.

Bring snowshoes.

If there is snowpack on Half Dome, there will be very serious avalanche danger.

Yup. I think you're out of luck. Lots of other great stuff to do though.
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Re: Half Dome in mid April?

Postby fish4dinner » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:39 pm

the cables will be there but there down (laying on the granite) if you have the upper body straight you can lift the cable up and pull your way up. i did it many times when i was younger but i don't trust my own ability now
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Re: Half Dome in mid April?

Postby fedak » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:49 pm

"Down" means lying on the granite, not removed entirely.
The support poles and cross boards get removed so that they don't get ripped off by the winter snow/ice.

Not terribly difficult if the rock is dry. Quite dangerous if it is icy and/or wet.
Much less margin for error than the summer conditions.

Image

With this years currently near record snowpack, there will likely still be substantial snow in April.
(i.e. this would require skis/snowshoes, winter navigation skills, etc)

i.e. this won't be a "hike" in April.

In April, You might want to do just the Nevada Falls loop, Yosemite Falls, or even Hite Cove (if the Merced River Valley poppies are blooming)
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Re: Half Dome in mid April?

Postby Vladislav » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:00 pm

I don't know. The way the snow has been melting recently we might have none left by April. I would certainly check the conditions a bit later. You might get very different recommendations.
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