Half Dome - Slabs Route
Everybody's gotta do this hike at least once
Tenaya lake-Cloud's Rest-Half Dome
Half Dome was my first real mountain, at age 11. It's probably the coolest hike I've ever been on. Half Dome taught me to love the mountains and I can see why it's so popular.
Left the valley at 10 PM under a full moon, climbed the cables in the dark and watched the sunrise from the summit. One of my most memorable hikes. Descended the same route via the mist trail, reached the car around 10 AM and had a brutal drive back to Southern California that day. Wonderful trip.
First enjoyed this adventure as a kid, back in the early 1970's. Have returned to the top over 10 times. But don't know what to think of it all now. Take a number? Reflecting on the last trip, I wonder about the grossly overweight fellow who'd taken all day to get to the base of the cables, only to turn around. When we came upon him at sunset, he and his buddy were in dire straits. He was slumped over a rock with more than 7 miles to go til the valley, having had a heart attack. Or, or, I wonder about the elegant woman I met on her way to the top in high heels, spiked high heels. She'd made it over half way up the Mist Trail and was kicking herself for not packing her tennis shoes.
Did the main route from the bottom of the valley. Loong way up and down. Shoulda taken more water. Cables were rammo, in fact most of the route was. Nearly lost my lunch on summit when someone dropped their water bottle off the edge and I saw it just tumbling away into the void. Still, good stuff.
I am not sure of the exact date, but it was the summer of 1999. I stayed outside of the park at Tenaya Lodge. I was there for a week and thought this hike would be a challenge. This was my first Sierra Summit, and something new for me. I wore some flimsy running shoes that gave way on the way down; luckily I had a second pair in my pack, realizing the first pair was not real sturdy. Started from Tenaya Resort early, drove an hour, found a parking spot, did the day hike on a warm day (luckily for me, as I only had a short sleeve shirt and shorts). Took 7 quarts water and drank it all. It was special. My first, on somewhat of a lark. Good thing the weather was good and everything worked out fine, because I was not well prepared, and I was happy to find the store in Yosemite open when I returned, so I could get some food and drink. The return drive was not so fun. I slept well that night.
2009 - solo(?). My experience is why the have instituted a lottery day-hike permit system. The trail was like a conveyor belt. It was rather fun watching tourists freaking out on the cables.
Don't let people try to scare you about the rails--it's not that big of a deal. The view is well-worth it!
Second time on top, again at the beginning of October, right before the cables go down. Weather held and no crowds at all. Seems hard to say it, but Half Dome can be enjoyed if the timing of the hike is right. Cables were exhilarating as always.
Hiking to the top of Half Dome was an amazing day trip. I did not realize what i was getting into when i started on the trail early that morning. The cable climb was a lot more challenging than I was led to believe by my friends. I would bring along better gloves if I were attempting this again. Although it was a weekday it was very crowded and some people were quite rude pushing their way past others. I noticed that many people attempt this unprepared bringing along nothing but a water bottle!
Fairly exhausting day from Upper Pines Campground. Took the longer approach through Little Yosemite. Climbed with Todd, 25 years to the month after climbing it with Suzi.
Also 4 times up the trail - with John & others.
Four time up Half Dome. Three previous were day hikes from the valley. This time I was guiding a group of female backpackers and we summitted Half Dome on day 3. Very humane way to do it. We were on top before 8am and no crowds due to early summit, midweek, and the permit system. Definitely a Yosemite classic that must be experienced. Hopefully Snake Dike is in the near future...
Hot Sept day
Half Dome hike = my solo soul-searching mission. Maybe Snake Dike one day???
Climbed Half Dome with my brother and a friend. A strenuous adventure, well worth the tired muscles!
Hiked from Yosemite Valley to the top and back from 6:30am to 3:00pm. We were concerned about afternoon thunderstorms but it ended up being a beautiful day. We enjoyed Vernal and Nevada Falls on the way back and a dip in the Merced to cool off.
Watched the sunrise from the base of the cables
I first attempted Half Dome in 2007, very casually with my wife on an anniversary get-away trip. When arriving at the huge crowds at the bottom of the cables I turned back.
This time, the new permit system seems to really have reduced the number of people. There's still some waiting for slower moving people, both up and down on the cables, but nothing like it was in 2007. Despite the permanent "aid" (the cables) and all the criticism of the route being for tourists I really enjoyed it. But then I also enjoy the Main Mt. Whitney Trail.