An incredible hike. Over the past ten years I have done this hike many times and have the following bits of advice for those new to it. Start early and go slow, but steady, on the way up. You want to be coming down before the most intense heat of the day. Second, the best photo opportunity on the top is to have someone stand on the more eastern part of the summit ledge and photograph the subjects on the overhanging portion of the ledge a little ways to the west. This way you get the entire Yosemite Valley below and beyond as a backdrop. And probably most important, wear something you can swim in. On the way down stop by the Merced River in the Little Yosemite Valley. Nothing recharges the batteries better and makes the last few miles down more pleasurable
Beautiful hike, leaving Happy Isles at 6 and saw few others until we joined the JMT. Cables not too crowded going up, summit at 10:45. Hordes of people on the return. Carried too much water/weather/first aid stuff, can't wait to get back in the fall to see more of the park.
Climb it with my 10 yers old son, Lenard.
Awesome route! I was with my friends Ben Ver Steeg, Ryan McCourt, and Amy Noss. We intended to make a 3-day backpacking affair out of the whole thing, hiking out on Saturday, doing the route on Sunday, then hiking out on Monday. Everything was going wonderfully. On Saturday we hiked up and camped by Lost Lake with plenty of time to spare. We were camping by Lost Lake because we were kind of guerilla backpacking -- we decided on the trip last-minute and didn't have wilderness permits.
We also didn't have bear canisters, which didn't bother us until the bears visited us at dinner. We yelled and threw stones and "scared" them off.....a few hundred feet. Both were tagged and clearly unafraid of humans. So we counterbalanced our 4 stuff sacks full of food, as high as we couch reach by standing on each other's shoulders. Then we went peacefully to sleep.
We awoke a few hours later to the sound of tree branches breaking and slurping. I stayed in my warm sleeping bag, thinking, "Maybe they havne't gotten our food yet...." when I heard the characteristic sound of nylon ripping. Ben and I got out of our tents and tried "scaring" them off again, but the bears weren't about to leave their booty. I saw two more dark blobs still hanging from the tree and hoped they only got half of our food. My headlamp was an LED one and didn't penetrate all the way to the tree. But two little beady eyes reflected from about the level of the branch with our food. I watched as the bear shook the branch until the counter-balanced stuff sacks slipped. It then shimmied down the tree, reached up, and swiped the rest of our food. Suddenly $75 bear canisters seemed cheap.
The next day, not ones to be deterred by having no food, we cleaned up the remaining mess, had a gut-wrenching breakfast of stewed dried mushrooms and tomatoes, and climbed Snake Dike. Two lovely people from San Diego left us some salami and tortillas on the top. We went down the cables (by far the scariest part of the whole day!), and death-marched back down to the Valley. Unfortunately, we got there around 11:30 PM and everything was closed. So we raided some vending machines and had Chex Mix and Oreos for dinner before crashing at the backpacker's camp.
The next day, we treated ourselves to the all-you-can-eat breakfast at Curry Village, showers at Housekeeping, pizza and beer at Curry Village, and the El Cap Lieback.
I had a great trip. Some friends and I hiked to Little Yosemite Valley and camped there for the night. The next morning we went up to Half Dome and back down to our camp. The third day we packed out.
We went up the cables with the crowds. It took about an hour just going up and another hour down because there were so many people. The weather was great though and we could fully take in the spectacular views.
We gave ourselves the three days so we wouldn't have to worry about speed and so we could take our time on the summit. Next time I want to do the Dome in a day!
An excellent 'hike'. It was well worth all the sweating. I dont think the walk was that bad though, the heat was the worst thing. Get up there early and get down quick before thunderstorms arrive in the afternoon!
September 15, 1994
Partner: Steve Reynolds
Met Jochem & Beate Becker (Germany) on this route & became fast friends.
Saw 1 snake on hike in. Avoided the worst of the steep slabs on the approach by keeping to the far right, following many cairns. Beautiful pink quartzite dike...like crawling up the back of a Stegosaurous. Cables descent.
September 22, 1993
Partner: Richard Brown (St. Albans-London- met at Camp 4)
Incredible pink quartzite dike. Upper easiest pitches have only 1 bolt in the middle of the pitch, between belay bolts. Manky old bolts replaced June 1992. 3.5 hour approach via Little Yos Valley. Unrope at dead tree & exfoliating arches; walk 1,000 ft. to top. Cables descent.
Joel and I scrambled up the Slabs below Halfdome's big wall routes then finished by climbing the 5.4 friction moves outside of the cables. The Slabs is a really nice approach with lots of fun scrambling. We free soloed some easy 5th class rock as well. Met some big wall dudes preparing for an ascent of the Regular NW Face route.
The Cables were packed so we did the 5.4 section outside the Cables unroped. I felt a little iffy on the central section that is the steepest, so I climbed right next to the Cable, so I could grab it if I needed to. Lots of people on the summit. Descended outside the Cables with my hand ready to grab the Cable on the steep section. Received about 25 "You guys are f'ing crazy" comments. Glad I brought my rock shoes along.
We descended via the Mist Trail, and really enjoyed the views of the Waterfalls on the way down. I see why that is such a popular hike. We did it car to car in just under 8 hours, though the descent seemed to take forever after we started walking. We ran most of the descent until my achilles and Joel's knee started bothering us. Fun day.
The cables were very crowded and very slow going. Next time I will go earlier to attempt to avoid this.
If you don't want to bring as much water, bring a filter system and get water the fast moving water off the meadow above Nevada Falls (Little Yosemite Valley).
Day 1 of a 18 day JMT thruhike. It was hard humping my gear to the spur trail but at last, I dropped the pack and hit the Half Dome trail. Awesome. Had the summit almost to myself because I was there so late.
fine trip. bivy'ed on ledge at pitch 11 and on summit. second multi day bigwall after the collumn. cool temps.
A very crowded hike, but it's understandable why. Amazing views along the trail of waterfalls, Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Canyon, and the Sierra. Light traffic on the cables going up, but a traffic jam going down.
Beautiful moderate route though very runout. Climbed it with my 17 yo son.
Steeper on the cables than I had imagined. Fun hike. Great views. Did the Mist Trail there and the JMT back.
My wife and I climbed the Snake Dike route to the top. Perfect weather (though a dark cloud did form/dissipate over us at one point). The approach was long and more of a bushwhack than we expected (the 3rd/4th class stuff was exposed). Arrived expecting crowds but saw no one (on route or during approach!!) - just two of us and a the huge chunk of granite. On pitch two, got passed by two Australians moving quite fast. Pitch three traverse was very exciting (the second bolt on the traverse seems OK, the first bolt is crap). Ran into a free soloer (Al) atop pitch 8. Real nice guy - took some pictures of us. The summit (~6pm) was empty. The cables rotue descent was more than we expected (slippery & steep rock!). The hike out was painful. Whole thing took much longer than we thought it would (mostly due to unpleasant approach). Overall, a beautiful climb we've been wanting to do for a year now!!
Hot day, but great hike. Now I'm hooked on peak-bagging.
Incredible hike in a truly unique part of the world. The Mist Trail will amaze you - nothing like two world class waterfalls to help you pass the time on the way up. You will get drenched (think 'horizontal shower') by Vernal if you go in the spring/early summer, but the thunder makes it so worthwhile. The cables section is nothing for most of the visitors to summitpost, but for mortals it can prove to be as much a mental task as physical. The summit is surreal and the views, of course, beyond outstanding. Hike on a mid weekday and you will have a better time - less wait on the cables and more space to yourself on top. Take the JMT on the way back; it offers awesome views of Nevada Fall and Liberty Cap. It's a longer trail but beats going down the stone staircases of the Mist trail.
My first trip up Half Dome. Left Lower Pines Campground in the middle of the night and made it to the top before dawn. The roar of Vernal, Neveda, and all the other falls was deafening for the first half of the trip. Had Half Dome all to my self at sunrise on Memorial Day.
The textbook HORROR story. I met this guy in camp 4...we climbed a few routes and he seemed OK. Went up to Half Dome and started up. He was slow. Wanted to bivy at pitch 8. I argued for pushing to pitch 11 which we did having to climb the last pitch in the dark. He became MR. HYDE, screaming, cursing and going generally beserk. I feared for my life. One more night at BigSandy and then the next day we were off. Whew! What a psycho. Be careful kids.
Climbed with Bob. Gorgeous day and climb to the top without anyone else to worry about. We had the entire trail, climb, summit, and descent to ourselves. Interesting and fun descent via the snow and ice encrusted Cables Route! Read all about it in my SP trip report.