Have done Half Dome two times; both times via the Cables Route. First time was in May 1995, the second trip was in July 1999. Fairly long hike/climb for a day, but well worth the effort! Going up/down the cables is the best part of the experience. Very nice view of Yosemite Valley, and east throughout Yosemite NP, as well.
If you leave early enough, you can have the summit all to yourself. If you go fast enough, you can be back in time for lunch. I recommend both. :) Trip Report
No matter how crowded it is, there is no other peak in yosemite (or elsewhere in the Sierra) where you can dangle your feet over 2,000 feet of vertical.
Late August was perfect for climbing the Cables route. There was just the right number of other hikers to make one feel comfortable and there was no wait at the cables. Use the gloves that are sitting at the base of the cables - I was sorry I didn't. I climbed in my tennis shoes and made it all the way up (from Curry Village) and back in one day. Drank about a gallon of liquid (water and gatorade). The hike down took only about 3 hours but was very hard on the knees and slippery just after the Nevada Falls.
The view from the base of the Half Dome, on the way up and from the summit is worth all the pain!
Did this route for the 5th or 6th time and had a blast as usual. Started the approach about 8:00pm under a full moon and arrived at base about midnight. Everytime I do this route the approach is better marked. This time under moonlight had the easiest time getting to the base due to the HUGE amount of "ducks" along the way. I'm suprised no one has put a sign at the base to denote the starting point(I'm not suggesting this). No more skills in finding the base. First time I did it many years ago, there was barely a trail to follow and never saw a duck the entire way. The ducks made night navigation a breeze, but I use to enjoy the slabs near the base. This route can be done with a very small rack of a couple of cams and 3 or 4 slings. Still as fun as the first time I did it and we never saw another person on the route that day. A first for me!
Great route, not really a wall route, if it weren't so damn far to get up there, everybody would do it in a day, comparable to DNB or Steck/Salathe.
Go up the slabs, it the easy way.
Too damn many people, and there's a better view from Cloud's Rest.
I did this hike during my first ever visit to YNP. I arrived on Saturday around 4pm, got my permit to camp at Little Yosemite, and headed up the John Muir Trail. Somewhere above the upper Mists Trail junction I ran into a middle-aged couple coming down who told me to tell their friends (farther up the trail) that due to the late hour, they weren't going to wait up for their friends anymore and were heading straight to the parking lot. They just had day packs so I asked them if they or their friends had any flashlights. They had one but didn't know about their friends. Great - what wonderful "friends" to have. Anyway, I ran into the others about 20 min later and gave them the news and then continued on to set up camp. At night, there were about 5 bears wandering through the campground and you could hear them moving from tent to tent. The next day I headed up to the summit where I shared in a flask of red wine brought up a group I hooked up with, one of whom was a Welsh fisherman who had moved to California and lost 3 (1-man) fishing boats at sea but managed to survive all 3 times. I've met as many interesting people on this hike as any other (the other notable one being Machu Picchu). The park took down the posts and 2x4's about a week later so I was lucky to get there when I did. Overall an enjoyable hike, but very crowded on the summit.
Free soloed Snake Dike (5.7). Climbing this incredible route without having to stop to belay was a lot of fun. Completed the technical portion in 22 minutes.
I've been Blesed with many trips up Snake Dike, with various partners, since 1976. This is clearly one of the finest rock climbs that one could ask for ; spectacular location, stunning views and an almost mystical quality of the rock. The Creator worked in strange ways, and surely this is one of the Funnest and Strangest.!!!!