fun but be sure to go early or else you get to share the cables with out of shape people who decide they need to stop halfway up the cables themselves.
Awesome route - and my first time climbing in the Sierras! Climbed with Kathy and Liam on a perfect August day. Started up the trail at 4:30am, reached the base of the climb at 8:30am, and took about 6 hours on the rock (with 3 people). The friction move on the second pitch was a bit scary but the rest was pure fun. Met up with my family on the descent and enjoyed a swim in the river and a snack before finishing the hike out at dusk. I'd love to do this one again ...
I summited Half Dome three times. Twice from Yosemite Valley and the last time from Clouds Rest on a 2 day backpacking trip. Manuevering around people ascending and descending the cables is not my idea of fun, but that only bothered me for less than a half hour. What a thrill to peer off the sheer face with a two thousand foot drop.
bpgbennett and I started at Tenaya Lake at 7 am and traversed Clouds Rest first. After decending from CR we joined up with the Half Dome trail and reached the summit at 1:30 pm. Had a nice lunch, enjoyed the views (the views from CR are better I think). After flying by people on the cables, we ended up in the Valley 12 hours later and 21 miles from where we started. Very enjoyable hike, nice to get two peaks in one day.
My group decided to make it a night hike on our drive there. Missed the crowds and saw a beautiful sunrise.
Great climb. It was a little windy, but I think that helped keep the tmp down. When we topped out, I was amazed to see how many people were up there.
hopefully next time, it will be up the NW face...
June 1999 - 4 days w/ Nick Tomlin
July 1999 - 2.5 days w/ Luc Buchet
September 2001 - 14.5 hours w/ Jo Bertalot
September 2001 - ~14 hours w/ Ian Huang
I would recommend the following strategy:
Day 1: Approach via Death Slabs and fix 2 pitches
Day 2: climb to Big Sandy
Day 3: top out and descend via Death Slabs (much quicker).
You don't need as much water on this route because it is in the shade most of the day. I would recommend 2 liters/person/day. The sun hits the route around 2 PM in the summer.
July 1994: Brand new to hiking as a fresh-faced 24-year-old. Really liked it, and made me want to hike Mt. Whitney soon enough.
September 1999: Nice climb with four other guys.
September 16, 2006: Introduced two co-workers to Half Dome. It was good, but there are too many clueless people going up and down those cables. Anyone who is reasonably competent and in shape should be able to make it up in 10-15 minutes. If you insist on going up "between the cables", you are likely to be held up by the hordes and it will take you 45+ minutes. Do yourself a favor if you do this route. Go outside of the two cables, both on the way up and the way down, and your schedule won't be dictated by the anxiety-ridden teenage girl.
Made my first trip to the top of Half Dome in December of 02 with some school friends. Our round trip was about 12 hours and ever since I had wanted to see how fast I could do it without having to wait for the slow pokes.
Running it this time I left HI at 6am, reaching Nevada Falls at 6:45 and had my feet dangling off the beak at 8:05. Hung around on top for 5 minutes then raced back down getting to HI at 9:30. Wound up missing the breakfast buffet by 10 mins, oh well.
Wow, there's so many pple up there, its like some popular beach resort. People playing frisbee, partying...etc... Quite an experience.
Did you know that granite can actually "buzz" with charge during close proximity thunder and lightning storms? Freaky stuff, but it happened on the old Dome.
Good weather, good hiking partner, definitely felt like vacation.
Pretty fun. We took a friend of ours with us who never "climbed" before and she really enjoyed it. Wasps on the top were sooo annoying that we did not spend as much time as we wanted.
Good climb; long approach and an even longer way down.
Awesome day! First time up with the cables down and it was a blast. With so few people around I think I may only go up with the cables down from now on. There was only 1 person on top when I got up there and less than a dozen showed up while I was there. Definitely a more pleasurable experience without the hoards of people around.
Followed the JMT and camped near Sunrise Creek. Next morning summited at sunrise. Nobody around.... a moving experience.
I hiked to the top probably about 4 times. The most enjoyable was the time when we started from Tenaya Lake, went to Clouds Rest, then down on the other side, went cross-country along the quarter domes and then join the trail and went to the top of Half Dome. From there we hiked down to the Valley, picking up lost tourists without flashlights on our way down.
This was much more enjoyable and less crowded than hiking from the Valley.
Hiked from Happy Isles and branched off the Half Dome trail toward Clouds Rest and camped near Sunrise Creek about 1 mile from where we left the main trail. Up at 2:30am, on the summit for breakfast and a beautiful sunrise. Nobody else up top. An amazing experience.
With Ken. Started in morning from mist trail, dumped gear at campsite. Returned to campsite around 5pm.