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Has anyone hiked up Half Dome?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by WriteThinking, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering about anyone's past experiences hiking up Half Dome Mountain in Yosemite National Park?

    I have an opportunity to do this with a church group of which I am a member, and I have to admit that I am intrigued by the challenge. Also, I've never been to Yosemite before, so I'd be taking this opportunity to go there.

    I'm wondering just how big of a challenge this is, however, as I've actually never previously done any real hiking/rock climbing.

    As a group, we soon will be beginning nine months of physical conditioning and training for the endeavor, with the trip scheduled for June. I've been assured by the group leader, who has made the ascent several times, that if I prepare and train, and stay in reasonably good shape, as I am now, then I would, indeed, be able to make the trek, in spite of any inexperience with this kind of activity.

    What do you all think? And, is the effort worth it? I've been told it is, and completing a task like this is something I think I'd really like to do, myself. But I'd love to hear others' thoughts and find out about your experiences.
  2. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Got no experience in hiking up the mountain, and doubt I ever will, but damn Yosemite is awesome. Half Dome is an amazing sight.
  3. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I've not done it, either, but here's a place where you can get an idea what you're in for:

  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Would scare the hell out of me, but a great Ansel Adams print...
  5. threeoceanwaves

    threeoceanwaves New Member

    I have hiked up to Yosemite Falls (which is opposite half dome, near El Captian). It was a steady, sharp incline for 4 miles which involved climbing over rocks and no clear cut trails and some points. Half dome is probably twice as difficult, far steeper, and involves climbing up the rock like a ladder.

    Only the very hardcore hikers are comfortable doing it; but from what I hear, the views are spectacular and totally worth it. You MUST be in excellent physical condition, it is one of the hardest hikes at Yosemite, and probably most National Parks.
  6. ServeItUp

    ServeItUp Active Member

    Ooohhh... I think I have an item to add to my life list. Good stuff here.
  7. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I enjoy hiking, but I generally don't do anything classified beyond 'moderate.'
    Half Dome would be great, but it's a little too intense for me.
    We did a great deal of hiking in the national parks two years ago, but we haven't done any the last two years.
  8. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I did it in late summer 07.

    It is not for the weak of heart, especially when it's hot. It's a 17-mile trip with just under 5,000 feet of elevation change. It took me just over seven hours round trip, and I'm in pretty decent shape and can take some hiking punishment.

    There are some pretty steep switchbacks, and the last quarter mile is almost straight up. That's where the cables come in, so make sure you bring some gloves, and at least a 100-ounce hydration system if you do it in the summer.

    Load up on carbs the night before, do it during the week and leave early when you do. I did it on a Saturday, and it was crowded as hell.

    Read up on it here.
  9. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    Came down it about 4 decades ago. Don't remember much. Maybe it was the several days of clutch and thrutch. Or the Mountain Red at the summit.

    You will love the valley. Expected to be pushed to your limits.
  10. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    A couple family members went three years ago. Said it was absolutely amazing. I missed out because I was committed to covering an MLS game that weekend . . .

    Ah, the things we prioritize when we're in the journalism world.
  11. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    There's a fire near Yosemite Valley now, too.

    Yosemite National Park Big Meadow Fire Update

    Below is a link to a pretty accurate video review of where we are with the Big Meadow Fire, burning about 5 miles west of Yosemite Village:


    The 90-acre prescribed / controlled burn that went out of control almost immediately after it was ignited by NPS fire crews last Wednesday afternoon has now consumed about 4,500 acres. To the credit of the fire crews, NO structures have been lost in the communities of Foresta and El Portal, and the fire is now 50% contained. Multiple air tankers, helicopters, bulldozers, fire engines and 1,500 fire fighters are battling the blaze.

    That came in an e-mail from one of my best friends, who is the PR guy for Yosemite Valley.
  12. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    That's below the Valley.
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