Just wanted to posted a few pics and reflection from my week in Yosemite National Park.
Each year 4 million people enter Yosemite Valley and every one of them sees Half Dome.
(double click the pic with your mouse to enlarge for a better view)
A very small percentage of them consider hiking to the top. Of that small percentage, an even smaller percentage make it to the top.
This hike has been on my list of “Gotta Do” Hikes for a long time. For years I’ve wanted to make this trip, but I have never found the time to prepare or train for this trip. Last week on August 17th, A group lead by my friend Joel Malm of Summit Leaders and I made it to the top.
The top of Half Dome was worth the wait and the journey was definitely an adventure to remember.
The first view of the cables is intimidating, but the set of switchbacks cut into granite are equally intimidating. These switchbacks are more of a Class 2 scramble than a Class 1 trail.
The “Cables” are the cable system that help you get to the top. The Forest Service requires you to have a permit to climb the cables.
The cables are very intimidating because:
• If you slip you will fall to your death, no doubt about it
• It takes a lot of energy to climb up the steep slope.
• The high elevation (8,836′) makes it very difficult to climb up the steep 50+
degree slope. It’s steeper than the pictures render.
• You are tired from walking 8 miles uphill just to get to this point.
Once on top you feel amazing, tired and challenged…..because you have to get down.
We enjoyed the view at the top for about one hour before we headed back down. When we were at the top, there were probably 100 other people also celebrating. When we came back down the cables, there were at least another 100+ people climbing up the cables. We fought our way down squeezing past the climbers.
Some overwhelming desire forces me to identify the ledge I stood on which overlooked the Yosemite Valley. I don’t know why, but since I’ve been to the top, Half Dome looks different.
So glad I went up – So glad I listened to a friend of mine who told me “don’t even think about it Steve, just climb it”.
Here are just a few pics of some other spot in this amazing place called Yosemite.
The Valley with deer that have no fear.
El capiton had four climbers that were in day three of their five day mission….We had binoculars and could see them make the ascent.
The Valley at night is magical.
The Muir trail on the way back was fantastic.
Big time thanks go out to all the friends that joined in and Joel Malm with Summit Leaders. I highly recommend this organization if you are looking for a top drawer adventure and first class experience.
What a great event!
Steve (HALF DOME HIKES CLUB since August 2011)