Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hiking Half Dome


I recently returned from a fabulous family vacation in San Francisco and Yosemite. We spent a few days in the city and saw all the sites. Gotta love SF weather - nice and cool and no rain. Then we headed to Yosemite for some hiking. The "big hike" that my husband, father, and I took was to the top of half dome.

Here is Half Dome as seen from Glacier Point:

We started nice and early - 5am, for the 8 mile hike. Eight miles sounds like nothing when you run marathons...HOWEVER there is a 4,300 foot elevation gain. It took 6 hours to hike those 8 miles up, and about 4 hours to hike back down. Along the way we got to watch the sun rise. Rainbows and waterfalls were also among the sites.

The last part of the climb is the most intense. It involves rock stairs along several switchbacks. We never counted the stairs but my dad claims there were at least 750 of them. After the stairs, you get to this:

"The Cables" - this is what it looked like when we went up. It is 650ft up a 45 degree angle. There are cables on posts with wood planks every so often to use as foot holds. You grab a pair of gloves from the pile and climb/pull yourself up that last 650 feet. Flexible calves and a good grip are a must. Um, no, the cables do not move... they are just there like a small, slack hand rail.
Once at the top, you are treated to this:
Here are the cables on the way back down - a bit more crowded. Yep, you gotta share the cable with people going the other direction.
It was a great accomplishment to say that we hiked Half Dome and was an experience I will never forget. Heck, I may even do it again someday...maybe.

1 comment:

Barb Trimble said...

That hike looks hard but so rewarding. What a fun thing to do on vacation.