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My Half Dome hike June 20 2007

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My Half Dome hike June 20 2007

Postby Moondust » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:33 pm

Five of us got to the cables around noon. It was early enough on a weekday there was no waiting. It was my first time but I didn't find the cable climb particularly scary. It took full attention, but was not difficult. Two people (not in my group) freaked out, one coming up and one going down. Those two would not move up or down.

Photos here:
http://moondust.smugmug.com/gallery/3038329

There were quite a few inexperienced people we met on the trail who should not have been out there. Not enough water, started too late in the day, etc. They have to learn the hard way, because none of them want to take advice, no matter how friendly and helpful the advice-giver tries to be.

I thought a lot about whether I would have continued my climb if I had witnessed the fall last weekend, or gotten there after it happened. I think I would have continued. Not climbing will not make a dead person live again. It will not make the climb more or less difficult. If anything, it is a stern reminder to pay attention. Plus, 8 miles and 5000 feet is a long way to come to abandon a goal just because someone else made a mistake that day. I know that may sound cold and I don't mean it to. I have deepest sympathy for the man's friends and family. But like the tombstone says: like you I once was, and like me you soon shall be.



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Postby tomcat_rc » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:45 pm

congrats on a great hike Alice to you and the group - thanks for posting some pictures - cannot believe I still have not made it up for this hike - looks like the views were stunning
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want
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Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:54 pm

Love the rattler! I've never seen one in that position!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby Moondust » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:39 pm

Thanks! It was a small snake and trying like crazy to climb little trees.
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Postby KathyW » Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:02 am

Alice: Congrats on Half Dome - the pictures area great. How early in the morning did you start out from the trailhead? I'd like to give that hike/climb a try sometime. I've thought about starting at Tenaya Lake and doing it as an overnight trip so that I could start up the cables before the crowds get there - could even go all the way to the Valley and take the shuttle back to Tenaya.

Kathy
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Postby markskor » Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:17 am

Maybe I am just lazy…or getting old, but…
Doing Half Dome is so much easier if you decide to make it an overnighter. The trek up to LYV is a snap, if you just plan to do that only in one day. There are plenty of places to explore…The Mist, Emerald Pool, or the top of Nevada Falls…lots of rests and laughs along the way. Camping in LYV, while not really wilderness conditions, is still fine. FYI...There is good fishing too along that stretch of the Merced near LYV.

The next morning, get up at sunrise and do the cables early, before the crows hit…probably have the summit all to yourself. From there down - overnight again…either LYV again, Moraine Waterslide…great camp, or if in a rush…down the Muir…much easier on the knees.

I would hate to be part of that waiting line on the cables.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Postby Moondust » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:05 am

We stayed overnight in Oakhurst and got hiking around 7 am. We got up to the cables around noon. Could have made better time, but there were too many good photos to take :) There was no waiting at the cables when we got there. If you do this as a day hike, I think the keys are, go mid week, start early in the day, and go early in the season.

We took the Mist Trail up and Muir Trail down. Possibly a switchbacking trail (Muir) is easier on knees than steps (Mist), but the Muir trail is very slippery. Despite having plenty of experience on this kind of dirty trail, we were all slipping. I slipped a couple of times but not badly. Alan slipped a lot and Julie twisted her knee slightly on a slip.

I think day hike vs packing up your overnight gear is always a tradeoff. I was plenty tired at the end of the day, but not miserable. As far as knees (and I'm always trying to baby mine), I also think it is debatable whether less miles per day carrying more weight is easier on knees than double the miles carrying less weight. Personally, my knees always feel it more when I am backpacking, especially on a steep trail.
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Postby fyton2v » Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:32 pm

Nice pics! Great shots around the cable climb. After last weekends event, combined with your photos, I'm thinking that Half Dome looks pretty nice from a distance :).
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