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Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

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Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:37 pm

My wife’s family is starting a campaign to get Pam Frick (wifes cousin) to the top of Half Dome. Pam is a two time cancer survivor who has dreamed of making it to the top of the granite rock for years. Pam Frick focused on her goal of making it to the top of Half Dome to help her get through her mastectomy, and the subsequent rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Her mantra throughout her second surgery, chemotherapy and radiation was: “I will be ready to do the do Seattle’s 2011 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure (scheduled for September 16-18), and to climb Half Dome (on Sept. 24, 2011)!” The Half Dome goal took on a life of its own. Eleven family members made the commitment to hike with her. In December, camping reservations were made for the whole group, including her 75-year-old father-in-law, who has also been training to make it to the top. The National Park Service scheduled the sale of Half Dome permits for the month of September to begin at 7 a.m. Pacific time on June 1. Seven family members were online before 7 a.m. to purchase the needed permits. The system the NPS had in place to “sell” or divvy out the tickets necessary to climb Half Dome on a first come first serve basis failed and was hacked into. All attempts to obtain even a single pass for Pam failed because all available tickets had been obtained by the hackers and sold on the web. The NPS new permit system to climb the famous monolith had denied Pam of her dream. Tickets are now available at scalper prices, and for some time could be found on Craig’s List or EBay for extraordinary prices. Tickets are no longer available and the NPS has no way of controlling the distribution or sale of Half Dome passes. It would be nice if in the future they could regulate the passes simmilar to how they are regulating camp ground permits.

This is one of many reasons I have no desire to climb this rock, but Pam does, and she shouldn’t be denied this opportunity in our National Parks. The NPS has failed this country in preserving wilderness and our natural treasures for all to enjoy. John Muir would roll over in his grave if he knew only rich people were allowed to climb his Half Dome. It was never the intent of the National Park System to be managed for those who could afford a scalped ticket. Pam can indeed afford a scalped ticket. It’s about principle and practicality in that we have allowed public lands to be managed for elite groups (with money). If this was me, I would probably be thrown in jail, because I wouldn’t even bother with getting a permit anyhow. My Native American ancestors had no concept of land ownership or tickets to climb rocks.

If you agree that the NPS has unjustly denied Pam her right as an American citizen to climb the rock please join in our campaign by joining our “Get Pam to the top of Half Dome” facebook page- link below, or contact your local representatives. We want to get the word out there! Moreover we need to get the NPS to change their policies so Pam and others who play by the rules can climb and enjoy our National Parks!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Get-Pa ... 8888250420

Cheers, BMFB



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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:24 pm

Bad Man From Bodie wrote:
If you agree that the NPS has unjustly denied Pam her right as an American citizen to climb the rock please join in our campaign by joining our “Get Pam to the top of Half Dome” facebook page- link below, or contact your local representatives. We want to get the word out there! Moreover we need to get the NPS to change their policies so Pam and others who play by the rules can climb and enjoy our National Parks!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Get-Pa ... 8888250420

Cheers, BMFB


You're blaming the wrong people.

NPS is changing the process already - they are taking measures to prevent scalping. Blame the people who 1) scalp the tickets and the people who 2) buy the scalped tickets for the mess.

In the meantime, while I can't deny the allure of the Dumb Dome(tm) I'd certainly encourage Pam to consider "runner up" hikes that she will eventually realize, when she makes it up the DD, are actually MUCH NICER. Like Alta Peak, Mt Hoffman, Mt Dana, Mt Whitney... Heck, Cloud's Rest is a better view and from Happy Isles more of a challenge with fewer people - and no permits.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby tim » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:15 am

Last year my understanding was that if you turned up before 6am, there was a ranger stationed at the Happy Isles who would give out permits to the first x people (don't know what x was), because they knew that many of the online permits would go unused. Maybe the same will happen this year?
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:14 am

Thanks Tim, that’d be awesome. I appreciate the heads up big time!
AlmostThere wrote:You're blaming the wrong people.

NPS is changing the process already - they are taking measures to prevent scalping. Blame the people who 1) scalp the tickets and the people who 2) buy the scalped tickets for the mess.

In the meantime, while I can't deny the allure of the Dumb Dome(tm) I'd certainly encourage Pam to consider "runner up" hikes that she will eventually realize, when she makes it up the DD, are actually MUCH NICER. Like Alta Peak, Mt Hoffman, Mt Dana, Mt Whitney... Heck, Cloud's Rest is a better view and from Happy Isles more of a challenge with fewer people - and no permits.


Im glad the NPS is taking measures to prevent scalpers, but even my kids youth soccer leagues sign up page on their web site had more protection from hackers than the NPS did on their sign up for Dumb Dome. Its just pitiful! “Dumb Dome” is hilarious, and I am going to have to use that one in the future. Obviously I place most blame on those doing the hacking or the scalping, but seriously, good luck stopping this in the future – especially since its gotten sooo much attention. The fact of the matter remains that climbing DD has gotten so disgustingly commercialized that any good entrepreneur would look at DD as a business opportunity rather than a rock. What I am suggesting is that the NPS has let managing Yosemite get out of their hands.

I fully agree that there are maybe hundreds of other more fulfilling hikes vs Dumb Dome. Ive never climbed it and I don’t think I ever will want to. I agree with AlmostThere, on that one, however it doesn’t give me the right to place judgment on Pam’s choices of hikes. If she wants to hike it she should be able to and she shouldn’t have to hassle over getting a freaking ticket. Half Dome is not suppose to be a theme park but it is certainly getting to be that way, as is Yosemite Park itself. Let Pam climb the rock!
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby rightstar76 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Hi BMFB.

There's a website to request, trade, or give permits:

http://mrhalfdome.wordpress.com/2011/03 ... lick-here/

Good luck!


P.S. NPS is now looking at ID for camp sites and they aren't letting people transfer reservations anymore. Now they just need to do this for Half Dome permits and the scalping business will end.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby markskor » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:11 pm

While agreeing that this recent conundrum, the management woes of trying to control the way-too-many individuals, all wanting to scratch off that bucket list, trophy climb called the "Dome"... the recent events certainly smack of greed, mismanagement, commercialism, and maybe even lunacy. Agree too that something still has to be done; the park/somebody has to find a better way: to provide better sanitation facilities, to satisfy legitimate longings, to not over-saturate the environment, and to provide safety. However, to now start using the Dumb Dome sobriquet, well, the name sort of sticks in my craw.

Having ascended the massive over 20 times, by 3 different routes, having spent countless "full moon" parties atop (when legal), and once even helping to re-drill one of the pole holes (when YNP redid the cables 15 years ago), that rock was never Dumb.

Having spent hours sketching then painting that chiseled face, (trying anyway), usually sitting out in one of the meadows, (probably working a fatty), staring/ always mesmerized...never seemed Dumb then either.

Agreed the procedure is flawed...fixable? - We shall see. Also hope that Pam finds a way up - (doubtful with such a large group), but hopeful nonetheless. Bottom line though, you can call it a lot of names: humbling, awesome, butt-kicker, humongous...whatever - but IMHO no matter how dumb the process, Half Dome deserves better.

Just my 2¢
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby gary c. » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:54 pm

I agree with Mark about showing some respect for an icon. For many it may have become less than a spiritual experience but I have yet to hear someone say that they regretted their first time on top. I've only made the hike to the top once and don't know if I will do it again because of all the people and their trash/toilet paper piles they leave along the way, something must be done. Just the same, Half Dome was and is to me an icon of what it's all about that I dreamed about a long time before I got there. Half Dome is truely awesome, it is just being abused and mishandled by people and I don't claim to know exactly what would be the correct way to do things. The FS is trying to change things and it looks they are going through some trial and errors getting. Let us all hope they come up with something that works sooner than later.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:10 pm

I'm about done with places that inspire people to suffer needlessly to get there.

Mark me down as one who did NOT enjoy it at all. Too many of the people I saw out there were crazed and in pain and went up it anyway. NOT my idea of a great experience. Half my group literally dragged themselves up, and took another 12 hours to drag themselves excruciatingly slowly down the trail back to the parking lot. I may not have suffered injury but all around me it was like a war zone - tourists yelling at each other (one woman haranguing her husband as he stolidly marched up the trail toward the dome like a general leading his reluctant army into battle) and getting the sunburn of their lives since the sunscreen fell out of the one guy's pocket - ugh.

I think they need to remove the cables entirely. People can then go up it any time they like as they will not be attached to a bunch of other people by the cables, and therefore not endanger other people at all. They can take whatever measures they choose to make the ascent safely - just like every other rock in the park.

Not going to be a popular opinion, but all the angst and drama over the permitting system designed to make the ascent safe (something everyone overlooks while screaming about how unfair it is they can't get permits and now their vacation is ruined, woes, we cannot go to Yosemite!) is just - well. Sorry you can't get a permit, but seriously, it's not going to ruin your life if you don't let it.

You all can have your fond memories of it - I'm done pretending there's anything positive about it for me.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby balzaccom » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:09 pm

I'll vote for you, AT! For all those who would like to return Hetch-hetchy to its origional condition, I suggest we do that first with Half Dome. John Muir would have hated those cables.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby rlown » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:12 pm

Ditto.

Still hope Pam finds a way.. Personally, there are way better places to be.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:01 pm

I have done the route four times- only once with the cables up, three times in the Spring before they were up. Half Dome and Cloud's Rest each have their own character and I like both. I like that Half Dome is accessible. The non-technical climbing friends I have taken up there really enjoyed it. We avoided crowdes by timing- did it a 7AM when the cables were up. No crowds. I agree that it is a management problem. The answer is not to take down the cables. It is unfortunate that it has become simply an item on someones "tick list". And it is very unfortunate that scalpers have undermined the entire process of permitting which is a reasonable management tool to make the route safer. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to do it. For each person who had a pained look on their face, there was a person who was absoutely thrilled. I have also seen people on the route who had no business being there, were doing stupid things that actually endangered people below them. It is a difficult problem. I hope someone comes up with a good solution. In the mean time, I wish you the best luck to get Pam to the top.
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Re: Get Pam to the top of Half Dome

Postby rightstar76 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:08 am

You can now get a permit the day before your trip! As of July 14, NPS will be issuing 50 permits each day for the next day.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm
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