TR: Half Dome & Raising Money for Awesome Nonprofit

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TR: Half Dome & Raising Money for Awesome Nonprofit

Post by davidsheridan » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:47 am

Dear HST community,

Thanks for reading this Trip Report (TR) that tells the story of a group of coworkers who participated in ‘Climbing for Kids’, which is an adventure fundraising program that benefits an amazing nonprofit called Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT).

Bay Area Wilderness Training’s mission is to create equitable access to outdoor experiences for youth of color and low income youth.
This trip report is geared towards beginner backpackers who plan to climb Half Dome, so I am trying to provide tome tips and techniques that might help these people plan their trip.

Half Dome Permit Tips: I secured an 8 person wilderness permit for backpacking at Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) backpacker’s campground With the Half Dome add-on option selected exactly 6 months in advance of the night we camped at LYV. I used the recommended fax the application technique. ... tdates.htm
Note: the Half Dome day-hike permits are secured through a different lottery than the wilderness permit option I did.

Friday 6/8
We left our office in Walnut Creek, CA @ 3:45 PM and made it to Half Dome Village in time to enjoy pizza and a couple beers before sleeping in the cabins.

Saturday 6/9
I went and picked up the paper permit at the wilderness center in Yosemite Village at 8AM (tip: arrive a little early to make sure you are near the front of the line.)

We started hiking directly from Half Dome Village at 10AM. While the Mist Trail up to the top of Vernal Falls was somewhat crowded, the views of the big Yosemite Valley granite walls and spectacular waterfalls were awesome.
Mist Trail Rainbow.jpg
After getting atop the second waterfall, we enjoyed a nice lunch on the granite slabs a top Nevada Falls.
Top of Nevada Falls.jpg
After lunch it is an easy hike to Little Yosemite Valley backpacker’s campground. LYV has plenty of bear lockers, so you do not need to bring a bear can. LYV also has a wonderful beach on the banks of the Merced River. The water was clear, I was able to filter enough water for our 8 person group without even needing to backflush my Platypus gravity water filter. (I converted to gravity filters a couple years ago and will never go back to the pump again!)

Sunday 6/10
We woke up at 2AM and had some instant oatmeal and used the nice environmental toilets at LYV. We were hiking by 3AM with our headlamps and made it to the sub-dome by first light and to the summit at sunrise!
First Light on top of Sub-dome.jpg
Sunrise on top of Half Dome.jpg

We enjoyed the early start and night hike and it also made it so there were no crowds on Half Dome, we never had to pass anyone on the cable section. Tips for the cables: Bring grippy gloves, like garden gloves with grippy rubber palms. Make sure your boots have good grippy tread.

We spent an hour on the summit and enjoyed the sunrise, the incredible views and the elation of reaching the summit.
Team AAA Climbing for Kids.jpg
We descended and were back at LYV by 9AM (6 hours after we left LYV). Time to pack up camp and head down.
new AAA logo picture.jpg
We descended the John Muir Trail as opposed to the Mist Trail (more gradual descent without steep slipper stairs found on the Mist Trail).
John Muir Trial Descent with Nice Views.jpg
We showered at Half Dome Village (The best showers are by the pool, but other showers are located in the restroom facilities scattered about the cabins too and are available to guests at Half Dome village – there is a fee to use showers for those who are not staying at the cabins) – On the road and back in Walnut Creek bay 6:30PM.

Recommended bathroom/snack/beer stop on the way to Yosemite: We stopped on the way in and the way out of Yosemite at a great trading post/bar/gift store in Chinese Camp, CA. This tiny town is located on HWY 120 just before you get to Don Pedro reservoir. We stopped for a cold beer that we could enjoy in their awesome backyard with picnic tables and pretty garden and nice bathroom facilities out back. Owners were super friendly.

Pre Trip: 17 coworkers raised $52,000 in advance of 2 climbs (10 climbers did Mount Shasta on 5/18-5/19) and 8 coworkers climbed Half Dome on 6/9 -6/10). We fundraised mostly at our company (AAA) and really benefited from company matching gift program. More pictures below:

Half Dome Picture Gallery:
Mount Shasta Picture Gallery:
Info on Climbing for Kids:
Come to a Discovery Session in Oakland and learn more: September 19, 2018 or October 17, 2018 ... eer-night/

Let’s Help Get Youth Outdoors!
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Re: TR: Half Dome & Raising Money for Awesome Nonprofit

Post by gary c. » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:28 am

Congratulations on what looks like a great trip and a very successful fund raiser.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

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