The Half Dome beehive is being shaken again. There is a fellow from the Sierra foothills named Mason Harrison who set up a website and is asking the world to sign a petition to ask the park to put up a 3rd cable on Half Dome. Right. So a 2-channel “up” side and a 2-channel “down” side. A sharing of the inner cable. With the intense pressure put on the NPS by environmentalists to REMOVE the cables, that idea has the proverbial “as much chance as a snowball in hell” of being done. Mason created a basic website to support his “movement.” Click <HERE> Let’s get some dialog going here. What do you think? This is a “community.” Reply with comments. Go to the website – surprise: you will not read a petition – just a place submit your name/address etc.
My take? Well, since you asked: Question 1 – Did Mason attend the 2010 public presentations on the Half Dome Stewardship Plan and voice concerns then? Question 2 – Did he submit a written comment like 95 of us did (sadly a low number). Seems people only care when they want to go. In my opinion, the overarching reason for the permits was the terrible fall of 2 people a week apart in June of 2009. One fatally. Both were very bad weather days – yes, I was there that day and we got off when the clouds came in. Hail and rain yet people continued going up. The permits were to help provide an escape route when conditions change. Click on this to enlarge and see the people on the cables with that cloud on the right. I’m at the edge of the forest beating feet to get down.
Just 3 years ago, peaks of 1200 people going up on Saturdays were not fun for anyone. Today’s flow of 400 max makes for a fun and safer experience. The horse is out of the barn. The Park is getting ready to release their alternatives for the Half Dome Stewardship Plan after 2 years of analysis. Maybe in a month or so. Read it and get involved. To borrow from our Burning Man friends: Participate – don’t spectate.
Sorry about too many people wanting to do the hike – limited supply and excessive demand. 7 billion on earth and 310 million in the USA. Half want to do Half Dome. And sometimes you can’t get tickets to see Pink Floyd. Get used to it.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Little by little the night turns around. Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn. Lotuses lean on each other in yearning, under the eaves the swallow is resting. Set the controls for the heart of the sun.” – Pink Floyd