This article by AP writer Tracie Cones of Fresno just hit the wires. I talked to her last week. I’m glad she is raising visibility nationwide to the Half Dome situation. Seems like the Wilderness Watch guys have woken up.
A couple of items needing correction:
1. “It would allow 300 people a day past a check point two miles distant beginning in 2013.”
As the crow flies it’s about 2 miles from Happy Isles to the top…but really a 7+ mile hike on the trail. You can go a couple different ways up so it could range from 14.5 to 16.5 round trip.
2. “In 1874 the slick dome that rises 5,000 feet above the valley floor was described as “perfectly inaccessible.”
Actually Josiah Whitney released a book in 1869 that had that phrase.
3. “…….and 20 years later designated 95 percent of Yosemite, including Half Dome and the well-worn eight-mile trail leading to it, as land that should not be altered by the hand of man.”
Actually, half of the trail to the top is NOT in wilderness…..roughly only the part above Nevada Fall is in the Wilderness….generally the top of the edge of the cliffs above the valley is wilderness.
4. “At least five people have died on the cables since 2006.”
Actually it’s 5 exactly. See my Accidents page on the website. 2 when the cables were down during the winter…not really fair to count them.
5. “Last year park officials instituted a temporary 400-permit lottery for daily access, …”
Actually, in 2010 and 2011 there was no lottery. Just a scramble on recreation.gov at 7 am 2 months prior. The lottery will start in 2012.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog. It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log.” – The Beatles
*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com