Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Permits <HERE>
The winter snow is now rapidly melting and gorging the Valley’s rivers and streams. When you arrive at Yosemite, you will be floored by the amount of H2O coming down from the higher elevations. On the Half Dome hike, we almost got blown off the Mist Trail by the strong winds generated by the 300 foot drop of mega-gallons of water. It felt like a firehose blast. Really. It’s the biggest I’ve seen.
Rain protection is a must unless you want to be soaked to your Fruit of the Looms. I use a .97 cent army surplus poncho made from the cheapest vinyl in Taiwan. But it works fine. They are small to pack and I only plan to use it for one hike. They are impossible to fold up so I just drape it over my back and let it air dry. Here’s another tip I invented: In a deluge like this, the hood will blow off your head and the poncho will rise up your torso. So bring 3 “binder clips.” Those are the kind you get at a stationery store. Clip the front of the hood to your cap and use the other two to clip hold the poncho to your shorts/pants.
I was glad I had it on the return asI decided to come back via the Mist Trail and not the John Muir Trail because I was seeking the site of the hotel called “La Casa Nevada” that was located just after the Silver Apron Bridge. It prospered from 1870 – 1890 and was destroyed by a fire. More on that in a future blog. Going down the lower Mist Trail is pretty hard with blowing spray, wet steps and the steep downhill. It’s advised to go the long way to avoid this hassle. The entire run othe Merced from the fall through and under the footbridge was whitewater. Heavy class V froth. Very deadly.
This area is not in the designated wilderness and it is frequented by folks of all sizes and shapes. Be careful
From Kathy of our Sonora Bureau, the park will be starting a prescribed fire in the western portion of the park near Crane Flat early next week. Hope they can put it out.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend but I always thought that I’d see you again.” – James Taylor
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com