Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
The Yosemite Fact Sheet for the new permit system highlights what I feel has been a giant hole in the system. There is little education on this extremely strenuous hike. It is the only trail at the park that has that classification. And there are some very hard day hikes. Yosemite Falls, 4-Mile Trail and Cloud’s Rest are no cakewalks. While the park has a very well written Half Dome “tips” page on the website, it is located 4 layers down and the typical visitor does not get that deep into planning. To honk my own horn, my book is the only dedicated one that drills down into how to prepare for the hike. I first did a self published book after having done the hike 17 times and waiting for a book to appear. We are now with Wilderness Press and “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome” is still the bible for this hike. If you are a new visitor to the blog (and we are getting over 250 hits a day since the permit system was announced) consider getting a copy. REI, Amazon.com and the park all sell it. I’m not mentioning this for the money – authors get a teeny tiny fraction of the sell price. Rather, I want to share this great hike with you and help you do it safely. Go <HERE> for more info. Pick up a Half Dome shirt while you are there to help defray the costs of this blog and website. OK, commercial over. I hope the park is able to follow thru on the following promise found on their fact sheet.
The permit process has the potential to greatly improve the educational message Half Dome hikers will receive by providing a consistent safety message to each permitee. Currently many Half Dome hikers tend to be inexperienced relative to the level of difficulty and potential danger of this hike. Many fail to carry sufficient water, protective clothing, or emergency gear for the frequent extreme weather and exposed conditions on the summit and the cables of Half Dome. Educational information would provide tips for planning your trip, climbing the cables, and reading hazardous weather cues.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Sheep brain must surely be poor stuff . . . A sheep can hardly be called an animal; an entire flock is needed to make one foolish individual.” – John Muir, July 14, 1869
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com