How many calories does the Half Dome hike burn?

I’m not a nutritionist, but I estimated 4,000 up. I looked up the tables for exercise and used the walking numbers. That is, for straight and level. I added a lot for the 2 mile uphill. Then multiplied for a 12-hour round trip.

Calories burned on a 12 hour Half Dome hike

Calories burned on a 12 hour Half Dome hike

Now we know. This device is on a client of Lasting Adventures on a 12-hour RT recently. 9,800 calories burned by this man. We all differ, but I’d go with this number.

Sounds like we now have permission for that banana split at the Curry Village Ice Cream parlor. Or stick to the crackers and water if you want to shed pounds.

Cables come down next week. Anyone going up soon?  Weather is still gorgeous. Perfect time to go. Low crowds. Watch your daylight…it’s getting dark early. 6:30 pm is the official sunset time now. But in the mountains, it will get dark way earlier. Bring a flashlight.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Last night I held Aladdin’s lamp and so I wished that I could stay before the thing could answer me. Well, someone came and took the lamp away. I looked around, a lousy candle’s all I found.” – Steppenwolf

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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3 Responses to How many calories does the Half Dome hike burn?

  1. Robert Kiss says:

    Rick – We hiked Half Dome yesterday for our first time. We read your book shortly before, and found it still accurate and extremely useful. My wife and I are both 54 and in reasonable shape. We decided we wanted to clip into the cables for safety, as you recommended, and we are glad we did so. A few people freaked out both going up and coming down, and there were some significant delays. Being clipped in took away any anxiety we might have had, and made the ascent and decent on the cables that much more enjoyable. I think there should be more communication to permit holders about getting such gear, especially for first-timers. My wife is a rock climber and had decent knowledge about gear. She recommended against carrying heavy harnesses for the whole hike, so she bought us slings and the right rope sections and carabiners. Lightweight but totally effective, and cost us less than $50 apiece, rather than spending $150-$200 each on assembled gear. Not everyone would have those insights, but you get the point. Numerous people we saw on the cables commented on what a good idea we had to clip in, so that is why I mention it seems that first-timers are not likely aware of the importance and value (both safety and piece of mind). I’m going to inquire with the NPS on why they don’t say more about this topic. Looking over the NPS Yosemite info on Half Dome I could not find a single reference to consideration of clipping in on the cables. Thanks again for your book!

    • Robert,

      Thanks for the comment…

      You misread my section on the use of harnesses (Pg 153-154). I said I do NOT recommend them for the cables. I’ll forgo a long explanation – please see the book.

      They are very dangerous as most use a simple nylon cord wrapped around their gut. Bottom line is that if they fall they could go 10 feet until the next pole stops them…this “no-give” cord with stop them instantly and possibly snap their back. They could also spin over and smash their head.

      People started using them in 2008 and I asked the Wilderness rangers about it. They had considered making up via ferrata’s for rent. Upon reflection, they agreed it was unsafe and the liability would be a large risk.

      Since 1919 – only 3 people have died from falling off the cables when installed for summer use. 2 were weather related. I was there in 2009 when a man fell. We got down when a cloud came in. See the appendix for all falls. Heart attacks and winter falls don’t count.

      If you use sticky rubber gloves – NO tennis shoes, are hydrated and have prepared physically for the pull up – you are fine. 30% of the people should go shopping instead of to Half Dome. It’s a monster hike…and yes, very scary.

      Congrats on your summit!!


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