Two Canuks summit Half Dome – a Three year journey


Let me introduce you two my friends from Canada. Kristin and Chris Insull. They live in the flatlands of central Canada – Manitoba. Not many hills there to hike on. I mean like a 700 ft rise can give them altitude sickness.

They are Yosemite lovers and set a goal of hiking Half Dome. Kristin drives the boat and was the honcho for the event. She got my book and is a regular blog and facebook reader.

Their first attempt at the rock was in late summer of 2012. They trekked uphill for 13 hours and, to be candid, ran out of gas. It was harder than they expected. They put in the hours of training but could not summit.  I met the couple 2 days later at the IHOP in Modesto, I tried to encourage them to come back – but they were down in the dumps and ready to move on to another adventure.  “You gotta come back.” With a lot of encouragement, they decided they would give it another shot.

They tried once more on July 29.  Two weeks before their HD hike, Kristin suffered a bad ankle sprain. With her husband’s encouragement and the doctor’s OK, they headed up the seven miles to the rock. The Little Spring was a welcome sight and they tanked up.

Once on the cables, she wanted to quit several times. The support of other hikers really helped. She said I was spot on – the first time you pull one of the stanchions out will be the last time.  “Wow, that was a scary moment.”

She continued…”Prior too this hike, I was convinced I was scared of heights.  Now, I’m not so sure.  Several times, I turned and looked down, and did not feel the slightest twinge of fear.  It makes me wonder what other limits I’ve convinced myself I possess that may not be true. If going up the cables was the most difficult, then going down Sub Dome gets second prize.  At one point, I actually slid about 6 feet.  Fortunately, I slid slowly, and towards a rock that I knew would stop me.”

Remember her ankle? “It held up really well on the sections that required climbing.  Coming down was a bit tricky, since I was hesitant on the sandy and slippery rocks.  The hike down therefore took significantly longer than the hike up, and we ended the hike as we had started – in the dark, donning headlamps, unable to see the water at Happy Isles.”  

17 hours later, they completed the round trip.

Carpe Diem, my friends, Carpe Diem.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: When I think of all the good times that I’ve wasted having good times. When I was drinkin’, I should’ve been thinkin’. When I was fighting, I could’ve done the right thing. All of that boozin’, I was really losin’. Good Times.” – the Animals

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 Two Canuks summit Half Dome – a Three year journey

  1. Brigitte says:

    Great article that demonstrates grit and courage. Bravo to my son and daughter-in-law….so proud of you guys!!

  2. Kristin says:

    Thanks Maureen! 🙂

  3. Maureen L says:

    Congratulations to you both for coming back and succeeding.

    Kristin, I really like your reflection on how doing hike like this can enrich our lives.

    One suggestion for your next adventure: Grand Canyon rim to rim (with an outfitter to get a great guide and equipment, and the outfitter deals with the permits. I had 2 great GC trips with Wildland Trekkin, one mule-assisted (gear goes down on mules early in the morning rather than on your back) and the rim to rim backpack, where we did carry everything ourselves.)

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