Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
During the Berlin Wall days, the US had an entry gate into East Berlin called Checkpoint Charlie. All travelers had to go through there. Looks like the base of Sub Dome will be it for the Half Dome hike.
Blog reader BellaBike made valid observations in her comment. Will ranger staff be there 24/7? I imagine it will be tight in the beginning until the process is wrung out. The first real wave of hikers tend to be at the cables about 8 or so. They are usually the Little Yosemite Valley backpackers. The mob from the valley follows close behind. I fully support the park in its attempt to bring some order to the chaos but am not aware of the actual procedures. Someone will need to be at Sub Dome by 8 am for the permit requirement to have teeth. There is a step entrance to Sub Dome that is at the edge of the trees, so I guess that’s where the ranger will be. But it would not be too hard to by- pass this and enter the granite staircase a bit further west. Dunno if a flow channel for “permit checking” will be set up to funnel hikers into a queue to have their permit punched. Will there be a kiosk or umbrella stand? Surely the ranger will need to be relieved for potty breaks and lunch. Dunno when the shift will end. All heavy traffic times need to be manned (11 – 3). But abuse could result from the same people who sneak into the park before the park entry gate rangers are on duty and depart the park after they leave to avoid the entrance fees. Assuming a minute or two to look at the permit and validate it, the line may just move from the cables to the base of Sub Dome. And nothing is in place to meter the flow to keep all 400 permit holders from being at the cables within a hour or so of each other – leading to crowding. How about moonlight hikers who ascend at 4 am? Will they be checked somehow on the way down? I wish the park luck in planning this effort to ensure a smooth transition to the “new look” of the hike.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “John Muir was also an inventor. 1860 his clocks on display at the Wisconsin state fair registered not only hours but minutes, seconds, and days of the month.”
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com