Clipping onto Yosemite’s Half Dome cables – New Negatives


I personally feel that people don’t need to run cords around themselves and attach carabineers to the cable. But I also say – you can do whatever you want on the cables (within proper decorum). I feel if you use good boots, rubber sticky gloves and are hydrated and physically up for the task, you can getup those 425 vertical feet with no trouble or risk of falling.

Since 1919, very few of our predecessors used rope and clips. It just is not needed. The few deaths on the cables have been because of weather (except 1). I have seen a real uptick in the use of homemade systems. I discuss this in my book on pages 153-154, so I won’t; rehash it here. But I’ve said IF you are going to use one – get a real climber’s harness and use a 2-shock corded via ferrata.

A true via ferrata on Half Dome

A true via ferrata on Half Dome

Now this news from the Safety Commission of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (Munich, Germany). Turns out a group of manufacturers has issued a recall of certain via ferrata sets. This is the second in a year. Following a comprehensive test program conducted on used or aged rope friction based via ferrata sets, the climbing industry has found that some of these sets can fail in a fall situation.

The testing showed that the impact force in a fall may be increased and that the tensile strength of the lanyards may also be reduced in such a way that it could result in a full failure of the via ferrata set.
Severe injury or death may be the consequence.

Something new to think about.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: When you do it right, it feels right.” – Royal Robbins

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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2 Responses to Clipping onto Yosemite’s Half Dome cables – New Negatives

  1. Maureen L says:

    As a via ferrata user, I am glad that Rick posted this information. I followed up, especially with the Black Diamond QC lab on their website, as I use one of theirs. It’s the one in the photo above.

    This Black Diamond via ferrata in the picture is NOT one of the recalled ones; it is double shock-corded. In fact, I think all the black diamond ones use different technology than the recalled ones.

    I like to have an exhilarating hike, not a terrifying one. And I don’t want some unfortunate person above me taking me out when they fall.

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