Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
One of the prettiest parts of the hike up to Half Dome is the Emerald Pool.
This part of the Merced is maybe 1/5 mile above Vernal Fall and is very inviting. Just upstream of the calm pool is a wooden bridge under which lies a chute of fast moving water. It has a name – The Silver Apron. It sees like it would be a blast to jump in there and slide down the smooth granite just like at the commercial water slides. However, there is the matter of a 300 ft drop over the fall just downstream. But people do go in despite the warning signs and mandates that no one go in the water there. Here’s 2 stories. In June of 2000, when the water is at its greatest flow, a Japanese woman 34 yrs old was too near the edge of the pool, slipped and went in. She sank to the bottom and it took an hour and half to fish her out. Dead. Then in August 2003, when the flow is way slower, a 20 yr old man from Milpitas, CA tried to swim across the pool. You guessed it, at mid-point he ran out of gas and sank in the current. His buddies saw this and it only took 2 minutes underwater for him to expire.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Splish splash, I was taking a bath, Long about a Saturday night. A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub, Thinking everything was alright.” – Bobby Darin
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com