Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
In today’s installment of “Scary Week” we’ll talk about the magnitude of the Half Dome hike. For new readers, the audience appeared to want a break from the mundane educational postings and salivated when I got to the scary stuff. The number of viewers doubled! Everything you see is reality. But I am not trying to freak you out against doing the hike – we’re just having some fun. Besides, during this off season there’s not a whole lot of real-time Half Dome stories in the mill. I firmly believe that most anyone can safely do the hike with the big 3 – Education, Preparation and Motivation.
Hiking Half Dome is about 16 miles round trip depending on the route you take. Most go up the Mist Trail and down JMT. About 1 mile vertical and then down. Let’s assume it takes you 11 hours. Let’s say you hike at a 2 mph pace. Sure . . . slower up hill and with time for potty breaks, water pumping and drinking, food munching, resting and an hour on top – your average might be, say 1 ½ mph. So you be actually walking about 9 hours. Ballpark – just for giggles. Don’t bust my chops on the math – this is a “on the back of a napkin” discussion. Now let’s assume an average Joe or Jane will burn about 500 calories an hour in normal walking at a decent pace. So you might burn about 5,000 calories during the day. OK, so I may be off on this by 30% – but do you agree you might be burning at least 3500 calories; sounds reasonable. Thus the clear need to eat and have fat stores to call on (yea!). The whole point is you will be exhausted. I mean dragging back to the camp. I mean pulling yourself to the shower. Dinner is 2 blinks from a face plant onto your pizza. No signing around the campfire that night. I next submit photographic evidence! How to address this? #2 of the Big 3 – Preparation. Your witness.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. “ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com