Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Half Dome permits<HERE>
T-10 days and counting until the cables come down. The NPS is actively discussing what to do in 2011 regarding Half Dome permits. Observations in 2010 show that the permit system has essentially moved the weekend crowding to weekdays. Thursdays and Mondays appear to be the worst with over 600 going up the cables. Waits of 90 minutes just to get on the cables have been experienced. Add another hour to get up and you have a miserable day. Those who got permits were overjoyed with the lack of people. A decision needs to be made kinda soon so a new plan can be developed and recreation.gov contracted to administer the permits. It’s turning into a hairball. People need to get accommodations lined up PLUS get a permit to make it all come together. Out of towners also need to get flights far enough in advance to get a decent price. AARRGGHH. A few options are being banged around including having a higher permit fee so folks don’t load up on them and then not use them. The current $1.50 is not a barrier to doing this. If you pay $15 or $20 each you probably will not trash unused ones. Unless you are really obsessed, like yours truly, most people will only do the hike once a summer or once in their life so $20 should not be a major deterrent. (half a tank of gas).
The overall Half Dome Stewardship Plan is in the Alternative Development phase and a third party contractorhas been hired to manage the process. It’s due to be signed off in Nov 2011. I’ve delayed the Second Edition of “One best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome” until Spring 2012 to capture the permit direction.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “We live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way.” – John Muir
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com