George Anderson and his plan for a Half Dome staircase – and an elevator

If you are a regular reader, you know my admiration for George Anderson – the first man to the top of Half Dome on Oct 12, 1875. See Chapter 4 of the best selling “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome.” 

He had a lot of dreams for his follow-on act. This report comes to us from the Louisville Courier-Journal.  Yes, a staircase….then an elevator .. then  “steam car” up the face!

Geroge Anderson - first to the top of Half Dome

George Anderson – a rare photo

“Anderson, the first man to make the ascent of the great South Dome in the Yosemite Valley, is a quiet young Scotchman, who lives hermit-like in a small house near the saddle of the dome. Here he dreams and experiments, coming occasionally down into the valley, where he is the object of eager curiosity to travelers, who whisper one to another, “There’s Anderson”, “There’s the sailor who climbed the Dome”. But few travelers have ever ascended to his workshop in the mountains, and few people know that he is now busily constructing a staircase of one thousand steps, which he intends shall form an easy pathway to the clouds. These steps are of wood, riveted together by iron, and will be fastened by bolts in the rock. Next year, perhaps, tourists can walk up a thousand-foot stairway, instead of hanging to a thousand-foot rope. In time, Mr. Anderson hopes to have an elevator running up and down the chasm, and his ambitions extend even to a train of cars, which he is now perfecting—cars which will run up a perpendicular wall”

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Stairway to heaven” -Led Zeppelin

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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