On July 7, I went up Half Dome with Joshua Emerson Smith. He’s a reporter with the Merced Sun-Star. That paper has been one of the few media sources to devote ink to covering the Half Dome Stewardship Plan and the machinations surrounding it. We felt it would be useful for a reporter to actually do the hike. Most have not, yet they portend to write with authority. So we went up to let him see and talk to fellow hikers about their experiences.
It was a Saturday, yet the access road to the trailhead was ours and ours alone. It was not until we got well up the Happy Isles-Vernal Fall paved trail in sight of Illilouette Fall that we ran into anyone. The Footbridge was vacant and the 700 steps of the Lower Mist Trail revealed only about 10 other hikers at 7 am. Odd. As we continued, stopping to filter water at the Merced in Little Yosemite Valley, we played leap-frog with group of 6 men from San Francisco.
After chatting with the ranger at Sub Dome, we headed up. Ranger Duane checked permits and gave all a short lecture that if you use any of the discarded gloves at the cables – you own them and need to bring them out. The NPS considers them trash. Also, he said there if there is any chance of rain or thunder to get out. The skies were clear. Sub Dome was its usual knee grind in the hot sun. A small crowd had gathered at the base of the cables and up we went. An occasional person freezing up slowed us down. Up top, Josh was very impressed with what he saw.
The hike down was endless but we did stop at the Little Spring to replenish water as well as help out a few thirsty hikers – who came unprepared. We had a great day and nothing unusual to report. Pizza at Curry was hot and tasty.
Enjoy Josh’s article <here>.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world.” – John Muir
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com