April 1, 2012 – Yosemite National Park, CA Park Spokesperson, Ranger Abril Phul today announced that a compromise solution had been reached with environmentalists concerning the fate of the Half Dome cables. In closed door meetings, it was decided to implement a concept suggested by Congressman Tom Flintlock to install a 3rd cable to the backsiode of the famous rock. Going beyond this suggestion, the park has secretly installed four additional cables during the mild weather over the last several weeks. This photo shows the system during tests with volunteers.
There will now be 5 “banister routes” on the backside of Half Dome. The two outer paths (# 1 and 5) will be dedicated for hikers going up or down respectively. Lanes 2 and 4 will be “fast trak” lanes for advanced hikers to rapidly ascent or descend. The middle or lane 3, will be reserved for inclement weather as an emergency path. What is interesting is that this route will not have the 2 x 4 boards the other routes have. Instead in the case of a rapid descent need, hikers will be able to sit and slide down in a toboggan fashion. To slow their descent, 200 drag inducing devices, resembling umbrellas will be stationed at the top for use.
A generous donation by Dr I. B. Kidden of the Sleepy Train Corp. of 23 thick mattresses will be placed at the bottom of the cables to provide for a soft landing. Ben Dover, of the I Hugga Tree organization said: “This is a great idea and should make our group happy. I want to be the first down the center cables.”
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” – Mark Twain, 1894
*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com