Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
The 2010 Season was a success in that no one fell off the cables. The last (and only the 2nd one since 1919, when the cables are up for summer use) was last June. Weather was the main cause. Hail and rain. The storm we had out west 2 weeks ago produced a close call. A woman hiker slipped coming down sub dome and broke her hip. The Helicopter got her off. That day it hailed and everyone got off the rock safely. It was Oct 2; a permit day, so the light crowd may have helped the evacuation. Beats me why people go up when the weather is turning. In shorts and TShirts even.
The usage data is being analyzed and it looks like permit days were well accepted. But the mob moved to weekdays. The average then was about 700 hikers a day. The NPS needs to define the process for 2011 before the Xmas break. Coordination with recreation.gov is needed. Since campground reservations are good 6 months in advance, to help hikers coordinate accommodations and permits, I expect the plan to be rolled out before Santa takes flight. My advice is to book tent cabins NOW for your preferred hiking days. You can reserve them a year in advance. The permit process for 2010 and 2011 is an interim Superintendent directive, so I don’t expect the fee for permits to be raised. That would require a lot of NPS sign-offs. Indications are that physical “tickets” will not be needed, just the confirmation email. Stay tuned. You’ll be the first to know after I do.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Monday Monday, can’t trust that day. Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way.” – Momas and Papas*
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com