Hike Half Dome – Last Chance

As you can see, there are PLENTY of open slots to hike Tissiack before they take the cables down on Oct 9. You will have no problem getting a 2-day advance permit, even for the weekend. Hundreds of permits available. And the weather is going to be glorious. No excuses. Remember, one of the alternatives for the long term access plan is to take the cables down. (Re-read that).

If the Wilderness Watch presses the issue after the park releases their preferred alternative of 300 daily permits, they may file a lawsuit that could tie up the cables via injunction for years. Really. I think these folks have never done the hike and they spend their spare time pulling the wings off of butterflies. You can walk a quarter mile in any direction on the Half Dome trail and find all the solitude you want. The park hopes to release their plan before Santa arrives. Even if they do go with 300 and it holds, there will be way fewer permits in 2013. We have 400 total now.

I decided to get a hantavirus antibody test. I spent 4 days in the Curry canvas tent cabins this summer and don’t have “flu-like” symptoms, but it’s only a pin prick. (ouch)

It’s a simple blood draw. It was easy to get my doctor to agree and I had to call CIGNA to confirm it would be covered by insurance. They had no clue as to the magic code needed, but after 2 more calls to the doctor, I’m good to go. This morning I had the blood test and the attendant had to call HQ to find out how to deal with it. I’ll find out in a day or two. Yosemite employees are being offered the test voluntarily.

I’m glad so many are planning to celebrate George Anderson Day with us at Fremont’s Mission Peak on Oct 13.

I’m glad they moved daylight savings change over until Nov 4. The days are getting shorter and shorter. Ugh. I hate winter.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Eliot 

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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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10 Responses to Hike Half Dome – Last Chance

  1. Rob says:

    [stupid question warning]

    What happens after October 9th when the cables get taken down – is half dome off-limits altogether? Just the top? Or just go up at your own risk?

    Will be in the area next week for a few days, so if I can’t do half dome, anyone else got other suggestions for a good challenging day walk with a great vista reward at the top??


    • Rob,

      Half Dome is totally open to do whatever you want. It’s in the “Wilderness” so you are to assess the risk of what you are undertaking and dell with it appropriately. That said, the cables themsleves are just laying on the south side. The supprot pipes and boards are gone. It’s insanity to attempt to go up just using the raw cable to rappel with. People do and people have died. You decide.

      Do Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake, Yosemite Falls, Panorama Trail to Glacier Point or 4-mile trail for a real good workout.


  2. Maureen L says:

    yes, Joshua, there are discounts on camping for senior access passes!

    I get to reserve spaces at Tuolumne Meadows for $10 per night rather than $20 per night at recreation.gov

    I’m pretty sure it’s the same for no-reservation camping.

    from http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

    May provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.

    Generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners.

  3. Joshua Paine says:

    One question for you Yosemite regulars. I have a senior access pass that gets me half off camping in some national parks. Are the Camp Curry facilities discounted 50%?

  4. Maureen L says:

    a bit of perspective if things do get tied up in a lawsuit by Wildnerness Watch — when these things happen, the status quo tends to prevail until the lawsuit is resolved.

    so, it might give us several more years of the current system, rather than no hiking until things are settled.

    • Precedent was the lawsuit leading to the Merced River Plan. The park was kept from doing ANY building – just road and sewer maintenance. My worse nightmare is an injunction on hiking it while the courts and appeals drag on. I hope to testify if it comes to that.

      • Maureen L says:


        I sincerely hope that the continue-hiking-with-lottery if there’s a lawsuit can be distinguished from “no new building after the great flood of ’97 until we have a Merced River Plan.”

        Yellowstone keeps extending the interim winter use plan a year at a time as we work toward a final one.

    • Dean says:

      The Wilderness Act is a real mess in my opinion, open to all sorts of interpretation.

      All it takes is for a judge to be minded to agree with a pressure group’s interpretation and the cables are doomed.

      Just 1 example of the vagueness of the Act…in Section 4(c) it says “there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area” yet in Section 4(d)(6) we have “Commercial services may be performed within the wilderness areas designated by this Act”???

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