I won’t rehash the incidents, but here’s what I see as a better way to do the hike.
1. Read my book: “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome.” Really. It is the only guide book on how to safely do this hike. Almost 200 pages of tips and pix to help novices out. It’s at the park, at REI, my website and many other sources. You need to know more that the altitude and that there are cables.
2. Drink water. This may sound like a “duh,” but I see people with one 16-oz bottle. “I don’t drink much.” HUH? And why? Your cells need the O2 and H to produce energy. Toss in some electrolytes also – as your body will use up what it has on an endurance hike.
3. Bring a mechanical water filter. Use it at the Merced and the Little Spring. There is plenty for your hike.
4. Use hiking poles. They take 8% off your lower body going up and will save your knees coming down.
5. Have a good 4AA cell flashlight or headlamp – everyone. Going down in the pitch black is like using Braille. A penlight with fingernail clippers won’t cut it.
6. Spend the money and get boots that fit. Allow toe wiggle room. You don’t; want to smash your toes on the 7 miles of downhill. Use them on your training hikes.
7. Know when your body sez “enuff.” Call it a day and train better next time.
I contend that almost anyone can do this hike with A. Education, B. Preparation, and C. Motivation. If you can’t do it – DON’T. It will be one of the hardest things you will ever do!
Yall got anything to add??
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com