Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Half Dome permits<HERE> Check regularly; there are folks offering up extras.
I have been getting calls and emails asking for my opinion of doing a FIRST hike of Half Dome at night. The logic is to avoid the crowds. My answer is NO WAY, Jose! The HD hike is a monster. It takes a few trips to feel comfortable on the trail in daylight! I have done it and even I, the Supreme Pooba, Grand Kahuna of Half Dome got lost! The route is very hard to follow at night. Headlamps provide a circle of light about 10 feet across. You cannot see the trail and I fell and got some nice blood flowing. The switchbacks in the forest are hard to see where to turn….during the day it’s easy. Above Vernal Fall past the restroom is a bugger to stay on the trail in the dark. You end up going thru bramble bush. Then at the JMT/Half Dome trail split you cannot see the sign far enough in advance. Then it gets pretty cold about 2:00 am. You start to get chilled but you still need to drink water. It is a pain trying to filter pump in the dark. Now the worst thing: the cables. Can you imagine your FIRST time up and not seeing where you are going? Don’t do it. Wait until you are a bit more experienced. Or send your nomination to the Darwin Award Committee, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10257
The SLOPE fire at Yosemite is now over 1,000 acres but will be allowed to burn until the rains come. No impact to Half Dome other than possible haze.
This is a bad time to check out Glacier Point. Road work is causing long delays – up to 2.5 hours to drive to Glacier Point from Yosemite Valley, normally a 1 hour drive. The Hetch Hetchy Entrance station is being worked on … some delays getting in.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook’s; going to get himself a big dish of beef chow mein. Werewolves of London,” – Warren Zevon
Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com