Half Dome cable system is DOWN – Next lottery is in March 2018

The summer hiking season for Yosemite’s Half Dome is officially over. The permit registration site “recreation.gov” is inactive until the 2018 season.   The 2018 lottery will be held in March for all summer (225 permits per day). The winners are notified in early April.

Yea, another year with NO fatalities. The permit system really makes this a better hike than before.  About 40,000 people do this massively hard hike each summer.  16 miles round trip – a mile vertical gain – 12 hours. Whew.

two women at yosemite

Half Dome cables done for 2017

Although the support pipes and the 2 x 4 boards are removed and hidden, the 600+ foot steel cables remain. Some mentally challenged (IMHO) people go up anyway, just rappelling, holding the heavy steel cable. 2 women died doing this in the winter shoulder months in 2016 and 17.  Unless you have climbing experience or just have a death wish, keep off it.

That said, Half Dome is in the wilderness….so you can do what you want. But remember YOU assess the risk of what you are doing and deal with it. A 3,000 foot fall is the express way to get to the bottom.

Info on the accident situation on Half Dome

Although the season is over – I’m obsessed and will continue to be here, typing away with fun info about the big rock. I know many will move on to skiing, mahjong and curling….but there is so much to learn about Half Dome that I love to share.  Feel free to send me a guest post and I’ll make you a star….not really.

Still time to get one of my classy TShirts. Hint hint.   What a great xmas gift!

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light. Shine on you crazy diamond.” Pink Floyd
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


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How was Yosemite’s Half Dome formed?

“Oh, Half Dome was cut in half by Glaciers”— WRONG. Read on, my friend!

The rockfalls we are seeing now is exactly how Half Dome was formed. It’s called “exfoliation.”

HD was a dome that rose during the uplift of the Sierra thousands of years ago. It sat with the top at about 9,000 ft. It lay on a joint that runs out towards Cathedral Peak. This weakness, and the process of exfoliation on the north side caused sheets to flake off.

Half Dome

Alpenglow on Half Dome at sunset

When water got into the cracks it expanded (only fluid to do so) and put pressure on the slabs. When birds pooped and seeds were lodged in cracks, the growth of flora also stressed the cracks. Heat and cold contributed to the granite “stretching.” Domes have energy from when they were magma and are pushing outward.

—> Half Dome TShirts Go On Sale  

The glaciers of 15,000 or so years ago lay only up to about 8,300 feet. It was half a dome before the glaciers. The last 700 feet or so was not touched by glaciers. The striations are below that. Yes, the glaciers ate away at the lower levels and carried away the debris.


Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Breathe, breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid to care. Leave but don’t leave me. Look around, choose your own ground.” Pink Floyd
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome
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SNOW in Yosemite – bring chains

Highway 120 is closed in both directions  from Crane Flat to 395 in Lee Vining. 
Freezing temps at night.
Check b 4 you go…….
Cables are down Oct 12
Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’m free, free fallin’… Yeah I’m free, free fallin'” – R.I.P. Tom Petty
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome
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