Press coverage of Anderson’s Half Dome Ascent

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

     Here’s a fun read from the long defunct San Francisco Bulletin. It appears to be the earliest newspaper account of George Anderson’s first ever ascent of Half Dome. It’s dated October 19, 1875, 7 days after the feat.

 Here’s what it says if you can’t make out the olde tyme text:

An Unparalleled Feat. On Tuesday the 12th instant, the extraordinary feat of ascending the South Dome in the Yosemite Valley was accomplished by a Scot[c]hman by birth and a sailor by profession, named George Anderson. He drilled his way up the south side, about 1,500 feet in two days.

     A tip of the hat to Harv Galic of Stanford for his superb compendium of folks who have done the HD hike in the ancient times.

     If you are plotting your route to Yosemite on your GPS, the zip code is 95389. Most decent units now accept a zip code for the destination. The only glitch is if you really want to go a different way. Like from my adobe, the “fastest” quickest route is thru Livermore and 580. But the GPS doesn’t realize that this route is always jammed. When I try to go via Hwy 140, it keeps wanting to steer me up to 580. Despite multiple attempts to delte that route, it still finds a back road to take me to 580. So I kinda gotta know the way I want to go despite the GPS. Ah, Technology.

 Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Like my mother like makes me do the dishes . . .  It’s like so gross… Like all the stuff like sticks to the plates – and it’s like, it’s like somebody else’s food, y’know. It’s like grody…Grody to the max. I’m sure. It’s like really nauseating. Like barf out. Gag me with a spoon. Gross. I am sure. Totally.” – Valley Girl, Frank Zappa

 *MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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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0 Responses to Press coverage of Anderson’s Half Dome Ascent

  1. Dean says:

    The “1500 feet” comment is interesting….where did he start from?

    • mrhalfdome says:

      Agree. All those early estimates were darts. Not clear where the story got the facts anyway….Anderson did not go to SF to give a report…..and many accounts tell of him with a 950 foot rope. That’s way too long. The diagonal we go up the cables is a tad over 600 feet. so a grain of salt in these pre-CNN days.

      The Sub Dome steps were cut when the cables were put in in 1919 but going up it was NOT that big of a deal before…yes, some scrambling and scary, but very do-able. So I assume he started above the saddle. Unknown what his route was. He used many of John Conway’s spikes and rope and found the easiest route he could – probably zig zagged as needed. The archeaology dept of the park is trying to find that route to make it a Historical thing.

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