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Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
I think it’s good to hear from other hikers about their experience. Here’s excerpts from an email I got from Blog reader Bill C. He and his daughter did the hike on June 11.

BillC and daughter“All of your information was quite helpful, but I especially appreciated the following: (1) your “split times” chart, which we copied, put in a plastic sleeve, and consulted several times on the hike up for encouragement that we were proceeding at an appropriate pace — indeed, we hit your times almost on the nose on the way up, while shaving off approx. 1/2 hour on the way down; also, having that chart allowed us to answer, with authority, several “how much further/longer is it?” questions that we were asked along the way; (2) your advice to get an EARLY start — we left Happy Isles at 5:40 a.m., probably an hour earlier than I would have started without your advice — and it really paid off when we had an almost clear run up the cables [maybe 10-15 people on them when we went up], compared to the traffic jam [probably 100+ going up and coming down] when we descended; (3) your tip about the “Little Spring”, which we never would have seen, and, even if we did, would not likely have “trusted” to utilize, without your suggestion; as it was, we took along a Katadyn filter and a Steri-Pen, and made refreshing use of the Spring, on both the way up and the way down — with no ill effects at all; (4) your advice regarding the difficulty of the Sub-Dome portion of the trail — knowing it was going to be difficult kept me from getting too cocky on the way up (since we felt pretty good and otherwise might have been tempted to “wonder what the fuss was all about” by the time we got to Sub-Dome) while also providing real encouragement — after we made it over Sub-Dome — that we could do the cables, since you indicated that Sub-Dome is often considered to be even harder than the cables; and (5) giving us ample warning about watching the weather. One final bit of advice you gave, but I didn’t take seriously enough — working on arm and upper body strength [and hand muscles, for that matter] is well-rewarded. My thirty seconds of “concern” came about 70% of the way up, when I began to wonder if my arms and hands were up to the task. I had a good pair of gloves, but I think I was depending too much on my arms and not enough on my legs up to that point. I changed my technique to let my legs do the “heavy-lifting” the rest of the way, and got to the top without a problem. We both put on climbing harnesses/straps/carabiners at the bottom, and my daughter used them quite effectively both on the way up and the way down [she’s got more of an issue with heights than I do]. I ended up not using them, but was glad to have it available if necessary.”
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “You say you want a revolution. Well you know, we all want to change the world. You tell me that it’s evolution – well you know, we all want to change the world. But when you talk about destruction; don’t you know you can count me out.” – Revolution, The Beatles
*Mr. Half Dome -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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  1. Gayle says:

    My husband John and I made it to the top on Tues June 23rd. We are still talking about the adventure and how very strenuous it was! I read you book and actually took it with me on the hike and pulled it out several times! I totally dismissed how hard it was going to be and did not take into consideration the altitude. But all in all it was a fantastic exprience and we are glad we did it. Would we do it again?……yup!

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