Today I feature a guest blog from Kevin P. of San Carlos. He attended my REI talk there recently and did his first Half Dome hike soon thereafter. It’s fun to read a “virgin’s” perspective rather than me telling you how great the hike is all the time.
“There were 6 of us, 4 of us made it to the top; my wife and a friend of hers hiked to the bottom of Sub Dome with us and waited while the 4 of us sub-domed and cabled up the rest of the way and back.
It was the most phenomenal experience of my life; no question, the greatest achievement and met-challenge. I was stressing for weeks about it and your seminar, though incredible helpful, only served to add to my anxiety for some reason. In any event, you certainly helped me with all of your preparation suggestions. I probably packed too much; but better prepared is certainly preferred to less prepared.
It took us 10-hours door-to-door (from car parked in parking lot in the valley), starting at 6:30am . . .a little longer than we hoped but we encountered a very slow moving group of horses on the John Muir Trail on the way back…probably delayed us by a 1/2 hour. We went up the mist trail, came back the John Muir. Our weather was spectacular.
The only thing I can think of that is useful contemporaneous information is that the mist trail, though misty, was not misty enough to need ponchos and feet protection. We took up the produce bags and rubber bands and poncho as you suggested….but the mist wasn’t heavy enough to warrant putting on the gear.
One crazy cool bonus on our hike was after getting to the top (around 11am) we noticed some hands appearing at the edge of the shear face….a climber just completing his free climb after we arrived. Turns out it was a rock star climber (Alex Honnold) just completing his 3rd of three free climbs in Yosemite in 18 hours. Here’s a link to a description of what he did.
I can’t tell you enough what a truly remarkable experience I had (you must hear this all the time). I’m not ready to do it again anytime soon, but someday??? And thank you for a great seminar and book.”
Thank YOU, Kevin. It’s email like this that keeps me going. I’m doing my first 2012 HD hike on the 18th. Good tip on the lack of mist up the Mist Trail.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations. She’s giving me excitations.” – The Beach Boys
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com