Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give permits<HERE>
When preparing for the Half Dome hike, it is a good idea to get the old body in shape. Your legs are the most important. You will be hiking about 16-miles, PLUS going up/down a mile each way. So, how do you know when you are ready? I can’t tell you – only YOU know. I don’t care what you did last year or in High School …. this is now. OK, can you walk on the flats for 6 hours, then turn around and come back? Try it. That’s at least what you will be doing to do the HD hike. Whew. Hike hills then do it again. You cannot over train.
Since you’re going up over 600 feet at a 45-degree angle to get up the cables, you need to have decent upper body strength. This means lifting weights.
I suggest triceps and biceps curls with dumbbells or a machine. Your lats and back are also important. As much as you want to use your legs, it’s hard at a 45-degree incline. Start out light then see if you can do 12 reps. If so, add more weight so you can do 8 reps. Then slowly continue to add weight. You will reach a plateau at a certain weight. Do 3 sets of lifting, with a 2-minute rest between. Another tactic is to pyramid: start at a low weight and keep adding increments, but reduce the number of repetitions. Go in about 4 increments of heavier weight for 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps then 4 reps. Then take weight off and increase the number of reps again. It’s an inverted pyramid. Alternate aerobics and resistance days. For a real workout, try light weight but do the reps at half time – real slow. Take 1-2 days off, but be diligent. Get serious about 2 months before your hike … like now. Taper down the last week and do nothing the last few days before going to the park. You don’t want to have nay last minute injuries. Make sense??
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Unrelated thought worth quoting: “All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which of the world’s wildernesses I should first wander.” – John Muir, 1912
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com