Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
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Update: Witnesses said 10 people climbed over the railing yesterday at Vernal Fall apparently for photos. 3 were swept over. They are 27-year-old Ninos Yacoub of Turlock, 22-year-old Hormiz David of Modesto and 21-year-old Ramina Badal also of Modesto. No bodies have been recovered, but the Mist Trail is now reopened.
And now the blog:
I’ve gotten questions about the sun factor on the hike. We haven’t talked much about this. When you get going at 5:30 am, the sun is not an issue. You’ll be chilled a bit but soon be huffing up to the Vernal Fall footbridge. You are in the shade until you come towards and through Little Yosemite Valley. The sun may be bright but it is still at a low angle. Then you are in trees for the long forest switchbacks as you cross over 7,000 feet.
You’ll be putting your sunglasses on and off as the sun peeks between trees as you approach Sub Dome.You go to Checkpint Charlie and the Ranger – have your permit ready and use the secret password to continue. Now you are above the tree line near 8,000 feet and very exposed. The hike up Sub Dome is all in the sun with white granite reflecting. Obviously, the cables and the top are fully exposed with hot sun on you at a high angle.
What to do to keep from getting melanoma? Lather up well before your hike with a strong SPF loction. Carry it and reapply as you need to. Wear a hiking cap or a large brim hat (Tilley hat recommended) and a sun proof long-sleeved UV shirt (REI or Solumbra catalog on-line). I wear bicycle gloves all day to keep the sun off the backs of my hands and to prevent blisters from my hiking poles.
A word about bugs on the hike. For me, mosquitos are generally not an issue at all. There is not much stagnant water for them to hide in. Sometimes when I am filter pumping water from the Merced at Little Yosemite Valley there may be hordes of them there. But only there. Personally, I don’t bother with repellent.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Well buzz, buzz, buzz goes the bumble bee tweedle deedle dee goes the bird. But the sound of your little voice darling, is the sweetest sound I ever heard.” – The Hollywood Flames
*MrHalfDome ™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com