Between March 1 and March 31, visitors to Yosemite can enter the annual lottery for permits to ascend the hiking route of Half Dome. Permits have been required since 2010. The Half Dome cables, erected in 1919, became extremely crowded in the late 2000’s, with well over 900 people ascending on weekends. To provide a safe escape down the cables when mountain weather comes in, the park limited the numbers.
This year, 225 day hikers with advanced permits (through the March lottery), 50 more through a 2-day mini-lottery and 75 backpackers with Wilderness Permits will be allowed. Big wall climbers who ascent the face do not need a permit. A ranger is stationed at Sub Dome to check permits. The support system for the cables is installed by the trail crew. The anticipated dates of use in 2014 are from May 24 to October 14 – weather permitting.
Rick Deutsch (aka MrHalfDome) is the author of the only guide book to the hike: “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome,” and offers these recommendations. Hikers need: 1. Education, 2. Preparation, and 3. Motivation. As a hiker (not a guide) he has been to the top 40 times. It is an extremely strenuous hike and must be taken seriously. Water should be treated before drinking, boots need to fit properly, hill training is suggested, use of trekking poles save knees and good can-do attitude helps people succeed.
Many people prefer to do this hike with one of the Yosemite guide services. You may be able to hike Half Dome with Mr Half Dome, through LastingAdentures.com.
It’s a goal and a journey.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!” – R.I.P. Harold Remus
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com