Yosemite Half Dome Hike Safety Tips from Mr Half Dome

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.

Half Dome - a goal and a journey

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

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


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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One Response to Yosemite Half Dome Hike Safety Tips from Mr Half Dome

  1. Maureen L says:

    Limits on number of Half Dome hikers aren’t just so that the rangers can get people down “when mountain weather comes in.” Wise hikers who want to live long, full lives don’t head up the cables to the top if it has rained, is raining, or looks like it could rain soon. Lightning and thunder don’t usually move in so quickly that people who headed up when there was not a cloud in the sky get caught on top in a thunderstorm, though I suppose it is possible.

    Since permits have been required, there aren’t long lines of people at the saddle at the top of Sub Dome waiting to start up the cables, and there are very few idiots going up the outside of the cables because they don’t want to wait 45 minutes + to go up on the inside.

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