Yosemite survey markers

When you are walking on the top of Half Dome, one thing you  may notice is that there is no survey marker. While on the summit of many other  peaks and high points you often see the 4-inch bronze disks cemented into the  rock. The photo below shows the marker on Clouds Rest.


So why no marker on  Half Dome?  The reason is simple: there  was no reason to put one there! These markers were placed by either the U.S.  Coast and Geodetic Survey (now called the National Geodetic Survey), or the  U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), to aid in survey work leading to the creation of  maps of the terrain. When reading survey makers, you will notice that the  information may vary. You might find a triangulation station, or the “main  station.” It is marked with a triangle inscribed on its surface and an  impressed mark that shows the precise point over which a surveyor’s plumb  should be placed. A triangulation station is often bracketed by two reference  markers with arrows pointing to the main station. Just because Half Dome is a  high mountain, does not mean it gets a survey marker. Other peaks provide the  data needed by the engineers. Yosemite Point, Mt. Hoffman, El Cap, Sentinel  Dome, etc. have markers. So save your energy and just enjoy the view.

Medical update: I got released from Good Sam hospital today.  The pleural effusion was a success. I had all the gear pulled out of off me.  Chest Tube, epidural, IV, med port, EKG leads and of course, my favorite: the  catheter. Owwwww.  The procedure was a  success and I feel a lot better. My side has 4 healing holes in it and they are  starting to glow.


Unrelated thought worth  quoting:Come  in here, Dear boy, have a cigar. You’re gonna go far, You’re gonna fly high,  you’re never gonna die. You’re gonna make it, if you try; they’re gonna love you.” – Pink Floyd 

*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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2 Responses to Yosemite survey markers

  1. Chris says:

    Glad to see you are doing better Mr. Halfome. Best wishes on your health.

    I was just up at Clouds rest and wanted to know how many markers are up there. I only saw marker 1 and Marker 2.

    I think that marker 3 is for North Dome.

    I am anxious to look for them as I enjoy the area more.

    Best wishes

    • Chris,

      There are 2 USGS markers on Clouds Rest. I talked to their Colorado group responsible for them and was told they are NOT put on every tall peak….thus NONE on Half Dome. I’d have to dig out my North Dome hike pix to recall if there is one there. I think there is.

      I did a blog on all this awhile back .. gonna be a chore to find it, but will if you want me to.

      I’m back to normal after the Oct Harley dump near Bodie. I’ve been up HD twice this summer and was worried…but all went well. Dr told me to build up gradually. Spent Nov and Dec mostly in bed with a leg brace and broken ribs. (Wrote my 2nd edition then.) The collarbone has a plate in it and does ache a bit when I sleep on that side. Life goes on.

      Thanks for asking.


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