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Half Dome may be going to full time permits

Discussion about hiking to the top of Half Dome, planning the trip, and when the Half Dome cables are installed in Spring or removed in Fall.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Half Dome may be going to full time permits

Postby njjkrubi » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:50 am

I just return from my first trip to Yosemite. It was all I thought it would be and more. My only issue I had was with Half Dome. My family and I hike into LYV and dropped our packs at our site and then hike up to HD. It was a Thursday afternoon around 1:30 pm. When we arrived there was a line that was taking 1-2 hours to get to the cables! it was crazy. No rangers in site. People starting up the cables and freezing no one moving, so crowded on the cables no one from the top could get down. We waited for about 35 minutes before getting tired of waiting. So my 13 year old son and I decide to go up on the outside of the cables. It was a little hairy but we were up in 12 minutes took our time at the top and then back down on the outside of the cables. That was all in about 45 minutes. If we had waited it would have been 3-4 hrs. To me the park is crazy for letting that many people gather up there. It's dangerous first of all. If a storm comes up people will be hurt. Most people are scared to death on those cables. I could see it on their faces.Others have thenselves strapped to the cable so if they fall they will take out everyone behind them.

The climb outside the cables was exciting to say the least but we both were physically fit and not scared of heights. People have no clue what they are getting into. They stretch them selves across the cables so no one coming down can get by. A big traffic jam.

For all the things the park service does right in the park this is a

Changes are coming. I met a ranger on the trail and was talking about HD when she informed me that they are soon going to require permits every day of the week to help elimnate the overcrowding and make it safer. It makes sense. Even if disappoints people it's for the best. If it saves one life and I know it will it's worth it. Plus it will make the climb safer and more enjoyable for everyone else.
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What are cables like on the weekends?

Postby sfshan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:31 pm

I'm going up this coming weekend (Sunday Sept 26) and wondered what the cables are like now that the crowds are controlled with permits. Is there ever a backup anymore on the permit days? I'm hoping not!
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Postby hotrod4x5 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:29 pm

I've heard that permit days are very uncrowded. And I also had heard that it was a nightmare on Thursdays and to a lesser extent, Wednesdays.
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Half Dome will require permits every day in 2011

Postby Nacci » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:05 pm

The NPS has published a study about the 2010 permit system, and the unfortunate consequence of requiring permits Fr-Su was that the trail was overcrowded Mo-Th. So the decision has been made to require permits for every day in 2011. You can read the study & the directions for obtaining permits on the NPS Half Dome page.

One new thing is that folks can cancel their permits so others can use them. Hopefully these changes will make for a more enjoyable wilderness experience.
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Postby Bullet777 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:17 am

I think its a good idea to require permits for all days. Just get a permit, even a few for different days if you are not exactly sure which day you are going to be there. They only cost $1.50 each. Then you know that on the day of your hike there wont be too much of a crowd on the cables. The permits you have but dont use can be used by others if you let the park know in advance that you wont be using them.
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