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Articles on First Ascents of Half Dome

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

Articles on First Ascents of Half Dome

Postby dan » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:28 pm

The Winter 2003 issue of Yosemite (the journal of the Yosemite Association) has two articles on Half Dome, available online at their website as a PDF file at

http://www.yosemite.org/member/YA%20Win ... l%2003.pdf

The articles are:

* “The Boy Who Climbed Down Half Dome” 65:1:3-6 by George Monheit

* “The First Ascents of Half Dome” 65:1:7-9 by Hank Johnston
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More early Half Dome ascents

Postby xharv » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:52 am

Thank you for posting the link to Hank Johnston's article, Dan!
It is hard to tell how many people took advantage of Anderson's
rope to reach the top of Half Dome between 1875 and 1884. Estimates
are in a wide range between fifty and several hundred climbers.
However, after Anderson's death in 1884
(when his ropes were swept away), and all the way to 1919
(when McAllister's cable route was finally erected) the number of
ascents trickled to just a few.

If you are interested in learning more about those early
Half Dome ascents, I collected several dozen original articles from
old newspapers and books and posted them to the Web. The document
is organized in two parts: Part 1 covers Anderson's years (1875-1884),
and Part 2 talks about the period between 1884 and 1919.
One big puzzle remains unsolved: Was Jack London one of the
few climbers who made it to the top of the Dome in that second period?!


Enjoy! -Harv
Last edited by xharv on Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dan » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:50 pm

Great article--thanks for putting it together.

Here's another article:

Steve Harrison, George Anderson, First Up the Dome, Yosemite Nature Notes, 46(2) (1977)
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/yosem ... erson.html

And Hutchings:
James Mason Hutchings, In the Heart of the Sierras (1888), Chapter 26
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/in_th ... l#page_457

Rick Deutsch's Yosemite's Half Dome[/url] has information on Half Dome History in Chapter 1. http://www.hikehalfdome.com/
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