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Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

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.

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Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby HalfDomeRJ » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:03 am

If your interested in seeing our ascent up the cables, here is our video https://youtu.be/op_Y2oYV8aQ

We successfully completed this day hike for our June 1, 2016 cable permit pass. Total hiking time took around 12hrs (add 1 more hour at top of the dome). Our start time was just before 4:30am, parked in the designated area off of Happy Isle Loop Rd, which was closest to the beginning of The Mist Trail Head. They say it's a 16 mile round trip but my Fitbit showed 20 miles (additional miles walking to and from parking lot i suppose :?: ). Our initial water total was 7 1/2 liters. Definitely not enough water and needed to filter on the way back from the dome, off the Merced River, about 2 miles from Nevada Falls where the water was calm. We arrived back to our car at 5:30pm.

It's a steady elevation gain hike from beginning of trail head to the dome. The hardest part for me was the 8 mile downward return hike, putting a lot of stress on my toes. For the pace we were going, our legs were left sore for a few days.

I loved it so much, the weather was beautiful! I've considered returning next year in May and ascending, this time with the cables down and possibly summiting Clouds Rest. Anyone share any insight who has done Clouds Rest? Is it worth it compared to Half Dome?
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:39 pm

Clouds Rest is IMO a much better view, and worth it.

I'm never going to bother with Half Dome again - there are a ton of wonderful places, in and outside Yosemite, that have dropped Half Dome to the bottom of my list. Just keep hiking and exploring. You'll see.
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby WanderingJim » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:16 pm

Ditto on Clouds Rest. It is spectacular! 360 degree view of pretty much then entire park. From half Dome, Clouds Rest blocks the view to the west. :) :)


But not totally removing Half Dome from my list of hiking places. Still a great place to pull yourself up to. :) Went up my third time in May after a hike down to Merced Lake and up Clouds Rest.
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby w7sg » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:57 am

Super RJ, congrats. I want to do it again. I did it abt 6 months after knee surgery & a LOT of rehab & workout :-) I promised myself I would do it again in 5 years. That is coming up in a year or so, will be 63 :D
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby dmac3701 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:18 pm

Congratulations to all who made it to the summit! My husband and I (63 and 57 respectively) are planning to hike Half Dome in September. This will give us 5 months to train. I honestly got anxiety attack when I saw pictures. We hiked Machu Picchu last year, our #2 Bucket list, but it was a 4 days/3 nights hike. Half Dome is # 3 on our bucket list. I would like to know from anyone 57 years old and above if it is doable for us. Thank you for your time responding.
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby Phil » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:54 pm

How about 57 at the end of July? Yeah, you can do it! No doubt. Throw on a daypack with some weight in it and climb all the steep and long hills you can find to train. Then keep doing it until you wish you had more and bigger. Early start, stay well hydrated, control your breathing, one step at a time. If you have gear and want to take it in pieces, and have an extra day to do it, get an overnight permit, and then you can make your way up to Little Yosemite Valley on day 1, spend the night, then go the rest of the way up and back down to the valley the second day.
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby Kenlee » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:22 pm

dmac371:

I'm 61.

God willing, this year will be my 8th consecutive year at the summit of Half Dome. I got hooked that very first time and I find it a good goal (physically and mentally) now that I'm retired.

I've done the hike from the valley floor and from camping below Half Dome (with wilderness permit).

I suspect you'll be doing they day hike (16-18 miles). This is my least favorite way of doing the hike but because the cables weren't up in time for my wilderness permit in late May, it'll have to do (if I get a permit in the 2 day lottery). Plus it'll be good training for my 1 day ascent of Whitney in early October (did the over night trip last year)

Upper body/arm and grip strength were key for me to develop, specifically for the (IMO) most dangerous part, the 400' of steel cables!
Your upper body muscles are used for pulling up and lowering yourself during the descent of the cables.
Grip strength is for holding on to the cables.

My first time I brought a waist belt and carabiner to hook onto the cable but I never used it (and no longer bring it). I've seen people use this method (via ferrata). It just all depends on how safe you feel. If used, it will take you longer.

I usually start the hike from the valley floor at 4am. This helps beat the daytime heat and gets me back before the Pizza Deck closes!! I feel I drink less water in the early morning hours too. Remember that 3 liters of water is 6 pounds!

Not sure what your plan is for water but like "phil" mentioned, it's crucial to stay hydrated to prevent fatique/heat exhaustion and altitude sickness. I used Diamox for Whitney but not for Half Dome, although it all depends on the individual. Would be good to get acclimated a couple days in the valley (depends on where you're coming from) before making the hike.

As for route-I like taking the Mist Trail both ways. I've done it via the JMT & Mist trails. But if my knees are acting up then taking the JMT down is what I'll do. It's longer but more gradual.

Have a great time!!
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:30 pm

Kenlee:
If you look at the dates on the posts, it will explain why you aren't going to get a lot of conversation on this thread. :)
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby Kenlee » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:15 am

Thanks AmostThere! I'll leave it up in case some first time HD hikers see it.
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Re: Completed Half Dome day hike 6/1/16

Postby bisonmusic » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:49 am

Kenlee wrote:Thanks AmostThere! I'll leave it up in case some first time HD hikers see it.


Thanks for leaving it up! The post gave me a kick, so now I wanna go there again!
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