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A few questions...

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

A few questions...

Postby driedcranberry » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:42 am

First of all.. many thanks for reading my post!

I have a couple of questions about this day hike.

Is it best to go via the Mist Trail? I hiked that last mid July and managed to make it to the top without water or food (stupid!!). Bad headache by the time I reached Curry Village.. was DYING for anything to eat or drink. This time around, I will be prepared with a pack. My question is: how much further from the top of Mist Trail to the peak of Half Dome (in time and mileage)? I just want an idea of what to expect...

Should I use my broken in tennis shoes or get new hiking boots? If boots, what do you recommend?

Do hiking poles really make a difference? (So expensive at REI!?! $135 for a pair, or so)

Would it be sensible to start out at 3am so I can avoid all the people and be back down to Curry Village by early afternoon? I do MUCH better in cold/cool weather than when its warm/hot. I will be doing this hike in mid July...

I really appreciate your time to read and answer whatever you can... many thanks!

Genevieve :D
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Postby hikehigh » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:58 pm

-I like to hike up via the Mist trail and come down The John Muir Trail.

-Food and water = good

-Its a little less than 5 miles from Top of Nevada Falls to Half Dome. After the falls you have a flat mile, then its up the rest of the way. Time varies depending on you. Anywhere from 2 - 5 hours

-Most people do it in tennis shoes, or hiking shoes. I wouldn't break in a new pair of boots on the day of the hike. If you have time before your trip to break them in, no problem. Get yourself some good wool or synthetic hiking socks. Bring an extra pair and change socks on the way down. Cotton socks will make your hike miserable.

-Hiking polls help. Once you are on the granite, the polls will be inconvenient. Walmart has some for $20, or rent them from REI or Sport Chalet.

-3am start is a great idea. Bring a headlamp.

Have fun
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Postby driedcranberry » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:14 pm

Thanks for replying ;)

Why do you recommend hiking down the JMT instead of going back down the same way as going up?

It may be true that most people do it in tennis shoes.. but is the comfort any different?

I found a pole at Play It Again Sports for $20 so that's a good deal! Now it seems that I shouldn't have gotten is since you say that it's inconvenient on granite... from what I remember.. the whole way up to Nevada Falls, it was granite... am I wrong?
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Postby backpacker3 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:14 am

* JMT on the way down is nice for the variety.

* I would not recommend buying new hiking boots before climbing Half Dome. New boots often cause blisters. What hiking shoes did you use before? Were they comfortable? I am much more comfortable in tennis shoes- less weight and more breathable, even if they don't provide as much ankle support.

* I would recommend using hiking poles. They will help your balance and take some of the load off of the rest of your body. In sections where they are not helpful, you can just carry them or put them in your pack.

* Take your time and enjoy the hike!
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Postby hikehigh » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:46 am

driedcranberry wrote:-but is the comfort any different?

-I shouldn't have gotten is since you say that it's inconvenient on granite... from what I remember.. the whole way up to Nevada Falls, it was granite... am I wrong?


-Shoes are really a personal preference, everyone is different. What have you been wearing on your training hikes?

-I was talking about the scrambling portion of the hike after the switchbacks. Poles would be helpful from the trailhead to that point, especially on the descent.
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Postby Hikin Mike » Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:36 pm

I definitely would buy new hiking boots and then hike to Half Dome. Tennis shoes will be fine.

I always hike with poles, but my knees weren't the best! For that reason I usually hiked the JMT instead of the Mist Trail.

If your interested, I have photos/journal trip from one of my trips on my website. Can't post the actual link here (I'm too new), but the link is on my signature....
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