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[Yosemite]

1 DAY HIKE OF HALF DOME: Is it possible?

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

1 DAY HIKE OF HALF DOME: Is it possible?

Postby SAFNYC » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:27 pm

Hi,

Is it possible to hike in 1 day to the top of Half Dome and back if I start from Upper Pines campground at 6AM?

Thanks
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Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:55 pm

It's possible to hike Half Dome in a day no matter when you start, as long as you don't care when you get back....

Seriously, tho, people hike Half Dome in one day all the time - some start at 3 am, some at 6, some at 2 in the afternoon. With a headlamp you can hike in the dark, get there for sunrise, and get back to Happy Isles before lunch.

Can you do it without getting a ton of blisters, heat exhaustion, or altitude sickness? I run across exhausted limping people on that trail all the time. I also saw a teenager in a bikini, dudes wearing beat up Nikes and shorts, and a six year old child up at the base of the dome.

I don't know if you can do it in a day. Can you hike 18 miles round trip with 2000+ elevation gain up granite lined switchbacks?
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Postby balzaccom » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:03 pm

Make that 4000 ft in elevation gain, from the Valley to the top of the dome>
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Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:06 pm

Yes, my bad. Numbers are not always my friends.

On a hot day, those 4000 feet feel to me like 10000.
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Postby SAFNYC » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:13 pm

AlmostThere wrote:I don't know if you can do it in a day. Can you hike 18 miles round trip with 2000+ elevation gain up granite lined switchbacks?


I've only been on one major hiking trip. I spent 10 days in Rocky Mountain NP last year, and that place is at 12-14,000 elevation. My first 2 days were tough, but I was acclimated by day 3 and I performed all of my intended hikes for the remainder of the trip. Keep in mind that I'm from Long Island and I live at sea level. I'm in good shape too and I don't plan on hiking in beat up Nike's :D

I'm thinking it's possible if I start early. Thanks
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Postby rittercon » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:32 pm

My wife & I just did the hike last Sunday. We left Upper Pines campground at 5:30am (daybreak) and got to the cables at 11:00-ish. Didn't spend much time on top due to approaching thunder clouds and lightning. Got back to campground at 5:30pm- a 12 hour trip for us. On the way down, we took John Muir Trail to Happy Isles rather than down Nevada and Vernal Falls trail. The JMT is longer, but much less steep and easier on the knees.

We are in mid- 50's and trained for six months, doing 6 - 10 mile hikes every weekend. Still an exhausting walk for us, but we made it! Bring plenty of water and energy foods- it really makes a difference.

Have fun and don't forget your camera!
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Postby SAFNYC » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:27 pm

rittercon wrote:My wife & I just did the hike last Sunday. We left Upper Pines campground at 5:30am (daybreak) and got to the cables at 11:00-ish. Didn't spend much time on top due to approaching thunder clouds and lightning. Got back to campground at 5:30pm- a 12 hour trip for us. On the way down, we took John Muir Trail to Happy Isles rather than down Nevada and Vernal Falls trail. The JMT is longer, but much less steep and easier on the knees.

We are in mid- 50's and trained for six months, doing 6 - 10 mile hikes every weekend. Still an exhausting walk for us, but we made it! Bring plenty of water and energy foods- it really makes a difference.

Have fun and don't forget your camera!


Damn, I'd say that's pretty good for someone as young as you and your wife. That certainly gives me the confidence I need. Hopefully I can do just as good!

Thanks
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Postby Wickett » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:59 pm

I have done it. Do I recommend it for the non hiker, no.

A lot of people, that is A LOT OF PEOPLE, get there to Yosemite and they think it will be easyish to make it to the top of half dome and nothing they can't handle. For some of the younger... some will manage (and pay). I have had the unfortunate experience to see a lot of fails...

The biggest fail for the most part, that I have seen of course, is water. I go backpacking a lot, whenever I pass over Nevada falls I get innundated with people asking to fill their water bottles... these are people on their way up...

If you are going to go in one day, bring LOTS of water or a water purifier and go at your own pace. Fill up at Little Yosemite Valley because that is your last reliable source.

The whole hike up is a great experience, enjoy it. My good friend was there this weekend, he got within sight of the cables and had to turn back. He is 29 and in good shape, he admitted afterward that he was dehydrated and was pushing for a while.

Have fun and be safe!
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Postby SAFNYC » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:08 pm

Wickett wrote:I have done it. Do I recommend it for the non hiker, no.

A lot of people, that is A LOT OF PEOPLE, get there to Yosemite and they think it will be easyish to make it to the top of half dome and nothing they can't handle. For some of the younger... some will manage (and pay). I have had the unfortunate experience to see a lot of fails...

The biggest fail for the most part, that I have seen of course, is water. I go backpacking a lot, whenever I pass over Nevada falls I get innundated with people asking to fill their water bottles... these are people on their way up...

If you are going to go in one day, bring LOTS of water or a water purifier and go at your own pace. Fill up at Little Yosemite Valley because that is your last reliable source.

The whole hike up is a great experience, enjoy it. My good friend was there this weekend, he got within sight of the cables and had to turn back. He is 29 and in good shape, he admitted afterward that he was dehydrated and was pushing for a while.

Have fun and be safe!


Well, I'm definitely going to give it a shot. I plan to pack as light as possible, just bringing essentials. Thanks for the advice

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Postby Hikin Mike » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:21 pm

A little late, but...Yep, did it twice as a day hike and once as a backpacking trip. You can read about it on my website. :D
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Overnight Half Dome Hike

Postby YosemiteDon » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:48 am

A great alternative to the Half Dome trail....A few years back, I parked early at the valley, and took the hiker's shuttle bus to Tenaya Lake and hiked from there to Cloud's rest, and camped overnight near there. And the next day did Half Dome. It was a great leisurely hike, and there are some GREAT camping spots along the way, if you start at Tenaya Lake. I highly recommend it to anyone that has a few extra days.
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Postby jpcal » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:23 pm

My group was able to go from Tenya Lake to Half Dome in a day. We started just before 6 and had the rest of our group who didn't do the hike pick us up in the valley. It added a couple miles to the hike however it was mostly flat or going down hill, once you reach the ridge. Went with a few people who have done half dome a couple times and they all said that it was easier to go from Tenya.
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Postby Vlado » Tue May 25, 2010 7:06 am

I did the day trip to Half Dome in July 2007 when I was seriously out of shape. Had hiked in the past before that, but I stopped for a few years - and I could still do HD in a day.

We slept at a hotel in Mariposa. Got up at 3:50am, on the road by 4:20, parked at Curry Village at 6 am and left right away. No shuttle bus so early so we walked to the trailhead. I thought I was going to die mid way up the stairs before Vernan Fall :wink: Reached the base of the cables around noon, up and down in hour and a half. Cables were crowded (it was a Saturday), but wasn't soooo bad. We were back at the pizzeria in Curry Village by 7 pm.

So, it is definitely possible, but please bring at least 5 quarts of water per person. I only had a gallon and I run out of water at the top of Vernan Fall on the way back - and I did not have the iodine tablets... Other than that, it is VERY hard, but it's worth it!
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the time you leave really is key for safety

Postby tabornik » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:16 pm

Yes, it does really matter when you leave on a half dome hike, especially in the Summer. The biggest danger is not dehydration or even heat stroke, but the biggest danger is lightning. Half Dome is a large rock that is grounded into the earth, thus a large lightning rod. If you are caught on half dome in an electrical storm, you chances of getting struck by lighting go from 1 in a 100 million to 1 in 100 chance of getting struck.
Storms can happen at any time, but happen with regularity in the afternoons and evenings as the temps in start to rise.
Any long all day hike in the Sierras, whether it is Mt Dana, Half Dome, Whitney, Langely, etc you should leave as early as possible and don't forget to bring the Sierra Clubs 10 necessities.
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Training is key

Postby BigEscapes » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:56 pm

We did the hike on wednesday with Mr. Half Dome. Left at 4:30 am and it wasn't very busy. Did it in one day. Just make sure you train before hand.
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