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[Yosemite]

Someone Please Help

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

Someone Please Help

Postby Robert M. » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:55 am

I need to get "wilderness permits" to do an overnight Half Dome hike for seven people. Ive been trying the Yosemite NPS Ctr. for a month now and they dont respond to mail, internet sight is all booked up and they take the phone off the hook from 8:30 am on the nose and leave it off the hook till 4:00 pm which apparently is thier hours of operation. Then you get a recorded message which tells you to go online (read em and weep) or send a request by mail (Santa will write you back first) At this point I am very desperate. This trip is not an ordaniary family outing. A month ago my younger brother was diagnosed with lumps in his stomach that may be cancer. Yesterday he went in for a biopsy and we will not get the results for two weeks. I want to use this trip to get our minds off of waiting for the results. He is in good spirits right now which is more than I can say for myself and my other family members. He is in good enough shape to make the hike and already has his heart set on it I dont want to let him down. My family is coming together from all over the US and one of my sisters has even requested leave from the military to make this trip. I am so desprate to talk to someone who can give me answers I am unable to sleep through the night. Sombody Please Help Me..........
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Postby BadPepsi » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:16 pm

Hi Robert,

A percentage of overnight permits can be reserved up to six months in advance. Since Half Dome is such a popular hike, it's not surprising that there are none available at this point.

However, the remaining permits are first-come first-serve, and are available one day before the start of your hike. At this point your best bet is to arrive at the permit office as early as you can and try to get these permits for your trip. You may have to wait a day for enough availability for 7 people.

You have at least two options for your hike. First is the standard hike from Yosemite Valley up to the Little Yosemite Valley campsite. From there, you can dayhike up to the top of Half Dome, and pick up your gear on your way back down to the valley. The total distance is approximately 16 miles, with approximately 5,000 feet of elevation gain. For permitting purposes, your trailhead for this hike is "Happy Isles - Little Yosemite Valley".

Your second option is to hike from Tenaya Lake (off Hwy. 120, Tioga Road), over Clouds Rest and Half Dome, down to Yosemite Valley. You can camp overnight at Sunrise Creek. This hike requires a car shuttle, or use of the backpackers shuttle bus. The trip up and over Clouds Rest provides superior views of Half Dome and the Valley; in my opinion this hike is more strenuous and also more scenic anc exhilarating, than the other option. The total distance is approximately 21 miles, also with significant elevation change. For permitting purposes, your trailhead for this hike is "Sunrise".

Hope this helps.

-BadPepsi
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Last edited by BadPepsi on Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Robert M. » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:07 am

Thank you BadPepsi. Im going to go for the day hike from the happy isles trail head. Just a few question. What do you think would happen if we cannot make the hike all the way back down and we need to camp for the night ? Do you get arrested ? Do you get stuck with a big fat fine ? The thing is that I have a feeling that we might not make it back without stopping some where for the night. It sounds like I have a chance to get wilderness permits for at least some of us and that is good news. My brother will be the first to get one. Also what are the camping arrangments ? Are we only able to camp in designated areas or are you able to camp wherever you like ? Im sorry if these questions sound stupid but it has been a long time since I have been up there and from what I remember you could camp anywhere you wanted so long as you abided by the rules of the wilderness ie: No fires in undesignated areas, No trash, Leave everything as you found it(no impact on nature), Do not feed the animals, store food in proper containers away from campsight etc.. You are the only person who responded; that makes you the only person who I can ask these questions. I will be leaving the city to meet my family tomorrow and we will be at the park late tomorrow earily friday. If you have not responded by then, then know that your help is greatly and deeply appreciated by me and my family. May God bless you ! When I return I will post how my trip went and I will try to answer all the questions that I have for someone else who finds thier self in the predicament I am currently in. Thank You !~!
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Postby BadPepsi » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:15 am

Hi Robert,

The hike is a long one, so if you choose to day-hike, try to get an early start (before sunrise), pace yourselves, bring enough food and water, and plan to be hiking all day. If you decide to camp, you should have a wilderness permit, since there are often rangers around the Little Yosemite Valley area, and if you were caught camping without a permit, you would be required to leave immediately, even in the middle of the night.

Whoever arrives first at the permit office can try to get permits for the 7 of you. If you don't arrive until late Thursday night, you should try to be in line at the permit office by 6:30am on Friday morning.

Little Yosemite Valley is the best place to set up camp; you can find good information at nps.gov/yose under Plan Your Visit/Backpacking/Little Yosemite Valley (sorry, this website won't allow me to post a URL). You seem to have some experience with Leave No Trace principles. The ranger will go over specific details with you when you pick up your permit.

Good luck, have fun, and don't forget to post a trip report (with photos) when you're back.

-BadPepsi
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Last edited by BadPepsi on Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Robert M. » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:57 pm

BadPepsi,
I have no idea what compelled you to respond to my post, but I have to say that you gave us enough hope to go through with the trip. We followed your advise and it got us to the right place at the right time. It was almost like this trip was destined to happen. We made so many mistakes and for some reason everything kept going our way. This hike was a big learning experience for us and I have so much to tell about this trip. I have just returned to the city and I am dog tired. I dont want to write a little post about my trip beacuse it deserves much more than that. So I will wait till I have enough time and energy to devote myself to the post. For now I will say that evey time I think of what we just got through doing my lips part into an uncontrolable smile and I begin laughing out loud. I thank you for that BadPepsi...We all do...
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Postby Robert M. » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:26 pm

I just finished a long post about my trip and when I submitted it the page errored and ive been locked out till this morning. whats the deal ? are the posts limited in size?
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Postby dan » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:09 pm

Robert,

I looked around the configuration page and I didn't see any limit in posting size. Sorry it happened though--I know it's frustrating.
- Dan
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Postby Robert M. » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:20 am

Thank you Dan. I've started back at work so I'll try to post again this weekend. It could have been that I was idle on the page so long so I'll check my settings before I post again. Quick question though, BadPepsi asked for photos and I'm not sure if it is possible. Any suggestions ?
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Postby thranduil » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:23 am

Hi Robert!

I just posted MY half dome pics in "Visiting Yosemite"

To post images first you need to upload them somewhere on the Web

I used imageshack.us, uploaded my images, and copied the address of every single uploaded pic ("Thumbnail for Forums (1)") to the message text.

Wish all possible good luck to your family!
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Postby Robert M. » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:46 am

Ok here it goes. I left the city and met up with my family at my moms house. Just 1 hr out of yosemite. We slept for three hours then headed out for the park. We got there at about 4:00am and there were no gate gaurds. We just drove in without paying and statrted our search for the visitors center. We finally found it at about 5:00 am. We were sure that it was the right place beacuse there was a guy camped out on the porch waiting for wilderness permits too. At about 6:30 the convience store opened and part of our group went to buy breakfast for everyone. By 7:00 there was a crowd at the visitor center waiting for permitts too. The center opened at 7:45 and everyone piled into the building. There I was with money in hand ready to pay what ever it was going to take. I get up to the counter anjd tell the lady that I need permits to do a 2 day halfdome hike. She tells me that there is no problem. All we have to do is hike up 2mi. past LYV and camp anywhere and if we want a fire all we have to do is look for an existing fire ring. She reassures me that Id have to be blind not to find one. I pull out the wad of cash I brought with me and to my surprise she tells me "No , its free". WOW I couldnt believe it. I told her about all the trouble I had trying to contact them and that I figured that I was going to pay through the nose for having to get the last minuite pass. She nodded at me and said that everyone says the same thing but she still offered no explaniation as to why nobody answeres the phone. So I gladly took the permit and went on my way...........
Will continue tomorrow.........
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Postby thranduil » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:31 am

and to my surprise she tells me "No , its free"


yes, you pay for the reservation, not for the permit. :wink:
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