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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


Postby dan » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:07 pm

Author: Helen (63.122.243.---)
Date: 08-26-02 16:20

How difficult is it to hike Half-Dome while the cables are down? I know it's not recommended, but I know a few people who have done it. Is it really dangerous? Possibility of death increased tenfold? I've had moderate experience hiking so I'm not a beginner, but at the same time, I'm not prepared to rock-climb Half Dome. We're thinking of doing it as an over-nighter rather than the 1-day hike that most people do. Mid-Oct. Any suggestions?

Re: Half-Dome
Author: Dan Anderson (---.ca.us)
Date: 08-26-02 16:43

I've seen people do it in Winter when the cables are down.

I wouldn't do it. The eye bolts are several feet apart and you need to have some bouldering experience. Going down is even scarier. People do it anyway and people die all the time. Real rock climbers learn with rope and a belay system.

The trail is closed during the day because people are working on the trail. They won't let you through and ruin their work-in-progress in any case.

The trail is open weekends and nights. See

Camping isn't allowed on Half Dome. You can camp on the trail up, but it's much faster without a pack.

Have fun and don't kill yourself.

Re: Half-Dome
Author: Steve Sheppard (---.as1.clev.oh.voyager.net)
Date: 09-01-02 19:10

I would not do Half Dome without the cables, unless, at the least, you have some multi-pitch climbing experience. I would also do the overnight up to the Little Yosemite camping area past Nevada Falls, Then up to Half Dome and back down to the Valley. A one day hike is 16 miles round trip with a gain of over 5000 ft and decent. Its an all day thing in the summer. In Oct. with shorter days you would have to rush.
Anyways, have fun. A great day hike is the Panorama Trail from Glacier Point 8.5 miles, the steps down the falls are tough on the knees.

Good Luck

Don't do it, coming down is worse then going up

Re: Half-Dome
Author: jsambe (---.dsl.scrm01.pacbell.net)
Date: 09-09-02 00:22

Going up would be one thing, but going down would be quite another. Definately go for the cables.

Re: Half-Dome
Author: matt (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: 10-14-04 14:26

I'm looking at doing the same thing along with two of my friends. I'm not terribly worried about it, but if you dont already have climbing equipment i'd rent some. I intend on climbing up with a harness and rock climbing shoes for the extra grip. The three of us are going to snake up the mountain, such that we are always anchored. Also ascenders may be usefull. I intend on going saturday the 23rd of October, weather permitting. I'd skip the summit for snow or rain. Also be aware that mid day thunderstorms have a tendency to sneak up and pound half dome around noon, so you should start your climb from the bottom no later than 6am, and watch the sky as you climb... no good being on the highes point with metal rods coming out of the ground and wet when there's lightning around. Aside that if your all tied in you should be fine. I'd be willing to bed that people would do it in sneakers if it weren't for the height. Also, try and keep your rope tight as not to fall too hard. The most experienced climber in your group should go first up and down. While going up somone should belay him to minimize the slack and be braced and anchored for a possible fall. Going down some one should be lowering as you would a person at the top of the wall. Use an ATC, not a hitch not for added safety. Then once the lead is to the next point ascend the next person with the third anchored and so on. The last person should ascend with the rope end attached, thus the rope will start at the lead, go through the anchor your traveling from and attach to the last person, then when the final person gets to the next anchor, he/she clips in and unties the end, pull the rope through the previous anchor. Be safe, always clip in. There are other ways of doing it, perhaps better, but i feel secure doing this (tho i may change my mind with conditions) Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.
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