We’re hiking in Yosemite National Park. More than that, really. We’re climbing Half Dome this fall.
Here’s the brief history of adventure: About forty years ago, my dad (and mom) climbed Half Dome. Years later, a shirt they picked up on that trip was passed on to me. It was from the Yosemite Mountaineering School and sported the logo in the feature image. The back read:
I loved that shirt so much I wore it threadbare. In 2003, hubby (then fiancee) and I did some hikes at the Grand Canyon and I picked up my own shirt: “Go hike a canyon.” It’s not quite the same, but I do love the new shirt.
Two years ago, my dad told me and my brother that climbing Half Dome again was on his bucket list, and asked us to climb it with him. Seeing as it’s a 14.2 mile round-trip hike that takes 10-14 hours and includes a 4800 foot gain in elevation from Yosemite Valley to the peak of Half Dome, the window of opportunity for crossing this one off the list is narrow!
I know what you’re thinking.
Sure, it’s long hike.
Okay, that’s a good elevation change.
But…have you ever seen the cables?
Yes. Cables. The National Park Service puts up cables every year around Memorial Day and takes them down around Columbus Day. They enable novice mountaineers (like yours truly) to climb to the top of this great mountain.
For now, let me show you the crazy for which we are signed up!
First, this is the big picture view:
Next, prepare to climb straight up…
Then, don’t forget, you have to come back down…
Despite the hair-raising anxiety of those cables, I’m stoked! We submitted our seven preferred dates the day the lottery opened, March 1st. Then, after forty-two days of waiting, checking the recreation.gov website for lottery status updates and collective breath holding, I woke up April 12th and checked my recreation.gov account to find this:
It may have been choice seven out of seven, but hey! We won the lottery! We have permits! When this great adventure is over, I plan pick up a new YMS shirt and will sport that “Go climb a rock” slogan.
Now to train and plan the trip. Wish us luck and in the meantime, keep up with the preparations for this adventure here!
Featured image & (1): from a Yosemite Mountaineering School vintage shirt, circa 1965-1976.
(2) & (3) Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
(4) Courtesy of flickr