I’ve dreamt about visiting Yosemite for years, so to not only get out there this weekend, but also to secure permits to hike Half Dome was incredible.
Half dome permits are rare, required for hiking to the peak, mostly booked ahead of season, a small number in a daily lottery. But thanks to recent cancellations due to air quality and a bunch of luck, I managed to bag two permits, and so on Friday night, we had a half dome hike on the cards for Sunday. Queue booking last minute accommodation on Friday night, packing and stocking up on supplies and gloves on Saturday morning, and then taking the four-hour drive from SF to Yosemite.
After getting to the park on Saturday afternoon, admiring the deer and having a scout for the trailhead, we prepped, got an early night and set the alarm for silly o’clock. We started the hike at 5:30am with headlamps, clearing the steep stair section near Vernal Fall by 6:30am as we were hitting light. The rest of the hike was a steady ascent over four hours around the back and side of half dome before hitting the cables section. Gorgeous scenery, the bulge of half dome looming over us.
Pictures and words can’t put the ridiculousness of the cables to ascend half dome. It was like approaching a rollercoaster, both pumped and nervous. 50 degrees+ of incline, hauling yourself with your arms, feet slipping for grip underneath. It took a little while to settle into the rhythm of pulling and resting of the wooden slats between sections. Hesper decided against the ascent after struggling for grip, leaving me to push on.
After some heavy breathing and white knuckles, the climb leveled out, and filled with adrenaline I whooped as I walked out on top of half dome. A 360 view of Yosemite. Words can’t describe.
The return down the cables was much easier. And then the return leg began, priority on reaching the car and having a good feed.
Shoutout to Hesper to joining for such a spur of the moment adventure, Half Dome was incredible and it’s a trip I’ll always remember.
Strava activity: https://www.strava.com/activities/4121962239