Monday, August 29, 2005

Finally hiked Half Dome

My buddy Michael and I made the journey to Yosemite this past weekend to hike up Half Dome (17 miles & 4,842 vertical feet).

We left on Friday after work and arrived in the Valley a little after 9pm (delayed at the craptastic Iron Door Saloon in Groveland...see my The Iron Door Saloon Sucks! post) and promptly carbo loaded with some beer at the Curry Village Bar. We made it to our beds in our tent cabin (thanks Stan & Judy for letting us crash with ya!) by 11pm. Our tentmates planned on climbing Half Dome, so were up and out the door by 4:30am. Thinking that we weren't gonna go back to sleep, Michael and I decided to get up and hit the trail.

With lunches packed and headlamps on our heads, we left the Curry Village parking lot by 5:30am. We took the John Muir trail up and made it to the top of Nevada Falls a bit after 8pm. After a bunch of pics, we pushed on meandered our way up at a pretty decent pace. By about 10:30 we found ourselves at the hill before the chains. OUCH...what a killer! Luckily, we were there early enough that there wasn't much of a crowd on the trials. After about 20 minutes, we crested the top of this hill and saw the chains before us.

With gloves on hands we scampered up to the top within about 15 minutes...11:20am. Once there, we took a peek at the Yosemite Valley side and then quickly found a flat place to lay down and nap. By 12:15, our time was up and we headed back down...alongside a 72 year-old woman and her family. 72!!! and on top!

We had planned on jogging down (we had done that 2 years earlier down to the Valley from Glacier Point), but the steepness of a good bit of the trail, the crowds and sore feet put a damper on that idea. Still, we made it back to Curry Village by 3:30pm.

How to celebrate? More carbo loading at the bar: pepperoni pizza and some tall 22 oz beers. Within about an hour, we bumped into Judy & Stan and hung out with them for awhile along with a couple that we (all four of us, but on different parts of the trail) met on the trail.

That marks four big hikes that I've done there: valley floor to Yosemite Lookout, valley floor to Glacier Point, Tenaya Lake to Clouds Rest. I'm thinking the Tenaya Lake to valley floor (via Clouds Rest) may be a fun one to do. And Michael really wants to try out Tenaya Canyon. Looks like quite an adventure!

Here are the pics from the hike...thanks Michael!


Evonne & Darren said...

Wow, that sounds like a fun but treacherous hike! What time did you guys start? Did you leave with Judy and Stan at 4:30 am as well?

OK, I am going to check out the rest of the pics. Thanks for sharing!

Evonne & Darren said...

Amazing pics... thanks Michael!